Hamangia culture

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The Thinker of Hamangia, Neolithic Hamangia culture (c. 5250-4550 BC).

The Hamangia culture is a Late Neolithic archaeological culture of Dobruja (Romania and Bulgaria) between the Danube and the Black Sea and Muntenia in the south. It is named after the site of Baia-Hamangia, discovered in 1952 along Golovița Lake.[1]

Genesis and successor

Map of European Middle Neolithic showing Hamangia culture

The Hamangia culture began around 5250/5200 BC and lasted until around 4550/4500 BC. It was absorbed by the expanding Boian culture in its transition towards the Gumelnitsa.[2]

Its cultural links with Anatolia suggest that it was the result of a settlement by people from Anatolia, unlike the neighbouring cultures, which appear descended from earlier Neolithic settlement.[3]


The "sitting woman" and the "thinker" of Hamangia. National History and Archaeology Museum, Constanta

Painted vessels with complex geometrical patterns based on spiral-motifs are typical. The shapes include pots and wide bowls.


2006 0814Hamangia Histria Museum20060298.jpg

Pottery figurines are normally extremely stylized and show standing naked faceless women with emphasized breasts and buttocks. Two figurines known as “The Thinker” and “The Sitting woman” (see photos) are considered masterpieces of Neolithic art.

Gumelnita figurine


2006 0814 Hamangia Histria Museum 20060300.jpg

Settlements consist of rectangular houses with one or two rooms, built of wattle and daub, sometimes with stone foundations (Durankulak). They are normally arranged on a rectangular grid and may form small tells. Settlements are located along the coast, at the coast of lakes, on the lower and middle river-terraces, sometimes in caves.


Crouched or extended inhumation in cemeteries. Grave-gifts tend to be without pottery in Hamangia I. Grave-gifts include flint, worked shells, bone tools and shell-ornaments.

Important sites

  • Cernavodă, the necropolis where the famous statues “The Thinker” and “The Sitting Woman” were discovered
  • the eponymous site of Baia-Hamangia, discovered in 1953 along Lake Goloviţa, close to the Black Sea coast, in the Romanian province of Dobrogea.

See also


  1. Dumitru Berciu, Cultura Hamangia. Bucureşti: Editura Academiei Republicii Socialiste România (1966).
  2. Vladimir Slavchev, Monuments of the final phase of Cultures Hamangia and Savia on the territory of Bulgaria, Revista Pontica vols. 37-38 (2004-2005), pp. 9-20.
  3. M. Nica, Unitate şi diversitate în culturile neolitice de la dunărea de jos = Unity and diversity of Neolithic cultures along the lower Danube, Revista Pontica vol. 30 (1997), pp. 105-116.

External links

Media related to Hamangia culture at Wikimedia Commons