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News 21 Jul 17

Bronze Age Tomb Finds Thrill Romanian Historians

Romanian archaeologists say nine Bronze Age tombs discovered recently in the east may shed new light on the trade conducted in ancient times between Eastern and Western Europe. 

Ana Maria Touma
BIRN
Bucharest
A Bronze Age tomb in Carlomandesti, Buzau county, Romania. Photo: Cimec.ro

Archaeologists in the eastern Romanian region of Buzau have hailed the discovery of nine well-preserved tombs dating back to the Bronze Age, at site already known to hold a city built during the North Thracian Dacian era, long before the Roman conquest.

Archeologists at the Buzau County Museum told BIRN that the find is of high importance for the study of the Dacian Bronze Age civilization, especially since 107 funerary complexes, not just simple tombs, have also been discovered in the area.

The tombs contain bronze jewelry for hair, bracelets, and necklaces, but also ceramic vessels that are unique for the Bronze Age in Romania in terms of their shape but also because they are exceptionally well preserved.

The discovered objects show the locals were involved in long-distance trade with today's northern Germany, the Caucasus and other parts of Northern Europe, the Deputy Director of Buzau County Museum, Dan Costache, told BIRN.

“We have imported objects, on the one hand, but also the burying practice itself reveals a connection with other cultures, because we have some funerary complexes that originated further in the east,” he pointed out.

“These tombs are of great importance because we [in Romania] don’t have many necropolises from the Bronze Age that have been studied,” Costache explained.

All the other locations studied in the region belong to the Monteoru culture, which existed from 3,000 to 1,600 BC, deemed by experts as one of the most advanced civilisations of its times.

Monteoru people settled on hills, in houses made of earth and wood that had outbuildings such as workshops, kilns and holes for storing supplies.

Carlomanesti area, where the tombs were unearthed, also hosts a dava, a Dacian city located on top of a hill, which the Buzau Museum plans to reconstruct and turn into an open air museum. The works on this started in 2014.

Archeologists are also working on the reconstruction of a lifelike prehistoric village.

Archaeologists first started digging in Carlomanesti in 1967, but works stopped in 1980. The site was reopened 20 years later. Five sanctuaries and numerous civilian constructions, as well as a whole treasure of silver coins and several well-preserved clay statues depicting animals, such as wolves, have been brought to light at the site.

The earliest evidence of human life in Buzau County, northwest of Bucharest, dates from the Neolithic era, around 4000 BC.

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