Bronze Age in Romania

Late Bronze Age vessels and tools, from various locations: Alba Iulia, Straja, Geoagiu de Sus, Piatra Craivii. In display at the National Museum of the Union, Alba Iulia

The Bronze Age is a period in the Prehistoric Romanian timeline and is sub-divided into Early Bronze Age (ca. 3500–2200 BCE), Middle Bronze Age (ca.2200–1600/1500 BCE), and Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600/1500–1100 BCE).[1]

Bronze Age

Near East (c. 3300–1200 BC)

Anatolia, Caucasus, Elam, Egypt, Levant, Mesopotamia, Sistan, Canaan
Bronze Age collapse

South Asia (c. 3000– 1200 BC)

Ochre Coloured Pottery
Cemetery H

Europe (c. 3200–600 BC)

Aegean, Caucasus, Catacomb culture, Srubna culture, Beaker culture, Unetice culture, Tumulus culture, Urnfield culture, Hallstatt culture, Apennine culture, Canegrate culture, Golasecca culture,
Atlantic Bronze Age, Bronze Age Britain, Nordic Bronze Age

China (c. 2000–700 BC)

Erlitou, Erligang

arsenical bronze
writing, literature
sword, chariot

Iron Age


Several Bronze Age chronologies have been applied to the Romanian area. An example would be the Periodization of Paul Reinecke for the Central European space, which split the Bronze Age into four phases (A, B, C and D) based upon the associations among the found bronze objects.[1]


Coţofeni culture pottery at the Aiud History Museum, AiudThe Neolithic society is characterized by a predominantly agrarian economy with stable settlements and funerary practices specific to a religion based on a fertility cult. This type of society is near the peer polity described by Colin Renfrew.[1] One of the most important Neolithic archaeological cultures in the Romanian territory is the Cucuteni culture, one of the oldest in Europe (see Old Europe). This culture is probably the last that created painted pottery in Europe.

During the Bronze Age, there were some important developments from Chalcolithic, with significant improvements in the economy.

The local bronze-aged economy was based on rearing livestock (sheep, goats and pigs). The Wietenberg culture reared large cattle and horses for both transportation and food. At this time, the artistic output also significantly increased, for example the Gârla Mare culture who created intricate clay statuettes.

In the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3500–2200 BCE), we see the archaeological evidence of various cultures developing, including the Baden-Coţofeni culture, the Cernavodă III-Belleraz culture, the Glina culture and the Verbicioara culture. Common occupations were agriculture, mining, and animal husbandry. Houses were rectangular and medium-sized. The last period of the Early Bronze Age produced a broad range of ornaments (loop rings, bracelets, necklaces, pendants comprising copper, gold, and silver and particularly bronze).

Verbicioara culture was identified in 1949 by the eponymous resort excavations. Regarding burial customs, it was considered the beginning of the burial of the dead.[2]

In the Middle Bronze Age (ca.2200–1600/1500 BCE), the population of Romania and neighboring countries was demarcated by the appearance of several major cultures. Some that stand out include the Otomani culture (seen also in Slovakia), Wietenberg culture (seen in Transylvania), Mureş culture, and Gârla Mare culture (from which impressive clay figurines and statuettes have been found).


The Bronze Age introduced solar, or Uranian, cults. Some ornaments, considered to be solar symbols, were frequently pictured on ceramic or metal parts: concentric circles, circles accompanied by rays, and the swastika. Cremation is considered to be connected to these cults.[3]

In the Romanian territory, there are three known bronze-aged sanctuaries: Sălacea, Bihor County (Ottomány culture, phase II), . The only cultures of this area well represented in this regard are the Gârla Mare Zuto Brdo culture and the Bijelo Szeremle Brdo-Dalj culture (also present in Hungary and Croatia). About 340 pieces were found in the area of the two cultures, of which 244 are in the Gârla Mare area.[3]

Clay miniature axes (axes, hammers or double axes) belonging to this period have been found. Labrys double-axes are frequently found in the Cretan and Mycenaean worlds, where they occur most often in complex rituals and tombs (for example the Tomb of double ax of Knossos). In the Mycenaean context, the labrys has a wide range of sizes, from miniature forms to giant forms that measure 1.20 meters. However, the labrys site is frequently associated with the moon and can be a symbol of a goddess of vegetation, the forerunner of Demeter, who, on Mycenaean seals, is found under a tree. The goddess has an ax in her hand and receives as gifts poppies and fruits.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Cristian Ștefan-Epoca Bronzului, page 1
  2. "Cu Privire La Descoperirile Funerare Ale Grupei Verbicioara". 2004-12-09. Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2012-02-09.
  3. 1 2 "Credinte religioase si piese de cult in epoca bronzului - Prehistoire". Archived from the original on 2011-09-13. Retrieved 2012-02-09.


  • Cristian Ștefan - Epoca Bronzului
  • Ioan Aurel-Pop, Ioan Bolovan, coordinatings - Istoria ilustrată a României
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