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> The project of setting up The Archaeological Park in Cucuteni


The project that we are proposing, an archaeological park in Cucuteni, represents a new stage in our wish to align today’s trends in museography , and by setting up a museological ensemble we give more significance to the discoveries from Cucuteni. As a point of start we had an older attempt to organize an archaeological reservation around a Geto-Dacian princely tomb. The new project has three museological aims:
1. rearranging the actual museum which shelters the princely tomb, as well as protecting the second tomb;
2. building an arheodrom by reconstructing a Neolithic village to highlight the discoveries in Cucuteni;
3. setting up a half buried touristic sight and a permanent exhibition.

To accomplish these, we first wish to continue the project started in 1988, which we consider to be viable, of course with some changes. Thus, two of our objectives already have an architectural plan and the building that shelters the tomb. For the third objective, the arheodrom, the mayoralty of Cucuteni, which supports this project, will provide the necessary space near the current museum. That will give a unitary feature to all the three museological objectives and will also make them easily to visit.

The main objectives of the arcaheological parjk are the two Dacian tombs, especially the princely tomb which has already a protecting building. This allows the immediate reorganization of the present museum trying to highlight the value of the Dacian tomb. For that, the permanent exhibition held inside the building will be replaced with a tour of the museum focused on the funeral monument. Visitors will be able to to meet the Dacian funeral rituals, the way that the tombs were built and even visualize a part of them by a virtual reconstitution. Our proposal for the reorganization of the museum is not a novelty in the museography of the ancient funeral monuments, it is successfully applied in France, Germany, Greece, Hungary etc. Such a monument, meeting with the modern trends , is the one in Százhalombatta near Budapest, where the people can visit the preserved interior of a barrow grave from the Iron Age and watch a taped material about the stages of building a tomb and a funeral ritual.

The same thing is intended to be done with the princely tomb from Cucuteni. Thus the visit would start with watching a documentary on a screen situated above one of the sixth platforms. It lasts no more than 15 minutes and it is about the ancient Dacian culture band the discoveries made in Cucuteni-Cotnari area. Then the monument is visited. This presentation is accompanied by spotlights directed on the described architectural elements so that the visitors would understand better their functionality. Also with the help of video display a funeral ritual will be reconstituted with great focus on the discoveries from Cucuteni. The second tomb, at present not protected, in the future will covered with a structure of glass and metal, and so it will be included into the museum tour.*

2. Another important objective of The Cucuteni Archaeologic Park is the rebuilding a village of this culture. It is known that a view over a prehistoric civilization needs, beside direct contact with the elements provided by archaeology,also imagination that could help the visitors try to explain how those people lived, made tools, used to dress, what and how they ate, the way worked their lands and went hunting. That’s why the museum will have projects of life-like reconstitutions based on the archaelogical data and the ethnographical investigations. Unfortunately, most of the Romanian museums do not succeed in sustaining such projetcs and that is why remarkable prehistoric civilisations and cultural phenomena with special roles in human evolution-take for instance the discovery of the fire-are hardly known by visitors that will remember only some processed stones and beautiful painted vases.



The situation is quite different in the European museography. Lots of countries have archaeological parks with rebuilt villages from different historical times. Such sites are found at Ramioul and Aubechies in Belgium, on the shores of the lakes Chalain and Clairvaux in France, where the archaeologists reconstituted a few houses from the Neolithic age, at Lejre in Denmark where you can see a village from the Iron age, at Ribe (Denmark) where is a viking settlement from the 8th century, at Unteruhldingen in Germany, on the shores of the lake Konstanz two prehistorical villages were raised, one from the Neolithical age and the other from the Bronze age; at Százhalombatta in Hungary where there is a village from the Bronze age too, and so on. Beside visiting a village, the vistors can also observe a day in the life of an ancient community and even take part in different activities such as the carving, the polishing and the piercing of stones tools, making a fire, cooking etc. From this point of view, that of presenting a real picture of the life of the Neolithical communities, we propose to rebuild a village from the Cucuteni culture allowing this way the visitors direct contact with a long time disappeared but still enthralling world. The public will learn how they raised their houses, organized their space and fortified their settlement. There will be workshops about the techniques used for the stone, metal, bones and bras stools, as well as for the agricultural traditions and also for the fishing and hunting. Moreover, these pedagogical workshops will involve the visitors. This way the life of the prehistorical world will be more easily known and everyone will become aware of the priceless value of the Cucuteni cultural patrimony.


We will build this village on accurate archaeological documentation and we will try to emphasize three aspects of the Cucuteni culture : the plan of a settlement, the types of houses and the defense system. Meanwhile, we’ll furnish the houses and we’ll present one of the most significant aspects of the Cucuteni culture, the painted pottery.

Also, within this project of the Archaeological Cucuteni Park we propose many research subjects in the experimental archaeology, the visitors are invited to take part too:
a. making stone tools and weapons:
-experimenting with the techniques of retouching, piercing and polishing; getting the timing for different types of tools and weapons;
-attaching the tools and the weapons to the handle;
-using the tools in different activities: cutting, piercing, processing of the leather, of the wood etc
b. experimenting the techniques for building houses:
-estimating the quantities needed to build different types of houses;
-estimating the time and the effort needed;
-observing the way the houses resist to climate and rain.
c. building the defence system for a Cucuteni settlement:
-estimating the time and the effort for a fortress made of a ditch, an earth wall and a palisade;
-estimating the materials needed for it;
d. experimenting the pottery techniques:
-choosing and making the paste;
-making the clay pots and idols;
-decorating the ceramics
-building the installations for burning the pottery;
-drying and burning the ceramics.
e. experimenting the techniques for processing the copper
-cold processing of the copper
-warm processing of the copper
-melting and pouring of the copper
f. experimenting the agricultural techniques:
-making some tools of wood, stone and bones;
-cultivating some plots with different kinds of cereals (Triticum, Panicum, Hordeum) as in Eneolithic times using specific tools;
-observing the plots during vegetation;
-estimating the crops according to the techniques and tools that have been used;
g. experimenting food techniques :
-milling the grains ;
-leavening and baking of the bread;
-boiling the vegetal and animal food;
These research topics will allow the archaeologists to become more familiar with the aspects of everyday life in prehistoric settlements, and most of all, verify the assumptions concerning these aspects and even make new ones based on the results of the experiments.

3. The third aim of the Cucuteni Archaeologic Park is that of creating a museum for the half buried sight.
The museum will will have two themes:
a.the archaeologic discoveries from the prehistoric age ;
b.the medieval and modern archaeological discoveries in Cucuteni.
The first part of the museum will introduce a history of the researches done at Cucuteni regarding the Cucuteni Culture and the Dacian civilization and will also exhibit the most representative archaeological material in original or copy, such as the golden thesaurus, for example, which is a part of the Romanian Thesaurus.
În partea a doua a expozitiei se va prezenta istoria locala, prin expunerea materialelor arheologice medievale si din epoca moderna descoperite în diferite asezari cercetate sistematic în comuna Cucuteni si împrejurimi. În acest fel, vizitatorii vor avea posibilitatea sa cunoasca si celelalte descoperiri arheologice din zona si sa poata urmari, secvential, o istorie a acestor locuri, din preistorie si pâna în zorii epocii contemporane.
The second part of the museum will tell the local history exhibiting medieval archaeological material and the modern discoveries from the settlement around Cucuteni that have been thoroughly studied. This way the visitors will also be familiar with other discoveries from this region and they will watch a secvential presentation of the history of these places from early prehistorical times until present.

Within this project, there is another special objective aimed besides the archaeological park, but closely related to it, and this is the opening of one or two school building sites where pupils, students and other visitors will take part, for a determined period, to archaeological diggings. They will be able to have direct contact with the archaeological remains and also get a training as archaeologists, as it happens in many Europeans countries and the USA. We will try to create a stream of opinion in favour to archaeology and its cultural patrimony, because today there is a tendency to destroy the sites or even illegal selling of vestiges.

The project also wants to advertise the Cucuteni Archaeological Park. A PR department will be created so it would make: signs placed on the national roads Iasi-Roman, Târgu Frumos-Pascani and Târgu Frumos-Hârlau, and other Moldavian roads; leaflets translated in international languages; exhibition catalogues, catalogues of the archaeological discoveries in Cucuteni; postcards; slides; video cassettes and CDs and a web page for the archaeological park; and a virtual museum.

Meanwhile, through this project sustained by the mayorality of Cucuteni, we would like to help develop the tourism in this region and encourage the local people to practice agro-tourism. The Cucuteni area is so rich in traditions that it will attract a large number of visitors that will enjoy the archaeological sites, the culture, the customs and the beauty of the nature as well. Moreover, in Baiceni village there is a sulphurous spring discovered at the beginning of the 19th century which has real healing qualities recognized even by Petru Poni a hundred years ago. In addition to this we could mention that at 10 km there are the famous Cotnari vineyards and there is also the Getic and Thracian fortress on Catalina hill. All these are reasons to support the building of the archaeological park and help the economical development of the region. The good name of Cucuteni deserves such a complex investment.

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