Sacrificial burial of a bound child in a foundation trench. Seen here in a very contracted position in a basket placed in a pit, apparently during the construction of a large building.

Two burial sites of young children unearthed at the Hârsova tell reveal, in a very concrete and macabre way, the problem of sacrificial practices by the Gumelnita inhabitants of the tell.

A well preserved grave, discovered in 1995, contained a young child five or six years old, with a deformation of the skull and spinal column, apparently with hands and feet tied, lying curled up in a basket. From the preserved excrement found about the rectum, one can deduce that this was undoubtedly a deliberate death.

Located among the foundation trenches, along the support posts of a large building, it is extremely probable that this sacrificial burial made up some part of a particular rite of foundation in construction of the building. This hypothesis is supported by evidence at other tells.

Other anthropological studies show, in a certain number of cases, that the sacrificed children were often malformed, which raises the question of a voluntary act of eugenism.
In addition to this, what is the significance of the scattered human bones discovered among the remains of meals and various refuse in domestic waste zones ? Was it contempt for some of their dead or occasional ritual cannibalism ?