This work is devoted to research on the coarse (everyday) pottery of the Ipotești-Cândești Culture of Walachia (southern Romania)[1], on the plain north of the lower Danube from the late fifth to middle of the seventh centuries. The study of the complex history of the area is aided by the existence of a East Roman and Byzantine written sources, but one of the main sources of evidence is that produced by archaeology, and the pottery assemblages studied here form an important feature of this archaeological material.

            The work is organized in three volumes: the main text (I), the appendices (II) and the illustrations (III). The main text volume comprises five sections: technological system (I), referential system (II), a discussion of the main sites for the Ipotești-Cândești culture (III), a description of Ipotești-Cândești pottery (IV) and “the circumstances” (V). The volume also contains an Introduction and the Conclusions. The second volume is more substantial and contains technical material (definitions of terms, the techniques used for measurements or calculations – section I), extracts from the pottery database with statistical overviews (sections II-V), commentaries on the historical sources (section VI). It forms a backup for the arguments of the main text, making it clearer and shorter.


            Beyond the chronological and cultural limits imposed by the subject, the main goal is the reconstruction of research methods in pottery studies in the region, rejecting the subjective description (as “well profiled rim”, “developed shoulder”) in favour of objective measurement, recording and computer-aid data interpretation.


            After a short historical summary of archaeological research of the Justinian Age in the Lower Danube region, the Introduction discusses the development of morphological studies of ceramics in the second part of the twentieth century, including in Eastern Europe. Until recently however there was no special study for the post-Roman pottery of southern Romania; this contrasts with other areas such as Slovakia (FUSEK 1994), Poland (PARCZEWSKI 1993), Northern Bulgaria (KOLEVA 1992), Ukraine (RUSANOVA 1973, 1976, 1978 – the first morphological system in East Europe), or the plains around the river Someș (STANCIU 1999). In the last few years progress has been made in related fields of investigation, as the study of the pottery of the Getae (TROHANI 1999) and Late Roman pottery (OPAIȚ 1996, OPRIȘ 2000). In the past decade some important field-reports for our subject have been published (POPILIAN & 1998, NICA & 1994, FERCHE 1992).


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[1] The Romanian title (which is that official for the PhD) is referring only to Muntenia, because in the mid 1990s the data for Oltenia was extremely poor. When the study was going to be completed, Oltenia (western Wallachia) became part of the geographical area of interest, for reasons that will be made clear further.