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These are known collectively as Old European cultures: Linear Ceramic culture; Starcevo-Cris culture; Precucuteni culture; Cucuteni Trypillia culture; Vadastra culture; Vinca Turdash culture; Gumelnita Culture; Dudesti culture; Salcuta culture Cucuteni and Gumelnita Culture site at Cotatcu, Valea Morilor, Buzau, 6,000 BCLinear Pottery Culture Cernavoda Culture Starcevo-Koros-Cris Culture Mezolithic at Schela Cladovei, Mehedinti, and Lepenski Vir,8,000 BC Y-DNAThe Hungarian Point of View Venus de la Sint Petru German Before the glory that was Greece and Rome, even before the first cities of Mesopotamia or temples along the Nile, there lived in the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan and Carpathian foothills people who were ahead of their time in art, technology and long-distance trade.LIVING SPACE Artifacts from the Lower Danube Valley and the Balkan foothills are presented in an exhibition, “The Lost World of Old Europe,” at New York University’s Institute for the Study of the Ancient World. C., they farmed and built sizable towns, a few with as many as 2,000 dwellings.An entire gallery is devoted to the figurines, the more familiar and provocative of the culture’s treasures.They have been found in virtually every Old Europe culture and in several contexts: in graves, house shrines and other possibly “religious spaces.”One of the best known is the fired clay figure of a seated man, his shoulders bent and hands to his face in apparent contemplation.Other scholars view such long-distance acquisitions as being motivated in part by ideology in which goods are not commodities in the modern sense but rather “valuables,” symbols of status and recognition. Seferiades wrote in the exhibition catalog that the prevalence of the shells suggested the culture had links to “a network of access routes and a social framework of elaborate exchange systems — including bartering, gift exchange and reciprocity.”Over a wide area of what is now Bulgaria and Romania, the people settled into villages of single- and multiroom houses crowded inside palisades.The houses, some with two stories, were framed in wood with clay-plaster walls and beaten-earth floors.They established colonies along the Black Sea and in the river plains and hills, and these evolved into related but somewhat distinct cultures, archaeologists have learned.
Before Sumer, Crete or the Maltese civilization, there was “Old Europe”, or the Turdash-Vinca culture…a forgotten, rather than lost civilization that lies at the true origin of most of our ancient civilizations.Even before the Indo-European migration, that began around 4000 BC, several cultures had already appeared in Europe, particularly in the Balkans.Even then, confined in cold war isolation behind the Iron Curtain, Bulgarians and Romanians were unable to spread their knowledge to the West.The story now emerging is of pioneer farmers after about 6200 B. moving north into Old Europe from Greece and Macedonia, bringing wheat and barley seeds and domesticated cattle and sheep.