An interdisciplinary team of archaeologists, historians, museum curators, videographers and artists is working intensely to document the archaeological heritage found in eastern Transylvania and dated in the Dacian period, presenting it to those interested in antiquities, culture and nature.

 REFERENCES

SITE CONTENT

FUTURE PLANS

This digital atlas was developed in the project ZBOR – Walls Towers Cities Ruins. Getting closer to the Dacian fortified sites from eastern Transylvania, developed by the Museum of Eastern Carpathians, in partnership with the Cultural and Scientific Association of the Eastern Carpathians and the Cultural Association ‘The Dacian Fortress Valea Zânelor’, co-funded by the Administration of the National Cultural Fond.

  • interactive maps
  • aerial images and videos of archaeological landscapes
  • ground images and videos
  • digital models of the terrain
  • archive documents
  • scientific bibliography
  • interviews with specialists in the field
  • artistic reconstructions

All published materials can be used and redistributed with the condition of mentioning the authors and source.

For the moment, the project is focused exclusively on displaying the most representative Dacian fortified sites – seen as regional landmarks. As the research will advance, we intend to add more data, including about non-fortified Dacian sites. A significant part of our activity, needing time and resources, is the actual site identification in the field.

Fortified sites

Built on high ground, often surrounded by vast forested wilderness, the remains of the fortified sites made by the Dacian tribes during the two centuries before the Roman Conquest of Dacia, around the Carpathian Depressions of Eastern Transylvania, should be seen as ancient observation points of nowadays deserted roads or defences and prestige seats of Iron Age chieftains. Either earthen or stone enclosures, sometimes fairly complex assembles of walls, terraces and towers, the Dacian fortifications have been known in the environs of Brașov, Miercurea Ciuc and Târgu Secuiesc depressions since the 19th century. Even if some of these sites were investigated more intensely, there are still others that cannot be identified in the field anymore. The significant amount of fortified sites from the Dacian period found in eastern Transylvania, despite the regions’ famous harsh climate, stand as proof for the use of this space as a passage between the Danube-Black Sea and the central European areas, a gate therefore, which had to be defended or controlled.

 

This special geography had been repeatedly exploited by communities in the past, not only during the Dacian period, but also earlier (Eneolithic, Bronze Age, First Iron Age) or later (Medieval period). This is why many of the Dacian period fortified sites in this area overlay much older prehistoric enclosures or were re-occupied during Medieval times.