Cucuteni civilization | culture

The cucuteni civilization definition and concept underlying the brand owned by Transylvania World

The first European civilization

The Cucuteni Civilization (5500 – 3500 BC) was the oldest confirmed European civilization, preceding the civilizations from Sumer and Ancient Egypt by a few hundred years. The Cucuteni people were predecessors of the Dacian people and respectively nowadays’ Romanians.

Cucuteni civilization definition

The Cucuteni Culture (5500-3500 B.C.) is the oldest confirmed European civilization and at the same time one of the world’s oldest civilizations. Some elements from Cucuteni culture were discovered for the first time in Romania, uncovering a civilization which had spread from the North-East of Transylvania, Moldavia and up to Ukraine. The Cucuteni people developed an advanced system of houses, they dealt with agriculture and raised livestock, they mastered techniques like water desalination and also they were famous for their pottery and paintings. The Thracian and Dacian populations, ancestors of nowadays Romanians, resulted from the merging of the Cucuteni civilization with the Indo-European nomads.

Cucuteni civilization | concept

Cucuteni Culture is the oldest known European civilization and at the same time one of the oldest civilizations of all time. Although it dates from 5500-3500 BC, preceding the Sumer (3500-2200 BC) and Ancient Egypt (3400 BC-300 AD) civilizations, Cucuteni Culture doesn’t boast such an impressive resume, due to political and financial reasons.

The oversight of Cucuteni civilization is due to the fact that being located in Romania and Ukraine, Iron Curtain countries at that time and up until the early 90s, the communist regimes intentionally left out certain aspects related to national indentity and did not focus on investigations and archeological research. Thus, Cucuteni Culture remained unknown globally, while the `Oldest Civilization` title remained world-wide associated with the Sumerian and Egyptian civilizations.

Cucuteni Culture was a path opener from many points of view, the Cucuteni people being the first who built two-storied houses, their communities living together in up to 20.000 settlements as such.

The Cucuteni people left behind unique European ceramics; they worked manually and decorated their objects with a spiral motif, red, black and white being their characteristic colors. The only similar ceramics could be found only 1000 years later, in a neolithical Chinese Culture.

An important element of Cucuteni paintings and ceramics was the wolf motif, usually represented on ceramics through drawings of dancers with wolf masks. This motif was passed on through generations and became the primary symbol of the Dacians (ancestors of nowadays’ Romanians), who inhabited Transylvania.

The Cucuteni people were the first in the world engaged in the salt works. Their technique involved heating a salt-water filled ceramics vase, until the water had boiled away exposing the salt on the bottom of the ceramic structure.

The Cucuteni people were tattooed, their representation being an integration and identification method for their social organization. Their tattoos were symmetrically aligned and were the source of inspiration for the clay figurines found by archeologists in the current Transylvanian territory. Another important element is the absence of statues representing slaves, proof that they had a pacifistic society.

Cucuteni civilization came to an end around 3500 BC when it merged with the Indo-European population, resulting in the Thracians and subsequently the Dacians. This means that the current day population living in Transylvania’s territory boasts the genes of the oldest European civilization, and indirectly, the Dacian mythology has numerous original elements, researched and introduced as part of the brand by Transylvania World.

Note: The Transylvania World concepts are an essential part of the association brand and their usage has to quote the source and reference this website. Discover the Dacian mithology on our website

Other concepts


  • Overview of the definitions and concepts developed by Transylvania World Association and the key points of our research.
  • Official concepts

  • Transylvania (Definition, etymology, geography, history and its present state)
  • Transylvania classification into three geographical areas: Central, Political and Transylvania World with its influences
  • Carpathian Mountains (Definition, setting, the connections between legends and reality)
  • Ancient Dacians (About the ancient Dacian people, predecessors of the Romanians)
  • Vlad the Impaler (Also known as "Vlad Draculea" or "Vlad Dracula", one of the most important European leaders who stopped the islamic takeover of Europe in the Middle Ages)
  • The traditional Transylvanian village (definition and overview)
  • Household in Transylvania (About the traditional transylvanian households)
  • Mithological concepts

  • Dacian mythology (Mythology spawned on today's territory of Transylvania, where the Dacians lived, the ancestors of today's Romanians)
  • Werewolf (Incorrectly promoted as a negative character, the concept has generated from the Dacian mithology)
  • Vampire (Definition and concept; global promotion because of the Transylvanian traditions)
  • Dracula (The fantastic character also known as "Count Dracula" or "The vampire Dracula", inspired by the transylvanian traditions and the real historical character Vlad the Impaler)

Learn more

© Transylvania World Association | 2023