MIDDLE AND UPPER PALAEOLITHIC LITHIC TECHNOLOGY IN THE CARPATHIAN REGION OF ROMANIA: ADAPTING TECHNICAL BEHAVIOUR TO THE MOUNTAIN ENVIRONMENT

UEFISCDI-CNCS project PN-III-P1-1.1-TE-2021-0424, no. TE 93 ⁄ 2022 (2022-2024)

Funding agency

Executive Unit for Financing Higher Education, Research, Development and Innovation (UEFISCDI)

Website:  http://uefiscdi.gov.ro/

Address:  21-25 Mendeleev Street, Bucharest 010362, Romania

Host institution

COMPLEXUL NATIONAL MUZEAL "CURTEA DOMNEASCA"

“Princely Court” National Museum Târgovişte

Adress: Justiției St., no. 7, 130014, Târgovişte, Dâmboviţa County, Romania; https://muzee-dambovitene.ro/

e-mail: contact@muzee-dambovitene.ro

ABOUT THE PROJECT

The project proposes a new approach to the Palaeolithic lithic assemblages in the Carpathian region of Romania by understanding the adaptive response of the human communities in relation to the paleoenvironment. The study involves a techno-functional approach, different from traditional typological analyses that will include, apart from the identification of lithic reduction technical stages, analyses of use-wear, performed with different types of microscopy. The results of the analysis of lithic materials will be correlated with studies on the palaeoenvironment, raw material sources, the exploitation of animal resources etc. This will verify if, apart from cultural characteristics, the similarities and differences among Palaeolithic communities in the Carpathian region are due to the influence of several factors: climate oscillations, hunting of certain animal species, availability of raw material and/or its selection. Studying the adaptation to mountain environments of various communities, with occupations spanned over a long chronological timeline (between 60,000 and 15,000 years BP) may provide essential information about the evolution of technical behaviour in the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic in this area. In addition, new research directions will be opened concerning the beginning of the Upper Palaeolithic in eastern Carpathians and the characterisation of the emergence and evolution of different cultural manifestations within the Upper Palaeolithic in Eastern Europe.

RESEARCH TEAM

ELENA-CRISTINA NIȚU (Project leader; senior researcher, expert archaeologist), “Princely Court” National Museum Târgovişte

ResearchGate profile: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Elena-Cristina-Nitu

Scopus Author ID: https://www.scopus.com/authid/detail.uri?authorId=35264519200

ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8736-336X

VASILE DIACONU (CS III-senior researcher, expert archaeologist), Neamț National Museum

CONSTANTIN PREOTEASA (CS III-senior researcher, expert archaeologist), Neamț National Museum

FLORIN-IONUȚ LUPU (PhD candidate, curator first degree, beginner archaeologist), “Princely Court” National Museum Târgovişte

MARIAN LEU (PhD candidate, curator II degree, beginner archaeologist), “Princely Court” National Museum Târgovişte

HORIA GHIȚĂ (graduate student, Master’s degree, beginner archaeologist, curator II degree), “Princely Court” National Museum Târgovişte

ARTICLES

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Randall White, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Florin Ionuț-Lupu, Marian Leu, Mihai Straticiuc, Tiberiu Bogdan Sava, Adrian Bălășescu, Mihaela Manea, Stelian Grigore, Robert Sîrbu, A new Palaeolithic female figurine from Piatra Neamț, Romania, L'Anthropologie 127, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anthro.2022.103103.

Marin Cârciumaru, Elena-Cristina Nițu, Roxana Dobrescu, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Florin Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Chronostratigraphy and the Palaeoenvironment of the Bistrița Valley. New Interpretations and a Critical Retrospective Evaluation, L'Anthropologie, 127, 2023, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anthro.2022.103112.

 

Marin Cârciumaru, Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marcel Otte, Paul Pettitt, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Marian Leu, Florin-Ionuț Lupu, Horia Ghiță, 2024, A newly-discovered stone pendant from the Upper Palaeolithic of Poiana Cireșului-Piatra Neamț (Romania) and its wider context, L’Anthropologie, 2023, accepted paper.

Marin Cârciumaru, Marian Leu, Florin-Ionuț Lupu, 2023, The Palaeolithic in the Mountain Sector of the Bistrița Valley-Old and New Interpretations, Annales d’Université Valahia Targoviste, Section d’Archéologie et d’Histoire, Tome XXV, accepted paper.

Marin Cârciumaru, Florin-Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Adrian Nicolae, 2023, Mobility of Hunter-Gatherer Populations in the Bistrița Valley (Romania) in the Palaeolithic, Studii de Preistorie, accepted paper.

 

SCIENTIFIC COMMUNICATIONS (ORAL PRESENTATIONS)

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Florin-Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Characteristics of the Upper Paleolithic lithic assemblages from the Piatra Neamț sites (eastern Carpathians, Romania), XXI INQUA Congress, 13-20 July 2023, Sapienza University of Rome, Italy.

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marco Peresani, Discoidal and centripetal methods used in the Mousterian from the Carpathian caves (Romania), UISPP XX World Congress, September 5-9, 2023, Timişoara, Romania;

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Florin-Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Horia Ghiță, Vasile Diaconu, Constantin Preoteasa, Recent research on the Upper Paleolithic in the Bistrița valley (Eastern Romania), UISPP XX World Congress, September 5-9, 2023, Timişoara, Romania;

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Florin-Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Upper Paleolithic portable art objects discovered in Eastern Carpathians, UISPP XX World Congress, September 5-9, 2023, Timişoara, Romania.

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Florin Ionuț-Lupu, Marian Leu, Horia Ghiță, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Vasile Diaconu, Constantin Preoteasa, Observații asupra materialelor litice paleolitice descoperite în cadrul cercetărilor de teren recente din zona Bicaz-Ceahlău, jud. Neamț, Sesiunea anuală a Institutului de Arheologie „Vasile Pârvan” Metodă teorie și practică în arheologia contemporană, 5-7 aprilie 2023, București;

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Florin Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Horia Ghiță, Constantin Preoteasa, Vasile Diaconu, Mădălin Cornel Văleanu, Cercetări arheologice sistematice în situl Poiana Cireșului-Piatra Neamț, campaniile 2021-2022, Sesiunea Naţională de Rapoarte Arheologice, ediția a 57-a, Târgoviște, 29-31 mai 2023.

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Florin Ionuț-Lupu, Marian Leu, Horia Ghiță, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Vasile Diaconu, Constantin Preoteasa, Cercetări de diagnostic în zona Bicaz-Ceahlău, jud. Neamț, Sesiunea Naţională De Rapoarte Arheologice, ediția a 57-a, Târgoviște, 29-31 mai 2023.

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marin Cârciumaru, Florin-Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Horia Ghiță, Vasile Diaconu, Constantin Preoteasa, Mădălin-Cornel Văleanu, Caracteristici ale locuirilor paleolitice descoperite la Piatra Neamț, Simpozionul Național „PETRODAVA”, ediția a IV-a, Piatra-Neamț, 11-13 octombrie 2023.

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Some remarks on the technical behavior in the Mousterian from the Carpathian caves, Sesiunea Națională de Comunicări Științifice “Cultură şi Civilizaţie la Dunărea de Jos”, Călărași, 2-4 iunie 2022.

Florin-Ionuț Lupu, Marian Leu, Chronostratigraphy of the Paleolithic occupations and some observations on the paleoenvironment in the Bistrița Valley, Sesiunea Națională de Comunicări Științifice “Cultură şi Civilizaţie la Dunărea de Jos”, Călărași, 2-4 iunie 2022;

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marin Cârciumaru, Florin Ionuț-Lupu, Marian Leu, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Horia Ghiță, Vasile Diaconu, Constantin Preoteasa, Stelian Grigore, Recent archaeological research at Poiana Cireșului-Piatra Neamț site: the general characteristics of Paleolithic occupations, Simpozionul Național „PETRODAVA”, ediția a III-a Piatra-Neamț, 13-15 octombrie 2022.

Elena-Cristina Nițu, Marco Peresani, Marian Leu, Florin Ionuț-Lupu, Marin Cârciumaru, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Horia Ghiță, Vasile Diaconu, Constantin Preoteasa, The recent Bistrița Valley Paleolithic surveys (northeastern Romania): preliminary results, Simpozionul Național „Petrodava”, ediția a III-a Piatra-Neamț, 13-15 octombrie 2022.

Marin Cârciumaru, Roxana Dobrescu, Elena-Cristina Nițu, Ovidiu Cîrstina, Florin Ionuț-Lupu, Marian Leu, Stelian Grigore, Horia Ghiță, Paleoenvironement of the Bistrița Valley and chronology of Paleolithic man in the last 30,000 years, Simpozionul Național „Petrodava”, ediția a III-a Piatra-Neamț, 13-15 octombrie 2022.

 

OTHER RESULTS

Organizing a scientific conference:

S10-2 Current research on the Upper Palaeolithic of Eurasia - UISPP XX World Congress – TIMIŞOARA, September 3-10, 2023 (Main Organizer: Elena-Cristina Nițu).

Doctoral theses that were supported by this project:

Paleoliticul superior de pe cursul intramontan al Bistriței (PhD thesis sustained by Marian Leu);

Paleoliticul superior de pe cursul subcarpatic al Bistriței (PhD thesis sustained by Florin-Ionuț Lupu);

Book chapters – will be published in a synthesis book coordinated by the International Union for Prehistoric and Protohistoric Sciences:

- Chapter II – Middle Palaeolithic/ II.2.1. Lithic technology and typology / II.2.1.1. Settlements in the Carpathian caves / II.2.1.2. The settlements from the extra Carpathian area (Elena-Cristina Nițu).

- Chapter III – Upper Palaeolithic/ III.2.1. Lithic technology and typology/III.2.1.1. Bistrița Valley (Elena-Cristina Nițu, Roxana Dobrescu).