Racos Crater Wall
The Dacian Fortress / Sanctuary of Racoş
On the Tipia of Ormeniş, close to Racoş, there is an archeological site. The Dacian settlements are 200 or 300 years older than those of the Orăştie Mountains. In the 5th-6th centuries there used to be a powerful Dacian kingdom here, well built and defended. The one that leads the archeological research is Florea Costea, an archeologist from Braşov. “The Tipia of Ormeniş is considered a sacred place. Although not large, the fortress had an important role in the defense. The military rulers did not wish to unite with the other kingdoms, under the rule of Burebista. He conquered the fortress and burnt it to the ground.” says the archeologist.
The sanctuary of Racoş is the second circular sanctuary in Romania after the one in Sarmis. Here the Dacians brought meat offerings to the gods. The slices of meat were hung in iron toggles, shaped as heads of swans. These were offered to their supreme deity, Zamolxis. The sanctuaries were destroyed by the Romans, at present only some ruined columns may be observed, thrown away in the valley. Fragments of ceramic, the toggles, the fibulas and the iron objects found were displayed at the History Museum in the Town Hall.
After the Romans left, the columns were rebuilt, a very important element in ensuring the Dacian-Roman continuity.
The archeological strata are blended and only several centimeters away from the surface traces from the Neolithic may be found.
This demonstrates that the Dacians built their fortress on an older one and, while digging to make the foundation of the fortress, they mixed the stratification.
Among the latest discoveries there is a large defense wall at the basis ofthe hill. It seems that what has been studied up to now is only the sacred part of the fortress and that the town is somewhere in the valley, close to the Olt River.
Dacian Ceramics - Racos, Brasov County
The researchers have proven that the Dacian sanctuaries are positioned at the corners of aquadrangular triangle. The philosophy of the Dacians can be found in the mathematical model of the sanctuaries of Sarmisegetusa and Racoş, as in the golden triangles formed by the constructions spread all over the territory of Dacia. Our ancestors built their country topographic and geometrically projecting the stars of the sky on the ground. They built fortresses with well constructed walls of rock on the most difficultly accessible peaks. It is said that these walls surrounded fortresses. However, the water tanks, the grain storage rooms, the sanctuary and the settlements are beyond these walls. The Dacians had solid knowledge of astronomy. If we unite these mountain peaks, we obtain quadrangular triangles, as if chosen according to a cosmic algorithm.
The seven mounds
Known by locals as "Guruiete" are seven mounds of earth, perched on a hill near the village of Sona. There are many legends about these Guruiete. Because these pyramids are located three on one side and four on the other, some say about them that it would be the work of the giants of old people, others believe that they are only a caprice of nature.
Over the years the story of Guruietelor from Sona reached the ears of archaeologists. Because they are covered with vegetation, they can be likened with the pyramids as the Celts and Scythians barrows their burying the towns, along with a whole hoard of weapons and ornaments. How these people have gone on our lands, the tendency of archeologists was to identify them with barrows. More about them, archaeologists have found pottery from the late Bronze Age and Hallstat period, dating 1,200 years ago.
Four pyramids like these near the village of Sona exist also in Halmeag. They are not well delineated, being eroded by wind. Also near the village of Bunesti exist Guruiete and around them were found traces of Dacian dwelling and a terrace similar to that in Sona, where are located the seven mounds.
There are some theories that appeared over time, trying to prove that the pyramids are not just the nature's caprice. It is possible that they are parts of the "magic triangles", the remaining time of the Dacians, as a kind of invisible lines that cross the Carpathians, between the cities and shrines of our ancestors. In those geometric shapes would enter the capital of Dacia-Sarmisegetusa, red stone fortress, sanctuary of Racos, Temple of Sinca Veche, the Omu Peak and Guruietele from Sona.
Uniting the point where the 9 pyramids of Sona are placed with the point of the sanctuary in Racoş and the Omu Peak, we obtain a quadrangular triangle with the angles at 30 and 60 degrees. On the line Sona-Omu there is the Dacian temple from Şinca Veche, sheltered in a cave.
Another larger triangle has at its angles the temple of Racoş, the Omu Peak and the Dacian fortress of Sarmizegetusa. At Racoş there is a large ritualistic complex of the Dacians. The line which united the fortress of Sarmizegetusa with the Omu Peak is named the grand topographic line of the Dacians.
Piramids from Sona in Fagaras, Brasov County
The Pyramids from Sona are actually eight mounds of earth, 30 meters high, that seem to come out of nowhere. While locals are convinced that they were raised by giants, historians believe that there are graves of Celtic barbarians. (NWM-I believe they are tombs of Getian-Thracian royalty like the one in North of Bulgaria.) The legend says that many years ago, this land was ruled by a princess named Sona. One day her kingdom was attacked by some giants who came over the Fagaras mountains. The giants have gone through the water of Olt river, and when they arrived in this place they shook the mud from their feet and created these mounds. You can find them in Sona village, Brasov County, 250 km away from Bucharest.
Half way between the Romanian medieval city of Sighisoara (the real Dracula’s birth place and an UNESCO Heritage Site) and Brasov (and the nearby Bram Stoker’s Bran Castle), a very elaborate system of Dacian strongholds, civilian settlements and religious centers has been located in the Racos de Jos area.
Every hill top and most of the Olt River Basin is occupied by various Dacian Iron Age settlements. The complexity of the region has only been understood in the last few years when the excavations at Augustin, a great temple complex, have been finalized.
The extent of the site, its relationships to the other Dacian sites, the quality and quantity of the material finds have proved that this is one of the greatest La Tene (Late Iron Age) Dacian settlements in South-East Europe.
The site currently being excavated, the Piatra Detunata, is on a hill facing the Augustin Temple Complex and most likely associated with it.
The test trenches excavated over the past two years have exposed a rich and complex fortified urban centre, destroyed by Emperor Trajan’s legions during the Daco-Roman wars (102-106AD).
The magnitude of the destruction level testifies to the importance of the site both to the Dacian and the Romans.
During the 2008 season, excavation of the fortified acropolis of the Piatra Detunata site will continue and expect to expose a significant part of the fortification system in order to see how it relates to the civilian buildings of the acropolis.
At the same time, excavations will be continued on the acropolis itself for the purpose of identifying the role the various constructions played in the urban Dacian fabric. Considering the extraordinary rich and varied archaeological material recovered last year, the 2008 excavation offers remarkable promise
June 12 - July 16, 2011
The Olt River valley in South-East Transylvania (Romania) has always been the gateway between the Transylvanian Plateau (hence the Pannonian Plains and therefore Europe) and the Danube Basin (and through the Balkans, Asia Minor and the Mediterranean Sea). Its importance is such that it has been continuously inhabited since early prehistoric times.
See photos at: http://www.archaeotek.org/iron_age_dacian_fortress
"Dacian" Landscapes: Racos and Surroundings
Half way between the medieval city of Sighisoara (the real Dracula’s birth place and an UNESCO Heritage Site) and Brasov (and the nearby Bram Stocker’s Bran Castle), a very elaborate system of Dacian strongholds, civilian settlements and religious centers has been located in the Racos de Jos area. Every hill top and most of the Olt River Basin is occupied by the remains of various Dacian Iron Age settlements. The complexity of the region has only been understood in the last few years when the excavations at Augustin, a great temple complex, have been finalized. The extent of the site, its relationships to other Dacian sites, quality and quantity of the material finds indicated that the Racos complex is one of the greatest La Tene (Late Iron Age) Dacian settlements in South-East Europe.
The site we are currently excavating, the Piatra Detunata site, is on a hill facing the Augustin Temple Complex and is most likely associated with it. The test trenches excavated over the past three years have exposed a rich and complex fortified urban center, destroyed by Emperor Trajan’s legions during the Daco-Roman wars (102-106AD). The magnitude of the destruction level testifies to the importance of the site both to the Dacians and the Romans.
Most of the fortified Dacian settlements in Transylvania have been emptied of their civilian element and only military presence was left to face the Romans. It is not the case for this region. A great number of civilian objects (complete ceramic vessels, jewelry, weaving implements, etc) has been found, proving that the region has not been evacuated as the Roman legions were advancing. Fighting was fierce for control of the region: human skeletons and weapons, both Dacian and Roman (some quite rare) have been found even inside the burned houses on the acropolis.
To our surprise, while searching for the extension of civilian within the fortified acropolis, we uncovered several Wietenberg (Middle Bronze Age) Culture houses, dating from ca. 1,600 BC. To our surprise, the interior of the rather poorly constructed buildings yielded extraordinary material: high end, very decorated ceramics, complete vessels, votive figurines and various replica of decorated chariots. The presence of these "votive shacks", very rich in exceptional artifacts point to the presence of a temple complex in the acropolis.
The 2011 season will be the last season of exploration of the fortified acropolis of the Piatra Detunata site. We will expose the central part of the fortification system in order to see how it relates to the civilian buildings of the acropolis and the rest of the military structures. At the same time, we are going to continue the excavation of the acropolis itself for the purpose of identifying the role that various constructions played in the urban Dacian fabric. Considering the extraordinarily rich and varied archaeological material recovered during 2008-20010 excavation seasons, 2011 offers remarkable promise.
Fortification Tower - Costesti, Hunedoara County
Dacian Ceramics - Racos, Brasov County
Dacian Sacrificial Child Grave - Hunedoara
Middle Bronze Age Cup - Racos
Military Gear Found in the Dacian Fortress of Racoşul de Jos–Piatra Detunată, Braşov County* by Florea Costea, Lucica Savu, Valeriu Sîrbu, RaduŞtefănescu, Angelica Bălos
The current study introduces a number of artifacts that are encountered rather in the pre-Roman Dacian sites from Romania (settlements, fortresses, necropolises), namely military gear and weapons.
1. Helmet – nape guard 1a. Context of the discovery. The item was found in Section I/2002-2003, m. 9, at a depth of 40 cm, behind the fortress’s enclosure wall, in a closed complex, most likely the living quarters of soldiers from the guard of the fortress (Fig. 1/a). We are dealing with a space inhabited at all times, given the existence of a fireplace and a fitting out made of crushed local limestone, which extends the fireplace towards the center of the room. Further evidence consists of the very rich inventory, characteristic of a prosperous daily life, which was found together with the helmet fragment: wheel-modeled cups, mugs,ka nh a ro i of “the Celtic type”, fruit-bowls, as well as hand-modeled cups, mugs, jars, supply vessels etc. Most of the vessels are whole or broken in situ, but they can be reconstituted. Some of them were on top of the helmet fragment which, in turn, was above some of the skeleton of a sheep or goat, fallen over and next to the fireplace (Fig. 1/b).
The position of the entire inventory (over 100 items, mostly pottery) makes it clear that we are dealing with a wall that collapsed when the whole complex was on fire, at which time the items placed on shelves fell around and on top of the larger vessels on the floor, which were found in one piece and with the mouth upwards (two of them even with rush-light cups in them). Based on the position that the other materials had, the nape guard was definitely among the items on the shelves.
On top of the inventory there is a layer of burnt clay with traces of logs, thick planks and wattle, a layer that consists both of the room’s wall and of the cover of the fortress’s wall (large pieces of clay with the imprints of planks); the thickness of these layer ranged from 10 to 30 cm and was smaller as it went higher. On top of this layer is the wood’s soil, mixed with local limestone rocks, which varies in thickness depending on the slope and formed in time out of the earth slides from higher up and from rotting vegetation.
It must be said that the deposits covering the inventory, as well as the substructure of the complex (at a depth of 1–1.20 m) are “weaved” with the trees’ roots, some of them several hundred years old, and that this posed a great deal of difficulties for the research. As for the layer of burnt material covering the items, it is almost as certain that it is the result of a (first?) destruction of the Dacian fortification around the time of the Roman conquest, an event that we will not go into at this moment.
1b). Materials, technique. The nape guard is made of brass in the following composition: Cu = 88.81%, Zn = 10.75%, Fe = 0.24%, Sn = 0.19%, plus slight traces of arsenide, lead and silver (we would like to take this *
We have a debt of gratitude to the colleagues R. Ardevan, for the help with the correct reading of the inscription and for offering most of the bibliography on it, Al. Suceveanu, the first one to be shown the inscription and who offered us some of the bibliography on the topic, and L. Petculescu, for the fruitful discussion regarding the item and the description as well as for the willingness to provide us with some of the bibliography on the Roman weaponry; warm thanks to our colleague T. Bader (Germany). for sending some books and studies which otherwise would not have been accessible to us.
Omagiu lui Gavrilă Simion la a 80-a aniversare, 2008, p. 154-169 Military Gear Found in the Dacian Fortress of Racoşul de Jos–Piatra Detunată, Braşov County 155 opportunity to rectify the statement made on the occasion of the publishing of this item inTyragetia where, in the absence of the metallographic analyses, we said we were dealing with lead). It was made by both casting and hammering. After being cast, the plate was modeled and finished while being warm, in several stages, by banging. Particular attention was paid to reinforcing the edge, an operation which created a flange with an “inner” groove, marked with a chisel at an angle, which left a mark ranging between 5 and 13 mm in length and 1-2 mm in width. Hammering was also used for bending the “collar”, which went up towards the calotte, as the marks of the tool are perfectly visible on both sides.
There are also details which raise some questions in regard to the craftsman’s skill. The most striking thing seems to be the line of the flange, which is far from linear, a defect that cannot be attributed to the hammering and the chiseling but rather to the lack of accuracy on the part of the matrix.
It seems that the varying thickness of the tin is also a result of the banging while being warm, as the nape guard is wider where the tin is thinner. In any case, the marks of a hammer with a very small convexity are visible all over the “inner” side (towards the wearer’s body), while the visible side shows only three marks, all of them in the lower part (left one) of the item.
There are no other visible fabrication marks, as the two sharp, isosceles dents that are close to the perforation are from a later period and can have various explanations: in any case, they were made when the item was cold.
We also need to state that the “anvil”-support used during the banging had a fine surface, as the upper part of the item bears the imprint of a very fine “porosity”, similar to sand. It is clear that the banging did not take place on a hard and flat surface.
1c). Size, weight. Based on our data, compared to other helmets, contemporary or not, the nape guard in question is among the large ones. The distance between the extremities, namely the “rounded corners”, is 320 mm, while the edge of the “neckline” is 215 mm long. The width of the ends was unequal from the beginning: 60 mm on the left side and 83 mm on the opposite side. Also unequal is the width of the “neckline”, which is 16 mm on the left side, compared to 26 mm on the other. This “defect”, plus the absence of bolts and perforations, suggests that the nape guard and the calotte were one and the same item and that, originally, they were not detachable. At some point, the nape guard was separated from the calotte and the edge was carefully polished. It is from this “neckline”, on the left side, that one took a 60 mm long strip, by striking with a chisel from both sides, most likely to use it as raw material. The operation is a sign not only of craftsmanship, but also of the care taken not to compromise the item, as the marks left by the chisel were removed by polishing. The operation might have been made by a jeweler, as the strip that was detached was large enough for a fibula or some piece of jewelry. The thickness of the strip is also a little unusual, larger than with the other helmets that we know of, hence the 296 grams of weight. The width varies, both on the nape guard itself (where it ranges between 0.70 and 2.50 m) and along the neckline (between 0.5 and 3 mm). We believe that the nape guard was separated from the helmet’s calotte on site, in the fortification from Piatra Detunată, which means that the rest of the helmet might be in the settlement, whole or dismembered.
1d). The state in which it was preserved is acceptable, but the wider segment is broken and pierced by corrosion. The cause of the breaking could be an ancient blow. Because of the very strong secondary burning, the metal sheet warped and gained a very rich interplay of yellow-red nuances.
1e). The inscription on the item. On the upper, visible part of the item, 0.7–3.2 cm from the neckline, on a single row, one finds the name of the helmet’s owner. We are dealing with a simple inscription, with “standard” letters, paleographically speaking. The text was imprinted after the metal sheet cooled and hardened, with dotted letters made with a stamp whose tip was smaller than 1 mm. Although the letters are “standard”, they are disproportionate in size, having between 9 and 28 mm in height. The smallest one is the “O” from CORELVS, while the largest is the S from ACVSTVS. The writing might have been “dictated” and not with a matrix, meaning the author was literate.
As with other inscriptions on helmets, the text specifies from the beginning the unit to which the owner belongs, a unit designated by its commander (the Centurion –CL), after which comes the name of the owner (CORELIVS ACVSTVS). So, a mirrored “C” is short for centurion or centuria, followed by the usual abbreviation for the g en tilici u m Claudius (CL). This leads us to believe that the helmet’s owner was on active duty in a centuria (infantry), led by an officer named Claudius, hence: centuria CL(AUDII).
Next come, very clearly, the letters CORELIVS. Usually, they are the g en tiliciu m of the military that owned the helmet. However, the Roman onomastics does not record a nomen gentile as such, but only a (156 Florea Costea, Lucica Savu, Valeriu Sîrbu, RaduŞtefănescu, Angelica Bălos) Corellius1. We know of one eq u es and three consuls with the nomen gentile Corellia. Therefore, thegen tiliciu m Corellius is encountered 2, but our item does not show two “L” letters. On the other hand, this could be the widespreadg en tiliciu m Cornelius, rarely attested as acogno m en as well3.
Therefore, the most reasonable reading, in our opinion, could be COR(N)ELIVS, an idea also supported by the inscription CI L XII 4694, discovered in Gallia Narbonensis, on which the name Cornelia appears as Cor<n>elia4.
Just as clear are the letters of the following word, ACVSTVS, and not AGVSTVS, the letter “C” being identical to the one from CORELIVS. At first glance, the cognomen ACVSTVS could seem standard and, as such, accepted, as it is not necessarily depreciative (“The sharp one”). However, besides the fact that such acog no m en is not known to us (we do have to mention, nevertheless, that we did not have access to the work of I. Kajanto (1965), a careful observation of the way the letters are arranged clearly shows that between the current “A” and “C” letters, there is not only enough, but in fact an ideal space for the letter that we think is missing, namely “V”. As a result, it is our opinion that we are dealing with neither the nameAcustus, which is not encountered in any of the authors mentioned, norAgustus. What is very frequent, however, is the cognomenAugustu s5, a reading that we do not find surprising at all, despite the fact that the letter “C” is correct, but it could be the result of the scribe’s lack of attention (“C” instead of “G”). We believe, therefore, that the author missed or forgot to write the letter “V” between “A” and “G”. This statement is supported by an inscription from Belgica6, where the name appears spelled asA (u )g u s tu s .
In light of the above, we believe that the clearest reading is: (centuria) Cl(audii) Cor(n)elius A(u)gustus = Cornelius Augustus, from the centuria of Claudiu. The owner of the helmet was, therefore, a military by the name of Cornelius Augustus, a Roman citizen from the infantry centuria led by the officer Claudius.
In the Roman world, in the time of the Republic or the Principate or later on, the dotted inscriptions on armory items or offensive or defensive gear are quite many and enjoy a rich bibliography, which we mention in part at the end of this study. In our country, we have two dotted inscriptions on military items: on the bronze mask for a parade helmet found in Comani, in Olt’s waters, close to Romula, kept for some time in the collection of A. Papazoglu, but currently found in the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna 7 and on an armor fitting whose discovery site and context are unclear 8. Both of them are written on bronze, also when the material was cold. There are also the inscriptions from another category of military items, even smaller in size9.
2. Bronze ornament from the helmet (Fig. 2/c) (L = 32 mm, Dmax = 15 mm, Dmin(body) = 9 mm; MIBv – Inv. no. II 6793). It was made by casting and has the shape of a “spool” with bi-truncated ends and a cylindrical, hollow body; it is decorated at each end with two circular nervures, thin at the end of the bi-truncated areas, with one of them thicker at the maximum diameter, and two other thin, circular nervures on the cylindrical part of the body.
Alone or together with another two, the item wraps around the support for the crest of an officer’s helmet which, most of the times, was made of iron10. The ornament was discovered in the same place as the helmet’s nape guard, in the same layer of burnt material.
3. Dagger (Fig. 3-5).
3a). Context of the discovery. The offensive weapon found during the excavation campaign of the summer of 2007, in the divider between cassettes 2 and 3 (C2-3/2007), between m. 3-4, at a depth of 0.68 m. Same as with the helmet fragment, we are dealing with a closed complex – a dwelling, placed in the enclosure, 14 m away from the place the helmet was discovered (Fig. 3/a).
The dagger was covered with a layer of wall rough cast turned red by the fire and with stones from the wall of the fortress, a layer under which there was a large number of Dacian vessels broken on site, but which can be reconstituted. Nearby, there also was a large nail shaped like the letter “L”, 16.2 cm long. Here too, we
(1 Mócsy et alii 1983, 88; Solin, Salomies 1994, 64; Lörincz 1999, 75; Klebs, Rohden, Dessau 1897-1898; Groag, Stein 1936. 2 Mócsy et alii 1983, 69; Solin, Salomies 1994, 61 sqq.; Lörincz 1999, 76-78. 3 Mócsy et alii 1983, 88; Solin, Salomies 1994, 64; Lörincz 1999, 76-78. 4 Lörincz 1999, 76. 5 Mócsy et alii 1983, 38; Solin, Salomies 1994, 298; Lörincz, Redö 1994, 228. 6 CIL XIII 7584. 7 IDR II, 378, with bibliography. 8 IDR II 660, cf. Petculescu 1974-1975, 83-84. 9 Gudea 1982, 59-68; Gudea 1991, 69-80. 10Bishop, Coulston 1993, fig. 58/4 etc. Military Gear Found in the Dacian Fortress of Racoşul de Jos–Piatra Detunată, Braşov County 157) are dealing with a dwelling’s rich inventory, specifically, with items that were on shelves but fell on the floor, together with the wall the moment the fortress was set fire to, also around the Roman conquest. Same as with the pottery, the impact with the floor and the fire slightly upset the complex, as its parts are spread a little. We would like to draw attention to the absence of the organic part of the handle and the back of the scabbard, due to the nature of the material that they were made of, probably wood or leather, which were destroyed by the fire.
The parts that were preserved are as follows: the dagger itself, the visible part of the scabbard, the handle and the system to affix it to the belt. The dagger, handle and affixing hinge are made of iron. 3b1). The dagger (Fig. 4/a; 5/a), triangular in plane, elongated, with two sharp edges, has a total length of 255 mm, 200 mm of which is the blade; the maximum width, towards the handle, is 41 mm, and the thickness, at half-length, is 5 mm. At the handle, the blade has two small, sharp and triangular winglet-stoppers (one of them broken from ancient times), which secured it to the handle.
In section, the blade is a compressed oval. In length, on the middle, it has two grooves that surround a nervure. The latter is also the maximum thickness. The peduncle, which enters the handle, is rectangular in section, 55 mm long and slightly sharp. It still has the two grooves and the nervure, up to the middle rivet of the handle. 3b2). The handle (L=85 mm, Wmax=23 mm). Shaped like an upside-down “T”, it only has one of the two handle parts anymore; the length of the rivets left in it (16-17 mm) can be a decisive argument in favor of the statement that the pair of the iron handle part was made of some sort of hard wood, of such a size that it could be grabbed and handled normally (Fig. 4/c; 5/b).
Grooved along its entire length, the handle is trapezoidal at the upper end and it ends with a horizontal bar; towards the middle, it has a disc-like area, with an orifice in the middle. It came together with the wooden part with the help of five iron rivets; the one in the middle penetrated the knife’s peduncle and made it stable inside the handle. The ends of the rivets were in the shape of discs and, for practical or aesthetic reasons; they must have been covered in enamel, bronze or some noble material. As we said before, the handle’s pair might have been made of some sort of hard wood or leather, but it burnt completely. Based on the length of the rivets, one can estimate it was 17 mm thick. The handle was assembled with the help of five rivets, two at the ends and one in the middle.
The scabbard was assembled with 15 rivets, positioned as follows: four in each of the two lateral “winglets” towards the handle, three in each of the two “winglets” in the middle and one in the center of the disc at the extremity of the sharp end.
Grooved in order to allow the peduncle to go in, the handle is ornamented with geometrical motifs, shaped like continuous or zigzagging lines, plus vertical or oblique incisions, which could suggest wheat husks. 3b3). The scabbard (L = 218 mm, Lmax,towards the handle = 48 mm, and “at the middle” = 39 mm; thickness = 2 mm) (Fig. 3/c, 4/b, 5/c). The only preserved part is the one permanently visible. The shape of the scabbard is imposed by the blade and it is triangular, elongated, with a round end pierced by a rivet. Despite the fact that it went through a very strong fire, the metallic core was preserved relatively well. On the other hand, the burning generated a very thin and brittle oxide casing, partially exfoliated from ancient times. The metallographic analysis performed on the inside, towards the middle of the length, had the following results: Fe=80.74%, Sn=15.20%, Cu=1.70%; there is no As or Ag. On the outside, the analysis came up with: Fe=91.71%, Sn=7.98%, Pb=0.31%; traces of Cu, but no Ag.
Therefore, the tin was used as a film that imitates silver (argentarium), which covered the entire surface of the item, as revealed by a more constant layer in the decoration’s negative. The larger amount present on the inside is the result of the film’s “leaking’ from the upper to the lower part, something also confirmed by its “movement” toward the handle which was lower, where the composition is as follows: Fe=96.64%, Sn=3.91%, Pb=0.16%.11.
The scabbard, made by forging, pressing and hammering, is ornamented with geometric and vegetal motifs that, even though somewhat elegant, do not endow the piece with particular artistic qualities. The geometric motifs are placed towards the edge and are meant to highlight the central symbol, particularly the military one. From edge to the middle, the succession of motifs is as follows: a) groove on the scabbards contour, with perpendicular, uneven incisions; b) profiled strip with a zigzagging motif, made by hammering; and c) thing groove that also follows the shape of the item.
The central decoration consists of a stylized vegetal motif, with the leading part played by the acanthus leafs seen in profile, placed along a path like a meandering river, with volute on the way and at the upper ends, 11The metallographic analyses were performed by Dr. B. Constantinescu from the Metallographic Laboratory of the Romanian National Museum of History, in Bucharest.
The Deva Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization
161. Racos, Racos township, Brasov county archeological digs
Location: Piatra Detunata (Detunata Rock)
Site Code: 41710.04
Team: Florea Costea - director, Dan Dana (MJI Brasov), Angelica Balos, Costin Daniel Tuianu - section director (MCDR Deva)
Piatra Detunata (Detunata Rock) is a hill with a height of about 560 m ASL (above sea level), situated just on the left bank of the Olt river, half way between the towns of Augustin and Racosul de Jos (Lower Racos). The hill was sporadically occupied in Neolithic and very intensely in bronze age, Hallstatt and Latene periods. The bronze age fortifications, destroyed in large part in the following periods, overlapped by two [earth mounds/ditches - waves] in the Hallstatt period and a wall in the Latene period. Currently, in relatively good state are the Hallstatt earth mounds, in contrast to the Dacian wall which is more preserved to a height which fluctuates between 1m and 1.6-1.7m.
The systematic research (although with some interruptions) began in the year 1982 (Ioan Glodariu, Florea Costea), annual campaigns carried out from the year 1995. All material resulted were entered into the collection of the Brasov County Museum of History.
The campaign of the summer of the year 2000 (10 July - September) followed in a special method the technique of construction of the Dacian wall, as well as the method of arranging to the terraces within the walls (intra muros) and the intensity of their inhabitation in the three periods. The area outside the fortifications was not neglected, in this year special attention was given to the southern zones, between the fortress and the forest road. Here were traced Section S. I / 2000 (35 x 2 m), Section S. III / 2000 (18 x 2 m) and Box C. 2 / 2000 (5 x 3 m).
The slope from near the fortification was occupied (in this sector) only in first iron age and just near the earth mound [waves], after as demonstrates [manifests] the above-ground dwelling, with clay hearth [kiln], discovered in the first 10m from upstream have Section I / 2000. Down-stream, respectively in m. 31 - 32 have the same section, but perfectly visible in Section S. III / 2000 and in Box C. 2 / 2000, went out to [the form of - iveala~], a double row of large boulders of partial cut [shaped] limestone (with sides of over 1m length). For certain there is no word of a construction, but of a premise of which dimensions and [meaning - use - situation] may be ascertained only after extending excavations and on the east and west sides (the northern limit can be the last natural terrace from outside of the small Hallstatt earth mound). It is very possible that the arrangement dates from the first iron age.
Excavations within the premises. Section S. II / 1998 was continued, unfinished then from cause [lack of time - intemperiilor], in chief between m. 30 and m. 45, on which occasion were transected the interior (large) Hallstatt earth mound and the Dacian wall. The Hallstatt earth mound was erected on a natural curve of level cliffs [rocks] of limestone, not before creation of the surface plans which would assure the stability of the structures. As well as in previous years, at its lower part was observed a bed of large limestone rocks, between which there were no Hallstatt artefacts, which leads to the conclusion that the first fortifications of the hill were located in the bronze age. The Dacian wall was raised on the ridge of the earth mound, after which this was flattened. Construction was achieved with the help of a wooden skeleton that consisted of two rows of poles pushing into the earth mound, from which bowed toward the exterior plywood horizontal [loazbe]. The [loazbe] was arranged and the base of the wall, the marks of the wood were perfectly visible in the [vitrified] crust, 3 - 5 cm thick. The box was not observed, although the width sections were 3.5 m in this sector. In the filling of the wall was found again Dacian [fructiere] and [jars - pots - borcane], conclusive for the dating of the structures to the first century CE.
In the space of the wall, toward the premises, were clearly delimited two levels of Dacian occupation, the last ceasing at the Roman conquest. Contemporary with this is a worship [religious] hearth, in which was deposited a mandible of a wild boar and fragments of small Dacian ceramics, from vases modelled by hand or on a wheel. It was discovered near the dwelling excavated in the year 1998, from which resulted very many iron objects and pieces of costume and ornament of iron, bronze and silver.
Section S. II / 2000. Located at 35 m E of Section S. II / 1998, it had the aim of verifying the period and the method of arranging of the interior terraces (with dimensions of 25 x 1.5 m). The first terrace was produced in the bronze age, in the Wietenberg culture period, [from which were dated - since given] two above-ground dwellings. The edges of the terraces were reinforced by the Dacians, by raising and widening with large slabs of local limestone. The dwellings were only above-ground. Outside of the [movable - furniture] inventory characteristic of the Latene, here was discovered a slab of soft [bushes - tuf] in which is sculpted a "[ bradut ]", unique until now in Dacian settlements.
The "In sea" ["In saddle"] sector. In the saddle between the hill [personal-say - propriu-zis] and the [breast - mamelonul] that is risen just on the left bank of the Olt were [traced] two sections in cross (measuring 15 x 2 m each), with the aim of verifying if this zone was occupied. Beginning from a depth of -0.15 / -0.2 m appeared bits of mortar of wall black or reddened from fire and charcoal, testing for the existence of some above-ground dwellings of [caror] of contours wasn't able to delimit. Ceramics modelled by hand are represented by jars, cups and saucers, while pottery worked on a wheel is recorded fragmentary [shouts - shreaks - chiupuri] ash grey and red, with incised decorations in waves or circular bands, [fructiere] of the same colour, [strachini], a bowl, cups and saucers, [ulcer - ulcioare]. Both species of ceramic are very friable due to acidity and excessive moisture from the soil. Among the pieces of metal are of mention many more iron knives, an ear ring of bronze, an iron fibula (cloak pin) with rhomboidal [diaper - scut] (of type 11 after A. Rustoiu), a silver fibula with the strong body standing out [in relief] (of type 20a after A. Rustoiu) etc. In the majority, materials are dated between the first half century CE and the Roman conquest.