Sunday, October 3, 2010

Exhibition on Romanian prehistorical civilization

Before the establishment of the first cities in Mesopotamia ca. 4500 BC, highly sophisticated societies with advanced technology and complex systems of symbolic representation had emerged in the southeastern part of Europe.

The Neolithic people of the Balkans were the first in Europe to adopt of a new type of economy, based on agriculture and animal breeding. This happened in the 7th millennium BC and marked a radical shift in the way humans interacted with their environment. After a million of years of nomadic life – during which little had changed – people settled in permanent habitations and started developing new skills and modes of social interaction.

By the 5th millennium BC, the thriving cultures of the Balkans were among the most advanced in the Old World – featuring densely populated settlements, a sophisticated system of social hierarchy, highly symbolic cult rituals, complex long-distance exchange networks, and an amazing copper- and gold-working industry.

By the mid-4th millennium, however, this brilliant world came to an abrupt end. The reasons are not clear: Invasions? Climatic changes? Overexploitation of natural resources?

The unknown world of “Old Europe” is revealed in this exhibition, which features more than 200 Neolithic objects from Romania, Bulgaria and Moldova.

The exhibition The Lost World of Old Europe, which is organized in Athens (October 2010 - January 2011) by the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University, in collaboration with the National History Museum of Romania, Bucharest and with the participation of the Varna Regional Museum of History, Bulgaria, and the National Museum of Archaeology and History of Moldova, Chisinau, demonstrates that during the Neolithic the various regions of Southeastern Europe had more things in common than differences.

Source: Cycladic Art Museum