8,000-year-old statue featuring sacred god pair, on display at Alba Iulia museum

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A figurine featuring a sacred god pair, a male and a female deity, to whom people used to pray 8,000 years ago so that their lands should be fertile, but also for human fertility, is on display at the National Union Museum in Alba Iulia, central Romania, the whole month of January.

The statuette, also knows as the Sacred Pair from Tărtăria, is made of clay and has been discovered in 2014 following diggings in Tărtăria-Gura Luncii site in Alba County. The sculpture is part of the Vinča culture and represents a double hominoid statuette, featuring a male character and a female one.

According to the Alba Museum’s representatives, the piece was tracked down in a former cell where the inhabitants of those times, thousands of years ago, used to keep their supplies stored. The sacred pair dating back in the sixth millennium before Christ is made of a great goddess of fertility and fecundity, a mother deity, who yet could not exert her fertility without a male.

There is just one single similar statuette on the current territory of Romania, discovered in the Neolithic settlement in Rast, Dolj county (southern Romania), in 1943.

The artifact confirms the cult of the sacred pair that was common through the Neolithic era. According to the museum’s archaeologists, the cult referred to all that meant the land’s fertility for fruits, as plant cultivation began in early Neolithic.

The humanoid representations of that age depict religious ideas generally valid also on Romania’s current territory and in general in Southeastern Europe.

The item, measuring only several centimeters, only has the upside preserved, as the bottom of the statuette, as well as the left arms of the deities have been broken since old time.

Tărtăria Neolithic site is the settlement where the famous clay tablets have been discovered over half of century ago, namely in 1961 by archaeologist Nicolae Vlassa.tartaria-tablets

The tablets, dated to around 5,300 BC, bear incised symbols—the Vinča symbols—and have been the subject of considerable controversy among archaeologists, with some of them claiming that the symbols represent the earliest known form of writing in the world.

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