‟The present work is based on a unitary approach of Neolithic and Eneolithic discoveries in the Lower Mureş Basin. From a chronological perspective, it envisages the approximate period of 6000–3000/2800 cal BC, from the onset of the Starčevo-Criş-Körös pottery until the disappearance of the Baden and Coţofeni pottery. The area taken into consideration includes several units, distinct from a geographical perspective. The main landmarks are the Mureş Valley (from the settlement of Deva until Szeged) and the Crișul Alb Valley.
This research has two main objectives: publishing the artifacts preserved in the collection of the Museum of Arad and systematizing the information existing in specialized literature regarding the Neolithic and the Eneolithic in the Lower Mureş Basin. Through the systematic approach and the methodology employed the volume presents a classical approach of archaeological discoveries. At the same time, the end goal is to create a starting point for future archaeological approaches in this area.” (from Introduction)
Magic and witchcraft were part of the life of all communities throughout the entire human history. Besides modern theoretical approaches, which first appeared in the Victorian times and continued until today, magical practices are still considered useful means through which people could communicate with the supernatural beings, and sorcerers and witches are the intermediaries of this dialogue through their knowledge and abilities.
Ethnographic studies have provided numerous examples of magical rituals, illustrating the huge variety and complexity of the gestures and actions required by the aforementioned dialogue with the supernatural world. Likewise, ancient literary sources can help unveiling similar information regarding some of the past societies. However, this is not the case for many areas from temperate Europe and elsewhere during most of the ancient times. As a consequence, the archaeologists are called to provide at least partial reconstructions of the magical practices and their practitioners from the regions in question using the evidence they have uncovered.
It has to be noted that the archaeology of magic and witchcraft is not a new subject. There are several important contributions published around the world, which have proposed several methods of analysing and interpreting relevant archaeological evidence; many are mentioned in the introductive chapter. At the same time, a series of recent theoretical approaches taken over from cultural anthropology, for example those related to the “cultural” or “social life of things”, could offer useful instruments for interpreting archaeological data from the perspective of magic and witchcraft in past societies. (From „FOREWORD”)