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CUCUTENI-TRYPILLYA: A Great Civilization of Ancient Europe

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« on: October 03, 2008, 10:36:34 am »




                                                        







                                                       Mysterious prehistoric man in Rome


                                               Trypillian culture spotlights Europe's proto- cities






 (ANSA) -
Rome,
October 2 -

A mysterious Neolithic people who created Europe's earliest urban culture is the focus of an exhibition currently showing in Rome. Palazzo della Cancelleria is hosting the exhibit devoted to the Cucuteni or Trypillian culture, which flourished in an area between modern Romania, Moldova and Ukraine between 5500 BC and 2750 BC.

The exhibition, the first of its kind in Italy, brings together 450 artefacts from excavations and private collections, and explores different archaeological interpretations of the culture's proto-cities. Although many Trypillian settlements were little more than villages, particularly the earliest ones with around 15 dwellings, others came to house thousands of people, a remarkable development in that era. The two largest settlements uncovered so far, Dobrovody and Maydanets, both in Ukraine, were each home to around 10,000 people at one time and spanned areas of 2.5 square kilometres. Usually located on a plateau and fortified with earthworks and ditches, the proto-cities were laid out in concentric circles or parallel lines, and interspersed with squares for communal activities. People usually lived in adobe huts, sometimes with two stories, which had round windows and were heated by a central oven.

However, some of the largest settlements also contained much bigger buildings.

These were typically between 300 and 600 metres long, with multiple rooms. The walls and ceilings were decorated with black and red designs, while the beds and other furniture were of complex design with brilliant colours. These large structures have frequently been archaeological treasure troves, with beautiful utensils and mysterious tattooed male and female figurines, often faceless, and thought to be of religious significance.

Pottery and copper, exported extensively from the Balkans, are also commonplace in such sites. Animal bones uncovered by digs, which have been under way since the early 1800s, indicate that the Trypillians not only hunted wild game but also raised cows, goats, sheep and pigs. They grew a variety of crops and appear to have been part of an extensive trade network. Entitled 'Cucuteni-Trypillya. Una grande civilta' dell'antica Europa' (Cucuteni-Trypillya: A Great Civilization of Ancient Europe), the Rome exhibition runs in Palazzo della Cancelleria until October 31.
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« Reply #1 on: October 03, 2008, 10:45:15 am »




                                   








                                                       Cucuteni-Trypillya's civilisation



                               A worldwide preview in Rome  european institute of cultural routes
 





Valentina Fava
02 September 2008
 
Cucuteni-Trypillya is considered the first important European civilisation, which developed in the territory of Romania, Ukraine and Republic of Moldavia.

This exhibition proposes around 450 pieces which have been found during the excavations or which
are part of private collections.

Les proto-villages testify that this Neolithic civilisation was really original and that the level of pro-
gress was really advanced.





The exhibition’s curators are



Sergiy Chaykovskyi,

Valentin Dergacev,

Romeo Dumitrescu,

Sergiy Krolevets,

Mykola Platonov,

Eugen Sava,

Lacramioara Stratulat,

Sergiy Taruta,

Nicolae Ursulescu.





The exhibition has received the patronage of


Ukraine’s Ambassador at Holy See - Tetiana Izhevska -

of Ukraine’s Minister of Culture and Tourism - Vasyl’Vovkun -

of Romania’s Minister of Culture and Cults - Adrian Iorgulescu -

of Romania’s Ministry of Culture and Cults’ General Secretary - Virgil Nitulescu.





Image: website

http://www.exibart.com/profilo/eventiV2.asp?idelemento=57971 
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« Reply #2 on: October 03, 2008, 10:50:21 am »

           








                                                  C U C U T E N I   C U L T U R E






From
Wikipedia
 
Cucuteni-Trypillia cultureThe Cucuteni culture, better known in the countries of the former Soviet Union as Trypillian culture or Tripolie culture, is a late Neolithic archaeological culture that flourished between ca. 5500 BC and 2750 BC in the Dniester-Dnieper region of modern-day Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine.

The culture was named after Cucuteni, Iaşi county, Romania, where the first objects associated with this culture were discovered.

In the 1884, Archaeologist Vicenty Khvoika uncovered the fist of close to one hundred Trypillian settlements and excavations started in 1909.

In 1897, similar objects were excavated in Trypillia (Трипiлля; Russian: Tripolye), Kiev Governorate, Ukraine.

As a result, the culture has been known in Soviet, Russian, and Ukrainian publications as Tripolie culture or Tripolian culture.

A compromise name is Cucuteni-Trypillia.






As of 2003, about 2000 sites of Cucuteni-Trypillian culture have been identified in Romania, Ukraine, and Moldova. J.P. Mallory reports that the

culture is attested from well over a thousand sites in the form of everything from small villages to vast settlements comprised of hundreds of dwellings surrounded by multiple ditches[2]

It was centered on the middle to upper Dniester River (in the present-day Republic of Moldova) with an extension in the northeast to as far as the Dnieper.





The Largest Cities :



Talianki with up to 15,000 inhabitants and covered a area of 450 ha and 2700 houses, 3700 BC.

Dobrovody up to 10,000 inhabitants and covered a area of 2,5 square km and fortified 3800 BC.

Maydanets up to 10,000 inhabitants, area 250 ha, 1575 houses, 3700 BC.
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« Reply #3 on: October 03, 2008, 11:00:30 am »




               

                Museum of History and Archaeology
                in Piatra Neamţ.









The largest collection of artifacts from the Cucuteni-Trypollia culture can be found in museums in Russia,

Ukraine, and Romania, including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg and the Museum of History &

Archaeology in Piatra Neamţ.

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« Reply #4 on: October 03, 2008, 11:05:48 am »

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« Reply #5 on: October 03, 2008, 11:07:27 am »






                           
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« Reply #6 on: October 03, 2008, 11:09:38 am »




             








The Cucuteni-Tripolye culture has been called the first urban culture in Europe.


The Trypollia settlements were usually located on a plateau, fortified with earthworks and ditches.
The earliest villages consisted of ten to fifteen households. In their heyday, settlements expanded to include several hundred large adobe huts, sometimes with two stories. These houses were typically warmed by an oven and had round windows. The huts had furnaces used to create pottery, which
the Trypillians are most known for.

Agriculture is attested to, as well as livestock-raising, mainly consisting of cattle, but goats/sheep
and swine are also evidenced. Wild game is a regular part of the faunal remains. The pottery is connected to the Linear Pottery culture. Copper was extensively imported from the Balkans. Extant figurines excavated at the Cucuteni sites are thought to represent religious artefacts, but their
meaning or uses is still unknown.

As time progressed the Trypillians began creating better weapons using stronger metals, and the
effort put into pottery became less noticeable.

The Trypillians noticeably began fortifying their cities, where there was once no need for fortification
or weapons. The sudden dissapearance of many trypillian villages lead archaeologists to believe they were conquered and assimilated into another culture.
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« Reply #7 on: October 03, 2008, 11:12:25 am »









Notes



^ Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000, pg. 25

^ Mallory (1997).






References



Andrew Wilson, The Ukrainians: Unexpected Nation, New Haven and London: Yale University Press, 2000.

J. P. Mallory, "Tripolye Culture", Encyclopedia of Indo-European Culture, Fitzroy Dearborn, 1997.






See also



Wikimedia Commons has media related to:


Tripolye cultureWikimedia Commons has media related to:




Cucuteni culturePrehistoric Romania

Vinča culture

Yamna culture

Neolithic Europe






External links



Cucuteni Museum and some reconstructions

Cucuteni culture

Dacian Museum

Tripillian civilization homepage



Трипільська культура в Україні» з колекції «Платар» Platar Collection





http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cucuteni_culture
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« Reply #8 on: October 03, 2008, 12:44:30 pm »




             










                                             TRYPILLIA -- UKRAINE'S NEOLITHIC CULTURE



This is an overview of Trypilian culture, equivalent to about three (3) printed pages.

There are two (2) images (gifs) associated with this file, and bibliographic references are listed at
the end.

There are also a few links to WebPages of related interest.








                                                             UKRAINE'S

 
                                                     * TRYPILIAN CULTURE *





Copyright 1996
Tania Diakiw O'Neill



Introduction


Trypilian culture (Trypil'ska kultura) is the Ukrainian name given to a Neolithic population whose culture once flourished on the ethnically Ukrainian territories of present-day Ukraine, Moldova, and the northeast area of Romania. The parallel Romanian name is "Cucuteni" culture.

Both these names derive from the villages where artifacts of this culture were first discovered in Ukraine and in Romania, respectively. The Trypilia site is near Kyiv (Kiev), the capitol of Ukraine, and the Cucuteni site is near
Iasi in Romania, near the Moldovian border.

In her book (ref *1), Marija Gimbutas stated: "Tripolya (sic) is one of the best explored and richest cultures
of Old Europe, a true civilization in the best meaning of the word."





The Trypilian population's primordial deity was female, and their culture developed rich and complex artistic
symbols rooted in their religious beliefs based on the Great Goddess and her various aspects as Giver-of-Life, Wielder of Death, and Regeneratrix. This symbolic system reflects the natural, yet "represents cyclical, non-
linear, mythical time."
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« Reply #9 on: October 03, 2008, 12:46:06 pm »




             

KIEV, UKRAINE

ARCHAEOLOGICAL AREA MAP









Location in Europe



The earliest evidences of Trypilian culture (view refs. *2a & *3) are found on both sides of the middle Dniester and Boh rivers as well as the upper and middle Prut and Siret rivers in western Ukraine, and in Moldova (formerly Romania).

Ultimately, the Trypilia culture extended from the lands east of the Dnipro river (Dnieper) near present-day Kyiv thru the southwest steppe areas of Ukraine, and to an area just southwest the Siret river (in present-day Romania).
 
The Trypilia site, 35 km south of Kyiv, was excavated ca.1898 by V. Khvoika (ref *2b). The Cucuteni site on the Prut River near Iasi was discovered in 1884 and excavated in 1901-10 by Hubert Schmidt, then again in 1961-65 by M. Petrescu-Dimbovita.

There are many other sites in and near Ukraine that have been found and excavated.
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« Reply #10 on: October 03, 2008, 12:47:20 pm »










Social Structure



Trypilian culture had a matriarchal clan order.

Women did agricultural work, headed households, manufactured pottery, textiles and clothing and
had a leading role in society.

Men hunted, kept domestic animals, and prepared tools of flint, stone and bone.
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« Reply #11 on: October 03, 2008, 12:50:53 pm »










Artifacts



Artifacts of this culture consist most notably of terra cotta pottery, bichrome & trichrome painted
using predominately black, red, and white mineral-based paints.

"The quality of the Trypilian ceramic production surpassed all contemporary creations of Old Europe.
"(ref *1)






Trypilian artifacts shown: various pottery, bone and flint knives.
The large, standing pot is appox. 26cm high)

(Photo by Tania Diakiw O'Neill) (ref *4)




A terra cotta scale-model of a two-storied building was found at the Trypilia site in Ukraine.

Excavation at Cucuteni showed this unique Trypilian model was a representation of actual two-story structures of this culture.(ref*1)

Female forms and figurines (many painted or incised, some with fertile-field symbols), as well as various animals and zoomorphous vessels, sleighs, all scale-modeled in terra cotta or clay, have also been found.

The finer, more elaboate forms (figurines, pots, jars, bowls, amphorae, and two-bowled joined vessels) were ornamented with painted or incised lines, spirals and egg-shaped motifs, and other shapes and/or line elements such as parallel or cross-hatched lines in enclosed fields, and zig-zags with or without hooks.

There were also articles of everyday use such as spindle whorls and loom weights, and everyday gray pottery made of undecorated clay mixed with sand and small broken shells.

Interestingly, impressions of plain evenweave cloth (ref*3) and pattern-woven textiles (ref*5) have been found on the bottoms of some Trypilian pottery, showing they had been set to air-dry on that woven cloth before being fired.

These lands are known to grow flax (linen) and hemp since time immemorial.

This workaday use of evenweave fabric, the clay spindle whorls and loom weights all indicate that
this population was agrarian, with well-developed textile crafts of spinning, weaving, and very likely needlework, which was used to join cloth and make clothing. No actual cloth has survived from that culture to our time.

However, the symbols that are found on the artifacts of Trypilia and those associated with the Great Goddess have persisted into the present in most Ukrainian folk arts, especially those of pysanky (Ukrainian Easter eggs) and textile arts, including Ukrainian folk embroidery.

(Future links being constructed; stay tuned.)

   


  "Trypilia - Ukraine's Neolithic Culture"
 
     First posted February 01,1996

     Updated Sept 24,2000;
     May.28, 2007
     



   Copyright 1996 - Tania Diakiw O'Neill.

email to tdo@netaxs.com



This ends this presentation on Ukraine's "Trypillya" Culture.
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« Reply #12 on: October 03, 2008, 12:53:05 pm »









Additional info about Ukraine and Ukrainians can be found at many other sites, including the following few links:

A review of the book "Ukrainian Folk Costume" , a currently available book (in English),
and lots of excellent and interesting information about Ukraine (very worthwhile).



And for other/additional perspectives on Trypil's'ka Kultura, try :
http://www.trypillia.com/info/index.shtml


Various info and topics concerning Ukraine and Ukrainians can be found at:

"Brama.com" - Ukrainian Gateway to Ukrainian Museum in NYC, and other links."

Ukrainian topics


Return to Start of Trypilia Page





BIBLIOGRAPHIC REFERENCES
Ref *1)

 "The CIVILIZATION OF THE GODDESS -
   the World of Old Europe"  by Marija Gimbutas
   Copyright 1991  HarperCollins Publishers,
    ISBN 0-06-250368-5,  LC# 90-55792



Ref *2)

ENCYCLOPEDIA OF UKRAINE, D.H.Struk, Editor-in-Chief
Copyright 1993 University of Toronto Press Inc.
      Ref *2a)  Vol. 5: ISBN 0-8020-3995-2,  C84-099336-6
      Ref *2b)  Vol. 2: ISBN 0-8020-3444-6,  C84-099336-6
Ref *3)

 
              UKRAINE, A CONCISE ENCYCLOPEDIA
          Copyright 1960, Pgs 532-536  (English text)
   and the corresponding original Ukrainian-language edition
   titled: "MALA ENSYKLOPEDIA UKRAIINY v DVOKH TOMAKH" (1949)

 
 

       OTHER SOURCES & REFERENCES   
 
Ref *4) EXHIBIT of ORIGINAL ARTIFACTS, titled "Trypillian World"
   August 1994 at the International Monetary Fund Headquarters in Washington D.C.


Ref *5) Mykhailo Videjko, Ph.D. - Institute of Archeology, Ukraine
  Article in catalog of "Trypillian World" exhibit (see Ref *4, above).

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
 
   - * - Ukraine's Trypilian Culture  - * - 


    * Prepared by T.D.O'Neill *
  tdo@netaxs.com  *



http://www.netaxs.com/~tdo/trypil.html
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« Reply #13 on: October 03, 2008, 01:13:32 pm »




             



This whimsical creature comes from a Neolithic European culture called the Cucuteni-Trypillian and evidently

went 'zoom-zoom' just like a modern pull toy.
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« Reply #14 on: October 03, 2008, 01:18:44 pm »




           








                                        7,000 years ago, Neolithic optical art flourished






Hundreds of artifacts displayed at Vatican reveal unique, geometric designs


 Earliest Op-Art? Little is known about the Cucuteni-Trypillians.


Excavation data revealed that they lived in proto-cities in what is now Romania, Ukraine and the Republic of Moldovia.

Their op-art like pottery, as shown in the piece here, was dominated by repeating lines, circles and spirals.
 



  Discovery.com

By Rossella Lorenzi

updated 2:08 p.m. CT,
 Mon., Sept. 22, 2008

An egalitarian Neolithic Eden filled with unique, geometric art flourished some 7,000 years ago in Eastern Europe, according to hundreds of artifacts on display at the Vatican.

Running until the end of October at the Palazzo della Cancelleria in the Vatican, the exhibition, "Cucuteni-Trypillia: A Great Civilization of Old Europe," introduces a mysterious Neolithic people who are now believed to have forged Europe's first civilization.

Little is known about these people — even their name is wrapped in mystery.


Archaeologists have named them "Cucuteni-Trypillians" after the villages of Cucuteni, near Lasi, Romania and Trypillia, near Kiev, Ukraine, where the first discoveries of this ancient civilization were made more than 100 years ago.

The excavated treasures — fired clay statuettes and op art-like pottery dating from 5000 to 3000 B.C. — immediately posed a riddle to archaeologists.

"We do not know the meaning of those painted symbols, and what is the significance of those zoomorphic and anthropomorphic statuettes. Everything seems to be wrapped in mystery.

"Most of all, we do not know how these people treated their dead. Despite recent extensive excavations, no cemetery has ever been found," Lacramioara Stratulat, director of the Moldova National Museum Complex of Iasi, told reporters at a news conference recently at the Vatican.

Before their culture mysteriously faded, the Cucuteni-Trypillians had organized into large settlements. Predating the Sumerians and Egyptian settlements, these were basically proto-cities with buildings often arranged in concentric circles.

They extended over 350,000 square kilometers (135,000 square miles) in what is now Romania, Ukraine and Moldova.

The Neolithic buildings often featured walls and ceilings decorated with drawings painted in black and red. Inside, the houses were filled with pottery and statuettes whose quasi-modern design has become the Cucuteni-Trypillians's most identifiable trademark.

This unique artistic production, dominated by repeating lines, circles and spirals, amazingly echoes modern op art, also known as optical art, which is a genre of visual that makes use of geometric shapes and optical illusions. The unusual art offers the best glimpse into this mysterious civilization.

None of the enigmatic statuettes seem fearsome or fearful. The rare male statuettes have faces often covered by masks, while the abundant female statuettes are gracious and mask-free, with tattooed bodies and long feet.

There are no chained slaves or sacrificial figures — a sign of a rather egalitarian culture, according to historians.

The pottery's obsessive spiral and circle patterns could also help explain another strange feature of this culture.

"We do not know why, but all of the 4,000 Cucuteni-Trypillians settlements were intentionally burned," said Sergiy Krolevets, director of the National History and Culture Museum of the Republic of Moldova.

One explanation is that the Cucuteni might have seen the world as cyclical — a concept they might have expressed in the circles they painted on their pottery.

According to this hypothesis, every some 60-80 years they would sacrifice whole cities by intentionally burning thousands of their houses. Then they would move to create another settlement.

Whatever the reason behind it, the practice required an extremely well coordinated, centrally organized society.

"Getting to know more about this civilization is very important to us ... We are proud to have brought the world's greatest Neolithic culture," said Romeo Dumitrescu, president of the Cucuteni pentru Mileniul III foundation in Bucharest.



© 2008 Discovery Channel
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