Gumelnița–Karanovo culture

Not to be confused with Karanovo culture.
Gumelnița–Karanovo culture
The Gumelniţa–Karanovo VI culture was a Chalcolithic (5th millennium BC) culture named after the Gumelniţa site on the left—Romanian—bank of the Danube.
Period Chalcolithic Europe
Dates circa 4,700 B.C.E. — circa 3,950 B.C.E.
Preceded by Starčevo culture


The enthroned "Lady of Pazardžik" of the Karanovo VI culture (c. 4500 B.C.)
Videle goddess
Anthropomorphic figure

At his full extent the culture was extending along the Black Sea coast to central Bulgaria and into Thrace. The aggregate "Kodjadermen-Gumelnita-Karanovo VI" evolves out of the earlier Boian, Marita and Karanovo V cultures. It is supplanted by Cernavodă I in the early 4th millennium.


One of the most flourishing civilizations from the last half of the 5th millenium [sic] BC is (next to the Ariuşd Cucuteni – Tripolie complex) Gumelniţa Culture... absolute chronology, still under discussion, according to the latest calibrated data, assigns this culture (as mentioned above) to the limits of the last half of the 5th millenium [sic] BC and maybe to early 4th millenium [sic] BC.
—Silvia Marinescu-Bîlcu, "Gumelniţa Culture"[1]

The first periodization of Gumelnita culture was suggested by VI. Dumitrescu who split the civilization of Gumelniţa into two phases: A and B. Later on, Dinu V. Rosetti divided the civilization into Al, A2 and B1, B2.[2]

Gumelniţa A

With a centric evolution from geographic point of view, the intensity of the cultural trends decreased from the center towards peripheral area. Having a strong Boian background at the origins, mixed with Maritza elements, the Gumelnita culture has been lasted short of a millennium from the beginning of Charcolitic to the start of the fifth millennium.[1]

Gumelniţa A1

4700-4350[3] Gumelnita-Karanovo VI-Kodjadermen is also aggregated with Varna culture, still are debates along historians considering the distinctive character of Varna culture.

Gumelniţa A2

4500-3950[3] The regional characteristics of A1 phase are diminished, and a more uniform characteristics is identified in discovered artifacts.


Gumelnita Culture [4] Adiacent Culture 1 Adiacent Culture 2 Adiacent Culture 3
Gumelniţa A1 Precucuteni 3 Cucuteni A1 – A2 Varna 1
Gumelniţa A2 Cucuteni A3 the beginning of the Cernavoda 1 culture

The evolution of the Gumelniţa-Kodjadermen-Karanovo VI is ended on the north bank of the Danube after the arrival of Cernavoda cultures population.

The layers at Karanovo are employed as a chronological system for Balkans prehistory.


Modern reproduction of Gumelnita ceramics

The Gumelniţa is remarkable by the richness of its anthropomorphic and zoomorphic representations. Some consider the achievements of prehistoric craftsmen to be true masterpieces.

The representation from Gumelnița art differ by other cultures by the following:

See also: Mother Goddess

As evidence from archaeology, thousands of artifacts from Neolithic Europe have been discovered, mostly in the form of female figurines. As a result a goddess theory has occurred. The leading historian was Marija Gimbutas, still this interpretation is a subject of great controversy in archaeology due to her many inferences about the symbols on artifacts.[5]

The analysis of the finds uncovered by archaeological excavations revealed a few characteristics of the Gumelniţa objects of art, likely to lead to a few main trends of the spiritual life investigation.

Thus, the prevalence of a female character is clear, as it represents 34% of all the anthropomorphic representations. That might represent a deity, the term having a general significance, of worship, without being able to specify under the current stage of the researches which is the nature and status of this deity. The male representations are very few, about 1%, while about 10% are the asexual representations, therefore with no sign (breasts, sexual triangle) which might point to the sex of the statuette.
—Gumelniţa Anthropomorphic and Zoomorphic Objects of Art by Radian Romus Andreescu[1]

  1. ^ "A "Lost" Civilization: Gumelnita". Retrieved 2016-04-06. 

Technological developments

Gumelniţa culture has some sign of work specialisation:

...we do not have enough data on the internal organization of the community, but next to the dwellings themselves, arranged or not in a certain order, we encounter workshop-dwellings for processing lithic material, bones, horns, ornaments, statuettes, etc.).
—Gumelniţa Culture by Silvia Marinescu-Bîlcu

Danube Script

During the Middle Copper Age, the Danube script appears in three horizons: The Karanovo VI–Gumelniţa–Kodžadermen cultural complex (mainly in Bulgaria, but also in Romania), the Cucuteni A3-A4–Trypillya B (in Ukraine), and Coțofeni I (in Serbia). The first, rates 68.6% of the frequencies; the second, rates 24.2%; and the third, rates 7.6%.[6]


  1. 1 2 "A "Lost" Civilization: GUMELNIŢA". Retrieved 2016-04-06.
  3. 1 2 "Cultural Landscapes in the lower Danube area. Experimenting tell settlements." (PDF). Documenta Praehistorica. Dragos Gheorghiu Centre of Research: National University of Arts - Bucharest Romania. XXXV. 2008. Retrieved 2016-04-06. UDK 903.4(4-014)"631/634"
  4. Collins, Gloria. "Will the "Great Goddess" resurface?: Reflections in Neolithic Europe". Austin, Texas: University of Texas at Austin. Retrieved 1 December 2009This site was a student brief done for a class assignment


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