New finds near old Dacian capital Sarmisegetusa Regia

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Romanian archaeologists have discovered a well preserved alleyway and a building in Sarmisegetusa Regia, the ancient Dacian city located in Orastie Mountains, which served as the capital of Dacia before the Roman Conquest.

New finds near old Dacian capital Sarmisegetusa Regia
Credit: Daniel Guță/Adevarul

The researchers said they uncovered an alleyway paved with floor tiles and blocks of andesite, a rock probably transported from 50 kilometres away in the Mures Valley. The paved alleyway, surprisingly well built for the times, leads to a building that has never been explored before.




Gelu Florea, coordinator of the research team, said the students from Babes Bolyai University in Cluj Napoca simply continued digs that started last year in the so-called “sacred area” of the site.

New finds near old Dacian capital Sarmisegetusa Regia
Credit: Daniel Guță/Adevarul

“We looked at a new segment of the paved alley and were surprised to see that it looks different, that they used extremely interesting material; the construction technique is very interesting,” he said.




The researchers also found a quantity of ceramics, carbonized cereals, iron tools and agricultural tools.

New finds near old Dacian capital Sarmisegetusa Regia
Credit: Daniel Guță/Adevarul

Built in the 1st centuries B.C. and A.D. at a 1,200 meter altitude in the Orastie Mountains, in the Western Carpathians, the six fortresses that make up Sarmisegetusa Regia show an unusual fusion of military and religious architectural techniques and concepts from the Classical world and the late European Iron Age.




The six forts were conquered by the Romans at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. and the capital was destroyed and moved to Ulpia Traiana Sarmisegetusa, which is 40 kilometers away from the original location.

New finds near old Dacian capital Sarmisegetusa Regia
Credit: Daniel Guță/Adevarul

The ancient Dacian fortresses were discovered at the beginning of the 19th century, when hundreds of gold coins were found in the area of the former capital.

The discovery triggered a gold rush but also prompted many researchers to start digs in different areas, unearthing six fortresses, in Costesti, Luncani, Banita and Capalna.




In Sarmisegetusa Regia itself, archaeological research unearthed seven temples, an altar and a road paved with limestone slabs that provided access from the fortress to the sacred area. It also has a unique andesite solar disc that researchers believe was used to measure time.

No other gold discovery was reported until 1970, when a worker found a gold Dacian coin. The communist regime published the discovery, and the news triggered another gold rush after the fall of communism, with people looking for alleged Dacian treasure in the 1990s.

The site was listed in 1999 in the UNESCO World Heritage because of its unique construction techniques and concepts of military architecture.

Author: Ana Maria Luca | Source: Balkan Insight [September 08, 2018]

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