In the late eneolithic, in Oltenia and a part of Banat there lived some communities so - called Sălcuţa. The development period of this civilization is characterized by great emigrations, the main perambulation direction in the respective moment going from East to West.
The research of vestiges such as Sălcuţa lasts for almost a century, and meanwhile some assessments for this were elaborated both from a chronological and cultural point of view.
The main stratigraphic information originate in Sălcuţa stratigraphy. In time, these were correlated to some data from mediums in the neighbourhood Bulgaria - Krivodol and Serbia - Bubanj, coming to the conclusion of a synchronous evolution and a cultural complex which echoes reached over the Egee Sea.
A great period, until 1970, it was said that the evolution of this civilization is extended on four long phases, and these one were being paralleled to Gumelniţa civilization evolution. The research of the vestiges from the Ostrovul Corbului, Almajel, Valea Anilor(district Mehedinti), Cerăt, Şimnic, Verbicioara(district Dolj), Drăgăneşti - Olt, Dobrosloveni, Reşca,(district Olt) locations imposed new cultural and evolutional realities such as:
- phase IV of Salcuta is a self - contained civilization .
- Sălcuţa culture is subsequent to Gumelniţa culture and only within its first phase it might have been contemporaneous with the Gumelniţa communities secluded in the hilly part of Muntenia.
- Cernavoda populations reached Sălcuţa medium and they are contemporaneous with this one when talking about the classic phase III. There are plentiful materials in Ostrovul Corbului, Salcuţa, Vădastra,Valea Anilor, Drăgăneşti - Olt.
- Sălcuţa populations used the axes made of coppes, the Jaszladany type even in the evolutional phase III level (Reşca piece), and the metallurgy of copper was highly developed, all the copper tools categories from that period being well represented.
In the present moment we consider that the end of Sălcuţa civilization should not be searched in Sălcuţa phase III level, but in a chronological moment caught before Sălcuţa IV and after Sălcuţa III a and Sălcuţa III b phases of the Ostrovul Corbului. This chronological reality can be found in Sălcuţa, Almăjel, Cerăt , Şimnic, Almăjel and Drăgăneşti - Olt locations. This was stratigraphically found by the scientific explorers but because of the fact that at that time Sălcuţa IV was considered to be the end, they did not insist on this stratigraphic reality and it was regarded as belonging to phase III.
Per ensemble, the known Sălcuţa culture silex tools and weapons are resembling as far as to identical with the similar types found in the area of the Gumelniţa culture.
The number of Sălcuţa locations, totaly or partialy studied is little enough. Representative for this point of view is the location from Piscul Cornişorului, also the informations from the other Sălcuţa prehistoric communities: Almăjel, Cerăt, Şiminic, Ostrovul Corbului, Curmătura, Cuptoare ,, Sfogea ,, Slatina - Timiş.
In the first phase of evolution, Sălcuţa populations used surface cottages, with
oval and circular formes, then they used big regular and irregular residences.
About the cabins with circular and oval caves, the roof was probably conical or prolonged.
The cottages or the cabins had one room, and in the middle were central poles who supported the reed roof. The surface residecences, with a regular forme, had half-timber walls. Between the poles stiff into the soil has been add a knitting made by smaller poles; theseweren’t stiff into the soil (phase Sălcuţa II C). From the interior point of view the situation is:
- a fireplace with chime; after deterioration became bigger and it was add a ovenvault (emplacement on the est wall); Almăjel (evolutive phase II);
- a fireplace emplasement in the north-west corner and built on a clay pedestal ;
- a simple, oval fireplace, emplacement on the southern side; in her right was a cavity filled with ashes, and in her left was a clay pedestal for weights (phase III Sălcuţa);
- a room with two fireplaces, one simple and the other one with chime; betweenthem was a distance of 2, 20 m; (Ostrovul Corbului, phase III);
- a clay-bed covered by a stoned door-matt, emplacement on the southern wall(Almăjel, phase II, Drăgăneşti - Olt, phase III);
- a possible oval cave for provisions witch coming down on steps, emplacement onthe northern wall (Ostrovul Corbului, phase III);
We can’t exclude the possibility of some ritual laying downs, point illustrated by some discoveries from Ostrovul Corbului (residence L 2), and a child skeleton from Curmătura oven.
Some residences of Sălcuţa culture had a porch on the entrance; this tradition it is similar to Vădastra culture. About the type of the residences, the model and the
way of construction, the biggest resemblace are with Gumelniţa culture.
The populations spred in Oltenia, Banat, North - West of Bulgaria, who had acces to the Egee or Adriatic See, the communities also known as Sălcuţa – Bubanj -Krivodol, are present in many settlements and discoveries.
Until now ,very little informations regarding the burials rituales practiced by Sălcuţa populations are known.
The number of the cemeteries and of the burials is very little: Gârleşti-Gheceşti (district Dolj), Ostrovul Corbului - points “ Botul Piscului ” and “ Botul Cliuciului ” - district Mehedinţi, few graves discovered in Gumelniţa - Sălcuţa settlement from Drăgăneşti - Olt (district Olt), also a child grave discovered in a bred-oven at Curmătura(district Dolj), and the other, a female grave found at Lepensky Vir(Serbia).
Recent invetigations, from the south area of Lîga settlement, in Bulgaria, brought out seven graves.
Most graves had the bodies rested in flexed position, on the left side, with a slight deviation of orientation. (SSE, ENE and ESE); similar graves were discoverd in the Boian - Gumelniţa cultural complex in Muntenia, and on. the south of Danube.
Four dead body from Gârleşti cemetery rested in flexed position on the right side; in Gumelniţa graves from Vidra, Cernavoda, Grădiştea Ulmilor, Dridu, Kubrat and Russe, this orientation is very rare.
The graves inventaries are rather poor: ceramics, copper pieces, remain of animals origin, shells necklaces - Zebrina Detrina or Cardium type, weights.
Particular situations are known: skeleton placed on a layer of shards (Lîga), body lay in a pone position on the face( Lepensky Vir), dead body being placed in a bred-oven.
The presently informations do not allow any conclusive generalisation concerning the rites of Sălcuţa populations.
Discovered in well established or accidentally stratigraphic conditions, the objects involved produce the premisses of reopening the discusses regarding copper’s metallurgy as part of the eneolithic culture Sălcuţa.
The Sălcuţa communities seem to use different types of tools of copper from the most simple-rolls, fishing lines - to the most complicated - chisells, flat axes, axes with two crossed arms. There must be mentioned,the fact that this tehniques varieted in the proccesing of copper, being used not only the simple - hammer wrought at hot and cold - but also the complicated - the reduction of copper ore, then its casting in monovalvular and bivalvular ingot moult through the ,, lost wax ,, proceding.
The attention of the Sălcuţa communities straightened on realising some deceration pieces such as: different sorts of hair needles-with volute, with square section, with circle section, with rhombic plate at the end of the rings, little pearls of copper and even a razor blad discovered in Şimian(Mehedinţi district).
On almost unknown problem is that of raw material resources from Oltenia and the method of ores’ extraction of the processing place of complicated pieces, but also the attendance in Oltenia of some kind of axes of copper witch have enough frequence in Mureş Inferior Reservoirs (Bazinul Mureşului Inferior).
The most used copper lodes are in copper mine (Baia de Aramă and Baia de Fier), the abstracts of some pieces of copper from the cultural area Sălcuţa, being confirmed the fact that there where used two kinds of mines, one with trails of Ag., sometimes Ag. and Fe., and the second with tiny trails of Ni.
The deposits exploitations of copper from Oltenia, in eneolithic, is not an unpublished matter, this practice being enough spread as the old mines from small Asia shows (Veshnoveh, Kuhestan E Quam), Serbia South - East (Touve region), South East Europe (Stara Zagora), Central Europe (Mitterbeg, Beischofs ofen Austria’s Alps ), Occidental Europe (Mount Gabriel, West County Cork - Ireland).
Those places that can be added the exploitations from Rudna Glava, Saska Reka, and reported to the seatings with more levels in Greece (Sitagroi, Dikhili Tash) and Bulgaria (Karanovo, Ezero) shows that in the Carpathian – Balkan region, the development of gold and copper treatment precedes early Aegean bronze. Since the first information about copper dates since Catal Hüyük (mil VIII b.C.), since the beginning of mil. V b.C., we can speak about the copper metallurgy as a developed branch. (Discoveries – Hacilar, Can Hasan, Beycesultan)
The appearance of eneolythical in Carpathian – Balkan region and its development is a phenomenon that needs to be understood as a conjugation of a local evolution, with new southern impulses leading to profound cultural transformations. The main innovation within ceramic’s field – graphite painting and the means of obtaining are closely related to copper metallurgy. Sălcuţa – Bubanj – Krivodol eneolythical complex perfectly affiliates itself with the period. Its evolution is not much different than the near ones; in exchange, its role as a receptor and transmitter of some cultural influences on wide spaces is decisive. They will adapt to the realities of the time, perpetuating traditions and accepting changes.
The Carpathian – Balkan area will make its mark as an independent centre along with Anatolia and Greece. Practically the intense activity from the late eneolythic predict the strong development of bronze metallurgy from the Carpathian – Danube Pontic space, where the copper area from Transilvania will distinguish itself as a first rang centre.
Shaping out of clay and bones has numerous analogies in the Gumelniţa B 1(ANDREESCU, 2002, p.22/ 4 - 6, 9; p. 22/1 - 2, p.19/ 1, 3 - 4, 6 - 7, 10 - 12; p.23/ 1 - 3; p.23/4; pl.20 - 21/ 2 - 8, 1 - 5, 7 - 9, 6,10,12; p. 20/1; p.18/7 - 8; p. 29/1,4 - 6, 8; p. 25/2 - 3; p. 31/2 - 4; p.45/4, 7 – 8) environment:
- clay statues without a modeled head (Căscioarele, Vidra, Teiu).
- clay statues with head modeled as a "bird's beak" (Vidra, Teiu, Vităneşti, Căscioarele).
- clay statues that have the inferior half chopped (Căscioarele, Blejeşti, Gumelniţa).
- clay statues that have small balls in their womb, that represent the fetus (Geangoieşti).
- clay statues that have decorated legs (Căscioarele, Vităneşti, Teiu).
- clay statues with welded legs, separated with an incision (Vităneşti).
- clay statues that have crossings all over the vertical axe of the body (Vităneşti, Căscioarele).
- clay statues with their arms spreaded - Sultana, Garagău, Gumelniţa, Alexandria ,, Gorgan ,,(MIREA, PATRASCU, 25/1 - 2).
- clay statues that have a cylindrical ending in the upper part (Popeşti, Căscioarele).
- clay statues shaped as sitting (Căscioarele, Sultana, Potcoava).
- clay statues, of prismatic shape, that have a slight modeling on their head (Vităneşti, Căscioarele, Alexandria " Gorgan ") (MIREA, PĂTRAŞCU, 2006, 25/3 – 4).
Some shapes are even rarer. Only the upper side of the body has been kept, which is vertically crossed by a perforation that doesn't have the same thickness and which probably served for bonding a "ritual umbrella".(BERCIU, 1953, 590).
The shape of this type of idol is oriented towards the modeling of east Mediterranean area. It also has analogies in Gumelniţa culture concerning the presence of the vertical perforation through the head.
The bone modeling is also present in Gumelniţa culture(ANDREESCU, 2002 a, p.46/ 1 - 6; p.47/ 4, 8 - 9; p.48/ 2 - 3, 5, 7, 9; p.49/1 - 2, 5,8, p.45/ 4, 7 - 8; p.43, 41/2, 6), in all the evolutive phases the items from Sălcuţa being more close to analogies such as:
- figures with quadrilateral head, with perforations grouped in three on both sides of the head (eyes are perfored) hands are marked with perforations, the inferior side is incised (the triangle of fertility, the legs and the hips) - Olteniţa, Potcoava, Vidra, Sultana, Vităneşti, Căscioarele.
-the prismatic figures with head as a "bird's beak" - Căscioarele, Alexandria, Măriuţa.
For the Săcluţa area from Banat, at the level of the evolutive phase II b, two modeled items made of clay have been found (the upper part), that has binding holes for the head, fall within the range of flat head and arms crossed.
Such representations are inherited from Gumelniţa culture, from the Boian culture as a result of direct descent based Vinča fund(BERCIU, 1961, 71. In order to solve the ilustrative issue, there is also VL. DUMITRESCU, 1974, 225).
A similar figure was found to Poroschia, Gumelniţa area, which, through the holes in what marks the shoulders and eyes, is identical to that of the Valea Anilor. Such representations have analogues in the environment and the evolutionary phases Cucuteni AB and B.
The modeling of the Sălcuţa eneolithic cultures is not that different of that of Gumelnita (VOINEA, 2006, 51),(whos representations keep the Boian traditions, with morphological differences). For each anatomical part there are some prefered motifs:
- Shoulders - concentric circles.
- Abdomen – spiral.
- The thighs, buttocks and thighs - bands and angles.
- Pubic region - the triangle.
More statigraphic sequences from Oltenia attest the presence of the gumelnitean populations in the area.
In some of his studies(NICA, 35 – 47, IDEM, 1994, 41 - 59) M. Nica is speaking about a Boian V - Gumelniţa I statigraphic sequence, accentuated in several settlements from the left and the right side of the Olt. Fărcaşu de Sus(NICA, 1985, 35 – 37. The situation is presented from the school and church point of view), Resca " Cetate " (Olt county), Dăneasa, Zănoaga (Dolj county) - to the left of Olt, Dobreşti " Valea Sărtăluiului " Cârcea " Viaduct " (in the valley of Jiu)(NICA, 1985, 42) and Hotărani (Olt county)(NICA, 1971, 5 – 32).
Another statigraphic settlement from around Olt river, present at Romula, Dealul Morii(NICA, 1985, 39), is pointing at the Vinča, Dudeşti, Gumelniţa and Sălcuţa cultural succession, sequence confirmed by the researches made at Drăgăneşti - Olt " Corboaica ", where we can observe the Gumelniţa B 1 and Sălcuţa cultures.( The lower and middle layers of the vessels are small and medium with black, gray or brown luster. Concerning the processing technique, we find analogies in Sultana, Tangâru Gumelniţa, Căscioarele. Ceramics presenting plant debris is of tradition Boian V - Gumelniţa 1 (A 1) tradition. In the upper levels the vessel surfaces are neat, and as forms we meet bowls, vessels, vases with piriform short lip, pots with curved body, Askoi, cups common to both populations Sălcuţa and Gumelniţa).
In a less detailed presentation of the ceramics, the Gumelniţa character can be noticed, and the resembling goes as far as identical to a part of the ceramic belonging to Sălcuţa culture.
The bowl with its edge bolded to the inside (Sălcuţa I phase) has analogies into the first phase of the Gumelniţa complex - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I)(VOINEA, 2006, 36, Pl.2 / 1 - 6; Pl. 25). The differences consist in the fact that the edge is bolded more or less prominent, sometimes having the aspect of a sill (Trestenic). It has a wide spread (can not be found in Varna region) and can be found in all Sălcuta's evolutive phases. A shape like this can also be met in Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II (Ovocarovo, Hârşova, Tangâru, Medgidia, Karanovo VI). And Ostrovul Corbului, phase Sălcuţa III.
Bowls with narrowed neck and the ones with "shoulder" from the phases Sălcuţa II a, II b, II c have their correspondent in Gumelniţa complex - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I) among the bowls with splayed edges and sharp shoulder(VOINEA, 2006, 36, Pl. 4 / 5, 7; Pl. 29 / 6) (Tangâru). Their presence is quite spreaded, and in Varna region elegant shapes can be found. For the Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II, these shape are more rare, the quality of the material is superior and the pots are painted with graphite sometimes (Ovcarovo). In Oltenia they can be found at Sălcuţa, Ostrovul Corbului (phase III), Almăjel (phase II).
Tronconical bowl, with straight walls, slightly curved or concave which appears in phase Sălcuţa III is present in Gumelniţa complex - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I) - Ovarcovo, Tangâru. Also found at Almăjel - phase II - and Ostrovul Corbului, phase Sălcuţa III.
Bowl with tall edge, in fair angle or rounded, from Ostrovul Corbului is present in Gumelniţa complex - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I) - Ovcarovo, Trestenic, Tangâru (A 1), Năvodari (A 2) and continues the Karanovo V - Marica tradition. The spreading area is wide: Northern Trace, nort - east Bulgaria, Muntenia and Dobrogea.
The bowl with short, straight or slightly splaied edge (Ostrovul Corbului III) finds its analogies in the zone of the Pontic seashores : Medgidia, Hârşova, Trestentic (Gumelniţa A 1), Năvodari (A 2).(VOINEA, 2006, 37, Pl. 5 – 6)
Cups with leg, tronconic, without a shaped edge in Sălcuţa, from phases I, II b, II c, can be found in the Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I) complex, Varna region and they remind of the old Hamangia - Sava customs. Its presence in Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II is more rare (VOINEA, 2006, 42, Pl. 29 / 7; Pl. 34) (Blejeşti, Hârşova).
Bowls with edge inclined inside, from phase III, Ostrovul Corbului and Almăjel, phase II, are a common form and often met in Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I). The quality of the material is rough, the surface is neglected and decorated with slips (Tangâru).
The bowls with sharp, rounded shoulder and edge inclined inside, from Almăjel, phase II and Ostrovul Corbului phase III, have analogies in Gumelniţa phase A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II (Hârşova, Goljamo Delcevo, Varna, Pietrele).(VOINEA, 2006, 37 - 42, Pl.10; Pl.34 / 1 - 7, 9 – 10).
The goblets, with arched crowned body, skewed shoulder and straight edge or curved body, that have been found in Sălcuţa, phase I and Ostrovul Corbului, appears in Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI (A1 / I) complex. Its shape is simple, tronconic, and slightly arched walls. Sometimes it presents sharp shoulder, but also with decorated upper part.
The vessel with curved body or the bowl, from phase II c Sălcuţa, is a common form, widely spreaded, and can also be met in Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI(A1 / I) area, in simple forms or short neck and decorated with slips or dimpled girdles (Trestenic, Ovacarovo, Lişcoteanca)(VOINEA, 2006, 38, Pl. 9 / 1 - 5, 7. Pl.11 / 1 - 2; Pl. 34 / 9, 10, 13; Pl. 36 / 2, 3, 5). In Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II, the tendency to almost spherical shapes can be noticed, with a very small opening diamenter (Pietrele, Blejeşti, Cuneşti, Hârşova).
Bitronconical vessel, with edge inclined to the inside (Sălcuţa, II c and III), appears in Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I) environment without neck, with sharp shoulder (Trestenic, Hârşova) or rounded (Ovacarovo) and ones with the edge shaped as a short neck.
The vessel with spherical body from Sălcuţa phase II c and Almăjel phase II is called bitronconic with curved shoulder and short neck pot (Trestenic) in Gumelniţa area (A 1).(VOINEA, 38, Pl.12 / 1 - 6; Pl.12 / 7 - 9; Pl.13 / 1 – 2).
The hemispherical vessel (Sălcuţa, phase II) is specific to Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II and it belongs to the rough ceramics cathegory (Goljamo Delcevo, Medgidia, Karanovo).(VOINEA, 42, Pl. 30 / 7 - 11, Pl. 35 / 4 - 5 ; Pl.39 / 5).
The pear-shaped vessel, Sălcuţa, phases II c, III, turns to a simple shape and wide or shaped shoulder in Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I) complex. Their material is delicate. Present at: Căscioarele, Hârşova, Jilava. This type of bowl can also be seen at Gumelniţa A 2 - Karanovo VI phase II level (L 12 housing from Hârşova) where it is covered in engobe, and has two handlers under its neck.
The vessel cover, from phase I Sălcuţa, has analogies in the seashore zone, in discoid shaped items, without a handler, with one or more perforations. The hemispherical cover, with tall, straight edge (Hârşova), decorated with excisions and kennels is of old Boian - Polijanica tradition and they also appear in Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I).(VOINEA, 2006, 39, p.19 / 2; p. 84 / 5).
The "cap-like" vessel cover, which appears in Sălcuţa II b phase, can be found in Dobrogea, Northern Thrace, the seashore zones (Hârşova, Drama, Goljamo Delcevo, Varna) at Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II level.(VOINEA, 2006, 44, p. 40 / 11 – 15).
The storage vessels, that appear in Sălcuţa phase II c, can be found in the Gumelniţa - Karanovo VI (A 1 / I) area, with tronconical or hemispheric shape, rough materials and having two or four handlers, but also in Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II. In this phase there can be noticed the "silled" vessels (Ovacarovo), these having correlation also in Sălcuţa culture.
Bitronconical vessels, with tall neck, tronconic, are a Gumelniţa creation. Their upper side is painted with graphite, and the shoulder decorated with impressions and incisions. The curved vessel, found at Sălcuţa, phase III, finds its analogies, being a common model that will develop after in Gumelniţa A 2.
The miniature vessel, that appears in phases I, II a, III at Sălcuţa, has correspondences in Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II and belongs to the rough ceramics (Varna, Cuneşti, Goljamo Delcevo).(VOINEA, 43, p.35 / 2, 6 - 7; p.36 / 1, 4, 7 - 8, 10).
The vessel with "draining tube", that can be met in phases I, II c from Sălcuţa, phase III from Ostrovul Corbului and Almăjel, is spreaded in all the Gumelniţa / Karanovo VI regions, in all the evolution periods (Lişcoteanca, Drama, Cuneşti, Căscioarele).(VOINEA, 2006, 45, p. 45 / 1 - 3, 89 / 3).
Amphora, that appears quite frequent at Ostrovul Corbului, in the evolutive phase III, is also met in phase Gumelniţa B 1.(VOINEA, 43, p.83,/ 85/9). In Varna region, it is absent.
Colanders, from phases II c, III in Sălcuţa and Drăgăneşti - Olt, are also present in the cultural environment Gumelniţa A 2 / Karanovo VI phase II (VOINEA, 2006, 44, p.45 / 6 – 8) (Hârşova, Pietrele), and have previously been attested in the Boian – Spanţov environment also, at Vistireasa settlement.(MIREA, PĂTRAŞCU, 2006, fig. 17 / 3).
The askos vessel, found in level II a from Sălcuţa, but also at Cerăt, has analogies in Gumelniţa / Karanovo VI. For phase A 2, similar forms can be seen at Căscioarele and Carcaliu, their frequence growing in phase B 1, on both sides of the Danube .(Căscioarele, Jilava, Sultana, Vidra, Ciolăneştii din Deal, Russe, Hotnica, Banjata, Asmak, Stara Zagora, Dolnoslav, Meckur). (VOINEA, 2006, 46, p. 97). S. M. Bâlcu mentioned that the bellows type shapes (tesalic origin), with higher handle and neck like a beak might build the askoi Marica prototype and later askoi Sălcuţa.(BÂLCU & ANDREESCU, 2004, p.171). Most of the ceramics shapes presented can also be found in Câmpia Munteniei, in Gumelniţa B1 area, in the Alexandria " Gorgan " and " Movila de la Podul Nanovului " settlements.(MIREA, PĂTRAŞCU, 2006, p.11 – 15).
The analysis of the decorative motifs must be made having in mind their position on the vessel's surface.
Combining more techniques in order to decorate just one vessel can also be noticed in Gumelniţa culture:
Incision/bolding, painting with graphite/bolding, scratches / incision / raw paintings. The technique is also positive - motif that is directly represented in the negative technique - a spared motif in the bottom.
For plain or cylindrical surfaces there was used the delimited register by horizontal lines or stripes.
Vessels covered in decoration on the most part of it, represent a particularity in Gumelniţa culture, but on the other side, in the settlements of the eneolithic culture Sălcuţa, and rarely in those of the Bubanj culture (North - East Serbia), the grooved and incised motif, in arcade style is met more often.(TASIČ , 1995, p.136).
The incised lines motifs, that are spreaded all over the vessel's surface, represent a continuity of the Boian V - Gumelniţa A 1 level, where they appear on ewes and large vessel covers, unorganized (as simple stripes, groups of three or four vertical and oblique stripes, angled wide stripes, and roes). The horizontal lines can delimit the register ( the opening of on the edge or neck and the neck on the shoulder or body). The line stripes indicate the metopes, the inner ones cover the edge. On the circular surfaces the decoration in splited into four sectors, and lines or line stripes are used. In the middle level, corresponding to phase Gumelniţa B 1, the bithronconical vessels are ornamented on their shoulder with labyrinthic, spiral or line motifs and resemble the ones from Căscioarele, Gumelniţa, Sălcuţa and Verbicioara.
The zigzag incised lines are also present at Sărata Monteoru, and the impressions carved with the nail or the finger remind of old Criş traditions and are frequent in the gumelnitian settlements and type Sălcuţa.
The impressions, done with a blunt tip are of Gumelniţa tradition (appear at the end of phase A 2). The same for the ones created with "a shell". Are disposed in register on the shoulder of the bowls, in the exterior of the vessel covers, on the pear-shaped vessels and on amphoras.(VOINEA, 2006, 54, p. 48 / 8, p. 50 / 2, p. 68 / 1 - 6, 8; p. 69, 76, 81 / 7, 93 / 4).
This " in parenthesis " decor appears in combination with other decorative techniques and is considered to be one of the most successful. It continues also in phase Gumelniţa B 1. The ones that have been done with the finger, oval shaped, can be met on the provision vessels of the phase Gumelniţa B 1.
The notches, that decorate the edge of the bowls, the sharp shoulder, appear mostly in association with the relief, and are rarely seen in phase A 2 Gumelniţa (Cuneşti, Medgidia).(VOINEA, 2006, 54, p. 49 / 5, p.70 / 1, 74, 75, 77 / 3, 81 / 2, 84 / 3).
The relief,(VOINEA, 2006, p. 54, p. 78 / 3, 80 / 6, 81 / 4, 5, 8, 10, 82 / 2 - 4, 84 / 7, 9 - 10; p. 61 / 6 - 7, 12, 85 / 4 - 5; p. 61 / 8 - 11, 62, 63; p.64, 67, 81 /11; p.48 / 4, 63 / 5, 6) as cufflinks (Sultana, Năvodari, Hârşova, Medgidia, Căscioarele), frills (Tangâru, Hârşova), alveolic girdles (Goljamo Delcevo, Căscioarele) is often met in Gumelniţa ceramics, especially on the common use ceramics. The girdles decorate here the vessel covers, while the frills and kennels appear on bowls, bithronconical vessels disposed on the line on maximum roundness and having the shape of a torques.
The slips, mainly used as a method of treating the surfaces of the common use vessels, disposed in stripes. It appears on ewers (phase Gumelniţa A 2), in two registers separated by an alveolic girdle or in four prominent handlers disposed on the line of maximum roundness. In combination with frills it can be met on the inferior side of the vessels.
The pointed motifs, (VOINEA, 2006, 56, pl.9 / 4, 8 - 9, 16/6) disposed in a row (Lişcoteanca, Durankulac), made with a blunt tip appear in Gumelniţa A 1. The same for the conical projections (Trestenic).
The angled motif appears as "in parenthesis decor" shape, in phase Gumelniţa A 2.
The triangle is often used, and it appears alone or repeated in phases A 1 - A 2 Gumelniţa, shaped as wolves teeth. It decorates the wide shoulder of the bowls, the lower edge of the vessels and cups.
The square rarely appears, on the shoulder of the chess board shaped vessels, painted or incised.
The curved lines motifs are quite rare. The most often met is the S - shaped one, frequent in Gumelniţa culture, on circular and graphite made surfaces.
The motif of the spiral is of Gumelniţa origin, in this culture appearing more frequent with stripes and dots. On circular surfaces (vessel covers, bowls), the spiral becomes a central element. It all fits inside the registers, metopes or circle segments marked by lines or stripes. It develops in Northern Thrace, where it takes old Marica III - IV traditions. It appears on the shoulder of the bowls, and the binding is one of the most harmonious forms of treating. It is associated with the feminine symbolism.
The semicircle is represented by the "in parenthesis" decor, at the level of phase Gumelniţa B 1 and it appears as parallel stripes disposed in opposition.
The raw painting, with red or white, after the burning it has analogies in phases Gumelniţa A 1 - A 2.
The graphite ceramics, consistently present in the area of Gumelniţa culture, is quite rare in the space of Sălcuţa - Bubanj - Krivodol complex. The wolf teeth motif, painted with graphite on the neck of a cup that belongs to Gumelniţa culture is identical with the incisions, in the same shape, from Ostrovul Corbului(ŞIMON, 1989, fig. 19 / 7 c.) and Hissar (next to Suva Reca - Metohoia).(TASIČ, 1995, p.132, fig.18 / 3). Also, the chess board decor, combined with the linear one, is specific for Gumelniţa.
For the graphite painting, the most interesting analogies can be found in the gumelnitian cultural environment from the settlements at Vităneşti(ANDREESCU, MIREA, XII, 2003, 71 - 87) (Teleorman) - the last level of inhabiting – Geangoieşti(OLTEANU, 2002, 124), Tangâru(BERCIU, 1961, 264), but also in the level that belongs to Gumelniţa culture from Drăgăneşti - Olt "Corboaica"(NICA et ali, 2004, 45, 1, 41 – 60). Mostly, the painted vessels from the cultural complex Săcluţa - Bubanj - Krivodol are very rare. The good and fine ceramics is painted in proportion of 1 - 3 %.
An important role in the development of the graphit decor has been played by the Neolithic communities from Eastern Macedonia and Egeic Thrace. Initially attested at Sitagroi, than at Otzaki - Dimini, the graphite ceramics are spreaded on the Egeic Thrace's direction, Bulgaria (Karanovo V, Marica) and Southern România (Boian). Extracted from mountains Rodopi and Balcani, the graphite has a wide circulation, being found in settlements such as Janka, Kodjadermen, and Varna, Devnia necropolis. In Gumelniţa culture, it appears on shapes such as the bowls, small or large vessel covers, bithronconical vessels (also in Sălcuţa) ; is combined with incised decor, in relief or impressions and is exposed on the superior side of the vessels (Tangâru).(VOINEA, 2006, 53).
The quite rare presence of the graphite painting is explainable. In the gumelnitian environment, it is seen more often at the level of phases Gumelniţa A - A 2 / Karanovo VI I - II(VOINEA, 2006, P. 46 - 48, 53, 55, 57 - 59, 63, 87, 93), because in the second phase, instead of the painting, decorative techniques such as incision, impression, relef will be preffered.
Gumelniţa communities were present in Oltenia evolution of phase B at 1. Civilization with a variety of forms and motifs, modes of execution and organization of decoration, has a substantial presence in the culture Sălcuţa.
Influences and similarities are encountered in the pottery: form (bowl with thickened rim inward bowl with curved lip inside bowls, with narrowing 'and to shoulder truncated bowl-wall, straight, slightly curved or concave, bowl high edge, right angle or rounded edge bowls short, straight or slightly evasive, footed tubs, inclined inner edge bowl, bowl with sharp shoulders, cup, bowl or jar with curved body, biconical bowl, hemispherical bowl , pear-shaped bowl, lid, food dishes, pots, with threshold, high-necked doubly conical flasks, conical, miniature pots, flask, tube, drip, amphora, colanders, bowl askos) and decoration (incised lines, the pointed motifs, angular, spiral motif, triangle, square, why curvilinear, circle).
Can also be found in techniques: impressions, grooves, incisions, relief (buttons, frills, girdles cellular), slips, painting, raw painting, graphite, plastic anthropomorphic clay and bone, in rite and ritual.
Housing and settlement location go almost to identity with similar elements from Gumelniţa. However, famous houses have been identified in Gumelniţa environment. Housing on the pillars, housing foundation, sanctuary housing, housing studio, are not present in Sălcuţa.
However, why in culture Sălcuţa ceramic forms have not reached high foot fruit bowls and empty inside, shelves, pots levels, support vessels, 'tables' support vessel type, beaver,, type vessels Lamp /,, lamps,, communicating vessels, vessels with two necks, pots box, type vessels,, tulip, type vessels rhyton? Why raw painting, or the graphite, is so spreaded in Gumelinţa culture and made with perfect refinement rarely occurs in culture Sălcuţa? Were unaware the salcuteans of gold painting?
And other motifs are missing, "leaf”, Y motif, Greek Cross, Maltese Cross, St. Andrew's cross, diamond, vertical pole, your motif, crescent, palmetto, clubs, X motif.
Not even sophisticated methods such as the cruciform organization decor, mandala, three and tetraskelion, tangent, chaining, duplication are not common.
Salcuta representations have no parts made of marble. Anthropomorphic or zoomorphic vessels, which also occur in Gumelniţa are true masterpieces of art, is suggested by some anthropomorphic pottery with reliefs. Clay models representing sanctuaries are not attested.
Processing gold, which is confirmed in Gumelniţa, in Sălcuţa environment, has not been documented. It can be seen quite easily that in Sălcuţa environment, Gumelniţa influences are the common elements, simple, functional that are not necessary specific to Gumelniţa only, some of than being routed to the late Neolithic.
Culture Sălcuţa is missing those elements that give refinement and splendor of a superior culture. (As in culture Gumelniţa). It is impossible to believe that Sălcuţa populations were devoid of aesthetic sense, which is also highlighted in some modelings. Rite and ritual had not been a prime component of these human communities.
As a corollary of all these common elements, at present we cannot dissociate the two south Carpathians Neolithic cultures: Sălcuţa and Gumelniţa, even though there are chronological differences between the two cultural phenomena. More over, culture Sălcuţa is of Gumelniţa origin, background material, constructive elements of nature and spiritual approaches and illustrating this character.
New insights, connections with neighboring areas will reveal in the future, this view that we consider nearest to the truth.
Dr. Catalin Nicolae Patroi