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Ten­toon­stel­lings­tekst: Romein­se tijd

Op deze pagina vind je de teksten uit de tentoonstelling Dacia in onze grote zaal. Bewonder het goud en zilver en lees de verhalen vanaf je eigen telefoon.

Op dit moment zijn de verhalen alleen in het Engels beschikbaar. Binnenkort zullen deze er ook in het Nederlands op staan.

1 - The implements set of a Dacian silversmith

Ziridava – Șanțul Mare, on the north-western part of the Acropolis of the fortified oppidum type Dacian settlement (Pecica comune,  Arad County) 
Second Iron Age –Geto-Dacian culture – Late 1st century BC – 1st century AD. MNIT inv. V 136/A 2-14, V 140/A 2-29, V 143/A 2-17, V 145/A 2-21, V 146/A 2-25, V 148/A 2-16, V 149/A 2-23, V 150/A 2-18, V 155/A 2-22, V 157/A 2-34, V 158/A 2-36, V 160/A2-37.  

The set of silversmith implements was found during regular archaeological research, during the 1960s in an oppidan type Dacian centre. The implements set consisted of:  ceramic moulds, crucibles, two iron anvils, eight bronze chisels, and a bronze coin-die, as well as a stock of bronze metal scraps. The workshop from Pecica produced adornments and coins. 

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2 - The hoard from Peteni

Hotarul de Jos, located south of the village (Zăbala commune, Covasna County) 
Second Iron Age – Geto-Dacian culture –  End of the 1st century BC. 
MNS no. inv. 15730-15735, 15740-15778. 

The hoard was found by chance during agricultural work in the spring of 1960. Later, regular archaeological research was carried out at the location. The investigation lead to the conclusion that the hoard was concealed in a shallow pit, in an area lacking other archaeological remains. A part of the inventory was deposed directly on the ground (the bracelets and necklace). However, the fibulas and the coins were placed in a ceramic vessel. The hoard consisted of 13 silver artefacts and fragments, 39 Roman republican deniers and some of their Dacian imitations. The most impressive pieces from this find are two large bracelets decorated with winged dragon heads and palmettes (one of them gilded) and fragments from a lamellar necklace.  

The Roman republican deniers were issued between 148 BC and 64 BC. The Dacian imitation deniers reproduce the design and the inscriptions of some Roman republican issues struck between 89 BC and 86 BC. 

The content of the hoard from Peteni provides evidence on how the Dacians treated the artefacts offered to the gods, before concealing them in the ground. All the large items, such as the bracelets and the necklace, were broken into pieces. Such a practice was intended to forbid any further secular use of the jewellery once consecrated to the gods.

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3 - The mint deposit from Tilișca

Tilișca – The Dacian fortress on Cătunaș hill (Tilișca commune, Sibiu county) 
Middle of the 1st century BC – beginning of the 1st century AD 
MNIR no. inv. 39222, 39233-39238 

The mint deposit was discovered in 1961, during systematic archaeological research. The 14 mobile bronze coins, five of which were fixed in wrought iron sleeves, were deposited in a ceramic vessel (possibly a crucible), hidden in a crevice of the wall of one of the towers within the Dacian fortifications. The deposit includes 10 stamps bearing negative images of highly accurate representations and legends of Roman Republican denarii, as well as four unengraved stamps. The state of preservation of the stamps allowed the identification of most of the names of the monetary magistrates, the denomination and even the imitated monetary types. These are denarii issued by the magistrates: L. Sempronius Pitio, L. Sempronius (a. 148 BC), Q. Marcus Marcius (a. 134 BC), Q. Caecilius Mettelus (a. 130 BC) C.), M. Lucillius Rufus? (a. 101 a. C.), C. Naevius Balbus (a. 80-79 a. C.), L. Plaetoriu Caestianus (year 74 a. C.), as well as engravings of rv. which reproduce issues struck under various magistrates active in the years 85-84 BC, characterised by the use of the representation of Jupiter. Only in one case, of the denarii issue of C. Naevius Balbus (c. 79 BC), both obverse and reverse dies of Crawford denarius type 382/1b were present. The majority of the finds are obverse dies (five in total), with only three reverse dies, including two of the same type for the denarius of Q. Marcus Marcius. The discovery of these stamps opened the way to knowledge of a new chapter in the monetary history of Dacia - that of the Roman imitative issues. The creation of high-fidelity reproductions of some types of Republican Roman denarius was done through a very simple and ingenious technique. Authentic Roman denarii were used as punches, imprinted by striking with a hammer on red-hot bronze dies in a process known as "direct copying." The surfaces of the Tilișca mints show no signs of intensive use for coin minting; some were clearly still being finished, as they lacked monetary representations and legends. All these observations lead to the idea that here we are dealing with a mint workshop in the process of being organised or at the beginning of its operation. 

Establishing the chronology of the operation of the mint workshop from Tilișca and implicitly the production of imitations of republican Roman denarii in Dacia is difficult, despite the fact that most mints reproduce well-dated issues. Studying the dynamics of the penetration and circulation of republican Roman denarii on the territory of Dacia indicates that most of them arrived in this region from the Balkans, in the first decades of the 1st century BC, in "monetary packages" that also contained older issues, worn by circulation, from the 2nd century B.C. During the 1st century B.C., several moments of maximum influx of the republican denarii can be observed, undoubtedly related to the evolution of the political-military situation, but also of the slave trade and salt. The composition of hoards of Republican Roman denarii indicates that older 2nd-century issues circulated together with more recent ones and were often hoarded alongside imperial issues. This suggests a local tendency to collect and preserve older coins due to their higher purity and weight. 

Discoveries of mints faithfully reproducing early republican or imperial Roman denarii prove that imitation coin production was widespread in Dacia in the 1st century BC – 1st AD and decentralised. Metrological and metallographic analyses do not indicate the deliberate production by the Dacians of copies of denarii with lower titles and weights, even though there are a number of finds that bring together silvered bronze pieces. 

It is highly probable that Dacian imitations of Roman coins, which likely started around the mid-1st century BC, were produced extensively, particularly during the 1st century AD and continuing up to the Roman conquest. The cessation of minting and the concealment of the coinage in the Tilișca fortification occurred precisely within the context of the first Daco-Roman war, spanning the years 101-102 AD. These coins were intended to provide the necessary currency to support the military and diplomatic activities of Dacian authorities. 

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4 - The hoard from Sacalasău Nou/1972

Burcărar Hill (Derna commune, Bihor County) 
Second Iron Age – Geto-Dacian culture – End of the 2nd century – 1st century BC/1st century AD. 
MTCO no. inv. 10952-10956 a-b, 23129. 

The eighth hoard from the Dacian period found on the territory of the village was discovered by chance, in 1972. No information about the location or condition of the finding is available. The hoard consisted of at least seven silver artefacts and fragments, including: two more or less complete fibulas, three fragments from fibulas and a double spiralled bracelet, decorated with very stylised representations of snakes’ heads. The high frequency of the reptilian representations found on the Dacian jewellery could be considered as an indication of the importance of the dragons and snakes in the mythology of this ancient people. 

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5 - The coin hoard from Stăncuța

Near the Danubian dam located at 3 km north-west from the village (Stăncuța commune, Brăila County) 
Second Iron Age – Geto-Dacian culture – Mid 1st century BC. 
MNIR no. inv. 4407-4408, 4413, 4416, 4419-4420, 4420, 4426-4428, 4431-4433, 4436-4442/a-b.  

The hoard was found in 1953, by chance, during construction works of a dam, followed by a ground archaeological survey. The hoard was concealed in a silver vessel, in an area lacking other archaeological remains and dating from 2nd-1st century BC.  

The authorities have retrieved 87 silver coins and two silver ingots (broken in two). There are indications that the silver vessel and several coins were destroyed or dispersed among the local inhabitants.  

The silver coins were issued during the late 2nd – first half of the 1st century BC by the Roman Republic or by the pseudo-autonomous political entity of Thasos or by Thracian tribes from the Central and Eastern Balkans. The retrieved part contains 34 Roman republican deniers struck during 140-60 BC.  The hoard from Stăncuța did contain at least 53 tetradrachms of Thasian type (genuine issues of the city of Thasos and some others are their imitations struck by different Thracian tribes from the Central and Eastern Balkans). All the Thasian type coins, as well as many Roman republican deniers, were extremely worn by usage and often broken. In the hoard from Stăncuța were also two silver ingots of irregular shape.  

In spite of being only partly retrieved and made-up of many worn pieces, the hoard from Stăncuța is one of the most important Dacian finds ever made. It offers an answer concerning the origin of the raw material that served to produce the immensely abundant and diverse Dacian silver adornments and silverware. Lacking the technology to explore for the scarce local silver ores, the Dacians were obliged to turn to another source of silver. They started to use foreign coins, such as late Hellenistic or Roman issues, which were abundantly available on Dacian territory during the 2nd century BC to the 1st century AD, thanks to the military and diplomatic payments made by the neighbouring states, the pillaging raids into the Balkans and Central Europe and to the trade with slaves and salt. The analyses of the coins and ingots from the hoard from Stăncuța have proved that their silver was the result of melting down the Thasian type and Roman republican denarii. Further analyses of a large sample of Dacian adornments and silverware confirmed that the source of their metal was the result of melting down foreign coins. 

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6 - The hoard from Șaeș

Unprecise location (Apold commune, Mureș County) 
Second Iron Age – Geto-Dacian culture – Late 1st century BC 
MNIR no. inv. 47478-47480, 47488-47486, 47491 

The hoard was found before the end of 1891, by chance. No information about the location or condition of the finding are recorded. The hoard consisted of at least 13 silver artefacts and fragments, including: a fragmentary necklace, five fibulas, a fragmentary bracelet with an axe shaped pendent and a link. The most remarkable items from the hoard from Șaeș are the fibulae, especially the rare complete bracelet with a pendant in axe shape.   

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7 - Selection from the pieces discovered in the family tomb of a Roman cavalry officer at Carsium

Carsium (Hârșova, Constanța county) 
The first three decades of the 4th century AD (circa 317-324) 
MNIR no. inv. 239066, 244605, 244597, 285836, 285876, 285898 

In the summer of 1987, during salvage excavations at Hârșova (ancient Carsium), a brick crypt was discovered containing the very well-preserved graves of three people, a man and two women (most likely his successive wives). Thanks to the inscription on the sword guard of the spatha discovered under the man's coffin, the spurs found in the coffin, as well as a tomb inscription from the same plot of the necropolis, we know that his name was Valerius Valerianus and he had been a high-ranking cavalry officer (centurion) in the garrison at Carsium, during the joint reign of Constantine I and Licinius I. The silver-bronze coins discovered in a pouch worn by Valerius Valerianus allow us to date his death to sometime between 317-324. 

The inventory, as well as some details of the arrangement of objects in the family tomb of Valerius Valerianus, helps us to reconstruct the funerary practices of a wealthy Roman family, living in a cosmopolitan urban centre on the border of the Lower Danube. This was in an era of profound religious and ethnic transformations, due to the spread of Christianity and the colonisation of barbarian populations within the provinces. Although the family tombs are oriented W-E, with the head to the west and facing to the east according to the Christian ritual, many burial details and the  adornment or personal use objects are typically pagan, reflecting Greco-Roman tradition. Eloquent in this regard are the two carved wooden sconces depicting Medusa-Gorgona (one very damaged), hidden in the soil under the coffin of Valerius Valerianus. This practice continued an ancient Greco-Roman tradition of using such representations for their apotropaic character, meant to protect against evil spirits. Similarly, the mouths of all the dead in the vault were covered with ellipsoidal-shaped gold blades, intended to protect the corpses from the penetration of evil spirits, demonstrating the persistence of old religious practices. 

It is very likely that the relatives of Valerius Valerianus, who were newly converted to Christianity, had doubts about the effectiveness of Christian funeral practices. Consequently, they secretly incorporated old Roman funeral traditions into the burial rites, hidden from the view of other participants. 

The depictions on the rings and personal objects of the three members of Valerius Valerianus's family—such as Jupiter, Venus, or Leda and the swan, as well as the inscription on the drinking vessel and the dragons on the buckle—refer to classical Greek mythology and Greco-Roman or barbarian ethics. 

The inventory of Valerius Valerianus's tomb is distinguished by an unusual element, uncommon not only in Christian funeral practices but also in Roman ones in general: the inclusion of weapons, specifically a spatha, a pugio, and a spearhead. As in the case of the sconces with the representation of the Medusa-Gorgona, these were also deposited "discreetly", buried in the ground, at the head of the deceased, or under the coffin. Placing weapons in graves is characteristic of the culture of some barbarian populations, living outside the Empire. This leads us to believe that, despite the typical Roman name that he bore, Valerius Valerianus was originally a character of barbarian origin, entered the army at the time of the first Tetrarchy and integrated, through his military career, into the social and cultural system of the late Roman world. 

The use of inscriptions in Greek and Latin, classical mythological representations, and elements of barbaric burial practices reflects the diverse cultural universe of the border province of Scythia during the early spread of Christianity. This occurred in the first decade following the adoption of the Edict of Milan in 313, which granted religious tolerance. 

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8 - The gold engagement finger ring from Cristești

The Roman settlement (Cristești commune, Mureș County) 
Roman provincial culture – 2nd – 3rd century AD.  
MNIT no. inv. V 55944. 

The finger ring was found by chance.  Unfortunately, no other data on the precise location of finding place nor the conditions of the discovery are recorded. The finger ring is decorated with the representation of clasping hands, symbolic reference to an engagement. 

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9 - Gold ring

Ca. 150-200 n.Chr. / CE 
Cristești, Mureș district / Mureș County 
National History Museum Romania, Bucharest 

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10 - The gold hairpin from Romula

One of the necropolis of the large Roman settlement (Dobrosloveni commune, Olt County) 
Roman provincial culture – 2nd – 3rd century AD.  
MNIR no. inv. 9344. 

The precise finding place on the territory of the Roman municipium of Romula, as well as its condition, were not recorded. One could suppose that the artefact was part of a funerary offering. The hair pins were quite common personal adornments of Roman women. However, the availability of those made in gold was restricted only to members of the wealthy classes. 

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11 - A gold necklace from Tomis

One of the necropolis of the large Roman period settlement (municipality of Constanța, Constanța County) 
Roman provincial culture – 2nd – 3rd century AD.  
MNIR no. inv. 9571. 

The precise finding place on the territory of the Roman metropolis of Tomis, as well as the condition of the finding were not recorded. One could suppose that the artefact was part of a funerary offering. The gold necklaces with coloured stone applications were quite common personal adornments of the Roman women belonging to the upper classes. 

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12 - A pair of gold earrings from Tomis

One of the necropolis of the large Roman period settlement (municipality of Constanța, Constanța County) 
Roman provincial culture – 2nd – 3rd century AD.  
MNIR no. inv. 9574-9575. 

The precise finding place on the territory of the Roman metropolis of Tomis, as well as the condition of the finding were not recorded. One could suppose that the artefact was part of a funerary offering. The gold earrings with garnet applications were quite common personal adornments of Roman women belonging to the upper classes. 

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13 - The hoard from Muncelul de Sus

După sat or Țărăncuțe (Mogoșești-Siret commune, Iași County) 
Late second Iron Age – Roman import in Free Dacian, Carpic culture – 2nd-3rd century AD. 
CMNNT nr. inv. 4511, 4513-4514. 

The hoard was found, by chance, in 1972, during agricultural work. The authorities have retrieved five silver artefacts. In consisted of at least five cups and a fragment of a casserole dish, but it seems that other items were lost.  The make up of the hoard represents part of a Roman banqueting silverware. The cups are decorated with the representation of hunting scenes, water fowls, fish and fantastic marine creatures, a thyrsus, as well as with geometrical patterns motives. On the bottom of one of the cups was scratched the letter B.  

The style of the vessels of the banqueting set from Muncelul de Sus is an indication that they were produced in an important Eastern manufacturing centre from the Roman Empire  (Alexandria or Antioch).  

In spite of being the only find of this kind in the regions near the Dacian border, the presence of the Roman banqueting set in the area where the hoard from Muncelul de Sus was unearthed, inhabited by the Free Dacian tribes of Carpi, is not unusual. In the same area two coin hoards were found consisting of Roman imperial denarii from 1st-2nd century, as well as other different Roman artefacts.  

After the defeat of the Dacian Kingdom, some Dacian tribes, mostly located to the eastern and north-western regions of the former state, managed to preserve their freedom, through entering into certain political and military arrangements with the Roman provincial authorities. On the eastern borders of the province of Dacia, the confederation of the Carpi was the most important polity, receiving  financial subsidies from the Romans and diplomatic „gifts” to maintain the peace and security. Later, during the 3rd century, the Carpi turned to become one of the most feared enemies of the Roman Empire in this region, attacking the provinces of Dacia, Moesia and Thrace. The banqueting set of Roman silverware could be a part of such „gifts” sent by the Roman provincial authorities to gain the benevolence of the Carpic chieftains, or war  spoils after a successful pillaging raid into the Empire.  

The strong traces of wear and tear found on artefacts indicate that the silverware set from the hoard from Muncelul de Sus was intensely used before being concealed. 

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14 - The hoard from Urechești

La Palancă (Urechești commune, Bacău County) 
Second Iron Age – Late Hellenistic and Sarmatian imports in Geto-Dacian culture – Late 1st century BC – first decades of the 1st century AD. 
MNIR no. inv. C. 8225-8234, 8238-8245, 8247-8248. 

The hoard was found by chance on boggy terrain of the village, before the spring of 2016. The hoard was unearthed during legal metal detecting activities. No further information is recorded about the precise location and the conditions of the finding. The hoard consisted of at least 22 gold and silver artefacts and fragments, and 59 silver coins. The hoard is made up from: two necklace chains in gold, nine gold pendants with lapis lazuli applications, a gold pendant in crescent shape, a framed gold pendant with a black stone application, two gold pendants in shape of perfume flask, a gold polispiral finger ring with the ends decorated with winged dragon’s heads and palmettes, three gold finger rings with garnet and lapis lazuli applications, a roll of gold wire, of uncertain usage, several small gold fragments and a silver link. The coins are late Roman republican and early imperial denarii. The most recent issues are two denarii struck under Tiberius, during the years 17-35 AD. 

The hoard from Urechești represents an exceptionally important find. It is the most important late First Iron Age hoard, so far, found on the territory of the historical Romanian region of Moldavia. During the early 1st century AD, the Dacian population of this region was already under the military oppression by the Sarmatians, a nomadic group of Iranian origin, moving westward from the north Pontic steppes. The loss of ground, as well as the economic and social decline of the local population, is emphasised, among other things, by the extremely few finds of silver jewellery and adornments. That was a very distinctive feature of the contemporary culture of the Dacian groups inhabiting Wallachia and Transylvania. 

The hoard of Urechești includes a set of high-quality lady adornments in gold and half precious or coloured stones produced in the goldsmith shops from the Greek cities from the Black Sea area, following the new fashion brought into the region by the Eastern nomads. Undoubtedly, the most fascinating artefact from the hoard of Urechești is the gold finger ring, the first replica so far known in this metal of the famous Dacian polispiral gold and silver bracelets decorated with winged dragon’s heads and palmettes. Previously only a few specimens of similar rings made of silver have been found. 

Found in a marshy place, the hoard from Urechești was actually a typical ritual offering of precious and prestigious artefacts consecrated to the gods and deposited in a peculiar location, such as springs, bogs, rivers, lakes mountain or hill summits. 

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15 - The gold necklace from Sânnicolaul Mare

Săliște, the Sarmatian necropolis, tomb M. 7 (Town of Sânnicolaul Mare, Timiș County) 
Second Iron Age – Sarmatian culture – The end of the 1st century AD. 
MNBT nr. inv. 32125-32131. 

The necklace was found during regular archaeological research in 2005. It was unearthed from a female tomb with rich funerary offerings: a bronze bracelet, ceramics, a necklace made of glass and limestone beads. The tomb excavated in 2005 belongs to a tradition of very rich female burials, often containing finds of gold artefacts and necklaces consisting of glass beads. 

The necklace presented in the exhibition consist of six pendants, one in crescent shape and the others in tear shape, decorated using the technique of granulation or pseudo-granulation and applications of blue-greenish glass paste, imitating the lapis lazuli. The necklace also included seven tubular pearls made of gold. 

This prestigious artefact was not only a personal adornment, but also a symbol of the high social status. 

The burial ground of Sânnicolaul mare belonged the Iazyges Sarmatian tribes, a group of nomadic cattle breeding peoples who migrated, during the 1st century AD, from the northern Black Sea region to the Pannonian plain and to the western fringes of Dacia. Their settlement on the Dacian borders was facilitated by the Romans, aiming to put additional pressure on the Dacian Kingdom, their most feared enemy in the Lower Danube regions. 

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