Category Archives: Archaeology

The oldest modern humans in Europe

Standard

Several human bones were discovered in 2002 in a cave in south-western Romania, “Pestera cu oase” by three Romanian speleologists from Timisoara:  Adrian Bilgar, Stefan Milota and Laurentiu Sarcina.

With the help of Prof Trinkaus, Washington University, the C14 dating of a mandible found in the cave was possible. And so, the relics were placed 35000 years ago, becoming the oldest remains of modern humans in Europe.

Anthropological studies showed unique characteristic of these specimens, giving new interesting insights into the development of modern humans.

Other humans’ remains were found in Romania at Muierii and Ciclovina caves, dating “only” 31000 years ago.

photo: artsci.wustl.edu

Advertisements

Histria – my childhood favorite place

Standard

You find Histria, the great lost city, on road between Constanta and Tulcea.

In spring, when the water is raised, the last 3 kilometres are “through” water, the road that is on a dike is really surrounded by water, birds, frogs, water lilies … in the droughty summers, a landscape like in prairie or even desert, all the vegetation burden, only the rests of snakes that throw their skins remain.

I remember I read some time ago that Histria is the first and also the largest archaeological site in Romania, I didn’t find this information now so maybe is just on my head … but Histria was, and this is certain, the first city attested on the present Romania territory. Also, the earliest documented currency was there, a silver drachma with Histria’s symbols an eagle on a dolphin.

Founded by the Milesian Greeks colonists around 657 BC, dates about Histria can be found in Scymnus of Chiros, Eusebius of Caesarea, Strabo. After Greeks came the Romans, than Burebista, than again the Romans. The end of Histria was tragical, the decline was brought by a natural  phenomenon, the clogging of the Black’s Sea bay by the Danube’s silt deposits that formed a shoal, nowadays the Sinoe Lake, so the maritime trade has become impossible. Than the total destruction of the city was probably due to of the Avars and the Slavs invasion.

In Histria you can see the various relics: Temples for Aphrodite, Apollo or Zeus from Greek period, thermals, mosaic, more than 20 kilometres of pipelines, streets paved from Roman period and even an episcopal basilica from the Christian Period.

Near the archaeological site is the Histria’s Museum where are exposed relics found in the archaeological site.

In Histria lives two species of snakes that are on the list of endangered species. Going at Histria in a rainy or cold day, you can see snakes looking for shelter in the Museum, they may look dangerous with their yellow patches, but they are totally harmless and nice. The area Istria – Sinoe, including the archaeological site Histria, is part of Danube Delta Reservation because of the variety of animals and birds. Since 2007, the site of Histria is also part of the European Patrimony.