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Ten­toon­stel­lings­tekst: Vroe­ge ijzertijd

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.

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1 & 6 - Selection from the gold pieces of the Getic treasury of Băiceni-Cucuteni

The eastern edge of the Laiu plateau (Cucuteni commune, Iași county) 
4th century BC 
MNIR no. inv. 81965, 82006, 81498, 81957, 81950 

The treasure was discovered by chance by locals, in 1959, in a pottery in this commune, and was subsequently recovered by specialists, in several stages (1961, 1977/1978). 

It is possible that this lavish set was a funerary inventory or a votive deposit, but the original context cannot be reconstructed. 

The hoard includes several pieces of gold. These items consist of a princely parade helmet with figurative scenes, two multi-spiral bracelets with zoomorphic endings (one of which is very damaged), a rectangular applique with zoomorphic decoration, a forehead applique, four bridle appliques, two circular appliques (buttons), and various other small triangular appliques and fragments. 

The treasure from Cucuteni-Băiceni represents the northernmost discovery in the series of "Thraco-Getic" treasures and princely tombs from the 5th-4th centuries BC. It originates from a significant Getic habitation area, defined by the fortified dava at Cotnari – Cătălina Hill and the tumulus necropolis at Cucuteni. 

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2 - The silver fibulae from Zimnicea

Câmpul morților, cremation necropolis (municipality of Zimnicea, Teleorman County). 
Second Iron Age – Geto-Dacian culture – Second half of 3rd century – 2nd century BC. 
MNIR no. inv. 8524-8526, 8528, 8541. 

Several Thracian-type silver fibulae were discovered during archaeological excavations in the late 1940s or early 1950s. Unfortunately, details regarding the specific location and circumstances of these findings are not available. 

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3 - The hoard from Epureni

Epureni (Epureni commune, Vaslui County). 
3rd century B.C. 
MMB no. inv. 19265-19270 (jewelry), 3058, 3059, 3060, 3064, 3068, 3073, 3081, 3089, 3092, 3095 (coins).  

The hoard surfaced on the Romanian antiquities market in 1922, where it was acquired by the renowned interwar collector Dr. George Severeanu, whose personal collection eventually became a public museum. Unfortunately, the exact circumstances of its discovery remain unknown. 

This collection provides valuable insights into both luxury craftsmanship and local ritual practices. It comprised two pairs of Thracian-type silver fibulae in different sizes, a set of bangles with thickened, zoomorphically decorated ends, and 79 silver coins imitating tetradrachms of Philip II. Known in numismatic literature as the Huși-Vovriești type, these coins were distinctive for their pervasive metal quality control cuts and countermarks, characteristic of the central Moldavian region. 

This assemblage not only enriches our understanding of ancient handicraft techniques and regional artistic styles but also sheds light on economic interactions and cultural practices prevalent during its era. 

It represents a women's ensemble where the large fibulae were used to fasten heavy outer peplos, while the smaller ones secured a lighter garment underneath. The paired bracelets further underscore a unified feminine identity within the set. Each piece is designed in mirrored pairs, indicating its intentional creation as a cohesive unit. Notably, the large fibulae from Epureni are the heaviest known silver examples of their kind across the entire Balkan region. However, their execution reveals a provincial and unrefined style, characteristic of a local silversmith less versed in elaborate Hellenistic techniques. 

Recent studies have drawn attention to the remarkable similarity in weight between the fibulae and bracelets from Epureni and the Huși-Vovriești type coins found in the same hoard. This suggests the possibility that these items were crafted using raw metal sourced from such coins. 

The practice of depositing functional women's clothing accessories as offerings or hoards has deep roots throughout the Thracian Iron Age. The use of silver, along with the inclusion of coins in their structure, places the Epureni hoard within the context of peak development of this tradition in pre-Roman Dacia during the 1st century BC. 

Thracian culture consistently reflects a concern for symmetry in relation to the human or animal form, evident in contexts ranging from sacrificial rituals to funerary practices. 

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4 - Bunești-Averești diadem

Bunești-Averești – Bobului Hill, the fortified Getic settlement (Bunești-Averești commune, Vaslui county) 
The end of the 4th century - the beginning of the 3rd century BC. 
MNIR no. inv. 237295 

The massive gold tiara (756.60 g) was discovered in 1984 during systematic archaeological excavations. It was found in a pit 0.40 m deep, in an area without traces of habitation, filled with earth lacking ceramics or other remains. When unearthed, the diadem was folded and bore marks of blows made with a sharp instrument. The diadem consists of two gold bars, to which five rosettes are welded, positioned near the frontal area. The bars end with the stylised representation of two crouching big cats (cheetahs?), each holding a ring in its snout through which a strip of fabric or leather passed to fasten the diadem to the head. Traces of a cobalt-blue and emerald-green glass paste application are preserved on the body of one of the felines. The style and technique of the diadem indicate that it was produced in a local workshop by a craftsman familiar with Mediterranean and Eurasian steppe jewellery techniques, including the use of coloured enamels. 

The piece from Bunești-Averești is unique not only in the area of the Getic civilisation, but also in Central and South-Eastern Europe. Initially considered a "princely diadem," it is now understood to be a sumptuous female ornament, undoubtedly belonging to a very high-ranking person in the community around the fortified settlement of Bunești-Averești. However, it is believed that this individual did not hold supreme political power in the strictly patriarchal and warlike Getic society of the 4th-3rd centuries BC. 

The burial of the diadem in a shallow pit, outside the inhabited area of the fortified Getic settlement at Bunești-Averești, and its deformation before being buried, suggest it was part of a ritual deposition, likely a sacrifice dedicated to the divinities. 

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5 - Selection from the Getic silver ornaments from hoards no. 1 and no. 2 from Bunești-Averești

Dealul Bobului, the fortified Getic settlement (Bunești-Averești commune, Vaslui County) 
The end of the 4th century B.C. 
MJVSScM no. inv. 4663-4695 (hoard no. 1), 6447-6448, 6270-6271 (hoard no. 2)  

The hoard was unearthed in a substantial surface dwelling during systematic archaeological excavations in 1979, comprising 29 pieces that included: 

• Three polyspiralic bracelets adorned with highly stylised snake heads 

• Six simple bracelets 

• Fourteen Thracian-type fibulae 

• Five earrings featuring conical heads 

• A drachma issued by the Greek city of Histria during the late 4th century BC 

This discovery at Bunești-Averești represents a significant milestone as the first major find of silver objects from the eastern reaches of the Getic civilization. The materials used for crafting jewellery and clothing accessories were sourced from the Mediterranean and Balkan regions, obtained through extensive commercial and political-military relations with Greek cities along the north-western coast of the Black Sea. The presence of a Histrian coin in the hoard is not coincidental, as the territory encompassing present-day central and southern Moldavia, where the fortified Getic settlement of Bunești-Averești is situated, was a hub for the circulation of such coins. This region, lacking local silver ores, relied on imported silver to produce these ornamental items. 

The concentration of silver hoards and the presence of exotic imports in the settlement of Bunești-Averești are notably exceptional. For instance, in 1981, two silver bracelets adorned with snake protomes and two Thracian-type fibulae were discovered in dwelling L.21. The following year, in 1982, another significant hoard (number 3) was unearthed, deposited in a handmade Getic ceramic vessel. This hoard included two silver bracelets terminating with snake protomes, a necklace comprising 75 amber beads, another necklace with 70 coral beads, two gold beads, two cowrie snail shells, and a bronze pendant. 

From the composition of these hoards, we can reconstruct not only the extensive trade networks of the Getae in southern Moldova by the late 4th century BC—stretching from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea and eastward to contacts with steppe peoples, reaching as far as the Persian Gulf and the Indian Ocean—but also gain insights into the fashion trends of the era. Women of this period adorned themselves with silver earrings featuring conical ends, pairs of silver bracelets embellished with snake heads, and secured their attire with Thracian-style brooches. 

The frequent use of the stylised snake motif on silver bracelets was not merely a fashion statement or decorative choice but held profound religious significance. This motif likely symbolised themes of regeneration, protection, or other spiritual beliefs integral to the religious worldview of the Getic culture during this time. 

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7 & 10 - Selection of objects from the funerary inventory of the Getic princely tomb at Peretu

The mound located in the vegetable farm on the banks of the Vedea river (Peretu commune, Teleorman county) 
The second half of the 4th century B.C. 
MNIR no. inv. 73866, 73867, 73869, 73947, 73952 

The prince's tomb was unearthed in the autumn of 1970 during agricultural activities aimed at levelling a flattened tumulus. Subsequent systematic archaeological excavations in 1971 revealed the presence of a substantial mound covering the remnants of a funeral pyre. Within this mound, archaeologists discovered parts of a partially cremated man's body, along with remains from a horse, a calf, and three dogs. Surrounding the pyre were pits containing a remarkably diverse and opulent funerary assemblage. 

The inventory included: 

• A silver helmet 

• Three phials 

• An aryballos 

• A rhyton 

• A colander 

• A tube of unspecified purpose, all crafted from silver 

• Fragments of a cauldron (lebes) and a bronze platter 

• Iron and bronze weapons 

• Getic pottery, hand-worked and wheel-made 

• 49 silver harness appliqués from two distinct sets 

All silver items, including the harness appliqués, were meticulously deposited inside a bronze cauldron and covered with a metal plate. Additionally, a funeral chariot with four wheels, reinforced with forged iron bars, was interred within the tumulus. The sacrificial animals and the entirety of the funerary inventory were arranged around the pyre and the deceased chieftain, underscoring the ceremonial and symbolic importance of the burial rituals practiced by the Getic elites during this period. 

The princely tomb from Peretu, despite not being fully excavated through systematic means, stands as the foremost archaeological and historical testament to the life and beliefs of the Getic elites during the latter half of the 4th century BC. The structure of the burial confirms the contemporary conception that a Getic "prince" or "king" was expected to retain in death the attributes of his life roles: as a military leader, symbolised by his accompanied weapons such as a helmet and spear; as a priest, evidenced by phials for libations; and as a host organiser for his comrades, with provisions like a bronze cauldron and silver trays and strainers for serving wine in the Greek tradition. Additionally, the tomb included various other silver and ceramic vessels arranged as part of a banquet setting. The funerary ritual at Peretu also featured distinctive elements not commonly found in other Getic princely burials, such as the use of a four-wheeled hearse and the sacrifice of dogs. 

The study of silver artifacts, defensive weapons, and harness appliqués unearthed from Getic funerary sites across Dobrogea, Muntenia, and Northern Bulgaria during the latter half of the 4th century BC reveals the widespread use of standardised parade weapon sets and harnesses. These artifacts exhibit uniformity not only in their forms and functionalities but also in their iconographic motifs, spanning an expansive region of approximately 100,000 km². 

These standardised items were not merely expressions of fashion or personal preference but served as potent symbols of political and religious power wielded by a select elite within Getic society. This elite group was receptive to influences from Eurasian, Achaemenid, and Greek cultures, as well as maintaining close ties with the Odrysian Kingdom. The materialisation of these shared ideologies and aesthetic preferences was facilitated by traveling craftsmen who worked on commission, possibly guided by "sketch books" or design templates. Additionally, the exchange of diplomatic "gifts" between Odrysian kings and peripheral Getic chiefs, often linked to political-military or matrimonial alliances, played a crucial role in reinforcing loyalty among local dynasts. 

This cultural and political communion, expressed through material culture and craftsmanship, underscores the interconnectedness and strategic relationships that characterised the socio-political landscape of the Getic territories during this period. 

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8 - Drinking vessel (rhyton) of Poroina Mare

Ca. 320-280 v.Chr. / BCE 
Poroina, Mehedinți district / Mehedinți County 
National History Museum Romania, Bucharest 

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9 - A selection of pieces from the Getae princely tomb at Agighiol

Agighiol – Movila lui Uțu (Valea Nucarilor commune, Tulcea County) 
The second half of the 4th century BC – approx. 350-340 BC 
MNIR no. inv. 8482, 11176, 11177, 11179, 11183 

The tomb was unearthed in 1931 by treasure hunters on the plateau west of the village, amidst an extensive tumular necropolis. It was situated within a large burial mound, constructed using shaped limestone blocks secured with iron and lead studs. The mound was covered with wooden beams and featured a dromos, two chambers for the deceased individuals, and an additional structure made of unhewn stone, housing three sacrificed horses. 

The first chambers contained the skeletons of a young man and woman, estimated to be between 17 to 23 years old, laid to rest in wooden coffins. Recent reevaluation has suggested both individuals were female, though the supporting arguments remain inconclusive. 

Despite the extensive pillaging by grave robbers, archaeologists and authorities successfully recovered a substantial array of artifacts from the burial site at Agighiol, encompassing gold, silver, bronze, iron, and ceramic pieces, along with human and animal bones. This recovery underscores the exceptional richness of the funerary complex. Among the salvaged items are: 

• Silver parade weapons, including a Getic helmet and two greaves from different sets. 

• Functional iron and bronze weaponry such as spearheads, a knife, and arrowheads. 

• Stone sling projectiles. 

• Silverware intended for banqueting and ritual purposes, comprising two goblets and five phials. 

• Pieces of harness fittings, including gold, silver, and bronze appliqués, along with 90 silver beads (though an iron and a silver trowel have unfortunately been lost). 

• Adornments and clothing accessories. 

• Numerous fragments of metal artifacts whose exact function is challenging to specify. 

• Greek and local ceramics, ranging from fragments of red-figured Attic vessels to intact or fragmented Thasian amphorae, varying in luxury or simplicity. 

One of the silver phials has an inscription in Greek characters engraved on the outer lip – KOTYOΣEΓBEO – Koτυος έξ Βεω – which could be translated as: (To the King) Kotys, from (the part of the city of) Beo. 

The inventory of the princely tomb from Agighiol stands as a crucial testament to understanding the daily life and beliefs surrounding the afterlife among the Getic political and military elites during the 5th-4th century BC. Each item interred with this anonymous young "king" is intended to ensure his continuation, on another plane, of his roles and responsibilities from earthly life. He is depicted as a military leader prepared for battle on horseback, adorned with sumptuous equipment and accompanied by richly decorated horses. Additionally, he is portrayed as a priest presiding over sacred ceremonies and as a noble host providing lavish banquets for esteemed companions and warriors. 

The opulent decoration found on artifacts such as the helmet, greaves, goblets, and pieces of harness paints a vivid mythological tableau. Although many of the original meanings have been lost to time, these decorations often feature fantastical or real animals intertwined with representations of divine or earthly figures, sometimes depicted riding or seated on thrones. Undoubtedly, to the contemporaries of this era, these representations, which may appear strange or provocative to us today, served as a pictorial repository of essential myths concerning both earthly existence and the afterlife. 

The inscription found on one of the phials within the tomb not only represents one of the oldest attestations of Greek-lettered writing diffusing into the Getic world but also serves as a remarkable document shedding light on the dynamics between power centers in the Thracian realm during the 4th century BC, particularly between central authorities and peripheral regions. It is highly probable that the phial bearing the name of King Odryd Kotys arrived at Agighiol near the Danube Mouth through diplomatic exchanges aimed at securing the allegiance of local chiefs. Similar vessels with inscriptions have been discovered in hoards at Borovo, Rogozen, and Vraca in Northern Bulgaria, suggesting a pattern of diplomatic gift-giving. 

By the middle of the 4th century BC, the rulers of the Odrysian Kingdom increasingly focused on the Danube region, which faced mounting pressures from North Pontic Scythians and other western Balkan populations. Viewed as a cohesive ensemble, the inventory of the Agighiol tomb is pivotal for understanding the maturation of Getic civilisation. It reflects the legacy of the Basarabi and Bârsești-Fergile cultures while also showcasing significant influences from Eurasian steppe cultures like the Scythians, as well as interactions with Greek and southern Thracian civilisations. 

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11 - Selection of pieces from the  silver Getic hoard "from Craiova"

South of Oltenia, unspecified finding place (Dolj County) 
The middle of the 4th century B.C. 
MNIR no. inv. 8497, 8498, 8501, 8500, 8495, 11147, 11159, 11165, 11168, 11169 and 11171 

Entered into scientific literature as the "Craiova hoard," this collection was acquired by a representative of the German military authority in 1917, during the military occupation of Romania. For a decade, it was housed in a museum in Berlin. In 1926, the hoard was returned to Romania and repatriated under the provisions of the Versailles Peace Treaty. This assemblage represents the westernmost known discovery from the series of "Thraco-Getic" hoards and princely tombs located north of the Lower Danube. 

It is likely that this set of artifacts was part of the funerary inventory of an ancient dynast's tumulus, which may have included horse burials, in South Oltenia. However, the original context of the hoard cannot be reconstructed. The study of the objects suggests the existence of at least two lavish sets of silver harness appliqués, some of which were gilded. This situation is documented in two other princely funerary inventories, one from the Wallachian Plain and another from south of the Danube. 

In the 1920s, 77 objects and 13 fragments associated with this discovery were documented. Of these, only 58 pieces are preserved today. These include: 

• A forehead appliqué with a protome in the shape of a griffin's head 

• Six appliqués with protomes in the shape of bovid heads 

• Sixteen circular buttons 

• Twelve small square appliqués with zoomorphic decoration 

• Three medium-sized square appliqués with zoomorphic decoration 

• Five small square appliqués with zoomorphic decoration 

• Five square appliqués with zoomorphic decoration 

• Three links (one simple, the others conical) 

• Two "fangs" 

• A buckle 

• Various fragments 

The objects in this treasure exhibit stylistic and iconographic similarities to artifacts found in the north-Pontic area, southeastern Romania, and the south of the Lower Danube. These items illustrate elements rooted in ancient Scythian and Greek goldsmithing, yet are rendered in a style typical of Thraco-Getic art. 

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12 - The hoard from Stâncești

Stâncești – no. 2 Getic fortified settlement, dwelling no. 10 (Mihai Eminescu commune, Botoșani County) 
Late first Iron Age – Eastern nomadic culture –5th century BC. 
MNIR no. inv. 89575. 

In the 1960s, regular archaeological research uncovered a set of gold, bronze, and iron horse harness fittings at Stâncești. These items were found buried in a hole beneath the floor, contained within a ceramic vessel. The set, representing a horse parade "mask," consisted of eight artifacts: a forehead applique (prometopidion) with zoomorphic decorations, two cheek appliques, all in gold, two horn-shaped head decorations in bronze, and a horse bit composed of several pieces of bronze and iron. 

The Stâncești hoard includes one of the most fascinating gold artifacts ever found in Romania: the forehead applique decorated with a fantastic creature, featuring a wild boar's head, a fish's body, and bird's wings and tail. This mythical animal symbolises the unity of the three elements of the Universe, according to ancient conceptions. Each element is represented by a characteristic creature: the earth by the boar, the water by the fish, and the air by the bird. 

The entire horse harness set from Stâncești is a typical product of the culture of the nomadic peoples inhabiting the vast steppe regions between the northern Black Sea and Central Asia, known as the Scythians. It is likely that such prestigious artifacts arrived in the Getic fortress at Stâncești either through diplomatic relations or as spoils of war.         

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13 - Helmet

Coțofenești – Măgura Hill (Vărbilău commune, Prahova County) 
Middle of the 5th century B.C. 
MNIR no. inv. 11420 

The gold parade helmet from Coțofenești was discovered by chance in 1927 by a child on a high hill overlooking the village and the surrounding river valleys. Initially used as a toy and then as a water container for poultry, the helmet sustained significant damage, including the loss of its top shell. In 1929, the helmet was acquired by a merchant from Ploiești for a considerable sum from the child's father and subsequently donated to the former National Museum of Antiquities. In the early 1970s, it became part of the collection at the National History Museum of Romania. Regarding the archaeological context of the discovery, a verification survey conducted in the autumn of 1929 revealed rare ceramic fragments from the first Iron Age in the area. Based on all known documentation, the gold helmet was a unique find and did not originate from a destroyed funerary context, such as a princely tomb. 

The helmet was crafted from three welded gold plates and features a complex decoration of geometric, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic motifs created through punching. It is further adorned with "hemispherical nail studs" of gold, each individually punched and welded to the helmet's body. 

 The helmet from Coțofenești marks the beginning of a series of Getic "princely" helmets, a type specific to the area inhabited by these tribes. The front of the helmet is decorated with two magical eyes, believed to possess apotropaic qualities for protection. Each cheek piece displays a male figure sacrificing a kneeling ram with an antennae-type akinakes dagger. The man wears a conical helmet or bonnet, a tunic reinforced with "scales" of metal, felt or leather, a belt for fastening weaponry and an embroidered cloak or animal fur fastened over the shoulder. Behind him, in his belt, he carries a short-handled hatchet. The decoration of the neck guard is organised in two registers: on the upper one four sphinxes are shown, and on the lower one three griffins are represented, each with the leg of a herbivorous animal in its snout. The two registers are separated by bands of stylised geometric and floral representations. 

The golden helmet from Coțofenești is an exceptional artifact for reconstructing the everyday life and ideology of the Getic elite during the final period of the first Iron Age. It exemplifies the use of highly prestigious and costly weaponry by warlords, made from expensive materials and rich in symbolic significance. The piece is partially a replica of a primitive leather helmet, decorated with metal studs. The forehead, cheek and nape guards feature diverse representations, illustrating the cultural contacts of the local society in the 6th-5th centuries BC, with the spiritual and artistic influences coming from both the steppes and the Greek world. While the distant inspiration for the Getic princely helmets with magical eyes can be traced to Corinthian or Chalcidian helmets, the religious roots of the motif lie in local beliefs. The magical power of the eye to protect from the evil eye or to frighten the enemy in battle are fundamental elements of this decorative motif, found on the golden and silver Getic princely helmets of the 5th-4th centuries BC. 

The scene of the ram sacrifice relates to the dual role of the "king," encompassing both religious and military functions. The Coțofenești helmet's decoration succinctly summarises the blend of civilisational and artistic elements from the world of the Eurasian steppe peoples (such as weaponry, costumes and the motif of fantastic animals like griffins devouring herbivores) and Greek influences, evident in the sphinx. However, the distant echo or unfamiliarity with the sphinx results in its depiction as a winged, dog-headed creature. The interior dimensions of the helmet suggest that its wearer was either a teenager, a woman, or a male character of below average stature. 

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14 - The coin hoard from Borănești

Near the main entry of the Farm no 2, in a ravine - (Borănești commune, Ialomița County) 
Second Iron Age – Greek import in Geto-Dacian culture – Early 3rd century BC. 
MJIL no. inv. 566-567, 574, 577, 582-583, 585, 587, 591-593, 595, 597-602, 604, 609-615, 620-621, 625, 628-648. 

A large silver coin hoard was found during the summer of 1989, by chance. According to some information, the coins were concealed in a ceramic vessel, destroyed by the finders and lost. The conditions and the exact location of the discovery remain unknown. The authorities have retrieved only 85 coins, but some others were dispersed and lost. 

The silver coins from the Borănești hoard come from three large issuing authorities. 63 didrachmas were struck by the Greek city of Istros, located on the Western shores of the Black Sea, in Dobrudja. They belong to the late 4th-early 3rd century autonomous issues. Most of them are very worn, having been in use for a long time before being concealed in the ground.  

Nine coins from the hoard are tetradrachms bearing the name of Philipp II, King of Macedon, struck in the mint of Amphipolis. However, only one seems to have been issued during his lifetime and the others are posthumous issues struck by different successors of Alexander the Great, during the struggle for the Macedonian imperial throne in the years 318-298 BC. Some of them bear marks of severe cutting by chisel, the resulting chips being used as raw material to make silver adornments.   

The remaining 11 coins are faithful imitations of the posthumous tetradrachms bearing the name of Philipp II of Macedon, struck by a Celtic group controlling the zones located south of the Danube, in the area of the ancient town of Durostorum (today Silistra, in north-eastern Bulgaria). Some of them bear traces of being cut by chisel to check the quality of the silver - to check if they are made of solid metal or just plated.   

The coins probably arrived at Borănești, in the middle of the Wallachian plain, in an area inhabited by the Getic population, mostly following political and military channels. Large sums, representing diplomatic “gifts” were sent by the Hellenistic kingdoms or the Greek cities to the local chieftains to gain their benevolence, to obtain their involvement in the wars between the successors of Alexander the Great's legacy, as well as payments of mercenaries serving in the Hellenistic armies. Because of the rather archaic economic and social development of the local population or of the Celtic groups settled in the Balkans, the coins were considered just simple precious metal ingots.  They were acquired and kept by the local elites as a symbol of prestigious social status or to be used as raw material for producing jewellery or silverware. 

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15 - The gold diadem from Mangalia

Callatis, the tumular necropolis (municipality of Mangalia, Constanța County). 
Second Iron Age – Greek culture – 3rd century BC. 
MNIR no. inv. 11403. 

The gold diadem was found in 1938, during regular archaeological research.  It was found with a pair of earrings. No further information about the location and the conditions of the finding are available. 

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16 - The necklace from Mangalia

Callatis, the tumular necropolis, tomb M1b (municipality of Mangalia, Constanța County). 
Second Iron Age – Greek culture – 4th-3rd century BC. 
MNIR no. inv. 49090. 

The gold diadem was found in 1961, during regular archaeological research. It was found with a pair of gold earrings. 

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17 - Earrings

400-200 v.Chr. / BCE 
National History Museum Romania, Bucharest 

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18 - Earrings

Histria (Istria village, Istria commune, Constanța County) 
4th-3rd century BC 
MNIR no. inv. 8988-8989 

Pair of earrings with an open link, crafted from four twisted gold wires that gradually taper and smooth at one end. At the opposite end, each earring features a lion protome with a conical neck adorned with triangular pearl motifs oriented towards the ring, surrounded by a register bordered by one pearl thread and one smooth thread. The central design is embellished with pearl threads arranged in an "S" shape. 

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19 - Applique from Chirnogi

Part of the funerary offering found in an incineration tomb – (Chirnogi commune, Călărași County) 
Second Iron Age – Greek import in Geto-Dacian culture – Late 4th century BC. 
DCO-MCG no. inv. 13001. 

The gold applique with representation of a lion’s head was part of the funerary offering of a Geto-Dacian cremation tomb.  The tomb was found by chance during agricultural works. No further information is preserved about the context of the finding. Alongside the gold applique the authorities have retrieved fragments from a bronze situla and Greek and local ceramics.  

The applique, a Hellenistic import within the local cultural milieu, presents similarities with some gold artefacts found in the Royal Macedonian tomb from Vergina, asserted to belong to Philipp II.   

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20 - Pendant

Histria (Istria village, Istria commune, Constanța County) 
4th-3rd century B.C. 
MNIR no. inv. 8979 

Gold leaf pendant in the shape of a square pyramid. A dotted ring decorates the outer circumference with a row of beads glued to the cut tip. The base is covered by a concave gold sheet with a hole in the middle, surrounded by a pearl ring. A granulated pyramid is glued to three of the four corners of the base (the fourth one is missing). Around the top and the base, the pyramid is decorated with a wide braid of two side-by-side twisted threads, framed by two smooth threads bordered by two rows of granules; the facets of the pyramid are divided into two sections by a narrow braid, formed by a row of granules framed by two smooth threads; each section is decorated with a filigree palmette. At the base of the palmette in the lower section are two decorative motifs of smooth threads in the shape of the letter "S" with spiral endings, and at the base of the one in the upper section a decorative motif in the shape of the letter "C" with the ends in volutes. 

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21 - Necklace

Tomis (Constanța municipality, Constanța county) 
IV-III centuries BC 
MNIR no. inv. 49087/1-7 

Necklace made of seven gold leaf beads in the form of amphorettes. On the obverse, the amphorae have a convex body decorated with longitudinal ribs, the neck is decorated with two horizontal ribs and the pointed base has a horizontal rib between two grooves. The reverse is flat, with the upper part in the form of a cylinder of gold leaf, arranged horizontally for stringing into a necklace. 

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22 - The gold pendant from Dobrudja

Imprecise finding place in Dobrudja. 
Second Iron Age – Greek culture – 4th-3rdth century BC. 
MNIR no. 11048. 

The gold pendant finding place in the territory of Dobrudja, a historical Romanian province, located in the south-eastern part of the country between the Danube and the Black Sea, has not been recorded. The conditions of the discovery are also unknown. The crescent-shaped pendant is decorated using the granulation technique with vegetal motifs.

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23 - Signet ring

Vadu (Corbu commune, Constanța County) 
Second quarter of the 5th century BC (circa 475-450 BC) 
MNIR no. inv. 10616 

Casual find, from the mid-1930s, during some agricultural work, about 10 km south of the ancient Greek city of Histria. 

The gold signet ring bears the representation of a female figure seated on a throne, with her feet resting on another small chair. The figure wears a diadem and a plaited hair or raised veil. She is dressed in a long tunic and wears shoes with pointed and twisted toes. In her right hand, she holds a mirror, and in the other a flower (lily or lotus). On the left side of the seal, in an antithetical position to the figurative representation, the inscription ΣΚΥΛΕΩ / Skyleo – the Greek form of the possessive genitive "belonging to Skyles". On the right side of the ring link, there is a second inscription in Greek: ΚΕΛΕΟΕΑΡΓΟΤΑΝΠΑΡ IANE / Κέλεoε ’Αργοταν πὰρ εἶνα, which can be translated as: "(he) ordered me to be at Argotas". 

The scene depicted on the seal of this ring is, like the inscriptions, a Greek interpretation of an oriental iconographic motif, known in the Achaemenid and Scythian cultural environments. It shows an enthroned female figure, likely embodying a goddess, holding a mirror. In front of her stood a warrior holding a drinking vessel, a representation not found on the ring itself. 

Anthropomorphic representations are very rare in Scythian art from the 5th century BC. It is worth noting the elaborate hairdo of the female character, which is a very early representation of an element of Scythian attire reserved for characters with significant social status. The supposed deity depicted on this ring can be seen as one of the earliest artistic attempts to render the originally aniconic Scythian divinities through a human personification, confirming Herodotus' account that the Scythian king Skyles was accused by his relatives of worshiping Greek gods. 

The piece found on the territory of the city of Istros represents a particularly important epigraphic and iconographic source regarding the presence of the Scythian king Skyles, a historical figure mentioned by Herodotus, in the West-Pontic area. It is believed that the ring indicates that a Scythian political formation under the leadership of this king, taking advantage of the weakening of Persian power in the region, disputed the control of some territories in the Lower Danube, in confrontation with the Thracian Kingdom of the Odrysians. 

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24 - The coin hoard from Gâldău

Unprecised location - (Jigălia commune, Călărași County) 
Second Iron Age – Greek import in Geto-Dacian culture – Late 4th century BC. 
MNIR no. inv. 74958-74967 

The coin hoard was found 1960, by chance, during agricultural work. According to some information, the hoard was found on the territory of a local, Getic settlement. It was concealed in a ceramic vessel, which has been preserved. The conditions and the exact location of the discovery remain unknown. The authorities only retrieved 10 gold coins. 

The gold coins from the Gâldău hoard are staters bearing the name of Alexander the Great, king of Macedonia, issued both during his life time and posthumously. Five were struck in mints located on the territory of Macedonia and the remainder in Asia Minor (Lampsacus, Miletus and Colophon) and Cyprus (Salamis of Cyprus). The most recent issues date from the period 319-310 BC.   

The coins probably arrived at Gâldău near the Danube, on the eastern fringe of the Wallachian Plain, in an area inhabited by the Getic population, following political and military channels. The gold and silver coins flowed as diplomatic “gifts” sent by the Hellenistic kingdoms or the Greek cities to the local chieftains to gain their benevolence, to obtain their involvement in the wars between the successors of Alexander the Great, or as payments for mercenaries serving in the Hellenistic armies. In this case, it seems that the coins gathered in the hoard of Gâldău represented the payment of a local mercenary who fought, during 313-311 BC, alongside the Greek cities from the western shore of the Black Sea, against Lysimachus, king of Thracia. The rebellion was subsidised by Antigonos Monophtalamus, the diadoque who controlled Asia Minor and Cyprus.  According to Diodorus of Sicily, “Thracians” and Scythian mercenaries supported the rebellious Greek cities, led by Kallatis. Quite likely, one of them was the owner of the hoard found at Gâldău. 

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25 - The coin hoard from Dăieni

(Dăieni commune, Tulcea County) 
Second Iron Age – Greek import in the Geto-Dacian culture – Last quarte of the 3rd century BC. 
MNS no. inv. 2331-2389. 

This large coin hoard was found in 1956, by chance, during agricultural work. The conditions and the exact location of the discovery remain unknown. Most of the content of the hoard was dispersed and the authorities have retrieved only 107 Hellenistic staters. 

The gold coins are staters, issues struck by different Hellenistic kingdoms and Greek autonomous cities in the name of Alexander the Great and Lysimachus. Well represented in the hoard are the posthumous issues bearing the name of Alexander the Great, struck during the period 280-225 BC by the Greek cities from the Black Sea area Kallatis and Odessos. The second group of coins consists of staters bearing the name of Lysimachus, king of Thracia. Some of them are issues struck by the mint of Alexandria in Troas during his life time, during the period 297-281 BC. However, most of the gold coins from the hoard of Dăieni bearing the name of Lysimachus are posthumous issues struck long time after the death of the king by the cities of Byzantium, Chalcedon, Lysimacheea, Cyzicus, Kios and unspecified mints during the late 3rd century BC. In this hoard are included two early Celtic imitations of the staters of Lysimachus, issued by the Celts established in the Balkans.  

Quite likely the coins arrived in the Danubian area inhabited by the Getic population, mostly, by the political and military connexions. Large sums were offered as diplomatic “gifts” by the Hellenistic kingdoms or the Greek cities to gain the benevolence of the local chieftains or kings, to obtain their involvement in the wars between the successors of Alexander the Great, as well as payments of mercenaries serving in the Hellenistic armies. 

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