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Dacian Fortress – Transylvania

January 15, 2008

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.


Dates:  1 June – 5 July (must stay at least 2 weeks)

Cost:  $335 (Euro 295)

Minimum age – 18

No previous experience required

You will be staying on a campsite


For more archaeological digging opportunities go to:

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