Revista „Cercetări istorice” – XXXIV / 2015


The starting point of the paper is the presentation of a painted statuette from the heritage of Moldavia’s History Museum of Iași. The object was discovered as a result of field researches during the 6th decade of the past century, in the area of Bogonos village, commune of Lețcani, Iași County. The statuette is fragmentary preserved as it is broken approximately in two, lengthwise. The author leans rather towards the hypothesis of an intentional fragmentation. It represents the only artefact of this kind discovered on the actual Romanian territory. It belongs to a rare category of painted zoomorphic representations dated at the period of evolution of phases Cucuteni B/ Tripolie CI, Tripolie CI-CII. Until nowadays, only 13 representations are known, discovered within five sites in the habitat of the Cucuteni-Tripolie cultural complex.

The article shortly presents the data known until nowadays about these objects as well as the main interpretations given to their painted scenery. Considering the painted scenery and certain morphologic details of the artefact (the perforations in the mouth and ears of the representation), the author is in favour of the opinion stating that the object has a flexible system of straps and belts illustrating the knowledge and use of animal traction during the late phases of the Cucuteni-Tripolie cultural complex. Meanwhile, this hypothesis does not exclude the possibility that the painted scenery could illustrate adornments and ceremonial clothing, conceived especially for the bovines used for traction.

It equally insists on the interpretation of the object in connection with other categories of artefacts (certain zoomorphic statuettes whose morphology suggests the interconnection with another animal within a harness, with a hauled device or even with axles and wheels; pots with zoomorphic protome (unique or double/the so-called zoomorphic pots with paired protome) which are sustained on four feet as the miniatures of some gears requiring the use of the traction power of the bovines, especially carriages) which appear in the archaeological discoveries at the same chronological level and approximately in the same geographic area.

The painted zoomorphic statuettes are considered to represent the downfall of the Realistic movement, defined as such within the anthropomorphic plastic manifestations and considered by the author to have manifested also within this category of artefacts.