The first studies on the prehistory of the Romania, initially above all on the Paleolithic, date back to the beginning of this century; in the period between the two world wars and after the second, the research involved all the chronological sectors prior to the Roman conquest; especially in recent years much attention has been focused on the “Dacian” civilization.
There is not a very rich documentation of the Paleolithic and Mesolithic in Romania: the various facies are testified (from Abbevillian to Tardenoisiano and Campigniano) and it seems to be in the presence of a substantially unitary picture; but the passage from the Paleolithic to the Mesolithic and the extent to which the peoples of the Mesolithic influenced the rise of a Neolithic culture N of the Danube do not appear sufficiently documented.
According to Usprivateschoolsfinder, the evidence of the Neolithic is more relevant: the culture of Starčevo-KriŞ (ancient Neolithic), of Aegean-Anatolian origin, is very widespread; similar evidence of diffusion is also found in Yugoslavia, with ceramics that are quite varied in technique and decoration; as well as the “Bandkeramik” culture, with linearly decorated ceramics, probably of Western origin. The facies cultural heritage of Hamangia, more recent than that of Starčevo-KriŞ (full bloom in about 4000 BC), is limited to the west coast of the Black Sea: the pottery shows a remarkable variety of shapes and decorations; some terracotta figurines found in Cernavoda (the first “works of art” in the territory of the Romania) testify to a rather rich repertoire and an advanced technique. For the Middle Neolithic, the culture of Vinča-Turdas, in central Transylvania (pottery with small reliefs, engravings, grooves; noteworthy some terracotta tablets with hunting scenes and ideographic signs), the Boiani culture in Transylvania and Moldavia (the most studied, contemporary of the Karanovo culture in Bulgaria; noteworthy are the bracelets and shell pendants of the necropolis of Cernica, the small sanctuary with central column of Căscioarele, the pottery generally decorated with excised meanders and covered with white paste), the Vădastra culture in Oltenia (pottery with geometric engravings and colored paste in white and red). In the late Neolithic (in Romania it lasts from the last centuries of the 4th millennium to the end of the 3rd) some tribal communities reach a notable degree of prosperity. The Salcuta cultures in Oltenia are significant; of Gumenita (which succeeds that of Boiani) in Muntenia and Dobrugia (pottery which is connected in the various phases with those of Dikili Tash in Thrace, of Troy, of Poliocni) and above all that of Cucuteni in Transylvania, in the Eastern Carpathians (connectable with that of Tripolie in Ukraine): the ceramic, very beautiful, with a remarkable variety of shapes and decorations, and with the use of three colors, in some respects it seems to be able to be connected with that of some Eastern European peoples: a fact of relating to migratory phenomena. Very stylized anthropomorphic and zoomorphic statuettes were also found (eg images of goddesses of fertility). The late Neolithic in Romania is characterized by some fortified sites: in addition to Cucuteni, HăbăŞeŞti, TruŞeŞti, Traian. In the passage to the Bronze Age, the most significant culture is that of Cotofeni in Oltenia, Banat and southern Transylvania. TruŞeŞti, Traian. In the passage to the Bronze Age, the most significant culture is that of Cotofeni in Oltenia, Banat and southern Transylvania. TruŞeŞti, Traian. In the passage to the Bronze Age, the most significant culture is that of Cotofeni in Oltenia, Banat and southern Transylvania.
The Bronze Age in Romania lasts more or less from 1900 to 800 BC. C.: it is a period of relative stability. The testimonies of the Middle Bronze Age (about 1600-1100 BC) are the most numerous: in a series of regional cultures, the cultures of Periam-Pecica in the West and Tei in the South seem to have a certain priority, with probable influences of Helladic Greece and Macedonia; necropolis such as that of Cîrna in western Oltenia also demonstrate a strong penetration of elements of the Yugoslav group of “urnfields”.
The first Iron Age in Romania can in turn be divided into various phases: in the first (Hallstatt AB, 800-550 BC) the native element still demonstrates (numerous deposits of tools and bronze weapons) a certain continuity of life and culture; the 2nd phase (Hallstatt C, 650-550) is more innovative; the culture of Basarabi is carried by Thracian tribes of ranchers and farmers, but warriors are important (eg Balta Verde cemetery); a phenomenon is also initiated which will be accentuated in the further phase (Hallstatt D, 550-300): the indigenous society, which can be called geto-dace, comes into contact with the Scythian world of the southern steppes of the USSR in Moldavia, Wallachia, in the sub-Carpathian area (great Cucuteni treasure), while in Dobruja, that is, in the area of the Black Sea and along the Danube, Greek colonies are established: Histria, Tomis, Callatis. Histria is the best excavated: the abundant finds above all of ceramics (Rhodia, Chia, Ionic, then Corinthian, Attic), the presence of buildings such as a round temple dedicated to Aphrodite demonstrate a notable degree of prosperity, which will continue also in Hellenistic period (temples in Histria; statues, ceramics, jewels in Histria and Callatis). Scythian and Sarmatian contributions and a Greek presence (to an extent that cannot yet be clearly specified) contribute to the evolution of the local Geto-Dacian tribes. Among the finds that most testify to the complexity of the components in the culture of the country, we should mention the tumulus tomb of Aghighiol in Dobruja (4th century BC?), With rich equipment (weapons and pottery in precious metals, fragments of Attic pottery, etc.
The second Iron Age in Romania is conventionally called “LaTène geto-Dacica”, even if the Celts, who are the protagonists of the European spread of the LaTène civilization, are here only one component among those who contribute to forming the Getodacian civilization ( alongside the native components, there are influences of Greek, Scythian, Thracian, Roman origin). This civilization reaches a notable level of technique (production of pottery with the wheel) and culture (introduction of writing) and comes to give itself a certain political-military structure and to coin money (see Dacians). The Dacian citadels, excavated and studied mainly from the post-war period to today, constituted a powerful defensive system in the OrăŞtie mountains: for example. TiliŞca, CosteŞti (earthen wall and palisade); Băniţa, Blidaru, Piatra RoŞie (masonry reinforcements type opus incertum); Of the highest quality is the capital Sarmizegetusa (GrădiŞtea Muncelului), with numerous public and private buildings, ornaments and utensils found in abundance. Among the sanctuaries found in Sarmizegetusa and in other localities, some line up several rows of columns; others, with a circular arrangement of stone or wooden pillars, have been placed in connection (at least in Sarmizegetusa) with solar cults. The craftsmanship reaches a remarkable skill not so much, for example, in the depiction of divinities (a terracotta medallion and a silver corset seem to refer to the goddess Bendis) as in the processing of ceramics and especially of silver (treasure of Sîncrăieni). The Celtic presence is testified to eg. from an iron helmet with a bird with spread wings, from CiumeŞti.
For relations and conflicts with the Romans, which were resolved in 106 d. C. with the conquest of Dacia by Trajan and with the creation of the relative province, v. dacha. The study of Roman antiquities is the one that has the longest tradition in Romania: in Transylvania since the 15th century; to the sec. The first important studies and the first examples of collecting date back to the 18th century. A true modern scientific activity begins at the end of the last century-beginning of ours. Among the most important architectural monuments, the bridge designed by Apollodorus in Damascus and built between the two Dacian wars (103-105) should be remembered in Drobeta (Turnu Severin); to Ulpia Traiana Sarmizegetusa the great Aedes Augustalium, a large amphitheater with the temple of Nemesis, the forum, a circular mausoleum in the necropolis; in Porolissum the amphitheater and the temple of Bel-Liber, in Micia the amphitheater and the temple of the Mauretan troops, etc. Of the official sculpture, we should mention, among other things, a bust of Iulia Domna and the fragments of a bronze equestrian statue, probably Caracalla, from Porolissum, a loricated statue from Apulum, a bronze head (Traiano Decio?) From Ulpia Traiana. Of the religious sculpture, to remember a three-faced statue of Hecate of Salinae, numerous reliefs of Mithras and the so-called “Danubian knights”. The numerous votive inscriptions testify to a notable religious syncretism. The funerary monuments (altars; cippi; stele often with decorated pediment and with frequent representations of funeral banquets, of “Trace Knight”; aedicules; medallions; sarcophagi) can in part be connected with those of the other Danubian provinces, however they testify to a notable productive vivacity of the artisan workshops. Numerous finds of local and imported ceramics (“terra Sigillo”). The situation is different in Dobruja, where in the province of Scythia minor the new Roman settlements join the ancient Greek cities. To remember remains of temples in Tomis (Constanţa) which becomes the largest city in the province; thermal baths in Histria ; aqueducts in Histria and Tropaeum Traiani. In the latter center (in today’s village of Adamklissi) near the border with Dacia there is what is perhaps the best known ancient monument of Romania: the circular trophy which, in its rich sculptural decoration articulated in metopes and merlons, recalls facts of the Dacian conquest of Trajan. It was precisely from the stylistic-chronological examination of these reliefs that the debate on Roman provincial art began. The production of sculptures, statues, sarcophagi (in Tomis, where there must have been a very active workshop; in Callatis- Mangalia, etc.) and reliefs (funerary stele; reliefs with “Thracian knight”; funerary banquets, etc.). Stylistically, this sculpture is part of the Greek tradition and differs quite clearly both from that of the Dacia and from that of the Adamklissi Trophy. Among the curiosities, a statue of the Glykon snake.
After the abandonment of the province of Dacia by Aureliano (271), a Romanized Dacian population continues to live for a long time N of the Danube. The survival and the series of relationships that this population has had with migrating peoples, especially Huns and Avars, have been studied in recent decades. A typically Dacian cup was found in a 4th century Gothic tomb in Spantov near Bucharest. The province of Scythia Minor in the late Roman-Byzantine period was an important defense point on the Danube: numerous border fortresses were built and reinforced in these centuries such as Capidava, Sucidava, Dinogetia; the fortifications of Tomis, Callatis, Histria, which must have been alive since the beginning of the 7th century, are restored in various stages.