The oldest traces of human habitation on the banks of the Dniester date from 300 thousand years ago to the Early Paleolithic period (3 million - 120 thousand years ago) - during the period of warming and retreat of the Great Glacier to the north. People lived in a prenatal society, a collective of hunters and gatherers (primitive herd). The oldest inhabitants of our region belonged to Pithecanthropes. The most ancient people lived in caves and grottoes, they knew how to use natural fire. The main occupations were hunting for large animals and gathering edible fruits, roots and shellfish. During the period of the Middle Paleolithic (120 - 40 thousand years ago), the most ancient people (Pithecanthropes) were replaced by ancient people (Paleoanthropes) - Neanderthals. Neanderthals lived as a team of blood relatives, but they did not yet know marriage. The basis of relations in the team was a commonality for dwellings, hunting territories and for all prey. In essence, during this period, the foundations of the primitive communal system were already laid, which found its further development in the late Paleolithic and Mesolithic. In the early Paleolithic, the most ancient people made the simplest tools of labor from stone: an axe, a scraper and a tip. The technique of making such tools was primitive and belongs to the Acheulean archaeological culture. Known parking Acheulian time - a grotto near the village. Vykhvatintsy Rybnitsa district. The remains of Paleolithic tools were found in the area of modern Tiraspol.
The economic basis of the new society was driven hunting and fishing, which required concerted action or collective labor. In the conditions of the beginning of a new cold snap, people learned to build dwellings in open areas. A significant achievement of the Middle Paleolithic man was the production of fire. Tools were made of flint and wood and consisted of several parts. The stone processing technique became much more perfect, the working part was given a sharper and more efficient shape. Among the Neanderthals, a visual culture and the first traditions of burial, cult traditions are born. The Middle Paleolithic is called the Mousterian period in archeology. Sites of the Mousterian culture were found near the village. Rashkov, Kamensky district.
In the late Paleolithic (40 - 12 thousand years ago)
A modern type of person appeared - Cro-Magnon. He already knew how to make complex tools - knives, scrapers, chisels and other tools from stone and bone. The Cro-Magnons lived in a tribal system. A large family was divided into small groups of close relatives, there was the institution of marriage. They were engaged in traditional activities: hunting, fishing and gathering. Means of transportation were invented: skis and a boat. The Cro-Magnon site was discovered in the grottoes near the villages of Klimautsy, Sholdanetsky and Rashkov, Kamensky districts.
Mesolithic period (VIII - V millennium BC)
It is characterized by tools with inserts of geometric shapes (arrowheads, knives, etc.). The end of the Great Glaciation period led to the formation of a new environment, a change in flora and fauna in the region. The invention of the bow and arrow allowed people to hunt birds and small animals. In the Mesolithic, the beginnings of cattle breeding and agriculture appeared. The most typical Mesolithic sites are near the villages of Belochi, Podoyma, Rashkov, Senatovka Kamensky and with. Novo-Andriyashevka Slobodzeya districts.
By the VI millennium BC. e.
The local Mesolithic tribes - fishermen and hunters - continued the process of transition to cattle breeding and agriculture, which ended in the Neolithic period. This transition brought changes to all branches of the production activity of Neolithic man. People learn to grind, polish, drill hard stone. Appears utensils made of burnt clay. The oldest Neolithic culture on the territory of the Dniester region - the Bug-Dniester culture - is known from a group of small settlements located near the town of Soroka. They consisted of semi-dugouts and ground dwellings. The population raised cattle, pigs, cultivated wheat and barley. Fishing, hunting and gathering continued. Flint implements: scrapers, saws, knives, drills, etc. Ceramics were made from clay with vegetable admixture. The social structure is the maternal clan. There is a cult of the great goddess - the mother.
At the end of the 5th millennium BC. e.
In the Dniester-Prut lands penetrated the tribes of the culture of linear-tape and musical ceramics. They lived in semi-dugouts and ground dwellings of a lightweight type; were engaged in cattle breeding, agriculture, to a lesser extent - hunting and gathering; made flint tools and polished axes. The pottery they made was well polished and decorated with musical ornaments. Social relations and religious ideas are close to those that prevailed among the tribes of the Bug-Dniester culture (matriarchy).
At the turn of the 5th - 4th millennium BC.
In the Dniester-Carpathian lands, as a result of close contacts between the carriers of the cultures of linear-tape ceramics and the Bug-Dniester culture, the strong influence of the Lower Danubian culture "Boyan", the Trypillia culture of the Copper-Stone Age (Eneolithic) was born, which developed for about 2 thousand years. At first, Trypillians built open settlements on the banks of rivers, later - fortified on elevated places. The most characteristic are ground dwellings. At an early stage, ceramics with indented ornaments are typical; at the middle stage, with indented, painted and combined ornaments; at a later stage, painted ceramics, in the patterns of which images of animals and people are often found. Tools made of flint and slate (triangular arrowheads and darts, sickle inserts, polished axes and adzes), as well as hoes, battle axes and other objects made of horn and bone were common. Jewelry and small tools made of copper are known. Trypillians bred large and small cattle, pigs, horses; cultivated membranous and naked types of wheat, barley, millet, legumes, grapes, apricots, plums; engaged in hunting and gathering. They lived in the conditions of a developed maternal tribal system in large family communities, each of which acted as a single economic and organizational unit within the tribe. In the late Trypillian time, the transition to patriarchy begins. Complex beliefs arise in which the main role is still played by the images of the great goddess - the mother, personifying the life-giving forces of nature, and the bull-shaped deity - her spouse. Burial grounds have been found. The Tripoli tribes maintain close ties with the Balkan world, the tribes of the culture of the funnel-shaped goblets of Volhynia and Powislia. Perhaps primitive money appears in the form of deer fangs and their stone imitations. The most famous monuments are: Vykhvatintsy (burial ground) and Zhura of the Rybnitsa region.
During the Bronze Age (late III - early I millennium BC)
There is a further development of the tribes inhabiting the territory of Transnistria. By the end of the era, along with tools and weapons made of stone and bone, tools and weapons made of bronze were widely used. People increasingly used wheeled vehicles, cattle for draft power, and horses for riding. In the early period of the Bronze Age (the end of the 3rd - the first third of the 2nd millennium BC), nomadic pastoralism prevailed, on average (the second third of the 2nd millennium BC) and late (the third third of the 2nd millennium - the beginning of the 1st millennium BC). BC) periods, the population becomes sedentary, engaged in both agriculture and cattle breeding. It bred large and small cattle, pigs, horses, cultivated wheat, barley, millet, peas, etc. The main crafts were stone and bone processing, weaving. At the end of the Bronze Age, metalworking is also becoming more widespread. By this time, the territory of Transnistria was divided into two zones: forest-steppe and steppe.
The tribes of the Noua culture lived in the forest-steppe zone, they were replaced by the tribes of the Early Thracian Hallstatt culture, which marked the transition to iron. The Cimmerians lived in the steppe zone. Monuments of the early and middle periods of the Bronze Age are represented mainly by burial mounds scattered throughout the region. Settlements and burial grounds of the late period of the Bronze Age were found near the villages of Novo-Kotovsk and Ternovka in Slobodzeya and the village of Koshnitsa in the Dubossary district. Throughout the Bronze Age, the main social unit was the patriarchal family. The development of agriculture, the relatively high productivity of animal husbandry, the booty obtained during wars and predatory campaigns, led to the emergence of a tribal elite, which becomes the owner of significant wealth.
The first half of the 1st millennium BC e.
It was marked by fundamental shifts in the economy and economic activity of society associated with the use of iron for the manufacture of tools and weapons. In the X century. BC. early Thracian tribes advanced into the forest-steppe part of the Dniester-Prut interfluve - the carriers of the culture of the Thracian Hallstatt, who already knew iron. The Cimmerians continue to live in the steppe part of the region.
At the beginning of the first millennium BC. the steppe part of the Black Sea region and the Crimea were inhabited by the Cimmerians. It was a numerous and militarily strong union of tribes. The origin of the Cimmerians is associated with the tribes of the Srubna culture of the Late Bronze Age. The basis of the economy of the Cimmerians was nomadic cattle breeding. The burials are characterized by the crouched position of the skeletons, numerous finds of horse harness (bits, stirrups). Also, the historical Cimmerians are identified with representatives of the Belozersky culture, as well as the Belogrudovskaya and Chernolesskaya cultures. In the 7th century BC. Cimmerians from the territory they occupied were driven out to the regions of Asia Minor by nomadic Scythian tribes who came from the Caspian steppes.
In the development of the culture of the Thracian Hallstatt on the territory of the Dniester-Prut interfluve, three stages are distinguished: early (X-IX centuries BC), characterized by the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age; middle (VIII - VI centuries BC), which is characterized by the spread of iron tools, and late (V century BC) - transitional from the culture of the Thracian Hallstatt to the Geta culture. The Thracian tribes lived in open settlements, consisting of earthen adobe dwellings on a wattle frame and dugouts. Dwellings were heated by open hearths or adobe domed stoves. The main occupations are agriculture and cattle breeding. Blacksmithing, bronze casting, ceramics, woodworking, bone carving, weaving and other crafts were also developed.
The funeral rite was dominated by cremation in ground burials, however, there were cases of corpses. Property differentiation is still insignificant. The population lived in a developed primitive communal system. A large complex of archeological monuments was found in the area of the villages of Saharna and Solonceni in the Rezina region of Moldova. Thracian settlements existed until the 7th century. BC. On the basis of the material culture of the Thracian Hallstatt, the Geta culture is being formed.
In the period IV - III centuries. BC.
On the territory of the Dniester-Prutok interfluve, the Getae (Geto-Dacians) were settled - one of the groups of North Thracian tribes. The Getae lived in both fortified and unfortified settlements, built ground-based quadrangular adobe houses on a wooden frame, as well as semi-dugout dwellings. The remains of such dwellings were found in the area of the Bendery fortress, as well as in the villages of Varnitsa and Kitskany. In the funeral rite of the Getae, biritualism is observed with a predominance of cremation in urns. In material culture, especially in ceramics, almost all the main forms of the preceding period of the Thracian Hallstatt were preserved, but some new, specific forms of vessels also appeared.
The basis of the economy of the Getae is agriculture and cattle breeding; they were also engaged in fishing and beekeeping. Iron-making, blacksmithing and jewelry were developed. Spinning and weaving were at the level of domestic production. The development of agriculture and cattle breeding contributed to the emergence of trade. The Greek city-colonies (polises) of the northwestern coast of the Black Sea had a great influence on the Getic population of the Dniester-Carpathian lands. From these cities, the Getae brought jewelry, weapons, vessels, etc. In turn, they supplied bread, cattle, slave prisoners of war, etc. The Getae were also closely connected with the Scythians and other tribes.
The study of written, epigraphic, numismatic and archaeological data suggests that the Getae were united in tribal unions. The process of social stratification of the Getae, although it began a long time ago, in the 4th - 5th centuries. BC. was still far from complete. On the whole, Getic society was at the stage of military democracy.
By the end of III - beginning of II centuries. BC.
The territory of the Getae is invaded by tribes of the Pomeranian culture, which in written sources are usually identified with the Bastarnae, or Galatians. As a result of the merging of local and alien components, a population was formed that created a new material culture, known as Lukashevsky. The new ethno-cultural community was dominated by Getic elements. The newcomer tribes did not make drastic changes in the nature of the material culture of the region.
In the IV - III centuries. BC.
The steppe part of the coast of the Dniester estuary was inhabited by sedentary, but distinct from the Thracian tribes, in which researchers usually see the descendants of the Hellenic-Scythians of Herodotus. During military campaigns and raids in the Dniester-Carpathian lands, in addition to settled Scythians, nomadic Scythian tribes and squads also penetrated. The development of the economy among the settled Scythians, apparently, was close in its level to the economy of their Thracian neighbors, while among the nomadic Scythians it was a typical nomadic economy, in which a significant place was given to horse breeding and raising small cattle. At the beginning of our era, Iranian-speaking Sarmatian tribes, related to the Scythians, began to move within the Dniester-Carpathian lands. Their contacts with the ancient city centers accelerated the process of decomposition of the primitive society among the Sarmatians.
In the 1st century BC.
Among the Geto-Dacians, the decomposition of tribal relations continues. At the same time, Roman expansion intensifies. The Romans create the province of Moesia Inferior. In 57 AD they bring their garrison into - Tyra at the mouth of the Dniester. In the south of the Dniester-Prut interfluve, the I Italian and V Macedonian legions were stationed. Many researchers believe that in order to fight the invading nomads, the Romans erected the southern Trajan's Wall, which crossed the interfluve from west to east.
Roman expansion accelerated the formation of early political formations among the Geto-Dacians. So, in the I century. BC. the unification of the Geto-Dacian tribes under the leadership of Burebista is known, which, however, soon fell apart. Then the center of political formations of the Geto-Dacians moved to the Carpathian region, where in the 1st century. AD early forms of the state arise. After two fierce wars (101-102 and 105-106), the Roman emperor Trajan seized part of the Geto-Dacian lands and formed the province of Dacia. It was inhabited by Roman and Romanized colonists. The authorities pursued a policy of Romanization of the Geto-Dacians. The Dniester-Prut interfluve did not become part of Dacia, and there was no Romanization as such, but the population of this territory also experienced a certain Roman influence. In 271, under pressure from the barbarians, the Romans were forced to leave Dacia and retreat to the right bank of the Danube. According to the surviving sources, part of the Romanized population of Dacia was also evacuated. However, in cities and villages, especially in the foothill areas, there still remained a part of the Romanized population, primarily the poor, who did not want or could not leave their homes. During the "great migration of peoples" various barbarian tribes penetrated into Dacia: Taifals, Heruli, Goths, Vandals, Gepids, Sarmatians and other tribes. Under the conditions of continuous, devastating, bloody invasions of migrating tribes, the local Romanized population was basically exterminated. The inhabitants of the foothills, mobile pastoralists, during raids, went with their families and herds to forests and mountains that were hard to reach for newcomers. In relatively calm periods, this Romanized population, who managed to preserve and partly revive the communal order, returned to the foothills. It was it that became one of the elements of the subsequently emerging ethnos of the Volohs, the ancestors of the Eastern Romance peoples.
In the III - IV centuries.
On the territory of the Dniester region, the Chernyakhov culture was developed (settlements near the villages of Karagash, Glinoe Slobodzeya, Butor, Tokmazeya, Grigoriopol districts, etc.), the carriers of which were the Thracians, Sarmatians, Wends, Goths, etc. These tribes continued the process of disintegration of tribal relations, elements of patriarchal slavery appeared. They were settled farmers and pastoralists. The handicraft (pottery, iron-working, etc.) was separated from agriculture, and the beginnings of internal money circulation arose. At the end of the IV century. the Huns, who devastated these lands, dispersed and destroyed the tribes of the Chernyakhov culture, the remnants of which were later assimilated by the Slavs.