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On hold during 2012
The Bronze Age shaped the Old World for millennia to come. Upon this foundation, the Thracian, Celtic, Roman and Greek worlds were built. Because of its location and resources, the Carpathian Mountains, and Transylvania (Romania) in particular, played an extremely important role in the development of Old Europe. The dynamic nature of the Transylvanian Bronze Age makes it incredibly rich and interesting but at the same time fundamentally complex. Transylvanian swords were found in Homeric Troy, Transylvanian bronzes sank with the Uluburum and at the same time, Minoan symbols are found on Late Bronze Age Transylvanian cast bronze swords.
The Early Bronze Age brought a whole new way of life to the Transylvanian landscape taking over the complex societies of the Eneolithic.
Early Bronze Age Ceramics
Classical Middle Bronze Age cultures show the development of highly developed cultures, the Wietenberg, Monteoru, Tei. Vely elaborate metalwork, extensive agriculture, complex symbolism, very decorated ceramics complemented the rise of a proto-urban society, with central places, both civil and religious. With the advent of the Late Bronze Age, they were very quickly replaced, without any major signs of conflict by a new cultural group, the Noua, coming from the East as part of the very extensive Noua-Sabatinovka-Coslogeni complex. The incineration rituals of the Middle Bronze Age were completely replaced by elaborate and standardized inhumation burials, the large settlements of disappeared, ceramic technology regressed and almost all decoration disappeared.
Metal, fire, water, salt, mountains, forests… That is the environment of the Transylvanian Bronze Age. We have hundreds of tools for quarrying salt, working wood, forging metal, plowing fields, harvesting crops, working leather and pelts, not counting jewelry, clothing implements, weapons…
The 2012 summer field project will be an intensive and integrated exploration of the area surrounding the Tureni Canyons. Situated near two large salt deposits and not far from the copper rich regions of Transylvania, these dramatic landscapes host a variety of sites from the Early and Middle Bronze Age, ranging from large "aristocratic" tumuli, to ritual caves, temples and settlements. Highly detailed excavations of several small trenches on sites identified from field walking will be conducted in order to establish a chronology and stratigraphic sequence of the area. Concurrently, rotating GPS survey teams will continue mapping the topography of the area while other teams will collect soil samples and conduct phosphate testing in order to map the density/intensity of human occupation. The laboratory components will include flotation, various GIS related exercises (data entry, map building, digitizing) and material processing.
Middle Bronze AgeCeramics