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an archaeological culture of the middle Bronze Age (1600–1200 B.C.) that existed in what is now Muntenia and Western Dobruja in Rumania; it was named after a settlement excavated at Lake Tei in Bucharest.
The Tei culture is represented by temporary settlements with lightweight aboveground dwellings made of wattle that was sometimes coated with clay. Some of the settlements had ash pits containing animal bones, pottery, work implements, and household objects. Other finds included bronze pendants, an imported Mycenaean sword, a clay distaff, and clay weights for looms. Typical pottery finds were black polished bowls, cups with handles, and large storage vessels. Ornamentation was of the carinated, applied, and incised types, and later of the spiral and meander types.
The inhabitants of the Tei culture engaged in seminomadic herding and perhaps in primitive land cultivation.