The bill-hook in Moldovan viticulture: origins, evolution, traditions Cover Image

Cosorul în viticultura Moldovei: origini, evoluţie, tradiţii
The bill-hook in Moldovan viticulture: origins, evolution, traditions

Author(s): Vasile Haheu, Dumitru Bratco
Subject(s): Archaeology
Published by: Institutul Patrimoniului Cultural al Academiei de Științe a Moldovei
Keywords: viticulture;bill-hook;cutting and cleaning vine

Summary/Abstract: The work for growing, caring and maintaining vine needed a set of tools more or less specialized, the bill-hook being one of the most stand out. In time, it has become a trademark of the industry. In essence, this object is a knife with a wide blade, straight at its base and arched towards the end. It was used for cutting and cleaning vine as well as cutting grapes. For both historical eras the bill-hook was uniformed, the one characteristic that was specific being the curbed blade. The variations of this kind of tool are determined by its dimensions, some of them being 10 cm and others ranging all the way up to 50 cm. Those that are bigger have a wider blade, especially in it’s back. They are more typical for the ancient period in western Romania and are interpreted as fighting weapons. Currentlly several attempts have been made to classify these objects from an archaeological point of view (the way the handle is fixed) and ethnological (the presence or lack of axe on the back of the tool). Some researchers interpret them as variations of a scythe, although it might be an unsuitable analogy. More attractive is the idea that they have evolved from arched knives. They have existed since ancient times with the thraceans, the earliest times being examples from Cotu Morii, some being discovered in Poiana, Husi, Lozna, Odobesti, Grsdistea Muncelului. Very similar objects have been seen in settlements from V-X centuries and ultimately in Trebujeni, Hansca, Costeşti, Belceşti, Vrancea, Jariştea, Baia, Fedeşti, Gugeşti, Buzău, Dumeşti, Dodeşti etc. Some researchers mention the presence of the bill-hook in the resion as an indication of the continuity of population in the region.

  • Issue Year: XIII/2017
  • Issue No: 1-2
  • Page Range: 66-75
  • Page Count: 9
  • Language: English, Romanian, Russian