The Tell type Neolithic establishment, placed on Sofia Hill: The thinker and the sitting woman
In 1956, on Sofiei hill, more archaeologists, led by Dumitru Berciu, began the diggings after the discovery that the works made to the Danube- Black Sea Channel destroy the signs of some ancient civilizations.
In an establishment, a Neolithic cementery, belonging to Hamangia culture, were discovered two burnt lute figurines which represented a man seating on a small chair in a position which imitated the gesture of thinking, reason for which he was called “The Thinker” and a woman nearby him, probably his consort. According to the elaborated dating, the statuettes have the age of 5.500- 6000 years (3500 – 4000 b.c.e.) and are considered master pieces of the universal savage art.
Hamangia type ceramics transcends and is rich in decorations with triangular motifs, situated in concentrical regions on the shoulder or on the superior part of the forms, “and the plastics is completely exceptional, the figurines being alike the one from Kiklades, being characterized by the brush-up of the anatomical forms in triangular volumes and plans”. The culture to which “The thinker” belongs was certified the first time in an archaeologic site, near Baia township (former Hamangia). It is the level of the first population established on the Black Sea’s occidental coast, a meridional civilization. Hamangia is middle Neolithic, respectively of the VIth millenium.
In 2000, the statuette “The Thinker” was named, by an international committee, as being “the one of the 10 artefacts of the earthling culture which should represent our planet”.
“The Thinker” reveals its true virtues, a series of interesting and important mathematical relations, being in the public eye, even since the beginning, due to its height parameter- 113 mm, which is not random at all and 355 mm- the circle’s circumference in which it is subscribed, because these values are unique within the mathematics’ perimeter, being the only integer numbers whose proportion is “Pi” itself, with an inaccuracy of only 3 tenth gauge of millionims. These numbers were kept by the illuminists of the old nations, being afterwards certified and learned by the Geto- Dacians, codificated also in the structure of the sanctuaries from Sarmisegetuza Regia. The height of the statuette was not made randomly, demonstrating that our ancestors had mathematics and geometry knowledge, and this Pi obtainance operation from two integer numbers represents maybe the oldest certification of the fundamental relation.
“The Thinker” is a multifunctional statuette. By overturning it with the face down, it can be noticed that the top of the nose, the forearms and the knees are in the same line, showing a praying position, but also built to be installed in other positions. The proof that “The Thinker” was not conceived to remain alone is the feminine statuette with the same figure, his mate. Therefore, these statuettes, discovered in 1956, are mondial value masterpieces of the Neolithic hominoidal art, from Romania.
Replica of the statuettes “The Thinker and his consort” are lodged by “Axiopolis” Museum of History and Archaeology.
The Roman citadel- Axiopolis
Is situated on a plateau, on Danube’s right versant, in direct line to Hinog island, at approx 3 km south from the bottom of Cernavoda bridge. The first diggings were made on the triangular shaped plateau, by Pamfil Polonic, in the years 1895 – 1896 and 1899, under the lead of the Professor Gr. Tocilescu, director of the National Museum of Antiquities. On this occasion, there were identified two settlements, a Roman one and the other seemed to be Byzantine. Also, there were identified the northern and southern gates of the Byzantine citadel, separated by the Roman gate by a saddle of land. With the same occasion, were discovered the basement of a basilica from a cementery with a chapel as annex, nearby the northern gate of the oldest citadel, as well as inscriptions, sculptural fragments, Helenistically, Roman and Early Mediaeval ceramics. Since the Helenistic period, Axiopolis was distinguished by important trade exchanges with the west-pontic Greek colonies -Histria, Tomis and Callatis.
Since the Roman occupation, the authorities began to organize the territory of Dobruja, Axiopolis becoming one of the most important defence citadels from Danube’s margin. In the same time, the citadel continued to have a dominant position, economically, taking advantage of the excellent placement, on the road which crossed Dobruja from East to West, making the connection with Tomis. Strategically speaking, the citadel had an important role, being settled on a plateau with a triangular shape, which climbed up, gradually, from north to south, where two vales are placed, maybe even former defence ditches. Towards East, the citadel was defended by a deep valley, and towards west, by Danube’s high margin. The citadel moved, during the Ottoman domination, to North, where is found today, in the valley called “The Black Water” (in Slavonian “Cernavoda”), translated by the Greeks as “Axiopolis” and then by the Ottomans as “Kara Su”.
Axiopolis has a special value for the Christianity’s history. The martyr acts, as well as an inscription discovered in the citadel, certifies the martyrdom of three Christians i.e. Chiril, Chindeas and Dasius, most probably during the oppressions initiated by the Roman Emperor- Diocletian. The Christian tradition had the relics of these martyrs to be buried in the tombs under the basilica’s sanctuaries. The same happened at Niculisel and Halmyris, where the archaeologic diggings brought to light saints’ relics.
Within this context, it is very probable that under the two basilicas from Axiopolis are the relics of the three martyrs, with an extraordinary spiritual value for the Church. Unfortunately, during the First World War, the Romanian army built within the historical establishment an incredible military bastion, transforming the tunnels from the region in munition storage. Since then until present day, the civilians did not have access to that area without special and extremely hard to get approvals.
The visits are forbidden in present times and without favourable perspective in this sense.
It is situated on Danube’s right margin, at half of the distance between Harsova and Cernavoda, the highroad which connects the towns, passing right nearby the walls of the citadel. The citadel occupied an important role in the Roman defence system, being part of the series of fortifications and camps built during the Emperor Traian, at the beginning of the 2nd century, within the organizing measurements of the Danubian limes. The strategic importance of the place determined the setting up of a military station as well as the placement and development of a civil center in the Roman period. Castrul, situated nearby a passing ditch, was built by the detachments from Macedonica Vth Legion and Claudia XIth Legion.
The Getic toponym of Capidava– which meant the citadel from the bend- confirmes a Pre- Roman habitation, a special geographical position explaining the significance of the domestic establishment, a place which allowed the communication between the Dacians from Dobruja and the ones from the Wallachian Field.
Tabula Peutingeriana gives exact data about the distances between Axiopolis, Capidava and Carsium. These distances are similar to the ones between the current towns Hinog – Capidava and Capidava – Harsova.
The fortification has the form of a quadrangle with long flanks from NW to SE – 105m x 127 m, with walls, with a thickness of more than 2 m and height of 5 – 6 m, with 7 towers with more than 10 m each, of which 3 rectangular, 2 with the shape of a quarter of a circle and two intermediate with the shape of a horseshoe (U), a gate with a width of 2,50 m situated on the SE side, which made the connection with the rest of the territory and a strategic exit on the SW side of the tower from the Danube, where the harbor was placed.
The stone bench
South from Axiopolis citadel, in a direct line to Hinog, respectively 3,25 km South from Cernavoda town, begins the stone bench which ends at Tomis. The stone bench is a historic monument from the Xth century, early mediaeval period, with a length of 59 km, with an earth base of 1,5 m and the stone wall which covers the earth bench gets even at 2 m. It has a defensive ditch on the northern side and 26 fortifications, at distances of 1 – 4 km.