I express my gratitude to all those who supported, guided, and encouraged me and without which this book would certainly not have emerged. I am especially thankful to my spouse, Daniela Moisa who has been with me throughout this research, and never ceased to believe in the relevance of this project and especially its purpose. I also thank my brother Ghenadie, as well as my parents Maria and Nicolae who have been with me from the beginning of my intellectual saga and always showed me their unconditional support.
I am deeply grateful to Professor Florin Curta from the University of Florida, with whom I have had many discussions on topics related to my research, and which has greatly encouraged me to continue this scientific quest. I would like to thank my advisor and co-advisor of my doctoral dissertation, which I defended in August 2015 at the Department of Historical Sciences at Laval University, Professors Laurier Turgeon and Allison Bain. This book developed from my PhD dissertation. I would also like to thank professor and archaeologist Réginald Auger from Laval University for his valuable advice related to the writing of my thesis. The archaeologists Nathalie Gaudreau and Josée Villeneuve, the anthropologist Murielle Nagy, the historian Hélène Levesque and her husband François also supported my intellectual journey and I could never thank them enough.
My work would not have been successful without the help of my old friend, historian Eugen Cernenchii from the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of Moldova, who had always responded quickly to my requests and provided me with access to archival material, articles, and books that I could not find in North American libraries. For the same reason and for the many enriching discussions, I thank Octavian Munteanu, archaeologist and professor at Ion Creangă University in Chişinău, Ludmila Bacumenco-Pîrnău, archaeologist at the Chişinău Heritage Institute, Igor Caşu, historian and professor at Chişinău State University, and Ciprian Astaloș (Spelaeus), archaeologist at the County Museum—Satu Mare (Romania).
I warmly thank the Moldovan archaeologists and professors, Gheorghe Postică, Roman Rabinovich, and Valentin Dergacev. All three shared with me valuable information that helped me develop a better understanding of the inner workings of Moldovan archaeology during the Soviet era. I am equally grateful to Moldovan historians and professors Demir Dragnev, and the late Boris Vizer (1928–2017), as well as to the archaeologist and, since 2000, the very active Moldovan politician, Mark Tkachuk. The late archaeologists Ion Hîncu (1931–2003), Gheorghe Cebotarenco (1927–2014), and Nicolae Chetraru (1931–2011) who were part of the first generation of Moldovan archaeologists also shared their memories. We would also like to express our gratitude to the anonymous reviewer for his remarks and extremely relevant recommendations he made after reading the manuscript of this book. Lastly, I would also like to thank Ruxandra Petrinca, an historian specialized on communist and post-communist period, who translated this book from French into English.