Situated in south-east Europe, bordered by the Carpathians, the Danube and the Black Sea, Romania is the meeting point of Slavic, Balkan and Germanic cultures. Due to its location, it has long been a privileged place of exchange between East and West.
The Danube region was one of the first to experience the Neolithic revolution. In the middle of the 7th century BC, a new way of life arrived from the Middle East, characterised by human settlements, agriculture, livestock, architecture, crafts and new funerary practices. One millennium later, these profound societal changes gave birth to agglomerations of thousands of people and some of the most remarkable craftsmanship in Europe. The oldest metallurgy in the world, that of copper and gold, also developed there as early as the 5th century BC, followed by bronze in the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC. The adoption of these technologies gave rise to new economic and societal structures that reflected a way of thinking about a continuously evolving world.
Resulting from an intense collaboration with the National Museum of Romanian History, this exhibition presents the early beginnings of our contemporary world through 200 major pieces. Pottery, anthropomorphic figurines, jewellery and weapons in gold and bronze – many from recent excavations and being exhibited for the first time – will underline the evolution of symbols that took place in the Neolithic, then Bronze Age.
Curators: Geoffrey Schoefs (Grand Curtius), National Museum of Romanian History