In 1956, during the works on the Danube – Black Sea Canal, near the town of Cernavoda, in Constanța County, Dobrogea region, the traces of an ancient civilization were discovered. A team of archaeologists, led by Professor Dumitru Berciu, began excavating at a necropolis, where the two burnt clay statuettes were found inside a collapsed tomb.
Studied, the two statuettes were named “The Thinker” and “Sitting Woman” and were attributed to a prehistoric civilization – the Neolithic culture Hamangia.
Unique pieces in the world, the two statuettes owe their notoriety due to the way in which their author captured the meditative human attitude, an exceptional fact for the era in which it was created.
The two burnt clay statuettes are the most famous prehistoric objects found on the Romanian territory, becoming a cultural symbol of our country.
“The Thinker” is a man sitting on a small stone chair, sitting with his elbows on his knees and resting his head in his hands, in a position that shows that he is in a moment when he is immersed in his thoughts. It has an oval head, a long neck, and a well-defined mouth, eyes, and nose. The forehead is narrow and the ears are represented by circular holes.
“Sitting woman” in turn displays a thoughtful position, but holding both hands on one leg and sitting on the floor, without a chair. Her left leg is outstretched, her right leg is bent, her hips are well defined and her face is just as expressive.
In 2000, a UNESCO commission included the two statuettes in a short list of the 10 artifacts of earth culture that should represent our planet and never disappear.
“The Thinker” and “The Woman Sitting” are on display at the National History Museum of Romania in Bucharest.
Hamangia is a late Neolithic culture that was discovered throughout Dobrogea, Romania and Bulgaria. It is named after the archeological site in the old village of Hamangia (since 1929 it is called Baia village), in Tulcea county, Dobrogea, when in 1953, the archeological excavations that took place along Golovița Lake, discovered the traces of a prehistoric civilization.
The Hamangia culture began around 5250/5200 BC. and lasted until about 4550/4500 BC. She was graduated from the Boian culture in expansion in its transition to the Gumelnița culture.