Foeni-Salaş (1992-1995), Romania

Foeni is an Early Neolithic (Starčevo-Criş culture) site in the steppes of SW Romania (Banat), on the border with Serbia. The remains of a small (80×100 m) well-preserved Early Neolithic settlement were uncovered. Ceramic painted wares from the site are typologically dated to the earliest phases of the Early Neolithic Starčevo-Criş tradition of the Banat. There was little sedimentary overburden and the site was well-preserved. The location of several structures was identified through the use of a proton magnetometer, systematic surface collection, systematic test trenching, and soil coring. Most of the center of the settlement was excavated and the distribution of structures and activity areas found. The research yielded five small semisubterranean structures arranged in a semi-circle around a larger central structure, similar to what was found at Blagotin. The central structure is in an open plaza, with evidence possibly for a stockade at the edge of the plaza. Contrary to Blagotin, the central structure and plaza at Foeni contains the normal every-day range of artifacts, with no evidence of ceremonial and/or ritual communal functions. The excavation was conducted in association with Dr. Florin Draşovean (Museum of the Banat) for three seasons (1992-94). I am currently writing the final report of the excavation.

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