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date: 15 November 2019


  • Alasdair Whittle


Site of prehistoric cemetery of the late 6th–early 5th millennium bc in eastern Romania. It is significant for the range of Late Neolithic artefacts it has yielded, especially two notable fired clay figurines. Cernavoda is in the lower Danube Valley on the western side of the Dobrogea region, south of the Danube Delta. The cemetery was excavated in 1957 by Dimitri Berciu, and the material recovered is held by the Museum of Antiquities in Bucharest. The cemetery belongs to the Hamangia culture, named after a site in the north of the Dobrogea region. The status of this culture is unclear; it may represent an expansion of agricultural populations or a fusion with indigenous communities. Separate from contemporary settlements there are cemeteries, of which Cernavoda, with up to 400 graves, is the largest known; some of the artefacts found there are demonstrably different from material from the settlements. Men and women were buried in an extended position in shallow earth-cut graves. They were usually accompanied by a fine black burnished pot—rather different from the fine shell-impressed bowls and dishes found in settlements—and often by beads of stone and ...

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