COMMUN POTTERY IN
FROM THE END OF THE FIFTH
TO THE MIDDLE OF THE SEVENTH CENTURIES AD
This summary has already set out the conclusions of the study. In presenting the conclusions, only some elements will be selected. The increasing number of settlements at the beginning of the sixth century, and the decline in settlement numbers by the end of the same century, together with the relative lack of settlements for the seventh century, are all archaeological data that reflect only in part the real demography. We should understand these changes as responses to altered political and military contexts. The well-known theses of the sedentary and agricultural character of the Romanized population is a dead-end, not only false, but obstructing the formation of the image of the real facts. The absence for long periods of time of sedentary settlements (or, more accurately, of their archaeological remains), as well as the appearance ex nihilo of new cultures (Ipotești-Cândești is only one example), at the end of half a century of research, lead to conclusions that cannot be ignored any more. The local population (which it would be difficult to always name Romanized) lived in stable settlements as long it was possible, but changed the living way as many times as the rules for survival demanded. The surface-built cottages seem to be a testimony of the transition from and to nomad life (p. 255-256).
As for the contribution of pottery studies for writing a new history, the study of typology could produce some results about the cultural background of the potter, but drawing chronological judgments on that basis is more dangerous. There is little help from the numismatic evidence for dating contexts, and the chronological utility of objects serving as chronological indicators (like fibulae) is a pathetic illusion. The study of pottery can point out some trends, which are not rules, but statistic facts. The ratio between the main forming techniques exhibits great changes throughout the sixth century; the maximum quality of pottery production seems related to the period of maximum Roman influence (the decades 520s and 530s), this does not primarily concern imports, but considerable progress of local producers. The second chronological indicator is the declining average capacity of the vessels and the changing distribution of pots in capacity classes (the preferences evolution is for little pots), both contributing to an image of a collapsing society (p. 257). Secondary chronological indicators are the crowding of decoration and the pan presence (weaker and weaker; p. 258).
The cultural landscape of the Romanian Plain, in the period
studied, is heterogeneous. The right evaluation of each micro-region is
obstructed by discrepancies in the degree of our knowledge. None of the
important sites from northern Muntenia (Sărata Monteoru, Cândești, Budureasca,
Târgșor, Șirna, Băleni) has been published in a complete form. The most
confusing diversity that we have observed occurs in the area of
The necropolis at Sărata Monteoru is not considered as a product of the Ipotești-Cândești culture, which is ending where its settlements are ending (see Map 2). In other words, the Bărăgan Plain (= eastern part of the Romanian Plain) is also out of the area (p. 262).
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