Moigrad, the oldest anthropomorphic idols treasure

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In 1912, a peasant who ploughed his land in Moigrad, near Porolissum Archaeological Site, discovered some pieces of shiny metal. Initially, he wanted to leave them there, but eventually took it and tried to sell it at the local fair in Zalau. Because no one paid any interest in them, he went to Cluj, where he barely sold the pieces to a curator, in exchange of a derisory amount of money.

Initially, the peasant didn’t realize that the parts were made of gold, which is why he wanted to leave them right where he found them.

According to Dumitru Tamba, archaeologist within Zalau County Museum of History and Art, at the beginning, not even the curator understood what those plates represented, which is why he refused the man. Fortunately, the next day he changed his mind and bought the items, but only the four shaped anthropomorphic idols. According to Adevarul, some say that, in addition to the four complete pieces, the peasant had found several fragments that remained in his possession and which he allegedly threw away later on.

Further analysis showed the treasure from Moigrad, consisting of pieces of gold from the Neolithic, is one of the oldest treasures in the world, with a history of 6,000 years.

downloadThe largest idol weighs 800 grams and is considered to represent the image of the Great Mother Goddess, deity of the soil fertility, whose cult was practiced in Neolithic Europe and the Middle East. The item is made of a gold plate and has the approximate shape of a cello. The center has a perforation and at the end of the narrow extremity there are two cone-shaped elevations made by pressing the gold plate’ ‘backside’.

The metallographic analysis showed the gold plate is made of numerous overlaid gold leaves and by tapping them with a hard object, probably a stone hammer, the golden leaves combined so tightly that they seem welded. The second and third idols are identical, shaped as flying with their wings wide open and the fourth is believed to be a male.

moigrThe four idols from Moigrad are part of the permanent exhibition hosted by the Treasury Room within the National Museum of Romanian History, along with more than 3,000 special items, some unique, made of precious metals and stones belonging to civilizations that have existed throughout time, on the actual territory of our country.

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