Romanian History and Culture

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Thracians in the Trojan War, Illios, Phrygia, Mycenaean Thrace, Bronze Age Romania, Northern Thracians, Archeological Sites, Weapons, Achilleus Lord of Scythia? Uluburnun Shipwreck with Transylvanian Artifacts on Board.


 File:Helene Paris Louvre K6.jpg

Helen and Paris (wearing a Phrygian cap). A case of an older woman showing her famous breasts, seduced with gold jewellry by a younger men. Side A from an Apulian (Tarentum?) red-figure bell-krater, 380–370 BC.Painter of Stockholm 1999, H. 33.40 cm; D. 38.60 cm; L. 33.90 cm, Tochon Collection, 1818, Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sully, first floor, room 44, case 9, Louvre Museum, Paris, France.

History of Paris and Helen at:

The Thracians Videos at:  Romanian only

  „Incursiunile lui Vasile Parvan in protoistoria Daciei (mileniul I i de Christos) - desi au fost in parte corijate de descoperirile arheologice de dupa 1926 - au ramas puncte de pornire in recuperarea stiintifica a acestei perioade.

Volumul de fata reuneste, pentru prima data la un loc, texte aparute in romana sau in alte limbi, asupra trecutului nostru, complementare Geticii, gratie carora viziunea savantului despre daci se intregeste admirabil.

Senzational e studiul Dacii la Troia (care da titlul volumului), in virtutea caruia - impinsa de cimmerieni, care, la randul lor, erau alungati de sciti - o ramura a dacilor ar fi ajuns in Asia Mica si ar fi refondat Troia VII, pe ruinele Troiei homerice, pe care au stapanit-o timp de trei secole.

In felul acesta, istoria locala a dacilor patrunde spectaculos in istoria universala.“ - I.Oprisan

 Bronze Age in Romania

Transylvanian swords were found in Homeric Troy, Transylvanian bronzes and artifacts sank with the Uluburun, Minoan symbols are found on Late Bronze Age Transylvanian cast bronze swords.


Seven of the nine superior bronze "Mycenaean" swords found in Romania were found in Transylvania. Apa type swords  17thc BC

Vasile Pârvan, Dacii la Troia, (pdf, 1 MB) extras din Orpheus, Anul II, Nr. 1, ianuarie-februarie 1926, Bucureşti, Tipografia Ion C. Văcărescu at: 


  In the second level of Troy excavation identified as Troy II dated around 2450-2200 BC four magnificent, highly polished artefacts that truly deserve the name "battle-axes". Three are of greenish stone said to be nephrite, and one bluish one resembles lapis lazuli. Both the exotic materials and the elegant craftsmanship suggest thta these probably come from much farther east-perhaps from Bessarabia. .  

Map of early Bronze Age culturesY-DNA in Europe around 4,500 to 5,000 years ago at:

Table of Contents-Cuprins:

Thracians in the Trojan War, Phrygia, Mycenaean Thrace

Achilleus Childhood, a Scythian Childhood?

Achilleus Lord of Scythia

White Island Leuce - Insula Serpilor, Romania, Final Resting  Place of Achilles and Partroclus

Getian Telefus, King of Moesia in the Trojan War 

Historicity of the Iliad, Troy, Ilios, Wilusa

Bronze Age in Romania, North Thracians of Cruceni - Belegiš Culture, Cornesti Earthen Fortress- Biggest Bronze Age Fortress in Europe


Racos Middle Bronze Age Settlement in Transylvania, 16th century BC. Noua, Ocna Mures

Bronze Age Village Discovered in Recea, near Zalau, Romania

Cauas, Satu Mare, a Newly Discovered Thracian Settlement 1750-1050 BC 

Plosca, Dolj Bronze Age Cemetery, Romania

Thracian Horses

Spada de bronz din prima epoca a fierului in albia raului Suceava

Uluburun Shipwreck-Bronze Age Artifacts from North Thrace and Transylvania

North Thracian Pottery

Thracian History Time Line

Getai returning from Mysia on Sinaia Tablets-Dacii la Troia, Vasile Parvan

The Gold of the Mycenaean Thracians

People of the Sea 

Archeology and the Need for Funding from the European Union 

Thracians in the Trojan War, Phrygia, Mycenaean Thrace



1500-900 BC: Late Bronze Age

"Mycenaean Thrace"; legendary Thracian priest-kings Orpheus, Rhesus, Lycurgus, Tereus, and Zalmoxis; Thracian maritime power in the Aegean (ca. 1000 BC); stone and bronze axes, gold work.


Strabo, Geography Book XIII, chapter I 

H.C. Hamilton, Esq., W. Falconer, M.A., Ed

There is a river Arisbus in Thrace, as we have said before, near which are situated the Cabrenii Thracians. There are many names common to Thracians and Trojans, as Scei, a Thracian tribe, a river Sceus, a Scæn wall, and in Troy, Scæan gates. There are Thracians called Xanthii, and a river Xanthus in Troja; an Arisbus which discharges itself into the Hebrus,71 and an Arisbe in Troja; a river Rhesus in Troja, and Rhesus, a king of the Thracians. The poet mentions also another Asius, besides the Asius of Arisbe, “‘who was the maternal uncle of the hero Hector, own brother of Hecuba, and son of Dymas who lived in Phrygia on the banks of the Sangarius.’72” [22]

There is also a Mysia near Troy and there is a Mysia-Moesia in Thrace.

  Thracians allied to Troy

The first historical record about the Thracians is found in the Iliad, where they are described as allies of the Trojans in the Trojan War against the Greeks. 

The first written record about the Thracians is by Homer, who describes in the Iliad the arrival of the Thracian King Rhesus : “His chariot is bedight with silver and gold, and he has brought his marvelous golden amour, of the rarest workmanship - too splendid for any mortal man to carry, and meet only for the gods”. 

 Odysseus and Diomedes slaughtered thirteen Thracians (Trojan allies) and stole the horses of King Rhesus in a night raid. The Trojan War: A New History By Barry Strauss6

File:Rhesos MNA Naples.jpg

Odysseus (wearing the pilos hat) and Diomedes stealing the horses of Thracian king Rhesus they have just killed. Apulian red-figure situla by the Lycurgus Painter, ca. 360 BC. Stored in the Museo Nazionale Archaeologico in Naples


Rhesus of Thrace

Rhesus or Rhêsos (Ῥῆσος) was a Thracian king who fought on the side of Trojans in Iliad, Book X, where Diomedes and Odysseus stole his team of fine horses during a night raid on the Trojan camp. Homer gives his father as Eioneus— a name otherwise given to the father of Dia, whom Ixion threw into the firepit rather than pay him her bride-price. The name may be connected to the historic Eion in western Thrace, at the mouth of the Strymon, and the port of the later Amphipolis. The event portrayed in the Iliad also provides the action of the play Rhesus, transmitted among the plays of Euripides. Scholia to the Iliad episode and the Rhesus agree against Homer's version in giving Rhesus a more heroic stature, incompatible with Homer's version.[1] Rhesus died without engaging in battle.[2]

Later writers provide Rhesus with a more exotic parentage, claiming that his mother was one of the Muses (Calliope, Euterpe, or Terpsichore), his father the river god Strymon, and he was raised by fountain nymphs. Rhesus arrived late to Troy, because his country was attacked by Scythia, right after he received word that the Greeks had attacked Troy. He was killed in his tent, and his famous steeds were stolen by Diomedes and Odysseus. His name (a Thracian anthroponym) probably derives from PIE *reg-, 'to rule', showing a satem-sound change. There was also a river in Bithynia named Rhesus, with Greek myth providing an attendant river god of the same name. Rhesus the Thracian king was himself associated with Bithynia through his love with the Bithynian huntress Arganthone, in the Erotika Pathemata ["Sufferings for Love"] by Parthenius of Nicaea, chapter 36. Rhesus Glacier on Anvers Island in Antarctica is named after Rhesus of Thrace.[3]


  1. ^ See Bernard Fenik, Iliad x and the Rhesus: The Myth (Brussels: Latomus) 1964, who makes a case for pre-Homeric epic materials concerning Rhesus.
  2. ^ Rhesus Rhesus is chiefly remembered because he came from Thrace to defend Troy with great pomp and circumstance, but died on the night of his arrival, without ever engaging in battle.
  3. ^ Composite Gazetteer of Antarctica: Rhesus Glacier.

File:Rhesos krater Antikensammlung Berlin 1984.39.jpg

 Odysseus and Diomedes stealing the horses of Rhesus. Side A of the “Rhesos krater”Apulian red-figure krater, ca. 340 BC. Darius Painter. Altes Museum, Berlin, Germany

File:Rhesos krater Antikensammlung Berlin 1984.39 n2.jpg 

 King Rhesus of Thrace being murdered in sleep. Minerva put courage into the heart of Diomed, and he smote them right and left.

File:Rhesos krater Antikensammlung Berlin 1984.39 n3.jpg

(detail: Odysseus and the horses).

Another unique sanctuary was discovered near the village of Tatul , again in the Eastern Rhodope Mountains. It is a rock massif, again deified during the Chalcolithic Age, whose tip was processed with chisels during the Late Bronze Age and was transformed into a prominent megalithic monument. A deep stone sarcophagus is hewn in the highest place. A hypothesis is expressed that this was the real or symbolic grave of the legendary singer and principal Thracian hero Orpheus Hope Floats ipod The Sum of All Fears movie download . It is substantiated by preserved historical evidence about a unique burial custom of the kings in the Rhodope Mountains that differed radically from the tumular tombs of the dynasts in the plains. They were placed in the caves or on the top of cliffs so as to serve as mediators between the gods and the people. In addition to Orpheus, this is how King Rhesos, who perished in the Trojan War by the hand of Odysseus, was also buried.

The Temple-Womb of th Great Goddess-Mother and the Tomb of Orpheus
The megalithic monument near the village of Tatul proved to be the centre if a heroon – a sanctuary of a deceased and deified Thracian King. Over the centuries, it grew and functioned until the end of the pagan period. A magnificent temple was built next to the megalithic monuments in the 4th – 3rd century BC, which would have made any ancient Greek city proud. And this is already another historical period that Thracian society embarked upon.

Thrace had a heritage which matched their south-westerly neighbours, the Mycenaeans, being allied to Troy during the Trojan War. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, and stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont and Black Sea in the east. In addition to the tribe that Homer called Thracians, ancient Thrace was home to numerous other Indo-European tribes, all non-Greek speakers, such as the Edones, Bisaltes, Cicones, and Bistones, and all of them managed to remain rural peoples, usually living in fortified hilltops.

There is little specific order for the kings mentioned here, except by reference to outside events, such as the Trojan War. Thracian unification was not achieved until the fifth century and records are very sparse until that time.
 Thrax  Mythical son of the war-god Ares.
c.1220 BC
 Agenor?   Phineas  Son. Rescued from harpies by Jason of Iolkos.
 Cisseus Father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor
 Acamas  From Aenus in Thrace. Killed by Ajax.
c.1193 - 1183 BC


 Acamas leads a contingent of Thracian warriors to the Trojan War on the side of Troy. He is joined by his comrade Peiros, son of Imbrasus. Asius, Euphemus son of King Troezenus son of Ceas, and Rhesus also join the war with their own contingents, representing some of the various tribes in Thrace.
 Rhesus Later joined the Trojan War.
 Asius  From city of Sestus, on Thracian (northern) side of Hellespont.
 Euphemus of the Cicones  From the city of Ismara, Ismarus, on southern Thracian coast.
 Lycurgus of the Edones  From between Rivers Nestus and Strymon in southern Thrace.

Homeric/Bronze Age Thracians
From the literary evidence, we find that Rhesos and his bodyguard wore golden armour "fit only for the gods". Rhesos rode a chariot pulled by white horses. The Thracian sword was long and particularly nasty. The kings (at least) wore helmets.

From other evidence, we find that there are large numbers of bronze age weapons (including some well preserved rapiers) in Bulgarian tombs, that are exactly the same as Mycenaean weapons; Thracian fortresses had cyclopean walls exactly like Mycenean walls; Thracian kings were buried in tombs just like Mycenean tombs; and Thracian society remained "Homeric" long after the Greeks had developed into other forms. From all of this, I would say that the bronze age Thracians probably looked little different from their classical counterparts – just change the armour and weapons to those of the Bronze age.


The Iliad: Book XIII :

Helenus then struck Deipyrus with a great Thracian sword, hitting him on the temple in close combat and tearing the helmet from his head; the helmet fell to the ground, and one of those who were fighting on the Achaean side took charge of it as it rolled at his feet, but the eyes of Deipyrus were closed in the darkness of death.

Iliad 23.805 (Loeb)

Whoso of the twain shall first reach the other’s fair flesh, and touch the inward parts through armour and dark blood, to him will I give this silver-studded sword—a goodly Thracian sword which I took from Asteropaeus; and these arms let the twain bear away to hold in common.

Homer, Iliad
Acamas and the warrior Peirous commanded the Thracians and those that came from beyond the mighty stream of the Hellespont....

First, Ajax son of Telamon, tower of strength to the Achaeans, broke a phalanx of the Trojans, and came to the assistance of his comrades by killing Acamas son of Eussorus, the best man among the Thracians, being both brave and of great stature. The spear struck the projecting peak of his helmet: its bronze point then went through his forehead into the brain, and darkness veiled his eyes.


Euripides Rhesus 310


[300] And when I had heard all I wished to learn, I stood still; and I see Rhesus mounted like a god upon his Thracian chariot. Of gold was the yoke that linked the necks of his horses brighter than the snow; [305] and on his shoulders flashed his shield with figures welded in gold; while a gorgon of bronze like that on the aegis of the goddess was bound upon the front of his horses, ringing out its note of fear with many a bell. The number of his army you could not reckon [310] to an exact sum, for it was beyond one’s comprehension; many knights, many ranks of targeteers, many archers, a great crowd of light-armed troops, arrayed in Thracian garb, to bear them company. Such the man who comes to Troy’s assistance, [315] whom the son of Peleus will never escape, either if he tries to escape or if he meets him spear to spear.

Homer, Iliad, X

If you want to find your way into the host of the Trojans, there are the Thracians, who have lately come here and lie apart from the others at the far end of the camp; and they have Rhesus son of Eioneus for their king. His horses are the finest and strongest that I have ever seen, they are whiter than snow and fleeter than any wind that blows. His chariot is bedecked with silver and gold, and he has brought his marvellous golden armour, of the rarest workmanship- too splendid for any mortal man to carry, and meet only for the gods. Now, therefore, take me to the ships or bind me securely here, until you come back and have proved my words whether they be false or true.
Diomed looked sternly at him and answered, "Think not, Dolon, for all the good information you have given us, that you shall escape now you are in our hands, for if we ransom you or let you go, you will come some second time to the ships of the Achaeans either as a spy or as an open enemy, but if I kill you and an end of you, you will give no more trouble."
On this Dolon would have caught him by the beard to beseech him further, but Diomed struck him in the middle of his neck with his sword and cut through both sinews so that his head fell rolling in the dust while he was yet speaking. They took the ferret-skin cap from his head, and also the wolf-skin, the bow, and his long spear. Ulysses hung them up aloft in honour of Minerva the goddess of plunder, and prayed saying, "Accept these, goddess, for we give them to you in preference to all the gods in Olympus: therefore speed us still further towards the horses and sleeping-ground of the Thracians."
With these words he took the spoils and set them upon a tamarisk tree, and they marked the place by pulling up reeds and gathering boughs of tamarisk that they might not miss it as they came back through the flying hours of darkness. The two then went onwards amid the fallen armour and the blood, and came presently to the company of Thracian soldiers, who were sleeping, tired out with their day's toil; their goodly armour was lying on the ground beside them all orderly in three rows, and each man had his yoke of horses beside him. Rhesus was sleeping in the middle, and hard by him his horses were made fast to the topmost rim of his chariot. Ulysses from some way off saw him and said, "This, Diomed, is the man, and these are the horses about which Dolon whom we killed told us. Do your very utmost; dally not about your armour, but loose the horses at once- or else kill the men yourself, while I see to the horses."
Thereon Minerva put courage into the heart of Diomed, and he smote them right and left. They made a hideous groaning as they were being hacked about, and the earth was red with their blood. As a lion springs furiously upon a flock of sheep or goats when he finds without their shepherd, so did the son of Tydeus set upon the Thracian soldiers till he had killed twelve. As he killed them Ulysses came and drew them aside by their feet one by one, that the horses might go forward freely without being frightened as they passed over the dead bodies, for they were not yet used to them. When the son of Tydeus came to the king, he killed him too (which made thirteen), as he was breathing hard, for by the counsel of Minerva an evil dream, the seed of Oeneus, hovered that night over his head. Meanwhile Ulysses untied the horses, made them fast one to another and drove them off, striking them with his bow, for he had forgotten to take the whip from the chariot. Then he whistled as a sign to Diomed. But Diomed stayed where he was, thinking what other daring deed he might accomplish. He was doubting whether to take the chariot in which the king's armour was lying, and draw it out by the pole, or to lift the armour out and carry it off; or whether again, he should not kill some more Thracians. While he was thus hesitating Minerva came up to him and said, "Get back, Diomed, to the ships or you may be driven thither, should some other god rouse the Trojans."
Diomed knew that it was the goddess, and at once sprang upon the horses. Ulysses beat them with his bow and they flew onward to the ships of the Achaeans. But Apollo kept no blind look-out when he saw Minerva with the son of Tydeus. He was angry with her, and coming to the host of the Trojans he roused Hippocoon, a counsellor of the Thracians and a noble kinsman of Rhesus. He started up out of his sleep and saw that the horses were no longer in their place, and that the men were gasping in their death-agony; on this he groaned aloud, and called upon his friend by name. Then the whole Trojan camp was in an uproar as the people kept hurrying together, and they marvelled at the deeds of the heroes who had now got away towards the ships.
When they reached the place where they had killed Hector's scout, Ulysses stayed his horses, and the son of Tydeus, leaping to the ground, placed the blood-stained spoils in the hands of Ulysses and remounted: then he lashed the horses onwards, and they flew forward nothing loth towards the ships as though of their own free will. Nestor was first to hear the tramp of their feet. "My friends," said he, "princes and counsellors of the Argives, shall I guess right or wrong?- but I must say what I think: there is a sound in my ears as of the tramp of horses. I hope it may Diomed and Ulysses driving in horses from the Trojans, but I much fear that the bravest of the Argives may have come to some harm at their hands."
He had hardly done speaking when the two men came in and dismounted, whereon the others shook hands right gladly with them and congratulated them. Nestor knight of Gerene was first to question them. "Tell me," said he, "renowned Ulysses, how did you two come by these horses? Did you steal in among the Trojan forces, or did some god meet you and give them to you? They are like sunbeams. I am well conversant with the Trojans, for old warrior though I am I never hold back by the ships, but I never yet saw or heard of such horses as these are. Surely some god must have met you and given them to you, for you are both of dear to Jove, and to Jove's daughter Minerva."
And Ulysses answered, "Nestor son of Neleus, honour to the Achaean name, heaven, if it so will, can give us even better horses than these, for the gods are far mightier than we are. These horses, however, about which you ask me, are freshly come from Thrace. Diomed killed their king with the twelve bravest of his companions. Hard by the ships we took a thirteenth man- a scout whom Hector and the other Trojans had sent as a spy upon our ships."

Homer Iliad 10.460 (Loeb)

[460] and these things did goodly Odysseus hold aloft in his hand to Athene, the driver of the spoil, and he made prayer, and spake, saying: "Rejoice, goddess, in these, for on thee, first of all the immortals in Olympus, will we call; but send thou us on against the horses and the sleeping-places of the Thracian warriors."

Homer Iliad 13.1 (Loeb)

Now Zeus, when he had brought the Trojans and Hector to the ships, left the combatants there to have toil and woe unceasingly, but himself turned away his bright eyes, and looked afar, upon the land of the Thracian horsemen.

Homer, Iliad, XIV

Venus now went back into the house of Jove, while Juno darted down from the summits of Olympus. She passed over Pieria and fair Emathia, and went on and on till she came to the snowy ranges of the Thracian horsemen, over whose topmost crests she sped without ever setting foot to ground. 




 File:Homeric Greece.svg


Map of Homeric Greece

 File:Tabula iliaca Musei Capitolini MC0316.jpg


Tabula Iliaca: relief with illustrations drawn from the Homeric poems and the Epic Cycle–here from the Ilioupersis, the Iliad, the Little Iliad and the Æthiopis. Limestone, Roman artwork, 1st century BC.H. 25 cm (9 ¾ in.), W. 28 cm (11 in.)

Capitoline Museums, Rome, Italy,Palazzo Nuovo, first floor, Hall of the Doves

Dates of the Trojan War

Since this war was considered among the ancient Greeks as either the last event of the mythical age or the first event of the historical age, several dates are given for the fall of Troy. They usually derive from genealogies of kings. Ephorus gives 1135 BC,[198] Sosibius 1172 BC,[199] Eratosthenes 1184 BC/1183 BC,[200]Timaeus 1193 BC,[201] the Parian marble 1209 BC/1208 BC,[202] Dicaearchus 1212 BC,[203] Herodotus around 1250 BC,[204] Eretes 1291 BC,[205] while Douris 1334 BC.[206] As for the exact day Ephorus gives 23/24 Thargelion (July 6 or 7), Hellanicus 12 Thargelion (May 26)[207] while others give the 23rd of Sciroforion (July 7) or the 23rd of Ponamos (October 7).

The glorious and rich city Homer describes was believed to be Troy VI by many twentieth century authors, destroyed in 1275 BC, probably by an earthquake. Its follower Troy VIIa, destroyed by fire at some point during the 1180s BC, was long considered a poorer city, but since the excavation campaign of 1988 it has risen to the most likely candidate.

Historical basis

See also: Historicity of the Iliad

Map showing the Hittite Empire, Ahhiyawa (possibly the Achaeans) and Wilusa (Troy)

The historicity of the Trojan War is still subject to debate. Most classical Greeks thought that the war was an historical event, but many believed that the Homeric poems had exaggerated the events to suit the demands of poetry. For instance, the historian Thucydides, who is known for his critical spirit, considers it a true event but doubts that 1,186 ships were sent to Troy. Euripides started changing Greek myths at will, including those of the Trojan War. Around 1870 it was generally agreed in Western Europe that the Trojan War never had happened and Troy never existed. Then Heinrich Schliemann discovered the ruins of Troy and of the Mycenaean cities of Greece. Today many scholars agree that the Trojan War is based on a historical core of a Greek expedition against the city of Illium, but few would argue that the Homeric poems faithfully represent the actual events of the war.

In November 2001, geologists John C. Kraft from the University of Delaware and John V. Luce from Trinity College, Dublin presented the results[208][209][210] of investigations into the geology of the region that had started in 1977. The geologists compared the present geology with the landscapes and coastal features described in the Iliad and other classical sources, notably Strabo's Geographia. Their conclusion was that there is regularly a consistency between the location of Troy as identified by Schliemann (and other locations such as the Greek camp), the geological evidence, and descriptions of the topography and accounts of the battle in the Iliad.

In the twentieth century scholars have attempted to draw conclusions based on Hittite and Egyptian texts that date to the time of the Trojan War. While they give a general description of the political situation in the region at the time, their information on whether this particular conflict took place is limited. Andrew Dalby notes that while the Trojan War most likely did take place in some form and is therefore grounded in history, its true nature is and will be unknown.[211]

Hittite archives, like the Tawagalawa letter mention of a kingdom of Ahhiyawa (Achaea, or Greece) that lies beyond the sea (that would be the Aegean) and controls Milliwanda, which is identified with Miletus. Also mentioned in this and other letters is the Assuwa confederation made of 22 cities and countries which included the city of Wilusa (Ilios or Ilium). The Milawata letter implies this city lies on the north of the Assuwa confederation, beyond the Seha river. While the identification of Wilusa with Ilium (that is, Troy) is always controversial, in the 1990s it gained majority acceptance.

The city of Wiluša or Wilušiya is well attested in Hittite texts, as a city of the Luvian-speaking Arzawa lands of Western Anatolia, with a king Alakšanduš whose name immediately recalled Alexandros, the other name of the Trojan prince Paris, son of Priam. For this and other reasons the identification of Wilusa with Greek W)?lios, one of the names of Troy, was made long ago and is today widely, though not universally, accepted (Güterbock, 1986; skeptical Bryce 1988). [Information kindly provided by website member Telefus]

In the Alaksandu treaty (ca. 1280 BC) the king of the city is named Alaksandu, and it must be noted that Paris' son of Priam's name in the Iliad and theTawagalawa letter (dated ca. 1250 BC) which is addressed to the king of Ahhiyawa actually says: (among other works) is Alexander. The

Now as we have come to an agreement on Wilusa over which we went to war...

Formerly under the Hittites, the Assuwa confederation defected after the battle of Kadesh between Egypt and the Hittites (ca. 1274 BC). In 1230 BC Hittite king Tudhaliya IV (ca. 1240–1210 BC) campaigned against this federation. Under Arnuwanda III (ca. 1210–1205 BC) the Hittites were forced to abandon the lands they controlled in the coast of the Aegean. It is possible that the Trojan War was a conflict between the king of Ahhiyawa and the Assuwa confederation. This view has been supported in that the entire war includes the landing in Mysia (and Telephus' wounding), Achilles's campaigns in the North Aegean and Telamonian Ajax's campaigns in Thrace and Phrygia. Most of these regions were part of Assuwa.[67][212] It has also been noted that there is great similarity between the names of the Sea Peoples, which at that time were raiding Egypt, as they are listed by Ramesses III and Merneptah, and of the allies of the Trojans.[213]

That most Achean heroes did not return to their homes and founded colonies elsewhere was interpreted by Thucydides as being due to their long absence.[214][215] Nowadays the interpretation followed by most scholars is that the Achean leaders driven out of their lands by the turmoil at the end of the Mycenean era preferred to claim ascendancy from exiles of the Trojan War.

Scythian and Greek Armor

Mycenaean Thrace History Time line

1500-900 BC: Late Bronze Age

"Mycenaean Thrace"; legendary Thracian priest-kings Orpheus, Rhesus, Lycurgus, Tereus, and Zalmoxis; Thracian maritime power in the Aegean (ca. 1000 BC); stone and bronze axes, gold work.

Achaean Greeks invade the Balkans, creating kingdoms of Mycenae, Argos, and Tiryns; Mycenaean expansion in Crete and the Aegean; the Trojan War; legendary Greek kings Agamemnon, Nestor, Ajax, Achilles, Odysseus

13th century BC: earliest rock tombs in Thrace

1200-1000 BC: Greeks attack Troy (the Trojan War); Thracians allied with Trojans; destruction of Troy (ca. 1190); northern invaders, the Dorians, settle in Greece, ending Mycenaean power and leading to the Dark Ages.

ca. 1000 BC: the Brygoi, a Thracian tribe, migrates from the lower Strymon River to Asia Minor, where they are known as Phrygians; after Hittite Empire collapses (ca. 1200 BC), ironworking spreads from Asia Minor to mainland Greece.

900-500 BC: Early Iron Age

Thracian contacts with Central Europe, Asia Minor, Ukrainian steppes, northwestern Iran (Luristan), northern Greece, and Illyria

Thracian art developed within the sphere of the international Geometric style; small bronzes, such as jewelery, amulets, cult objects.

776 BC: first Olympic Games

753 BC: Rome founded

ca. 600 BC: first Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, with resulting political and cultural exchange

ca. 512: Persians invade Scythia; Darius crosses eastern Thrace, forces Thracians to join his army

ca. 510 BC: Roman monarchy ends; Republic founded


Thracians during the Trojan War

 Thrace had a heritage which matched their south-westerly neighbors, the  Mycenaeans, being allied to Troy  during the Trojan War. Homeric Thrace was vaguely defined, and stretched from the River Axios in the west to the Hellespont and Black Sea in the east. In addition to the tribe that Homer called Thracians, ancient Thrace was home to numerous other Indo-European  tribes, all non-Greek speakers, such as the Edones, Bisaltes, Cicones, and Bistones, and all of them managed to remain rural peoples, usually living in fortified hilltops.

There is little specific order for the kings mentioned here, except by reference to outside events, such as the Trojan War. Thracian unification was not achieved until the fifth century and records are very sparse until that time.

Thrax Mythical son of the war-god Ares.
fl c.1220 BC
Son. Rescued from harpies by Jason of Iolkos.
Cisseus  Father-in-law to the Trojan elder Antenor.
Acamas   From Aenus in Thrace. Killed by Ajax.
c.1193 - 1183 BC
Acamas leads a contingent of Thracian warriors to the Trojan War on the side of Troy. He is joined by his comrade Peiros, son of Imbrasus. Asius, Euphemus son of King Troezenus son of Ceas, and Rhesus also join the war with their own contingents, representing some of the various tribes in Thrace.
Rhesus  Later joined the Trojan War.

 Arrival of Rhesus 2

It was approximately at this time, on this fatal night, that Rhesus 2, king of Thrace, having crossed the Hellespont with a host, appeared in the plain, purposing to assist the city that so many times before had entreated him to come to its help. Wearing a magnificent golden armor, and driving a chariot beautifully finished with gold and silver, drawn by horses whiter than snow, Rhesus 2 was a fantastic sight. And to let his arrival gain even more splendor, he declared that already the day after he would storm the enemy camp, and falling upon the fleet, he would slay the Achaeans. And for that prowess, he asserted, no one else was needed except himself and his Thracians.


Allies are almost always welcome. Yet Hector 1 did not receive this golden-mailed commander with an open heart. For feeling that victory was at hand, he thought that the Thracian had arrived for the feast rather than for the fight. He therefore reproached him his late arrival, saying:

"Long, long since should you have come to aid this land …"


"You cannot say that you did not come to your friends, nor visited them, for lack of bidding. What Trojan herald, or what embassy came not with instant prayer for help …? What splendour of gifts did we not send to you?" (Hector 1 to Rhesus 2. Euripides, Rhesus 396ff.).

This said, Hector 1 also reminded him of how he in the past had come to Thrace to help Rhesus 2 get rid of his enemies, thus securing the Thracian kingdom for him.


But as Hector 1 soon learned, this man had simply been too busy, and as vexed as anyone else on account of his own absence. For each time he had wished, during the last ten years, to march to Troy, the Scythians, he explained, had fallen upon his kingdom. But now, having defeated them, taken hostages, imposed tribute, and so on, he was finally at Troy; and although his coming was late, he said, it was nevertheless timely, since Hector 1, in ten years, had achieved nothing. By way of contrast, he now purposed to defeat the Achaeans in one battle, and besides march afterwards against Hellas, and destroy it for all time to come. When they had thus exchanged enough boasts and reproaches, Hector 1 assigned a place to encamp and rest to Rhesus 2 and his troops.

Asius   From city of Sestus, on Thracian (northern) side of Hellespont.
Euphemus of the Cicones From the city of Ismara, Ismarus, on southern Thracian coast.
Lycurgus of the Edones From between Rivers Nestus and Strymon in southern Thrace.




"Phrygians" redirects here. For the lost play by Aeschylus, see Achilles (play).

Ancient Region of Anatolia
LocationCentral Anatolia
State existed:Dominant kingdom in Asia Minor from c.1200–700 BC
Biggest cityGordium
Roman provinceGalatia, Asia
Location of Phrygia in Anatolia

In antiquity, Phrygia (Greek: Φρυγία, η ) was a kingdom in the west central part of Anatolia, in what is now modern-day Turkey. The Phrygians (Phruges or Phryges) a Thracian tribe, initially lived in the southern Balkans; according to Herodotus, under the name of Bryges (Briges), changing it to Phruges after their final migration to Anatolia, via the Hellespont.

During the flourishing of the city-state of Troy, a part of the Bryges emigrated to Anatolia as Trojan allies or under the protection of Troy.[citation needed] The Trojan language did not survive; consequently, its exact relationship to the Phrygian language and the affinity of Phrygian society to that of Troy remain open questions. Similarly, the date of migration and the relationship of the Phrygians to the Hittite empire are unknown. They are, however, often considered part of a "Thraco-Phrygian" group. A conventional date of c. 1200 BC often is used, at the very end of the Hittite empire. It is certain that Phrygia was constituted on Hittite land, and yet not at the very center of Hittite power in the big bend of the Halys River, where Ankara now is.

From tribal and village beginnings, the state of Phrygia arose in the 8th century BC with its capital at Gordium. During this period, the Phrygians extended eastward and encroached upon the kingdom of Urartu, the descendants of the Hurrians, a former rival of the Hittites. 

Meanwhile the Phrygian Kingdom was overwhelmed by Iranian Cimmerian invaders c. 690 BC, then briefly conquered by its neighbor Lydia, before it passed successively into the Persian Empire of Cyrus and the empire of Alexander and his successors, was taken by the Attalids of Pergamon, and eventually became part of the Roman Empire. The last mentions of the language date to the 5th century AD and it was likely extinct by the 7th century AD.[1]



Phrygians are mentioned by Homer as dwelling in two regions of Anatolia:

  • In Ascania, the region around Lake Ascania in Bithynia of northwest Anatolia.[2] The Trojan allies mentioned in the Catalog of Trojans are from there.[3]
  • In the "swift-horsed" country of Phrygia, a land of "many fortresses", on the banks of the Sangarius (now Sakarya River), the third longest river in modern Turkey, which flows north and west to empty into the Black Sea. There Otreus is king.[4] Priam once was there on the occasion of the war of the Phrygians against the Amazons and reports seeing many horses and that the leaders of the Phrygians were Otreus and Mygdon.[5] Priam's wife's brother, Asios, was the son of Dymas, a Phrygian.[6]


Later, Phrygia was conceived as lying west of the Halys River (now Kızıl River) and east of Mysia and Lydia.


The Phrygian goddess Cybele with her attributes

It was the "Great Mother", Cybele, as the Greeks and Romans knew her, who was originally worshiped in the mountains of Phrygia, where she was known as "Mountain Mother". In her typical Phrygian form, she wears a long belted dress, a polos (a high cylindrical headdress), and a veil covering the whole body. The later version of Cybele was established by a pupil of Phidias, the sculptor Agoracritus, and became the image most widely adopted by Cybele's expanding following, both in the Aegean world and at Rome. It shows her humanized though still enthroned, her hand resting on an attendant lion and the other holding the tympanon, a circular frame drum, similar to a tambourine.

The Phrygians also venerated Sabazios, the sky and father-god depicted on horseback. Although the Greeks associated Sabazios with Zeus, representations of him, even at Roman times, show him as a horseman god. His conflicts with the indigenous Mother Goddess, whose creature was the Lunar Bull, may be surmised in the way that Sabazios' horse places a hoof on the head of a bull, in a Roman relief at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

Phrygian costumes

Phrygia developed an advanced Bronze Age culture. The earliest traditions of Greek music derived from Phrygia, transmitted through the Greek colonies in Anatolia, and included the Phrygian mode, which was considered to be the warlike mode in ancient Greek music. Phrygian Midas, the king of the "golden touch", was tutored in music by Orpheus himself, according to the myth. Another musical invention that came from Phrygia was the aulos, a reed instrument with two pipes. Marsyas, the satyr who first formed the instrument using the hollowed antler of a stag, was a Phrygian follower of Cybele. He unwisely competed in music with the Olympian Apollo and inevitably lost, whereupon Apollo flayed Marsyas alive and provocatively hung his skin on Cybele's own sacred tree, a pine.

Phrygia retained a separate cultural identity. Classical Greek iconography identifies the Trojan Paris as non-Greek by his Phrygian cap, which was worn by Mithras and survived into modern imagery as the "Liberty cap" of the American and French revolutionaries. The Phrygians spoke an Indo-European language. (See Phrygian language.) Although the Phrygians adopted the alphabet originated by the Phoenicians, and several dozen inscriptions in the Phrygian language have been found, they remain untranslated, and so much of what is thought to be known of Phrygia is second-hand information from Greek sources.

Mythic past

Mythic kings of Phrygia were alternately named Gordias and Midas. Some sources place Tantalus as a king in Phrygia. Tantalus is endlessly punished in Tartarus, because he killed his son Pelops and sacrificially offered him to the Olympians, a reference to the suppression of human sacrifice. In the mythic age before the Trojan war, during a time of interregnum, Gordius (or Gordias), a Phrygian farmer, became king, fulfilling an oracular prophecy. The kingless Phrygians had turned for guidance to the oracle of Sabazios ("Zeus" to the Greeks) at Telmissus, in the part of Phrygia that later became part of Galatia. They had been instructed by the oracle to acclaim as their king the first man who rode up to the god's temple in a cart. That man was Gordias (Gordios, Gordius), a farmer, who dedicated the ox-cart in question, tied to its shaft with the "Gordian Knot". Gordias refounded a capital at Gordium in west central Anatolia, situated on the old trackway through the heart of Anatolia that became Darius's Persian "Royal Road" from Pessinus to Ancyra, and not far from the River Sangarius.

Myths surrounding the first king Midas connect him with Silenus and other satyrs and with Dionysus, who granted him the famous "golden touch". In another episode, he judged a musical contest between Apollo, playing the lyre, and Pan, playing the rustic pan pipes. Midas judged in favor of Pan, and Apollo awarded him the ears of an ass.

Man in Phrygian costume, Hellenistic period (3rd–1st century BC), Cyprus

The mythic Midas of Thrace, accompanied by a band of his people, traveled to Asia Minor to wash away the taint of his unwelcome "golden touch" in the river Pactolus. Leaving the gold in the river's sands, Midas found himself in Phrygia, where he was adopted by the childless king Gordias and taken under the protection of Cybele. Acting as the visible representative of Cybele, and under her authority, it would seem, a Phrygian king could designate his successor.

According to the Iliad, the Phrygians were Trojan allies during the Trojan War. The Phrygia of Homer's Iliad appears to be located in the area that embraced the Ascanian lake and the northern flow of the Sangarius river and so was much more limited in extent than classical Phrygia. Homer's Iliad also includes a reminiscence by the Trojan king Priam, who had in his youth come to aid the Phrygians against the Amazons (Iliad 3.189). During this episode (a generation before the Trojan War), the Phrygians were said to be led by Otreus and Mygdon. Both appear to be little more than eponyms: there was a place named Otrea on the Ascanian Lake, in the vicinity of the later Nicaea; and the Mygdones were a people of Asia Minor, who resided near Lake Dascylitis (there was also a Mygdonia in Macedonia). During the Trojan War, the Phrygians sent forces to aid Troy, led by Ascanius and Phorcys, the sons of Aretaon. Asius, son of Dymas and brother of Hecabe, is another Phrygian noble who fought before Troy. Quintus Smyrnaeus mentions another Phrygian prince, named Coroebus, son of Mygdon, who fought and died at Troy; he had sued for the hand of the Trojan princess Cassandra in marriage. King Priam's wife Hecabe is usually said to be of Phrygian birth, as a daughter of King Dymas.

The Phrygian Sibyl was the priestess presiding over the Apollonian oracle at Phrygia.

According to Herodotus (Histories 2.9), the Egyptian pharaoh Psammetichus II had two children raised in isolation in order to find the original language. The children were reported to have uttered bekos which is Phrygian for "bread", so Psammetichus admitted that the Phrygians were a nation older than the Egyptians.

Josephus claimed the Phrygians were founded by the biblical figure Togarmah, grandson of Japheth and son of Gomer: "and Thrugramma the Thrugrammeans, who, as the Greeks resolved, were named Phrygians".



Tomb at Midas City (6th century BC), near Eskişehir

After the collapse of the Hittite Empire at the beginning of the 12th century BC, the political vacuum in central/western Anatolia was filled by a wave of Indo-European migrants and "Sea Peoples", including the Phrygians, who established their kingdom, with a capital eventually at Gordium. It is still not known whether the Phrygians were actively involved in the collapse of the Hittite capital Hattusa, or whether they simply moved into the vacuum that followed the collapse of Hittite hegemony. The so called Handmade Knobbed Ware was found by archaeologists at sites from this period in Western Anatolia. According to Greek mythographers[7], the first Phrygian Midas had been king of the Moschi (Mushki), also known as Bryges (Brigi) in the western part of archaic Thrace.

8th to 7th centuries

Detail from a reconstruction of a Phrygian building at Pararli, Turkey, 7th–6th Centuries BC; Museum of Anatolian Civilizations, Ankara. A griffin, sphinx and two centaurs are shown.

Assyrian sources from the 8th century BC speak of a king Mita of the Mushki, identified with king Midas of Phrygia. An Assyrian inscription records Mita as an ally of Sargon of Assyria in 709 BC. A distinctive Phrygian pottery called Polished Ware appears in the 8th century BC. The Phrygians founded a powerful kingdom which lasted until the Lydian ascendancy (7th century BC). Under kings alternately named Gordias and Midas, the independent Phrygian kingdom of the 8th and 7th centuries BC maintained close trade contacts with her neighbours in the east and the Greeks in the west. Phrygia seems to have been able to co-exist with whichever was the dominant power in eastern Anatolia at the time.

The invasion of Anatolia in the late 8th century BC to early 7th century BC by the Cimmerians was to prove fatal to independent Phrygia. Cimmerian pressure and attacks culminated in the suicide of its last king, Midas, according to legend. Gordium fell to the Cimmerians in 696 BC and was sacked and burnt, as reported much later by Herodotus.

A series of digs have opened Gordium as one of Turkey's most revealing archeological sites. Excavations confirm a violent destruction of Gordion around 675 BC. A tomb of the Midas period, popularly identified as the "Tomb of Midas" revealed a wooden structure deeply buried under a vast tumulus, containing grave goods, a coffin, furniture, and food offerings (Archaeological Museum, Ankara). The Gordium site contains a considerable later building program, perhaps by Alyattes, the Lydian king, in the 6th century BC.

Minor Phrygian kingdoms continued to exist after the end of the Phrygian empire, and the Phrygian art and culture continued to flourish. Cimmerian people stayed in Anatolia but do not appear to have created a kingdom of their own. The Lydians repulsed the Cimmerians in the 620s, and Phrygia was subsumed into a short-lived Lydian empire. The eastern part of the former Phrygian empire fell into the hands of the Medes in 585 BC.

Croesus' Lydian Empire

Under the proverbially rich King Croesus (reigned 560–546 BC), Phrygia remained part of the Lydian empire that extended east to the Halys River. There may be an echo of strife with Lydia and perhaps a veiled reference to royal hostages, in the legend of the twice-unlucky Adrastus, the son of a King Gordias with the queen, Eurynome. He accidentally killed his brother and exiled himself to Lydia, where King Croesus welcomed him. Once again, Adrastus accidentally killed Croesus' son and then committed suicide.

Persian Empire

Lydian Croesus was conquered by Cyrus in 546 BC, and Phrygia passed under Persian dominion. After Darius became Persian Emperor in 521 BC, he remade the ancient trade route into the Persian "Royal Road" and instituted administrative reforms that included setting up satrapies. The capital of the Phrygian satrapy was established at Dascylion.

Under Persian rule, the Phrygians seem to have lost their intellectual acuity and independence. Phrygians became stereotyped among later Greeks and the Romans as passive and dull.

Alexander and the successors

Alexander the Great passed through Gordium in 333 BC, famously severing the Gordian Knot in the temple of Sabazios ("Zeus"). The legend (possibly promulgated by Alexander's publicists) was that whoever untied the knot would be master of Asia. With Gordium sited on the Persian Royal Road that led through the heart of Anatolia, the prophecy had some geographical plausibility. With Alexander, Phrygia became part of the wider Hellenistic world. After Alexander's death, his successors squabbled over Anatolian dominions.

Gauls overran the eastern part of Phrygia which became part of Galatia. The former capital of Gordium was captured and destroyed by the Gauls soon afterwards and disappeared from history. In imperial times, only a small village existed on the site, and, in 188 BC, the remnant of Phrygia came under control of Pergamon. In 133 BC, western Phrygia passed to Rome.

Rome and Byzantium

The two Phrygian provinces within the Diocese of Asia, ca. 400 AD

For purposes of provincial administration the Romans maintained a divided Phrygia, attaching the northeastern part to the province of Galatia and the western portion to the province of Asia. During the reforms of Diocletian, Phrygia was divided anew into two provinces: Phrygia I or Phrygia Salutaris, and Phrygia II or Pacatiana, both under the Diocese of Asia. Salutaris comprised the eastern portion of the region, with Synnada as its capital, while Pacatiana comprised the western half, with Laodicea on the Lycus as capital. The provinces survived up to the end of the 7th century, when they were replaced by the Theme system. In the Byzantine period, most of Phrygia belonged to the Anatolic theme. The area was overrun by the Turks in the aftermath of the Battle of Manzikert (1071) and never fully recovered. The Byzantines were finally evicted from there in the 13th century, but the name of Phrygia remained in use until the collapse of the Byzantine Empire in 1453.

See also

References and notes

  1. ^ Swain, Simon; Adams, J. Maxwell; Janse, Mark (2002). Bilingualism in ancient society: language contact and the written word. Oxford [Oxfordshire]: Oxford University Press. pp. 246–266. ISBN 0-19-924506-1. 
  2. ^ Smith, William (1878). A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Geography. London: J. Murray. pp. page 230. 
  3. ^ Homer, Iliad, Book II, line 862.
  4. ^ Homeric Hymns number 5, To Aphrodite.
  5. ^ Homer, Iliad, Book III line 181.
  6. ^ Homer, Iliad, Book XVI, line 712.
  7. ^ JG MacQueen, The Hittites and their contemporaries in Asia Minor, 1986, p. 157. 

 External links

This page was last modified on 9 July 2010 at 21:02.

 Phrygian cap

Bust of Attis wearing a Phrygian cap (Parian marble, 2nd century AD).

The Phrygian cap is a soft conical cap with the top pulled forward, associated in antiquity with the inhabitants of Phrygia, a region of central Anatolia. In the western provinces of the Roman Empire it came to signify freedom and the pursuit of liberty, perhaps through a confusion with the pileus, the manumitted slave's felt cap of ancient Rome. Accordingly, the Phrygian cap is sometimes called a liberty cap; in artistic representations it signifies freedom and the pursuit of liberty.



In Antiquity, the Phrygian cap had two connotations: for the Greeks as showing a distinctive Eastern influence of non-Greek "barbarism" (in the classical sense) and among the Romans as a badge of liberty. The Phrygian cap identifies Trojans such as Paris in vase-paintings and sculpture, and it is worn by the syncretic Persian saviour god Mithras and by the Anatolian god Attis who were later adopted by Romans and Hellenic cultures. The twins Castor and Pollux wear a superficially similar round cap called the pileus.

The Phrygian cap that was also worn by King Midas to hide the donkey ears given to him as a curse by Apollo, was first referred to in Aristophanes' Ploutos (388BC) but illustrated in vase-paintings a generation earlier.[1] Greeks were already picturing the people of Midas wearing the tall peaked caps before the earliest surviving literary sources: a mid-sixth century Laconian cup depicts the capture of Silenus at a fountain house, by armed men in Eastern costume and pointed caps.[2]

In vase-paintings and other Greek art, the Phrygian cap serves to identify the Trojan hero Paris as non-Greek; Roman poets habitually use the epithet "Phrygian" to mean Trojan. The Phrygian cap can also be seen on the Trajan's Column carvings, worn by the Dacians, and on the Arch of Septimius Severus worn by the Parthians.

The Macedonian, Thracian, Dacian and 12th-century Norman military helmets had a forward peaked top resembling the Phrygian cap called Phrygian type helmets.

In late Republican Rome, the cap of freedmen served as a symbol of freedom from tyranny. A coin issued by Brutus in Asia Minor 44–42 BC, showed one posed between two daggers[3] (illustrated). During the Roman Empire, the Phrygian cap (Latin: pileus) was worn on festive occasions such as the Saturnalia, and by former slaves who had been emancipated by their master and whose descendants were therefore considered citizens of the Empire. This usage is often considered the root of its meaning as a symbol of liberty.


See also


  1. ^ Lynn E. Roller, "The Legend of Midas", Classical Antiquity, 2.2 (October 1983:299-313) p. 305.
  2. ^ Noted in Rolle 1983:304 and note 33.
  3. ^ An example from the De Salis collection, in the British Museum, is noted by Jennifer Harris, "The Red Cap of Liberty: A Study of Dress Worn by French Revolutionary Partisans 1789-94" Eighteenth-Century Studies 14.3 (Spring 1981:283-312) p. 290, note 9.
  4. ^ Albert Mathiez, Les origines des cultes révolutionnaires, 1789-1792 (Paris 1904:34).
  5. ^ Richard Wrigley, "Transformations of a revolutionary emblem: The Liberty Cap in the french Revolution, French History 11(2) 1997:131-169.
  6. ^ Harris 1981:284, fig. 1. Most of the details that follow are drawn from Ms Harris.
  7. ^ "Senate of North Carolina", College of Arms Newsletter, No. 8 (March 2006), London: College of Arms,, retrieved 2008-01-13 
  8. ^ Gale, Robert L. (1964), Thomas Crawford: American Sculptor, University of Pittsburgh Press, Pittsburgh, p. 124.

This page was last modified on 16 July 2010 at 02:19.



Achilles Childhood, a Scythian Childhood?

  A version of the origin of Achilles


There is a cape Achilleon on Taman Peninsula, Ucraine.  Present Taman  was the city of Achilleon renamed later in Hermonassa. And also the city of Achilleon was referred to Mirmidon or Mirmikon.

Arrian writes in the " the Description of sea coast ", that Achilles occured from small town Mirmikon laying at Meotian (Azov) sea, from where he have been expelled for unrestrained customs. Therefore he has left for Thessaly where his father Peleus earlier has moved.

Strabon also confirms: "Further from Mirmeky on the Asian party the village named Achillium" lays.  Achylleus fastened his cape on manners of Scythians, with a fibula, he had a habit to battle on foot as did the Greeks. His appearance with blond hair, light blue eyes is mentioned also. At the mouth of Dnepr there is an island Tendra and Dzharylgach, named earlier "Achilles's Run". Means, that the Mirmidonian empire of Achilles covered all northeast coast of Black sea with Crimea, reminding the future Bosporian empire.


The world of the Scythians By Renate Rolle 

The art of the Scythians: the interpenetration of cultures at the edge of ... By Esther Jacobson (Achilles youth)



Achilles Lord of Scythia


In her groundbreaking study Achilles Lord of Scythia,1 Gloria Ferrari Pinney pointed out that Akhilleus2—the greatest Greek hero of ancient epic—was sometimes depicted in Archaic Greek art as a foreigner from the far north: in two instances at least, Akhilleus himself wears a half-Skythian, half-Thracian accoutrement3 while many vase depictions of the period show him accompanied by men clad in Skythian attire. Temporarily leaving aside Askold Ivantchik’s objections to Pinney’s arguments,4 an unmistakable literary confirmation of the artistic evidence is attested by a fragment of the archaic poet lkaios:

Ἀχίλλευς ὀ τὰς Σκυθίκας μέδεις5


 Artist/Maker Unknown ,

Thetis gives her son Achilles his weapons newly forged by Hephaestus, detail of an Attic black-figure hydria, ca. 575 BC–550 BC.

Dimensions Diam. 26.5 cm (10 ¼ in.)
Credit line Campana Collection, 1861
Accession number E 869

Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sully wing, Campana Gallery , Louvre Paris     Photographer Jastrow (2006)

On this hydria Thetis and the Nereides are depicted wearing Thracian garb.


 Statius, Achilleid 1. 134 ff (trans. Mozley) (Roman epic C1st A.D.) :

"[Thetis :] `I take my son [Akhilleus] down to the void of Tartarus, and dip him . . . in the springs of Styx . . . The Carpathian seer [i.e. Proteus, god of the Carpathian sea] bids me banish these terrors [i.e. the prophesied death of Akhilleus] by the ordinance of a magic rite, and purify the lad in secret waters [the Styx] beyond the bound of heaven’s vault, where is the farthest shore of Oceanus and father Pontus is warmed by the ingliding stars. There awful sacrifices and gifts to gods unknown--but ‘tis long to recount all, and I am forbidden.'" 


The parens of Achilleus: Peleus and Thetis 

A later echo of the hero’s connection to Skythia may be found in Lykophron’s Alexandra 200-1) in which Akhilleus is described as “pacing the Skythian land in grief for some ive years yearning for his bride [Iphigeneia]” (Χὡ μὲν πατήσει χῶρον αἰάζων Σκύθην, / εἰς πέντε που πλειῶνας ἱμείρων λέχους)
On a cultic level, ancient inscriptions show that Akhilleus was worshipped as a hero or even a god6 in the area of the Euxine Sea where the Skythians surrounded the outcropping Greek colonies.

Valeriya Kozlovskaya indicates that a sanctuary of Akhilleus dating to the 6th century B.C.E. at Beykush in the modern continental Ukraine
has even been uncovered.7 Herodotos was the first to mention the existence of a race course of Akhilleus (τὸν Ἀχιλλήιον δρόμον) located near the mouth of the Dniepr river.8

Archeological evidence for his cult is also well attested at Olbia and on the island of Leuke (6th century B.C.E.), where Akhilleus was said to live in an immortal state after his demise at Troy.9

That the island of Leuke should be perceived as an integral part of skythia is suggested not only by the fact that the two historically identifiable islands of Leuke are located at the mouths of both the Istros10 and Borysthenes11 rivers but also
because Leuke is sometimes confused with the aforementioned Race Course of
Insofar as Leuke is mentioned in the Aithiopis, one may infer that the earliest literary evidence for the presence of Akhilleus in Skythia antedates Alkaios’ own lifetime: although our summary of the Aithiopis does not ascertain that the Leuke to which Akhilleus was transported after his death was located off the coast of Skythia, it is  reasonable to believe that such was the case in light of Iphigeneia’s parallel conveyance  to the land of the Taurians (Skythia) in the Kypria.13

Alkaios’ line Ἀχίλλευς ὀ τὰς Σκυθίκας μέδεις is not unlike a number of subsequent
inscriptions found on Leuke, e.g. Ἀχιλλῆι Λευκῆι μεδέοντι, as Hildebrecht Hommel
noted (1980: 9).

In the Roman period, the hero was hailed as Pontarkhes or  Pontarkhos.14

Despite the fact that the cult of Akhilleus occurs throughout Greece, it is most concentrated on the northern shores of the Black Sea, i.e. Skythia.15

 Achilles (left) and Penthesileia (right). Attic black-figured amphora. Exekias as potter (signed) - not to be confused with the famous one (GR 1836.2-24.127 - Vase B 210 Loc. Main floor, Room 13:  painted by Exekias, ca. between 540(0540) and 530(0530) BC. Medium terracotta. Dimensions H. 41.3 cm (16 ¼ in.)  British Museum


A number of hypotheses have been put forward to account for Akhilleus’ surprising
association with the Skythians.

 Achilles and Memnon, between Thetis and Eos. Side A of an Attic black-figure amphora, ca. 510 BC. From Vulci. Accession number Inv. 1410 (= J 328), References Beazley, ABV, 311, 1 Staatliche Antikensammlunge

Guy Hedreen opines that it may be related to the  antithetical status in the Aithiopis of the protagonists Memnon, king of the Ethiopians,  and Akhilleus, foremost warrior among the Greeks: by opposition to Memnon, who is   associated with the extreme south of the globe, Akhilleus is mechanically associated with the north;

13 Euripides is not the only author who associates Iphigeneia with Akhilleus. The mythical bond between Akhilleus and Iphigeneia was such that Lykophron and the historian Douris claimed that Neoptolemos was their son (Gantz 1996: 588).


 Achilles and Iphigenia

Besides Lykophron quoted above, Antoninus Liberalis 27, quoting Nikander, has Akhilleus marry Iphigeneia on his island of Leuke Because Hesiod’s Catalogue of Women calls the one sacrificed at Aulis Iphimedeia and says that she was turned into Hekate after her death (fr. 23a.17 MW),one can consider Ibykos’ account of the post-mortem marriage of Akhilleus to Medea on the Elysian Plain to be an early representative of this tradition (scholiast on Apollonius Rhodius, Arg. 4.814).

 As A.V. Zaikov points out (2004: 78), “according to Pindar Thetis took Achilles to Elysium (Ol. 2.79-80), but in another passage the same poet says that Achilles has ἐν δ’ Εὐξείνῳ πελάγει φαεννὰν Ἀχιλεύς νᾶσον· - a 'radiant island in the Euxine sea' (Nem. 4.49-50). This makes it obvious that Pindar identified Elysium with Leuce, a small island in the north-western Black Sea near the mouth of the Danube...Pliny explicitly notes that it was also known as the Island of the Blessed (eadem Leuce [insula] et Macaron apellata: HN 4.93).” Erwin Rohde (p 564) adds that the scholion on Harmodios: Carm. pop. fr. 10 Bgk concurs with Pliny’s statement (Rohde 2000). In point of fact, even the Iliad may have alluded to Akhilleus’ marriage to Iphigeneia when Agamemnon promises to give three of his daughters in marriage to Akhilleus, one of whom is named Iphianassa, which is Iphigeneia’s name in Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura (lines 80-101).
One can see that Iphi-anassa = (Iphi)-medeia = Iphi-geneia. The early existence of the figure of Iphigeneia is demonstrated by a protoattic krater fragment dating to 650-630 B.C.E. on which Iphigeneia’s sacrifice is shown (Boston, Museum of Fine Arts 6.67.650-630. LIMC, “Iphigeneia,” no. 2). A variant of the myth involves the marriage on Leuke of Akhilleus to Helen, who according to Stesikhoros and Nikander was Iphigeneia’s mother (Pausanias 3.19.11 and Philostratos 10.32-40). The earliest evidence for the cohabitation of Akhilleus and Helen on Leuke is a 4th century B.C.E. Etruscan mirror showing Helen on
Leuke with Akhilleus (Rebuffat-Emmanuel 1976: 214).

Accordingly, Pinney is right to conclude that the depiction of Akhilleus as lord of the
Skythians is a loose and synecdochic characterization which also associates him with other tribes north of Greece, e.g. the Thracians and the Kimmerians: it is reasonable to suppose that Akhilleus and his men were analogized to the tribes of the north in general, whether they had been the Kimmerians and/or Thracians of the 8th century B.C.E. (at the time when according to the most conservative estimates the major compositional period of the Iliad began), or whether they had been the Skythians who might have come into contact with the Greeks a little later.35

It is significant, for instance, that Akhilleus wears a half-Skythian, half-Thracian garb on an amphora.36 On another artifact, a red-figure vase, Akhilleus in pursuit of Troilos is depicted with Thracian boots and mantle, as well
as a Skythian cap.37 We will later see the importance of interpreting Akhilleus’ northern
apparel loosely.

3) Skythians in archaic Greek art
Noticing that the vast majority of archers in archaic Greek art are dressed as Skythians
irrespective of ethnicity (some are specified as being Greek like Parthenopaios, one of the
Seven against Thebes; others as foreigners, e.g. Paris), Ivantchik has attempted to rebut
the claim that Skythian attire had anything to do with the representation of actual
Scythians: rather, Skythian attire in archaic Greek art were indicators of function and
social hierarchy: it is, he says, solely associated with archers and secondary characters of
unheroic status accompanying hoplites. He goes so far as to claim that “the figure of the
‘scythoid’ archer is based on impressions stemming from contacts not with real
Scythians, but with the Median and later the Achaemenid army. The Greeks came up
against the Median army for the first time apparently in the course of the war between
Lydia and the Medes in the 580s B.C.E.38.”
While some of Ivantchik’s observations are very insightful and valuable to this
discussion, his conclusions are wanting. First, his allegation that the inspiration for the
Skythian accoutrement arose from contact with the Medes or the northern mercenaries
enlisted in their army, rather than from contact with the tribes directly north of Greece,
e.g. Kimmerians first, then Skythians, is compromised by the François Vase whose date
of about 570 B.C.E. is too close to the war between Lydia and the Medes to be ascribed
to this kind of influence: on this famous vase painted by Kleitias, an archer named

Kimerios takes part in the Kalydonian boar hunt. For this artist to depict an archer as a
Kimmerian, it is very likely that it would have taken more than ten years for this northern
tribe to develop their reputation for archery to such a degree that Kleitias would have
wanted to include one of them in a highly traditional mythological scene39.
To account for the depiction of Greek archers and military subalterns as Skythians in
archaic Greek art, it is best to turn to the “Skythians” of Elis, whom Ivantchik completely
ignores. It is not enough to adduce the Skythians’ reputation as splendid archers to
explain away the designation of the ephebes from Elis as Skythians. Ivantchik himself
points out that “naked youths – probably Athenian ephebes – are often depicted wearing
‘Scythian’ caps and armed with pelte shields40.” Such depictions of naked youths—
devoid of bows and arrows—as Skythians show that it is myopic to seek to explain the
depiction of Greek archers as Skythians solely in relation to their reputation as archers:
one must admit the overarching connection to the youthful god Apollo, who was
associated with Skythia both through his identity as the archer god41 and his annual
migration to the far north.42 As a final note, a not insignificant proportion of Skythian
archers and Skythian attendants of the Greek (or Trojan) hoplites in archaic Greek art are
beardless, thus suggesting a correlation with youth.

No wonder that “the first depictions [of ethnic Skythians], in which a reflection of
historical events can be found, only appear at the time of the Persian wars.” 44 This
particular aspect of the author’s argument is a red herring because the events of the
Trojan Cycle were extensively divorced from history at any rate, no matter whether they
contained historical kernels. Ivantchik acknowledges himself that the gear and names of
the Trojans are generally indistinguishable from the Greeks and that archaic Greek art
perpetrates numerous anachronisms in their depictions of epic heroes. Ivantchik’s
expectations of a purely historical representation of Skythians in archaic Greek art à la
Thoukydides are therefore misguided.
In the world of epic and mythology, “literal” Skythians and “symbolic” Skythians may
blend in and out of each other and even overlap. Ivantchik is wrong to conclude that the
possibility of depicting Greek ephebes or archers as Skythians precludes Akhilleus—the
hypostasis of Apollo—from being imagined as the leader of an army of literal Skythians
hailing from the far north. The two do not exclude each other, far from it. Despite the
fact that Skythians are shown fighting on both the Greek and Trojan sides on many
scenes of the Trojan war, it is significant that the only two times that Ivantchik mentions
Skythian archers in his 74-page article appearing alongside Akhilleus (to protect his
body) are instances in which the counterpart archers of the Trojans are not depicted as
Skythians45. This asymmetry suggests that these two different painters did have ethnicity
in mind and that they literally meant to portray Akhilleus as a Skythian warlord from the
far north surrounded by his Skythian men.
Moreover, Ivantchik’s account of Akhilleus’ therapon46 Patroklos dressed as a Skythian
archer with a hoplite armor on the famous Sosias cup fails to convince: according to his
rule, Skythian archers in the archaic period always represent status and never ethnicity
(which in actuality are not incompatible with one another as we saw above). Normally,
the status of archers and hoplites cannot be superimposed on one another, the one
representing an inferior rank, the other a superior rank: an archer cannot be a hoplite and
vice versa. And yet, on this cup Patroklos carries a Skythian quiver (with an arrow lying
next to him), has a Skythian mustache and at the same time wears the armor of a hoplite.
Stiffly opposed to any “Skythoid” analysis, Ivantchik can only offer a schizoid exegesis
for this anomaly: Patroklos’ Skythian appearance, he says, denotes his inferior (unheroic)
status; his hoplite armor denotes his heroic (superior) status.47 One may object why the
artist would want to send the viewer such contradictory signals.
While our understanding of archaic Greek art is substantially advanced by Ivantchik’s
observation about the general correlation between Skythian archers and status (age or
rank), it is best to view all three of these non-random exceptions involving Akhilleus’
men and his therapon as indicators of ethnic identity.48 Even if the interpretation of these
three examples remained disputed, one would still have to deal with the two paintings
that show Akhilleus himself—no underling by any standard—wearing Skythian and
Thracian gear.49
Irrespective of how symbolic the name or the attire of the Skythians may have generally
been in ancient Greece, the cult of Akhilleus in continental Skythia,50 Olbia and Leuke
attested as early as the 6th century B.C.E. demonstrates that this symbolism cannot be
dissociated from its concrete, tangible aspects (ethnic Skythians). Moreover, the literary
testimonies of Alkaios, Lykophron and others51 are undeniable, not to mention the
evidence that can be drawn from a cross comparison of the Kypria, the Aithiopis, the
Catalogue of Women and Ibykos.52 A fragment of Sophokles quoted by Hesykhios
should put the last nail in the coffin:
Ἀ χ ι λ λ ε ίων · Σοφοκλῆς Σκύθαις (fr. 507) Ἀχιλλείων
5050 This cult of Akhilleus may have been so strong in the far north that the actual Skythians of the area,
through contact with the Greeks, may have begun to appropriate the hero as one of their own. For instance,
a gorytos found in the 4th century B.C.E. royal burial of a Skythian king at Chertomlyk in the Ukraine—a
hundred miles inland north of the Black Sea—shows scenes from the life of Akhilleus: on one of the
friezes, young Akhilleus “is given a bow of the Scythian composite type” (Jacobson 1995: 227). Esther
Jacobson took note of other Skythian idiosyncrasies in the frieze that are indicative of a culturally mixed
piece of art (Jacobson, 227-229). A 4th century B.C.E. pendant found at Bolshaya Bliznitsa depicts Thetis
carrying the armor of Akhilleus (Jacobson 89-90). Just as the Romans adopted the Trojan Aineias as their
national hero, ancestor and first king, endowing him in the process with an increasing number of Roman
traits, it is possible that the semi-Hellenized Skythians were increasingly persuaded by their Greek
neighbors that Akhilleus was their true lord. Their kings, accordingly, may have begun to use his image as
an emblem of kingship, if the frieze depicting the life of Akhilleus in a royal Skythian tomb is indeed more
than a random trinket.
51 Pinney also mentions (1983: 145) Pomponius Mela, Chorographia, C. Frick ed. (Leipzig 1980) II.5, 28-
29; and Dictys, Ephemeris belli Troiani 1.22.
52 See n13 above.

1 Pinney, Achilles Lord of Scythia, Ancient Greek Art and Iconography, pp. 127-46, ed. Warren Moon.
Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 1983. I thank Corey Brennan for reading my original paper and
giving me his valuable feedback.
2 The spelling convention used here, departing from the more traditional Latin spelling, aims at reproducing
as faithfully as possible the letters of the original Greek. /kh/ is preferred to /ch/ for letter chi to show that
the consonant has the same point of articulation as kappa in ancient Greek, with the addition of aspiration.
3 Pinney, p 139, 1983; also Pinney, pp 41-43, Myth and Genre on Athenian Vases, Classical Antiquity
22.1, 2003.
4 Ivantchik, Askold, Scythian' Archers on Archaic Attic Vases: Problems of Interpretation, Ancient
Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia, Vol. 12, No. 3-4. (2006), pp. 197-271. Also (in Russian with
translation of the title in German) Ivantchik, Am Vorabend der Kolonisation. Das nördliche
Schwarzmeergebiet und die Steppennomaden des 8. - 7. Jhs. v. Chr. in der klassischen Literaturtradition.
Mündliche Überlieferung, Literatur und Geschichte, Paleograph Press, Moscow 2005a; Ivantchik, Who
were the 'Scythian' Archers on Archaic Attic Vases in D. Braund (ed.), Scythians and Greeks. Cultural
Interactions in Scythia, University of Exeter Press, 2005b. I thank Valeriya Kozlovskaya for bringing
Ivantchik’s work to my attention.
5 E. Lobel and D.L. Page, eds., Poetarum Lesbiorum Fragmenta (Oxford 1955) 273, no. 354 (Z
6 See Hildebrecht Hommel, der Gott Achilleus, 1980.
7 Kozlovskaya, p 114, Ancient Harbors of the Northwestern Black Sea Area, Ph.D dissertation, Bryn Mawr,
Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology, May 2007.
8 Herodotos 4.55
9 Also attested in Pindar. Nem. 4.49
10 Pausanias, Description of Greece, 3.19.11.
11 Strabo, Geography 7.3.16
12 Euripides, Iphigeneia in Tauris, 435.
14 Erciyas 2005: 106 and Ustinova 1999.
15 "All the known sites of cult activity in honor of the hero in the Euxine fall within the boundaries of
Scythia, which stretched from the Istros river to the Cimmerian Bosphoros.": Hedreen (1991: 324).




The Story of Achilles

ACHILLES (Gr. 'AXtXX6s), one of the most famous of the legendary heroes of ancient Greece and the central figure of Homer's Iliad. He was said to have been the son of Peleus, king of the Myrmidones of Phthia in Thessaly, by Thetis, one of the Nereids. His grandfather Aeacus was, according to the legend, the son of Zeus himself. The story of the childhood of Achilles in Homer differs from that given by later writers. According to Homer, he was brought up by his mother at Phthia with his cousin and intimate friend Patroclus, and learned the arts of war and eloquence from Phoenix, while the Centaur Chiron taught him music and medicine. When summoned to the war against Troy, he set sail at once with his Myrmidones in fifty ships. � Post-Homeric sources add to the legend certain picturesque details which bear all the evidence of their primitive origin, and which in some cases belong to the common stock of Indo-Germanic myths. According to one of these stories Thetis used to lay the infant Achilles every night under live coals, anointing him by day with ambrosia, in order to make him immortal. Peleus, having surprised her in the act, in alarm snatched the boy from the flames; whereupon Thetis fled back to the sea in anger (Apollodorus iii. 13; Apollonius Rhodius iv. 869). According to another story Thetis dipped the child in the waters of the river Styx, by which his whole body became invulnerable, except that part of his heel by which she held him; whence the proverbial "heel of Achilles" (Statius, Achilleis, i. 269). With this may be compared the similar story told of the northern hero Sigurd. The boy was afterwards entrusted to the care of Chiron, who, to give him the strength necessary for war, fed him with the entrails of lions and the marrow of bears and wild boars. To prevent his going to the siege of Troy, Thetis disguised him in female apparel, and hid him among the maidens at the court of King Lycomedes in Scyros; but Odysseus, coming to.the island in the disguise of a pedlar, spread his wares, including a spear and shield, before the king's daughters, among whom was Achilles. Then he caused an alarm to be sounded; whereupon the girls fled, but Achilles seized the arms, and so revealed himself, and was easily persuaded to follow the Greeks (Hyginus, Fab. 96; Statius, Ach. i.; Apollodorus, l.c.). This story may be compared with the Celtic legend of the boyhood of Peredur or Perceval.

During the first nine years of the war as described in the Iliad, Achilles ravaged the country round Troy, and took twelve cities. In the tenth year occurred the quarrel with Agamemnon. In order to appease the wrath of Apollo, who had visited the camp with a pestilence, Agamemnon had restored Chryseis, his prize of war, to her father, a priest of the god, but as a compensation deprived Achilles, who had openly demanded this restoration, of his favourite slave Briseis. Achilles withdrew in wrath to his tent, where he consoled himself with music and singing, and refused to take any further part in the war. During his absence the Greeks were hard pressed, and at last he so far relaxed his anger as to allow his friend Patroclus to personate him, lending him his chariot and armour. The slaying of Patroclus by the Trojan hero Hector roused Achilles from his indifference; eager to avenge his beloved comrade, he sallied forth, equipped with new armour fashioned by Hephaestus, slew Hector, and, after dragging his body round the walls of Troy, restored it to the aged King Priam at his earnest entreaty. The Iliad concludes with the funeral rites of Hector. It makes no mention of the death of Achilles, but hints at its taking place "before the Scaean gates." In the Odyssey (xxiv. 36.72) his ashes are said to have been buried in a golden urn, together with those of Patroclus, at a place on the Hellespont, where a tomb was erected to his memory; his soul dwells in the lower world, where it is seen by Odysseus. The contest between Ajax and Odysseus for his arms is also mentioned. The Aethiopis of Arctinus of Miletus took up the story of the Iliad. It told how Achilles, having slain the Amazon Penthesileia and Memnon, king of the Aethiopians, who had come to the assistance of the Trojans, was himself slain by Paris (Alexander), whose arrow was guided by Apollo to his vulnerable heel (Virgil, Aen. vi. 57; Ovid, Met. xii. 600). Again, it is said that Achilles, enamoured of Polyxena, the daughter of Priam, offered to join the Trojans on condition that he received her hand in marriage. This was agreed to; Achilles went unarmed to the temple of Apollo Thymbraeus, and was slain by Paris (Dictys iv. 11). According to some, he was slain by Apollo himself (Quint. Smyrn. iii. 61; Horace, Odes, iv. 6, 3). Hyginus (Fab. 107) makes Apollo assume the form of Paris.

Later stories say that Thetis snatched his body from the pyre and conveyed it to the island of Leuke, at the mouth of the Danube, where he ruled with Iphigeneia as his wife; or that he was carried to the Elysian fields, where his wife was Medea or Helen. He was worshipped in many places: at Leuke, where he was honoured with offerings and games; in Sparta, Elis, and especially Sigeum on the Hellespont, where his famous tumulus was erected.

Achilles is a typical Greek hero; handsome, brave, celebrated for his fleetness of foot, prone to excess of wrath and grief, at the same time he is compassionate, hospitable, full of affection for his mother and respect for the gods. In works of art he is represented, like Ares, as a young man of splendid physical proportions, with bristling hair like a horse's mane and a slender neck. Although the figure of the hero frequently occurs in groups - such as the work of Scopas showing his removal to the island of Leuke by Poseidon and Thetis, escorted by Nereids and Tritons, and the combat over his dead body in the Aeginetan sculptures - no isolated statue or bust can with certainty be identified with him; the statue in the Louvre (from the Villa Borghese), which was thought to have the best claim, is generally taken for Ares or possibly Alexander. There are many vase and wall paintings and bas-reliefs illustrative of incidents in his life. Various etymologies of the name have been suggested: "without a lip" (a, xe7Xos), Achilles being regarded as a river-god, a stream which overflows its banks, or, referring to the story that, when Thetis laid him in the fire, one of his lips, which he had licked, was consumed (Tzetzes on Lycophron, 178); "restrainer of the people" (ExE -Xaos); "healer of sorrow" (ax�-X os); "the obscure" (connected with axXbs, "mist"); "snakeborn" (g xts), the snake being one of the chief forms taken by Thetis. The most generally received view makes him a god of light, especially of the sun or of the lightning.

See E. H. Meyer, Indogermanische Mythen, ii., Achilleis, 1887; F. G. Welcker, Der epische Cyclus, 1865-1882; articles in PaulyWissowa, Real-Encyclopadie der classischen Altertumswissenschaft, Daremberg and Saglio's Dictionnaire des Antiquites and Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie; see also T. W. Allen in Classical Review, May 1906; A. E. Crawley, J. G. Frazer, A. Lang, Ibid., June, July 1893, on Achilles in Scyros. In the article Greek Art, fig. 12 represents the conflict over the dead body of Achilles.

The White Island Leuce - Insula Serpilor, Romania, Final Resting  Place of Achilles and Partroclus according to the Iliad

 Leuce Island-Black Sea, Romania


 A possible location is on the Snakes' Island, Insula Serpilor on the Black Sea.


The island was named, by the Greeks, Λευκός, Leuce Island ("White Island"), similarly known by Romans as Alba, probably because of the white marble formations that can be found on the isle. The uninhabited Isle Achilleis ("of Achilles") was the major sanctuary of the Achaean hero, where "seabirds dipped their wings in water to sweep the temples clean" (Kyriazis). Several temples of Thracian Apollo can be found here, and there are submerged ruins.

The Cult of Achilles in the Euxine – Guy Hedreen in Hesperia 60, 1991

The Temple of Achilles on the Island of Leuke in the Black Sea – Anna Rusyaeva in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia 9, 2003


 Achilleus was killed by the Trojan prince Paris, Helen's kidnapper, who with Aphrodite's help shot an arrow into Achilleus only weak spot: his heel.

According to an epitome of the lost Trojan War epic of Arctinus of Miletus, the remains of Achilles and Patroclus were brought to this island by Thetis, to be put in a sanctuary. Ruins believed to be of a square temple dedicated to Achilles, 30 meters to a side, were discovered by Captain Kritzikly in 1823. Ovid, who was banished to Tomis, mentions the island; so do Ptolemy and Strabo.[2] The island is described in Pliny's Natural History, IV.27.1.


File:Aias body Akhilleus Staatliche Antikensammlungen 1884.jpg

Ajax carries off the body of Achilles: Attic black-figure lekythos, ca. 510 BCE, from Sicily (Staatliche Antikensammlungen,) Munich


 File:Ajax body Achilles Louvre F201.jpg

Ajax carrying the dead Achilleus, protected by Hermes (on the left) and Athena (on the right). Side 1 from an Attic black-figure neck-amphora, ca. 520-510 BC. Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sully, first floor, room 42, case 11, Accession number F 201, Credit line Campana Collection, 1861,References ABV 274,120; Add 71, Source/Photographer Jastrow (2006)

Several ancient inscriptions were found on the island, including a 4th century BC Olbiopolitan decree which praises someone for defeating and driving out the pirates that lived on the "holy island".

There was an archaic heroic cult of Achilles on the White Island, Leuce, in the Black Sea off the modern coasts of Romania and Ukraine, with a temple and an oracle which survived into the Roman period.[14]

In the lost epic Aithiopis, a continuation of the Iliad attributed to Arktinus of Miletos, Achilles’ mother Thetis returned to mourn him and removed his ashes from the pyre and took them to Leuce at the mouths of the Danube. There the Achaeans raised a tumulus for him and celebrated funeral games.



Thetis and the Nine Muses attended Achilles funeral.

Musée du Louvre, Paris, France,Artist/Maker : Damon Painter
Thetis and the Nereids mourning Achilles. Corinthian black-figure hydria, 560/50 BC.
Dimensions H. 46 cm; D. 36 cm ,Credit line Campana Collection, 1861

Accession number E 643

Department of Greek, Etruscan and Roman Antiquities, Sully, first floor, room 41, case 14

Photographer/source User:Bibi Saint-Pol, 2007-21-07 


Pliny's Natural History (IV.27.1) mentions a tumulus that is no longer evident (Insula Akchillis tumulo eius viri clara), on the island consecrated to him, located at a distance of fifty Roman miles from Peuce by the Danube Delta, and the temple there. Pausanias has been told that the island is "covered with forests and full of animals, some wild, some tame. In this island there is also Achilles’ temple and his statue” (III.19.11). Ruins of a square temple 30 meters to a side, possibly that dedicated to Achilles, were discovered by Captain Kritzikly in 1823, but there has been no modern archeological work done on the island.

Pomponius Mela tells that Achilles is buried in the island named Achillea, between Boristhene and Ister (De situ orbis, II, 7). And the Greek geographer Dionysius Periegetus of Bithynia, who lived at the time of Domitian, writes that the island was called Leuce "because the wild animals which live there are white. It is said that there, in Leuce island, reside the souls of Achilles and other heroes, and that they wander through the uninhabited valleys of this island; this is how Jove rewarded the men who had distinguished themselves through their virtues, because through virtue they had acquired everlasting honor” (Orbis descriptio, v. 541, quoted in Densuşianu 1913).

The Periplus of the Euxine Sea gives the following details: "It is said that the goddess Thetis raised this island from the sea, for her son Achilles, who dwells there. Here is his temple and his statue, an archaic work. This island is not inhabited, and goats graze on it, not many, which the people who happen to arrive here with their ships, sacrifice to Achilles. In this temple are also deposited a great many holy gifts, craters, rings and precious stones, offered to Achilles in gratitude. One can still read inscriptions in Greek and Latin, in which Achilles is praised and celebrated.


The Death of Patroklos:

Sicilian red figure krater showing the corpse of Patroklos being carried off the battlefield. Dated to ca. 500 B.C.

 Some of these are worded in Patroclus’ honor, because those who wish to be favored by Achilles, honor Patroclus at the same time.



Achilles tending the wounded Patroclus
(Attic red-figure kylix, ca. 500 BC)

There are also in this island countless numbers of sea birds, which look after Achilles’ temple. Every morning they fly out to sea, wet their wings with water, and return quickly to the temple and sprinkle it. And after they finish the sprinkling, they clean the hearth of the temple with their wings. Other people say still more, that some of the men who reach this island, come here intentionally. They bring animals in their ships, destined to be sacrificed. Some of these animals they slaughter, others they set free on the island, in Achilles’ honor. But there are others, who are forced to come to this island by sea storms. As they have no sacrificial animals, but wish to get them from the god of the island himself, they consult Achilles’ oracle. They ask permission to slaughter the victims chosen from among the animals that graze freely on the island, and to deposit in exchange the price which they consider fair. But in case the oracle denies them permission, because there is an oracle here, they add something to the price offered, and if the oracle refuses again, they add something more, until at last, the oracle agrees that the price is sufficient. And then the victim doesn’t run away any more, but waits willingly to be caught. So, there is a great quantity of silver there, consecrated to the hero, as price for the sacrificial victims. To some of the people who come to this island, Achilles appears in dreams, to others he would appear even during their navigation, if they were not too far away, and would instruct them as to which part of the island they would better anchor their ships”. (quoted in Densuşianu)

The heroic cult of Achilles on Leuce island was widespread in antiquity, not only along the sea lanes of the Pontic Sea but also in maritime cities whose economic interests were tightly connected to the riches of the Black Sea.

Achilles from Leuce island was venerated as Pontarches the lord and master of the Pontic (Black) Sea, the protector of sailors and navigation. Sailors went out of their way to offer sacrifice. To Achilles of Leuce were dedicated a number of important commercial port cities of the Greek waters: Achilleion in Messenia (Stephanus Byzantinus), Achilleios in Laconia (Pausanias, III.25,4) Nicolae Densuşianu (Densuşianu 1913) even thought he recognized Achilles in the name of Aquileia and in the north arm of the Danube delta, the arm of Chilia ("Achileii"), though his conclusion, that Leuce had sovereign rights over Pontos, evokes modern rather than archaic sea-law."

Leuce had also a reputation as a place of healing. Pausanias (III.19,13) reports that the Delphic Pythia sent a lord of Croton to be cured of a chest wound. Ammianus Marcellinus (XXII.8) attributes the healing to waters (aquae) on the island.

Achilles' name can be analyzed as a combination of ἄχος (akhos) "grief" and λαός (Laos) "a people, tribe, nation, etc." In other words, Achilles is an embodiment of the grief of the people, grief being a theme raised numerous times in the Iliad (frequently by Achilles). Achilles' role as the hero of grief forms an ironic juxtaposition with the conventional view of Achilles as the hero of kleos (glory, usually glory in war).

Laos has been construed by Gregory Nagy, following Leonard Palmer, to mean a corps of soldiers, a muster. With this derivation, the name would have a double meaning in the poem: When the hero is functioning rightly, his men bring grief to the enemy, but when wrongly, his men get the grief of war. The poem is in part about the misdirection of anger on the part of leadership.

The name Achilleus was a common and attested name among the Greeks early after 7th century BC.[15] It was also turned into the female form of Ἀχιλλεία, Achilleía, firstly attested in Attica,4th century BC, (IG II² 1617) and Achillia, a relief from Halicarnassus as the name of a female gladiator fighting, 'Amazonia'. Roman gladiatorial games often referenced classical mythology and this seems to reference Achilles' fight with Penthesilea, but give it an extra twist of Achilles being 'played' by a woman.

Snake Island (Black Sea) (redirect from Leuce (island))

  • Snake Island, also known as Serpent Island ... The island was named, by the Greeks, Λευκός, Leuce Island ("White Island"), similarly known by ...
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  • Achilles
    It is said that there, in Leuce island, reside the souls of Achilles and other heroes, and that they wander through the uninhabited ...
    44 KB (6,494 words) - 00:26, 11 February 2010
  • Leuce
    The term Leuce has the following uses: Leuce a nymph , daughter of Oceanus ... Leuce , the Greek name of an island of the Black Sea ...
    307 B (32 words) - 17:11, 12 May 2008
  • Autoleon
    The oracle advised him to conciliate the shade of Ajax by offering sacrifices to him in the island of Leuce . This was done accordingly, ...
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  • Ajax the Lesser
    After his death his spirit dwelled in the island of Leuce The Opuntian Locrians worshiped Ajax as their national hero, and so great was ...
    7 KB (874 words) - 00:22, 26 January 2010
  • Resurrection
    resurrected brought to an immortal existence in either Leuce, Elysian plains or the Islands of the Blessed. Memnon , who was killed by ...
    38 KB (6,005 words) - 16:12, 5 February 2010
  • Immortality
    resurrected brought to an immortal existence in either Leuce, Elysian plains or the Islands of the Blessed. Memnon , who was killed by ...
    67 KB (9,622 words) - 02:58, 9 February 2010
  • Hades
    sent to Elysium (Islands of the Blessed) with the "blameless" heroes. ... Minthe and Leuce According to Ovid , Hades pursued and would have ...
    27 KB (3,900 words) - 19:02, 10 February 2010

Strabo, Geography 7. 3. 1 (trans. Jones) (Greek geographer C1st B.C. to C1st A.D.) :
See text at:

"It is because of men's ignorance of these regions [i.e. the land of the Thrakian Getai, now Bulgaria and Romania] that any heed has been given to those who created the mythical 'Rhipaíon Mountains and Hyperborean', and also to all those false statements made by Pytheas the Massalian [Greek writer C4th B.C.] regarding the country along the Okeanos, wherein he uses as a screen his scientific knowledge of astronomy and mathematics. So then, those men should be disregarded; in fact, if even Sophokles [tragedian C5th B.C.], when in his role as a tragic poet he speaks of Oreithyia, tells how she was snatched up by Boreas and carried `over the whole sea to the ends of the earth and to the sources of night and to the unfoldings of heaven and to [Hyperborea] the ancient garden of Phoibos [Apollon].'"

     Philostratus the Elder, Imagines 1. 11 (trans. Fairbanks) (Greek rhetorician C3rd A.D.) :
"Golden are the tears of the daughters of Helios (the Sun). The story is that they are shed for Phaëthon; for in his passion for driving this son of Helios ventured to mount his father’s chariot, but because he did not keep a firm rein he came to grief and fell into the Eridanos . . . Now the youth is thrown from the chariot and is falling headlong--for his hair is on fire and his breast smouldering with the heat; his fall will end in the river Eridanos and will furnish this stream with a mythical tale. For swans scattered about, breathing sweet notes, will hymn the youth; and flocks of swans rising aloft will sing the story to Kaÿstros and Istros [rivers of Lykia and Skythia]; nor will any place fail to hear the strange story. And they will have Zephyros, nimble god of wayside shrines, to accompany their song, for it is said that Zephyros has made a compact with the swans to join them in the music of the dirge. This agreement is even now being carried out, for look! The wind is playing on the swans as on music instruments [N.B.The swans were said to spend the summer on the Kaystros river in Lydia and the winter on the Danube (Istros) among the Hyperboreans. Cf. Himerius 79. 17d (not quoted here).]HYPERBOREANS ('Tircpf30pcoc, `T rEpl30p a mythical people intimately connected with the worship of Apollo. Their name does not occur in the Iliad or the Odyssey, but Herodotus (iv. 32) states that they were mentioned in Hesiod and in the Epigoni, an epic of the Theban cycle. According to Herodotus, two maidens, Opis and Arge, and later two others, Hyperoche and Laodice, escorted by five men, called by the Delians Perpherees, were sent by the Hyperboreans with certain offerings to Delos. Finding that their messengers did not return, the Hyperboreans adopted the plan of wrapping the offerings in wheat-straw and requested their neighbours to hand them on to the next nation, and so on, till they finally reached Delos. The theory of H. L. Ahrens, that Hyperboreans and Perpherees are identical, is now widely accepted. In some of the dialects of northern Greece (especially Macedonia and Delphi) 0 had a tendency to become 0. The original form of HEp4E0Es was inrepOep E rac or iurEp40pot (" those who carry over"), which becoming irirp(30poe gave rise to the popular derivation from f300as ("dwellers beyond the north wind"). The Hyperboreans were thus the bearers of the sacrificial gifts to Apollo over land and sea, irrespective of their home, the name being given to Delphians, Thessalians, Athenians and Delians. It is objected by O. Schrader that the form HEpcEpEES requires a passive meaning, "those who are carried round the altar," perhaps dancers like the whirling dervishes; distinguishing them from the Hyperboreans, he explains the latter as those who live "above the mountains," that is, in heaven. Under the influence of the derivation from 130p as, the home of the Hyperboreans was placed in a region beyond the north wind, a paradise like the Elysian plains, inaccessible by land or sea, whither Apollo could remove those mortals who had lived a life of piety. It was a land of perpetual sunshine and great fertility; its inhabitants were free from disease and war. The duration of their life was 1,000 years, but if any desired to shorten it, he decked himself with garlands and threw himself from a rock into the sea. The close connexion of the Hyperboreans with the cult of Apollo may be seen by comparing the Hyperborean myths, the characters of which by their names mostly recall Apollo or Artemis (Agyieus, Opis, Hecaergos, Loxo), with the ceremonial of the Apolline worship. No meat was eaten at the Pyanepsia; the Hyperboreans were vegetarians. At the festival of Apollo at Leucas a victim flung himself from a rock into the sea, like the Hyperborean who was tired of life. According to an Athenian decree (380 B.C.) asses were sacrificed to Apollo at Delphi, and Pindar (Pythia, x. 33) speaks of "hecatombs of asses" being offered to him by the Hyperboreans. As the latter conveyed sacrificial gifts to Delos hidden in wheat-straw, so at the Thargelia a sheaf of corn was carried round in procession, concealing a symbol of the god (for other resemblances see Crusius's article). Although the Hyperborean legends are mainly connected with Delphi and Delos, traces of them are found in Argos (the stories of Heracles, Perseus, Io), Attica, Macedonia, Thrace, Sicily and Italy (which Niebuhr indeed considers their original home). In modern times the name has been applied to a group of races, which includes the Chukchis, Koryaks, Yukaghirs, Ainus, Gilyaks axed Kamchadales, inhabiting the arctic regions of Asia and America. But if ever ethnically one, the Asiatic and American branches are now as far apart from each other as they both are from the MongoloTatar stock.

See O. Crusius in Roscher's Lexikon der Mythologie; O. Schroder in Archiv far Religionswissenschaft (1904), viii. 69; W. Mannhardt, Waldand Feldkulte (1905); L. R. Farnell, Cults of the Greek States (1907), iv. Ioo.



Thetis & Tryton   The Ludovisi Ares

The most elaborate of Scopas works was a great group representing Achilles being conveyed over the sea to the island of Leuce by his mother Thetis, accompanied by Nereids riding on dolphins and sea-horses, Tritons and other beings of the sea, "a group," says Pliny (36.25), "which would have been remarkable had it been the sole work of his life

 Statue of Thetis with a triton. Thasian marble, Roman copy from a Greek original of the 2nd century BC. A recent reconstruction identifies the statue as a part of the sculptural group by Skopas of Thetis giving her son Achilles new weapons described by Pliny. According to this theory, the statue known as “Ludovisi Ares” would actually represent Achilles.


Legenda lui Achile


Eroul Achile după o sculptură de Lycomedes Borghese.

Legenda lui Achile

Insula a fost denumită de către greci cu numele de Insula Leuce - Λευκός ("Insula Albă"). O denumire similară a fost dată de către romani care i-au spus Insula Alba, probabil din cauza faptului că au fost găsite pe insulă ruine de marmură albă.

Insula este pomenită pentru întâia oară în anul 777 înainte de Hristos. După mitologia greacă, zeiţa Thetis s-a rugat de Neptun (zeul mărilor) să scoată din adâncul mării o insulă pentru fiul ei Achile, erou al Troiei. În conformitate cu un poem epic despre războiul troian al lui Arctinus din Milet, rămăşiţele pământeşti ale lui Achile şi Patrocle au fost aduse în această insulă de către zeiţa Thetis, pentru a fi puse într-un sanctuar. 

 Conform legendelor, în antichitate, grecii au construit aici un templu măreţ în cinstea lui Ahile - erou al aheilor. De asemenea, aici ar fi fost şi alte edificii în care locuiau preoţii. Cercetările efectuate pe insulă în secolul al XIX-lea confirmă legendele, deoarece, în anul 1823, ruinele vestitului templu închinat lui Achile şi alte vestigii din insulă au fost descoperite de căpitanul rus Kritzki. Alte descrieri ale templului le avem de la germanul Kohler. Vestigiile descoperite de cei doi au fost ulterior expuse în muzeele din ţările lor.

Edificiul antic ar fi avut un diametru foarte mare, de formă pătrată, fiecare latură având 29,87 m. În partea de est a sanctuarului se afla templul închinat eroului Achile. Arhitectura templului şi a altor vestigii din insulă era specifică epocii numită ciclopeană, asemănătoare celor din Tesalia şi Tracia: ziduri formate din blocuri mari de piatră îmbinate fără ciment, iar calcarul din care au fost fasonate conferea construcţiei o culoare albă. Pe baza fragmentelor de construcţie descoperite, templul lui Achille a fost un monument de artă, având lângă el mai multe camere, pentru funcţionarea oracolului, precum şi pentru depozitarea ofrandelor ce se aduceau eroului.

Acest templu este menţionat de poetul roman Publius Ovidius Naso (care fusese exilat la Tomis) în versurile sale, precum şi de geograful grec Ptolomeu şi de istoricul grec Strabon. Filozoful grec Maximus din Tir (care a trăit în secolul al II-lea după Hristos), afirmă în lucrarea sa “Discuţii“ că: “Achile locuieşte într-o insulă drept în faţa Istrului, în Marea Pontică. Acolo se află templul şi altarele lui Achile...“

 Geograful grec Ptolomeu (care a trăit în secolul I după Hristos) menţionează în opera sa “Îndreptar geografic“ că: “Insulele situate în vecinătatea Moesiei Inferioare, în acea parte a Pontului pe care am pomenit-o, sunt: Boristene (la gurile Niprului, n.n.):57 grade, 15 minute - 47 grade, 40 minute şi insula lui Achile sau Leuce (“Albă“)“.

Mai multe inscripţii antice au fost găsite pe insulă, inclusiv un decret olbiopolitan (din oraşul Olbia) datând din secolul al IV-lea înainte de Hristos care cere tuturor locuitorilor cetăţii Olbia să apere insula şi să-i alunge pe piraţii care locuiau pe "insula sacră".

Istoricul Gheorghe I. Brătianu (1898-1953), în lucrarea sa “Marea Neagră de la origini până la cucerirea otomană“ (2 vol., Bucureşti, 1988), afirma prezenţa unor civilizaţii antice (ionieni, milesieni) pe litoralul Mării Negre. “Unul din popasurile cele mai vechi este cel din “insula Albă“, Leuke sau Achilleis, mică stâncă ce se înalţă în plină mare în largul gurilor Dunării, şi se numeşte astăzi Insula Şerpilor. Acest punct de escală al milesienilor era garnisit cu un sanctuar ridicat în cinstea lui Achile Pontarches, protectorul navigaţiei şi al comerţului. (...) Istoria lor, trasată cu ajutorul numeroaselor inscripţii scoase la lumină de săpături, indică strânse contacte între aceste porturi ale litoralului, care păstrează caracterele principale ale civilizaţiei urbane a Greciei antice şi populaţiei indigene ale hinterland-ului, geţi sau sciţi.“

O altă legendă se referă la faptul că în mitologia grecească Insula Leuke era considerată un loc paradisiac, o lume în care se refugiau sufletele morţilor. Astfel, o altă denumire atribuită de grecii antici este de Insula Makaron, adică “A fericiţilor“. Unii cercetători au mers şi mai departe cu speculaţiile, traducând termenul Atlantis prin Fericire. Această speculaţie a fost alimentată de faptul că nu departe de Insula Şerpilor, arheologii sovietici au descoperit impresionante ruine subacvatice atribuite atlanţilor, dar care, ca în multe alte părţi ale Mării Negre (inclusiv în dreptul cazinoului din Constanţa) sunt de fapt digurile porturilor antice, submerse de ridicarea nivelului mării[2].

 777 î.Hr.
Scriitorul antic Arktinos din Milet menţioneaza "Insula albă" in lucrarea "Aithiopis" ("Aethiopidia"); este şi prima menţiune scrisă despre pământuri româneşti.

sec. VI î.Hr.
Hecateu din Milet (istoric şi geograf grec, 540 - 470 î.Hr) in "Periodos Ges" ("Călătorie in jurul lumii") scrie că insula cea sfântă (Leuke) era situată in nord in faţă cu ţinutul celţilor.

sec. VI î.Hr.
Poetul liric Pindar (518 - 438 i.Hr) spune in Nemeene, IV,49: "in Pont Achille are o insulă strălucitoare";

sec. IV î.Hr.
Poetul tragic grec Euripide (480 - 406 I.Hr.) in Andromacha (v. 1249): vorbind de lăcaşul lui Achille , spune că "insula se află in interiorul Pontului Euxin". In Iphigenia in Taurida (v.435) aminteşte de "ţărmul cel alb şi frumoasa cursă a lui Achille din Pontul Euxin").

mijlocul sec. IV î.Hr.
Geograful şi navigatorul Scylax din Caryanda in "Periplus": "Drumul in linie dreaptă de la Istru până la Criumetopon e de trei zile şi trei nopţi. Dacă ia insa cineva ţărmul, drumul e dublu, căci aici este un golf in care se află o insulă, deşeartă ce e drept, numită Leuce".

sec. III. Hr.
Poetul si gramaticul alexandrin Lycophron in "Cassandra" (V, 189) arată că insula Leuce era situată in faţa gurilor fluviului Keltos (Istros).

sec I d.Hr.
Strabon (63 î.Hr. - 19 d.Hr.), cel mai mare geograf, istoric şi etnograf antic, in celebra sa "Geographie", afirmă că in partea vestică a Pontului Euxin, "la cinci sute de stadii depărtare de revărsatul fluviului [Tyras -Nistru] se află in mare insula Leuce".

prima jumatate a sec. I d.Hr.
Pomponius Mela, geograf, in "De situ Orbis" (II.7) scrie insula era "situată la revărsatul [fluviului] lui Borysthene" şi că era foarte mică.

sec. I d.Hr.
Pliniu cel Bătrân - sub adevăratul sau nume, Caius Plinius Secundus - (23/24 - 96) istoric şi enciclopedist roman, in "Naturalis Hstoria" (IV.13.27, 93): "in faţa lui Borysthene se afla Leuce. Observaţiuni din zilele noastre o aşează la 140.000 de paşi de Borysthene , la 120.00 de Tyras şi la 50.00 de Peuce".

sec. I d.Hr.
Claudius Ptolemaeus (90-168) matematician, astronom, astrolog, filosof si geograf grec in "Geographia" (III.10) localizează insula prea spre sud "Langă ţărmul amintit al Moesiei Inferioare se află insula Borysthenis şi [insula] Leuce a lui Achille".

sec. I d.Hr.
Flavius Arrianus Nicomedensis - istoric, geograf şi comandant de armate - care a fost guvernator al Capadociei, a cercertat coastele Pontului Euxin de la Trapezunt la Sebastopolis (Dioscurias); rezultatele le-a trimis impăratului Hadrian, sub forma unei scrieri, "Periplus Ponti Euxini"; In partea a III-a, el descrie aşezarea insulei: "daca din dreptul acestei guri "Psilon a Istrului" - Gura Chiliei] pluteşti cu vântul de nord spre largul mării, iţi stă inainte o insulă pe care o numesc unii Insula lui Achille, altii ii spun Leuce".

sec. II d.Hr.
Dionysos-Periegetul in "Orbis Descriptio" aşează insula mai la nord decât este in realitate.

sec. II d.Hr.
Filosoful grec Maximus din Tyr in "Laconica" (XIX.6.11) "La gura Istrului se afla in Pontul Euxin o insulă, cu numele Leuce".

sec. VI
Iordanes, în "De Getarum sive Gothorum origine et rebus gestis" ("despre originea şi faătele goţilor"), face referiri la insula Leuce.

sec. VI
Stephan din Bizanţ, in al său "Lexicon" de nume de popoare, menţionează ca "există o insulă a lui Ahille. Unii ii spun Leuce".

sec. XII
Poetul bazantin Tzetzes, in "Chiliade", localiza insula Leuce lângă ţărmul pontic al Moesiei.

(Insula Serpilor, Dr. Dominut Padurean, Ed. Muntenia, Constanta, 2004, p. 65-74)

Lacul Razelm, ca si Lacul Sinoe, au oferit cadrul natural pentru favorizarea comertului dintre greci si populatia traca.

Golful din spatele Capului Dolojman oferea protectie corabiilor grecesti impotriva furtunilor.

Pentru a oferi si protectie impotriva posibililor atacatori, acest golf a fost intarit cu un sistem defensiv.

Cetatea Argamum (Orgame), ridicata pe stancariile Capului Dolojman (de langa Jurilovca) este aproximativ contemporana cu Cetatea Troia din Asia Mica, fiind ridicata de greci la mijlocul sec. 7 i. de Hr.

 Dupa 150 de ani, istoricul Hekataios amintea de Cetatea Orgame, un polis infloritor, aproape de Istru.

Totusi, sapaturile arheologice au aratat ca Argamum reprezinta primul oras construit pe teritoriul tarii noatre de catre populatia geto-traca, anterior venirii grecilor din Milet (Asia Mica).

 In primele secole ale stapanirii romane (dupa sec.1 d. Hr.), iesirea la mare a fost blocata de sedimente.

Totusi ei au intarit Cetatea Argamum si au construit inca un fort pe Insula Bisericuta, cea din fata Capului Dolojman. 

 Noi am vazut in Insula Popina din partea de nord a Lacului Razelm o posibila Insula Leuce, loc la care se face  referire spre sfarsitul razboiului troian, cand se prezinta soarta eroilor ahei.

 Dupa ce aheii au ars la Troia trupul eroului Ahile (cel ucis de sageata trasa in calcaiul sau vulnerabil), umbra sa a fost luata de catre Tetis, zeita nereida, mama sa si, cu voia lui Zeus, Ahile s-a schimbat din om in semizeu, ca toti marii eroi din vremea sa.

La rugamintea mamei, Poseidon a inaltat in Pontul Euxin (Marea Neagra) o insula frumoasa la gura fluviului Istru (Dunare), in dreptul Cetatii Psilon (Sulina).

Acest nou tarm, ridicat de zeul marii din malurile carate de fluviu, s-a numit Insula Leuce.

Aici zeita Hera i-a adus-o pe frumoasa Elena, cea care provocase atata vrajba pe pamant si i-a daruit-o de sotie, ca rasplata pentru cel ce biruise Troia.






Thraco-Getian Telephus, King of Moesia in the Trojan War

Jordanes - The Origin and Deeds of the Goths

IX But say not "Why does a story which deals with     58
the men of the Goths have so much to say of their women?"
Hear, then, the tale of the famous and glorious
valor of the men. Now Dio, the historian and diligent
investigator of ancient times, who gave to his work the
title "Getica" (and the Getae we have proved in a previous
passage to be Goths, on the testimony of Orosius
Paulus)--this Dio, I say, makes mention of a later king
of theirs named Telefus. Let no one say that this name
is quite foreign to the Gothic tongue, and let no one who
is ignorant cavil at the fact that the tribes of men make
use of many names, even as the Romans borrow from the
Macedonians, the Greeks from the Romans, the Sarmatians
from the Germans, and the Goths frequently from
the Huns. This Telefus, then, a son of Hercules by 59
Auge, and the husband of a sister of Priam, was of
towering stature and terrible strength. He matched his
father's valor by virtues of his own and also recalled the
traits of Hercules by his likeness in appearance. Our
ancestors called his kingdom Moesia (rather Mysia). This province has
on the east the mouths of the Danube, on the south
Macedonia, on the west Histria and on the north the
Danube. Now this king we have mentioned carried on 60
wars with the Greeks, and in their course he slew in battle
Thesander, the leader of Greece. But while he was making
a hostile attack upon Ajax and was pursuing Ulysses,
his horse became entangled in some vines and fell. He
himself was thrown and wounded in the thigh by a javelin
of Achilles, so that for a long time he could not be healed.
Yet, despite his wound, he drove the Greeks from his
land. Now when Telefus died, his son Eurypylus succeeded
to the throne, being a son of the sister of Priam,
king of the Phrygians. For love of Cassandra he sought
to take part in the Trojan war, that he might come to the
help of her parents and his own father-in-law; but soon
after his arrival he was killed.
Who Was Telephus?

Telephus was a son of Hercules and Auge, a priestess of Athena. As a child, Telephus was raised by shepherds.

King in Mysia when the Achaeans came to the wrong place to wage war to win back Helen, Telephus was wounded by Achilles. When an oracle told Telephus the only way he would be healed was if the one who had wounded him healed him, he set out to Argos after Achilles, possibly disguised in rags as a beggar. When he had trouble persuading Achilles to heal him, Telephus took Orestes as hostage. That and the fact that it was revealed to the Achaeans that Telephus was actually a Greek by birth and that the Greeks would never take Troy without the aid of Telephus, Achilles healed him but only on the condition that he would tell the Greeks how to get to Troy.

Telephus was the legendary founder of Pergamon. His wife was Priam of Troy's daughter Laodike. Telephus brought Mysian troops to the aid of the Trojans and was killed by Neoptolemus.

Homer: The Odyssey

Bk XXIV:1-56 Agamemnon in the Underworld

 Meanwhile CyllenianHermes was summoning the ghosts of the Suitors. In his hands he held his lovely golden wand with which he can lull men’s eyelids or wake them from sleep: and with this wand he called the ghosts and led them, and they followed him gibbering. Like bats that flit about and gibber in the depths of an eerie cave, after one falls from the hanging cluster where they cling to the rock and one another, so they went gibbering behind Hermes the Helper, down the dank way. Past Ocean’s stream, and the White Rock, past the Gates of the Sun and the place of dreams, they soon reached the meadows of asphodel where the ghosts abide, the phantoms of men whose work is done.

          Here they met with the ghost of Achilles, Peleus’ son, and that of Patroclus, of flawless Antilochus, and Ajax whose form and beauty were greatest of the Danaans, except for the matchless son of Peleus. And these crowded around Achilles. Then the sad ghost of Agamemnon, Atreus’ son, drew near and round him thronged others: the ghosts of all those who met their fate and died with him in Aegisthus’ house. And the ghost of Achilles spoke first to him, saying: ‘Son of Atreus, we always thought you, above all others, were ever dear to Zeus the Thunderer, being the head of our army on the fields of Troy, where we Achaeans suffered. But it seems you too were doomed to an early death: death that none of all who are born evade. How much better it would have been if you’d been fated to die at Troy, still enjoying the honour you commanded! Then the whole Achaean host would have built your tomb, and increased your son’s glory in future days: but now we know it was your fate to meet a pitiful death.’

          And the ghost of Atreus’ son replied: ‘Godlike Achilles, son of Peleus, happy to have died far away from Argos at Troy, where round you those others, the best of Trojans and Achaeans were killed, fighting for your corpse, while you in all your greatness lay there in the dust, your horsemanship forgotten. All day long we fought, and would never have ceased, if Zeus had not stopped us with a mighty storm. After we carried you out of the ranks and back to the ships, we laid you on a bier and bathed your flesh with warm water and unguents. Many were the hot tears the Danaans shed over you, many the locks of your hair they cut.

          And out of the sea came your mother, Thetis, on hearing the news, with her immortal nymphs, and a miraculous cry echoed over the deep, and made all the Achaeans tremble. Then they wanted to leap up and run to the hollow ships, but Nestor, a man wise in ancient wisdom, whose counsel had often prevailed, held them back. With good intentions he called to them, saying: ‘Stop, you Argives. Achaean youths stand fast! This is his mother come from the sea with her immortal nymphs to gaze on her dead son’s face.’

 Bk XXIV:57-97 Agamemnon’s ghost tells of the funeral of Achilles

 At his words the brave Achaeans checked their flight. The daughters of the Old Man of the Sea stood around your corpse lamenting bitterly. They wrapped your body in an imperishable shroud. And the nine Muses chanted your dirge, responding each to each in their sweet voices. There was not a single Argive to be seen without tears in his eyes, so moving was the clear song of the Muse. Immortal gods and mortal men, we mourned for you, seventeen days and nights, and on the eighteenth we delivered you to the flames, sacrificing herds of fatted sheep and spiral-horned cattle round you. You were burnt clothed as a god, drowned in unguents and sweet honey, and a host of Achaean heroes streamed past your pyre as you burned, warriors and charioteers, making a vast noise. And at dawn, Achilles, when Hephaestus’ fires had eaten you, we gathered up your whitened ash and bone, and steeped them in oil and unmixed wine. Your mother gave us a gold two-handled urn, saying it was the gift of Dionysus, and crafted by far-famed Hephaestus himself. There your ashes lie, my glorious Achilles, mixed with the bones of the dead Patroclus, Menoetius’ son, but separated from those of Antilochus, who next to dead Patroclus you loved most among your comrades. And on a headland thrusting into the wide Hellespont we, the great host of Argive spearmen, heaped a vast flawless mound above them, so it might be seen far out to sea by men who live now and those to come.

          Then you mother set out beautiful prizes she had begged from the gods, in the middle of the arena, to award to the best of the Achaeans. You were present yourself at the funeral games for royal heroes, when young men gird their loins and try to win the prizes, but even you would have wondered at the sight, such lovely prizes Thetis, the silver-footed goddess, set out in your honour: for you were the beloved of the gods. So your name was not lost, Achilles, in death, and you will be famous indeed forever among men. As for me what pleasure should I take in having wound up the skein of war? When I returned, Zeus had planned a bitter end for me at the hands of Aegisthus and my accursed wife.’


North Thracian Pottery



Late Bronze Age ornaments. Bronze phalera or shield boss from Badeni. Diam. 14.4 cm.

One of two bronze stylized figurines from the Ulmi-Liteni hoard. Ht 11.4 cm.

Variants of the 'Villanovan-type' urn. 1 Tirpesti, north Moldavia, Precucuteni culture. 2 Lapus. 3 Red. 4 Kanev region. 5 Razkopanitsa. 6 Pecica. 7 Reci. 8 Kanev region. Forerunners occur in the early Chalcolithic Precucuteni culture and, again with bosses, in Otomani III and Suciu de Sus. Other Later Bronze Age variants appear in the Girla Mare culture at Balta Verde and Ostrovul Mare, in the Vatina culture and also at Reci, Tirgu Mure§ and Sarata-Monteoru. Under Gava-Holihrady influence the shape simplified to a hiconical body, often with a channelled hand at the division and a strongly everted mouth, found notably in the Voivodina, south-east Hungary, the Thracian Plain and Transylvania, but as far afield as Oloumouc in Moravia, Budapest, Mahala in its Holihrady phase and the Middle Dnieper. A related form with wide everted mouth, concave-profiled neck and rounded body, in the Carpatho-Balkans often decorated with incised, pitted or channelled garlands, also appears in the Voivodina, lower Danube valley, Transylvania, Tyasmin valley and Middle Dnieper.

Table comparing artefacts from settlement layers at Mahala. I Noua, II Early Holihrady (also called 'Thracian Hallstatt'), III Evolved Holihrady.

Noua clay bowl from Teius, west Transylvania.

Left: Clay bowl of the Plovdiv-Zimnicea group, from Gradeshnitsa. Ht 9-5 cm.

Right: Pottery from Babadag I.

Clay bowl from Troy VIIb 2, Ht (with handles) 20.5 cm. The identical shape, with a small central boss, is found at Babadag and Rousse.

Fragment of a clay bowl from Troy VIIb 2 with Pshenichevo-type, stamped tangented circle decoration. Ht (to rim) 8.2 cm.

Clay cup from Troy VIIb 2, with three small bosses. Ht (to rim) 7.5 cm. The peaked handle, is also found at Malko Kale.

Clay bowl with three horn bosses, from Troy VIIb 2. Ht (to rim) 24-25.8 cm. A similar vessel with more pronounced bosses is illustrated by Schliemann and parallels exist in the west Pontic coastal belt at Golyamo Delchevo and nearby Dulgopol.

Left: Bossed urn from Gabarevo, near Kazanluk. Ht 23 cm. Bossed ware, revived by Otomani III, Gava and Suciu de Sus cultures, had appeared as early as the Tiszapolgar and Precucuteni, the latter exhibiting developed horn bosses at Traian in central Moldavia.

Right: Late Bronze Age sherds from Pshenichevo showing punched, incised, pricked and channelled decoration.

Continuity of the tangented circle motif is shown by this 5th to 6th-century AD altar screen from Osenovo, near Varna. Ht 24.5 cm.

Stone firedog representing a horse, with Pshenichevo-type decoration, from Markovo, north of Chirpan. Ht 23 cm.

Clay firedog from Brno Obrany, Moravia. Max. Ht 23 cm, L. 47 cm. This firedog with a stylized representation of a ram was one of several found near hearths in the settlement.

A single-chamber megalithic tomb close to a small hill-fort near Harmanli, Haskovo district. Ht 1.45 m, L. 2.80 m.

A complex megalithic chamber tomb near Lalapasa. A passage with sides 1.20 and 1.60 m long leads to an antechamber and main tomb chamber, together 2.70 m long, with rounded holes approx. 30 cm wide in the dividing slabs. At entrance W. is 2.20 m and at rear 2.80 m. Ht 1.50 m.

Potsherds from megalithic chamber tombs at Studena and Sakartsi, Haskovo district, showing analogies with the Pshenichevo and Babadag - Troy VIIb 2 cultures. Ht of broken conical boss, from Studena, 4.5 cm.

Jug with channelled decoration from the earliest level at Malko Kale, dated to the 11th-9th century. Ht 20.5 cm.

Historicity of the Iliad, Troy, Ilios, Wilusa

Historicity of the Iliad

Akhilleus Patroklos Antikensammlung Berlin F2278.jpg
Achilles tending the wounded Patroclus
(Attic red-figure kylix, ca. 500 BC)

The war

Setting: Troy (modern Hisarlik, Turkey)
Period: Bronze Age
Traditional dating: ca. 1194–1184 BC
Outcome: Greek victory, destruction of Troy
See also: Historicity of the Iliad

Literary sources

Iliad · Epic Cycle · Aeneid, Book 2 ·
Iphigenia in Aulis · Philoctetes ·
Ajax · The Trojan Women · Posthomerica
See also: Trojan War in art and literature


Wedding of Peleus and Thetis ·
Judgement of Paris · Seduction of Helen ·
Trojan Horse · The Returns ·
Wanderings of Odysseus ·
Aeneas and the Founding of Rome

Greeks and allies

Agamemnon · Achilles · Helen · Menelaus · Nestor · Odysseus · Ajax · Diomedes · Patroclus · Thersites · Achaeans · Myrmidons
See also: Catalogue of Ships

Trojans and allies

King Priam · Queen Hecuba · Hector · Paris · Cassandra · Andromache · Aeneas · Memnon  · Troilus · Penthesilea and the Amazons
See also: Trojan Battle Order

Related topics

Homeric question · Archaeology of Troy · Mycenae · Bronze Age warfare

Trojan War

The extent of the historical basis of the Iliad has been debated for some time. Educated Greeks of the fifth century continued to accept the truth of human events depicted in the Iliad, even as philosophical scepticism was undermining faith in divine intervention in human affairs. In the time of Strabo topological disquisitions discussed the identity of sites mentioned by Homer. There was no break when Greco-Roman culture was Christianised: Eusebius of Caesarea offered universal history reduced to a timeline, in which Troy received the same historical weight as Abraham, with whom Eusebius' Chronologia began, ranking the Argives and Mycenaeans among the kingdoms ranged in vertical columns, offering biblical history on the left (verso), and secular history of the kingdoms on the right (recto).[1] Jerome's Chronicon followed Eusebius, and all the medieval chroniclers began with summaries of the universal history of Jerome.

With such authorities behind it, the historic nature of Troy and the events of the Trojan War continued to be accepted at face value by post-Roman Europeans. Geoffrey of Monmouth's pseudo-genealogy traced a Trojan origin for royal Briton descents in Historia Regum Britanniae.[2] Merovingian descent from a Trojan ancestor was embodied in a literary myth first set forth in Fredegar's chronicle (2.4, 3.2.9), to the effect that the Franks were of Trojan stock and took their name from King Francio, who had erected a new Troy on the banks of the Rhine.[3] Even before the rational Age of Enlightenment these "facts" underlying the medieval view of history were doubted by Blaise Pascal: "Homer wrote a romance, for nobody supposes that Troy and Agamemnon existed any more than the apples of the Hesperides. He had no intention to write history, but only to amuse us."[4] After the Enlightenment the stories of Troy were devalued as fables by George Grote.[5]

The discoveries made by Heinrich Schliemann at Hisarlik reopened the question in modern terms, and recent discoveries have fueled more discussion across several disciplines.[6] The events described in Homer's Iliad, even if based on historical events that preceded its composition by some 450 years, will never be completely identifiable with historical or archaeological facts, even if there was a Bronze Age city on the site now called Troy, and even if that city was destroyed by fire or war at about the same time as the time postulated for the Trojan War.

No text or artifact has been found on site itself which clearly identifies the Bronze Age site by name. This is probably due to the planification of the former hillfort during the construction of Hellenistic Ilium (Troy IX), destroying the parts that most likely contained the city archives. A single seal of a Luwian scribe has been found in one of the houses, proving the presence of written correspondence in the city, but not a single text. Our emerging understanding of the geography of the Hittite Empire makes it very likely that the site corresponds to the city of Wilusa. But even if that is accepted, it is of course no positive proof of identity with Homeric (W)ilios.

The bilingual toponymy of Troy/Ilion is well established in the Homeric tradition. A name Wilios or Troia does not appear in any of the Greek written records from the Mycenean sites, however. The Mycenaean Greeks of the 13th century BC had colonized the Greek mainland and Crete, and were only beginning to make forays into Anatolia, establishing a bridgehead in Miletus (Millawanda). Historical Wilusa was one of the Arzawa lands, in loose alliance with the Hittite Empire, and written reference to the city is therefore to be expected in Hittite correspondence rather than in Mycenaean palace archives. 

Status of the Iliad

The modern dispute over the historicity of the Iliad has been very heated at times.[7] Modern discourse has turned from questions of the historicity of the particular human events that transpire in the Iliad; M.I. Finley, in The World of Odysseus, which sets out a coherent picture of the society reflected in the Iliad and the Odyssey, deflects the question as "beside the point that the narrative is a collection of fictions from beginning to end"[8] Finley, for whom the Trojan War is "a timeless event floating in a timeless world",[9] breaks down the question of historicity, aside from invented narrative details, into five essential elements: 1. Troy was destroyed by a war; 2. the destroyers were a coalition from mainland Greece; 3. the leader of the coalition was a king named Agamemnon; 4. Agamemnon's overlordship was recognized by the other chieftains; 5. Troy, too, headed a coalition of allies. Finley finds no evidence for any of these points.[10]

The more we know about Bronze Age history, the clearer it becomes that it is not a yes-or-no question but one of educated assessment of how much historical knowledge is present in Homer, and whether it reflects a retrospective memory of Dark Age Greece, as Finley concludes, or of Mycenaean Greece, which is the dominant view of A Companion to Homer, A.J.B. Wace and F.H. Stebbings, eds. (New York/London: Macmillan 1962). The particular narrative of the Iliad is not an account of the war, but a tale of the psychology, the wrath, vengeance and death of individual heroes, which assumes common knowledge of the Trojan War to create a backdrop. No scholars now assume that the individual events in the tale (many of which centrally involve divine intervention) are historical fact; on the other hand, no scholars claim that the scenery is entirely devoid of memories of Mycenaean times: it is rather a subjective question of whether the factual content is rather more or rather less than one would have expected.

The extent of a demonstrable historicity for Homer's Troy faces hurdles that are analogous to the historical basis for King Arthur. With Plato's Atlantis the less comparable case is the extent to which myth has been manipulated or created, to illustrate philosophical generalizations. In all cases, an ancient body of culturally agreed-upon "facts" embodied in a crystallizing "classic" narrative version, is now seen by some to be true, by others to be mythology or fiction. It may be possible to establish connections between either story and real places and events, but these always risk being subject to selection bias.

The Iliad as essentially legendary

Some archaeologists and historians, most notably, until his death in 1986, Sir Moses Finley,[11] maintain that none of the events in Homer's works are historical. Others accept that there may be a foundation of historical events in the Homeric narrative, but say that in the absence of independent evidence it is not possible to separate fact from myth.

Finley was in a minority when his World of Odysseus first appeared, in 1954. With the understanding that war was the normal state of affairs, Finley observed that a ten-year war was out of the question, indicating Nestor's recall of a cattle-raid in Elis as a norm, and identifying the scene in which Helen points out to Priam the Achaean leaders in the battlefield, as "an illustration of the way in which one traditional piece of the story was retained after the war had ballooned into ten years and the piece had become rationally incongruous."[12]

Aside from narrative detail, Finley pointed out that, aside from some correlation of Homeric placenames and Mycenaean sites,[13] and the fact that the heroes lived at home in palaces (oikoi) unknown in Homer's day; far from a nostalgic recall of the Mycenaean age, Finley asserts that "the catalogue of his errors is very long".

His arms bear a resemblance to the armour of his time, quite unlike the Mycenaean, although he persistently casts them in antiquated bronze, not iron. His gods had temples, and the Mycenaeans built none, whereas the latter constructed great vaulted tombs in which to bury their chieftains and the poet cremates his. A neat little touch is provided by the battle chariots. Homer had heard of them, but he did not really visualize what one did with chariots in a war. So his heroes normally drove from their tents a mile or less away, carefully dismounted, and then proceeded to battle on foot."[14]

What the poet believed he was singing about was the heroic past of his own Greek world, Finley concludes.

In recent years scholars have suggested that the Homeric stories represented a synthesis of many old Greek stories of various Bronze Age sieges and expeditions, fused together in the Greek memory during the "dark ages" which followed the fall of the Mycenean civilization. In this view, no historical city of Troy existed anywhere: the name derives from a people called the Troies, who probably lived in central Greece. The identification of the hill at Hisarlık as Troy is, in this view, a late development, following the Greek colonisation of Asia Minor in the 8th century BC.

It is also worth comparing the details of the Iliadic story to those of older Mesopotamian literature - most notably, the Epic of Gilgamesh. Names, set scenes, and even major parts of the story, are strikingly similar.[15] Most scholars believe that writing first came to Greek shores from the east, via traders, and these older poems were used to demonstrate the uses of the alphabet, thus heavily influencing early Greek literature.

The Iliad as essentially historical

Map of the Troad (Troas)

Another view is that Homer was heir to an unbroken tradition of oral epic poetry reaching back some 500 years into Mycenaean times. In this view, the poem's core could reflect a historical campaign that took place at the eve of the decline of the Mycenaean civilization. Much legendary material would have been added during this time, but in this view it is meaningful to ask for archaeological and textual evidence corresponding to events referred to in the Iliad. Such a historical background gives a credible explanation for the geographical knowledge of Troy (which could, however, also have been obtained in Homer's time by visiting the traditional site of the city, which was in fact New Ilium, built at the base of the hill at Hisarlik) and otherwise unmotivated elements in the poem (in particular the detailed Catalogue of Ships). Linguistically, a few verses of the Iliad suggest great antiquity, because they only fit the meter if projected back into Mycenaean Greek, in part due to the classical loss of the Digamma; this trace of archaic language suggests a poetic tradition spanning the Greek Dark Ages. On the other hand, there are well-known interpolations in the text we have. Even though Homer was Ionian, the Iliad reflects the geography known to the Mycenaean Greeks, showing detailed knowledge of the mainland but not extending to the Ionian Islands or Anatolia, which suggests that the Iliad reproduces an account of events handed down by tradition, to which the author did not add his own geographical knowledge.

The Iliad as partly historical

As mentioned above, though, it is most likely that the Homeric tradition contains elements of historical fact and elements of fiction interwoven. Homer describes a location, presumably in the Bronze Age, with a city. This city was near Mount Ida in northwest Turkey. Such a city did exist, at the mound of Hisarlık. Homer describes that the location was very windy, which Hisarlık almost always is, and several other geographical features also match, so it appears, therefore, that Homer was describing an actual place, although this fact does not in itself prove that his story is true.

Homeric evidence

Map of Bronze Age Greece as described in Homer's Iliad

Also, the Catalogue of Ships mentions a great variety of cities, some of which, including Athens, were inhabited both in the Bronze Age and in Homer's time, and some of which, such as Pylos, were not rebuilt after the Bronze Age. This suggests that the names of no-longer-existing towns were remembered from an older time, because it is unlikely that Homer would have managed to name successfully a diverse list of important Bronze Age cities that were, in his time, only a few blocks of rubble on the surface, often without even names. Some evidence is mixed, though: locating the Bronze Age palace of Sparta, the traditional home of Menelaus, under the modern city has been challenging.

Mycenaean evidence

Likewise, in the Linear B tablets, some Homeric names appear, including Achilles, which was also a common name in the classical period[16]. The Achilles of the Linear B tablet is a shepherd, not a king or warrior, but the very fact that the name is an authentic Bronze Age name is significant. These names in the Homeric poems presumably remember, if not necessarily specific people, at least an older time when people's names were not the same as they were when the Homeric epics were written down.

Local evidence

It is very likely, then, that Homer records some information of a factual nature, things that refer to something in real life, even if it is not clear that they record history. But what of the war itself? There is nothing inherently unlikely about a large battle or even a war over the city of Troy. That general area has always been extremely valuable and hotly contested, since it is at the mouth of the Dardanelles. Istanbul, the city on the other side of the straits connecting the Aegean Sea and the Black Sea, has been the site of many confrontations for exactly the same reason. However, there is not a great deal of positive evidence at Hisarlık, the best candidate for Troy, of a destruction by war. The chronologically appropriate layers, Troy VIh and Troy VIIa, both appear to have been destroyed by fires, the former more likely because of an earthquake or natural disaster, but it is harder to identify what destroyed the latter. It is possible that Troy VIIa was destroyed in battle, but it is not certain.

Hittite evidence

Hittite texts are an important source of information as they were written independently of the Homeric tradition. The Manapa-Tarhunda letter mentions fighting over Wilusa, presumably Greek Ilios, Ilion, i.e. Troy, but dating it and matching it with a particular destruction of a particular level at Hisarlık has not been easy. Nevertheless, the letter mentions Piyama-Radu as the troublemaker ruler of Wilusa; he is also mentioned in the Milawata letter and the name does bear a similarity to the Homeric king Priam. Alaksandu ruled Wilusa some time after Piyama-Radu, and Alexandros/Alexander was an alternative name of Priam's son, Paris. Alaksandu made a treaty with the Hittite king, invoking the god Apaliunas. Apollo was the Trojans' foremost champion in the Iliad, and he also helped Paris kill the otherwise invulnerable Achilles.

Artefactual evidence

On the other hand, there are parts of Homer's story that appear not to match a Bronze Age war over the site of Hisarlık. The armor that he describes is most likely more from his era than from the Bronze Age, although it is somewhat mixed. Ajax's tower shield makes sense in the context of the shields depicted in Bronze Age artwork, which are very tall and either rectangular or shaped somewhat like a curved hourglass. However, most of the other shields are described as circular, which is an anachronism, as far as modern scholars can tell. The body armor is similarly mixed.

Thus, the details recorded in the Homeric epics appear to be a mix of fact and fiction, and separating the two is likely to be the work of many future generations of archeologists, as it has been the work of many preceding ones.

Geological evidence

In November 2001, geologists John C. Kraft from the University of Delaware and John V. Luce from Trinity College, Dublin presented the results[17][18][19] of investigations into the geology of the region that had started in 1977. The geologists compared the present geology with the landscapes and coastal features described in the Iliad and other classical sources, notably Strabo's Geographia. Their conclusion was that there is regularly a consistency between the location of Troy as identified by Schliemann (and other locations such as the Greek camp), the geological evidence, and descriptions of the topography and accounts of the battle in the Iliad.

See also


  1. ^ Eusebius' chronological tables are re-analysed in depth by Richard W. Burgess, Witold Witakowski, eds.Studies in Eusebian and Post-Eusebian Chronography vol. 1. (Stuttgart) 1999; see Introduction and Overview
  2. ^ Analysed in Francis Ingledew, "The Book of Troy and the Genealogical Construction of History: The Case of Geoffrey of Monmouth's Historia regum Britanniae" Speculum 69,.3 (July 1994:665-704).
  3. ^ Peter G. Bietenholz, Historia and Fabula: Myths and Legends in Historical Thought 1994:190.
  4. ^ (Pascal, Pensées (published 1660), part ix, §628.
  5. ^ In Grote, A History of Greece, vol. I (1846), "Legendary Greece" prefaces "Historical Greece to the reign of Peisistratus", and begins the "historical" section with the traditional date of the first Olympiad, 776 BCE: "To confound together these disparate matters is, in my judgement, essentially unphilosophical. I describe the earlier times by themselves, as conceived by the faith and feeling of the first Greeks, and known only through their legends,—without presuming to measure how much or how little of historical matter these legends may contain" (Preface). The "Legend of Troy"—"this interesting fable"— fills his chapter xv.
  6. ^ Manfred Korfmann, the modern excavator of the site, writes "Was there a Trojan War?" in Archaeology 57.3 (May/June 2004:36-38); he concludes “Troy appears to have been destroyed around 1180 B.C. …probably by a war the city lost”.
  7. ^ Michael Wood has discussed this history: In Search of the Trojan War (1985, rev. ed., with "Postscript 1996", 1998)
  8. ^ Finley, The World of Odysseus, rev. ed. 1978, Preface, p. 9.
  9. ^ Finley 1978, Appendix II:172.
  10. ^ Finley 1978: Appendix II:175f.
  11. ^ Finley vigorously attacked Michael Wood's In Search of the Trojan War when it first appeared in 1984, four years before modern archaeology was undertaken at the Hisarlik site.
  12. ^ Finley 1978:46.
  13. ^ "Although the poverty of the finds in Odysseus's Ithaca is one of the notable exceptions". (Finley 1978:44).
  14. ^ Finley 1978:45.
  15. ^ Martin West, The East Face of Helicon (Oxford 1999), pp. 336-338; T.B.L. Webster, From Mycenae to Homer (London 1958) pp. 82, 119ff.
  16. ^ Epigraphical database gives 164 matches for Ἀχιλλεύς and 368 for Ἀχιλλε.The earliest inscriptions: Corinth 7th c. BCE, Delphi 530 BCE, Attica and Elis 5th c.BCE.
  17. ^ Confex.
  18. ^ Nature.
  19. ^ Iliad, Discovery.

External links

Spada de bronz din prima epoca a fierului in albia raului Suceava

Spadă din prima epocă a fierului, în albia râului Suceava

Muzeul Bucovinei a intrat recent în posesia unei spade din bronz din prima epocă a fierului, cu o greutate de 570 de grame, având o lungime de 63,8 cm şi lăţimea maximă a lamei de 4 cm. Raportul de expertiză care menţionează faptul că este vorba de o „spadă cu limbă la mâner”, cu mânerul plat şi cu lama lungă, zveltă, foliacee, care prezintă ca element interesant prezenţa porţiunii ricasso (de 30-35 mm), şi care - având în vedere locul în care a fost descoperită - „reprezintă, probabil, o depunere votivă de cult în mediul acvatic”.

Provenind din prima epocă a fierului (Hallstatt-ul timpuriu 1200/1500 - 800 î.Hr.), perioadă în care s-a produs treptat înlocuirea bronzului cu fierul, spada se circumscrie culturii Gava-Holihrady, reprezentată în zona Moldovei prin două grupuri culturale, Grăniceşti şi Corlăţeni-Chişinău-Lucaşenca. Aparţin]nd grupului cultural Grăniceşti, ea este cea de-a doua spadă de acest fel descoperită pe teritoriul judeţului Suceava în interval de un secol (după anul 1880, când s-au semnalat primele piese, s-a mai găsit o spadă din bronz în anul 1998, la Măneuţi).

Bronze Age in Romania, North Thracians of Cruceni - Belegiš Culture, Cornesti Earthen Fortress


The Bronze Age in the Balkans is divided as follows (Boardman p. 166)

  • Early Bronze Age: 20th to 16th centuries BC
  • Middle Bronze Age: 16th to 14th centuries BC
  • Late Bronze Age: 14th to 13th centuries BC

The Bronze Age in the Central and Eastern Balkans begins late, around 1800 BC. The transition to the Iron Age gradually sets in over the 13th century BC.

The "East Balkan Complex" (Karanovo VII, Ezero culture) covers all of Thrace. The Bronze Age cultures of the Central and Western Balkans are less clearly delineated and stretch to Pannonia, the Carpathians and into Hungary.

See also Cucuteni-Trypillian culture. From this mix of native neolithic populations and the invading Indo-Europeans, a new ethnos emerged—the Thracians. See also Thraco-Cimmerian. 


 BrăţarăBrăţară cu capete în volută - Muzeul Naţional de Istorie a României - BUCUREŞTI (Patrimoniul Cultural National Mobil din Romania. Ordin de clasare: 2408/13.09.2004 - Tezaur)

Muzeul Naţional de Istorie a României - BUCUREŞTI
Accession number P 23258 Epoca bronzului târziu/ Hallstatt timpuriu, Culture Cruceni - Belegis,Puritate 900‰; Dmin: 6,60 cm,Weight 74,15 g
Sec. XIII-XII a.Chr. Discovery area , Com. Sacoşu Mare

 Naturhistorisches Museum-Vienna

Same kind of gpld bracelets as from Culture Cruceni - Belegis



Seven of the nine superior Bronze "Mycenaean" swords found in Romania were found in Transylvania. Apa type swords  17thc BC.  showing that trade and connections continued with the southern Balkans through the Morava-Vardar corridor. Some Mycenaean settlements were founded in Macedonia.

Iron appeared in Romania about 1700 bce and in Greece shortly after. During the Middle and Late Bronze Age, it occurred infrequently except in Iberia, Britain, and some other parts of western Europe. The earliest iron was used for small knives, pins, and other personal objects and for repairs on bronze items. Only in Romania was iron used for heavy tools during the Bronze Age; toward the end.. 

 Prehisoric Art in Europe by N. K. Sandars.  On page 459 he wrote:

 >>56.  Gold daggers from Persinari-Ploesti and Madin in Rumania, and silver spears from Borodino, Bessarabia; S. Piggot, op.cit (Note 32) plate XZVIA

The bronze solid-hilted swords, disk-butted and shaft-tube axes and daggers are richly decorated, but the gold-working is even finer. The horizon includes many small ornaments(disks, rings, bracelets) as well as unique pieces as the Persinari sword and the Bihar cups. The unique pieces were probably the products of a single workshop in Transylvania
10 lei 2005 - Perşinari Hoard

About the Perşinari Hoard

At Perşinari (village in the commune of Văcăreşti, Dîmboviţa county, near the town of Tîrgovişte) a golden sword and some small silver axes were discovered in 1954 and in 1962 eleven dagger shaped objects. In 1977 some fragments from another dagger were also recovered. The daggers had not been completely finished. The daggers and the sword have one central nervure. At the sword the nervure is separated in several fibers toward the handle. The handle and the tip of the sword are missing. The blade (the only part of the sword preserved) is 289 mm long, 119 mm maximum wide and 1.4 kg. The daggers have lengths between 187 and 235 mm, the weight being between 223 and 505 grams. It is possible that these golden objects were parade weapons, resembling some gilded bronze weapons unearthed at Mycenae by Heinrich Schliemann. The historians believe that the hoard can be dated in the middle period of the Thracian Bronze Age, 17th-15th century BC.


Golden daggers as primitive money

Mr. Octavian Iliescu is the author of a paper published in the volume Cercetări numismatice VII (Researches in Numismatics, issued in 1996 at the National History Museum of the Romania) "How the primitive money looked. The Perşinari Hoard" (Romanian article), from which we took the following information. In this paper the notorious Romanian numismatist presents very serious arguments that show that these golden ingots are primitive moneys, that were used as coins. The 11 daggers were classified in four classes, based on size, weight and fineness of the gold used by the goldsmith.

About the recent history of the Perşinari Hoard

The objects discovered in 1962 were transported to Bucharest, at the National Bank of Romania, and were considered as dental gold! The daggers were saved from melting by Mr. Octavian Iliescu, who identified them as Bronze Age objects. In 1963 they entered in the collection of the Numismatic Cabinet of Library of the Academy. Today the daggers are displayed at the National History Museum, in the Treasury Room.

The History of gold series comprises four pieces of 500 lei from 2001 (featuring the golden cache of Pietroasa), three 100 lei coins from 1999 (and from 2002 and 2003 too) with the Dacian helmet of Poiana-Coţofeneşti, from 2003 with an eagle from Apahida, from 2004 with the Cantacuzinian engolpion and several of 10 new lei from 2005 with the Perşinari hoard, from 2006 with the Cucuteni-Băiceni hoard, from 2007 with the rhyton of Poroina, from 2008 with the Hinova hoard and from 2010 with the Someseni hoard.


Viorel P. Cojocaru,
Bucharest, România

The composition of the gold daggers from Persinari and Macin, corroborated with the fact that not the archaeologists, using specific methods, have uncovered these treasures, and no investigation was made at the supposed places where Persinari daggers were found, suggests many possible hypotheses concerning their provenance. These hypotheses are analyzed one by one in the work. Some of the accepted allegations can be accepted or infirmed but it appears clearly that there is not enough information to draw a firm conclusion, more investigations being necessary.

Details of a wooden structure
BUCHAREST, Nov. 5 -- A village established in the Bronze Age has been recently discovered near Zalau town, northwestern Romania, the official Agerpres news agency reported on Wednesday.

The discovery was made following an archaeological discharge relating to 2 square kilometers in Recea, close to Zalau.

"It is for the fist time in Transylvania, central-western region of Romania, when a village dating back to the Bronze Age is completely examined," said Ioan Bejinariu, the archaeologist of the History and Art Museum in Zalau.

"Only by conducting digging works on large areas of land can one have an overview of a location," said Bejinariu who is in charge of this site. "The village consists of eight houses built in the upper region of a hill on two almost parallel rows. Pits were found near the houses used for supplies' storage," he added.

As many as 124 archaeological sites were found, including houses, graves, supplies' pits or ovens, as well as two human skeletons dating back to several historical periods starting with 1500-1300 B.C. and up to the 3rd and 4th C A.D., Bejinariu informed.

In addition to the location originating in the Bronze Age, a well-preserved pottery kiln was discovered on the Sulduba valley, dating back to the 3rd and 4th C A.D. According to Ioan Bejinariu, the oven confirms the region used to be populated by sedentary people in that period.

The Carpathian arc from the Bohemia (Únĕtice culture), the upper Tiza (Otomani culture) and into Transylvania (Wietenburg culture) was the centre of the Bronze industry, trading up to the Baltic coast and east to the Caucasus. The 'alliance' of these three cultures used tin from Bohemia to produce Bronze in Transylvania and their strength spread north of the Carpathians into the Ukraine (Komarów culture) and east to the Pontic Steppe.



Gabriel Crăciunescu

Sargetia XIII, p.138 


Pl. I. 1-6: piese descoperite la Ostrovul Mare - km fl. 870 (Bivolării) 


 Pl. II. 1: piesă descoperită într-o locuinţă la Ostrovul Mare - km fl. 865;
2-3: piese descoperite la Ostrovul Mare - km fl. 870 (Bivolării); 4: piesă
descoperită la Ostrovul Mare - km fl. 861.

La culture Žuto Brdo-Gârla Mare s’étend le long du Danube, occupant une
surface comprise entre le confluent de l’Olt et celui de la Sava. La culture se développe d’une manière unitaire dans cet espace immense, ce qui la rend représentative pour l’Âge du Bronze sur le territoire roumain et dans les zones voisines. Le contenu deculture matérielle de cette population livre certains artefacts dont on n’a pas pu discerner une fonction. Les pièces, dernièrement appelées du nom „Brotlaibidole”, sont de forme parallélépipède et sont décorées d’incisions et cercles superposés.

Au long des années ces pièces ont été considérées comme des outils employés pour le décor de lacéramique, idoles, sceaux destinés au commerce à l’ambre, talismans, etc. L’auteur considère les pièces découvertes en Roumanie et formule ses observations concernant la disposition des incisions transversales et des cercles estampillés, ainsi que leur nombre,etc.

Il propose une nouvelle explication, c’est à dire ces artefacts portaient des signes
mnémoniques, connus par l’expéditeur et le destinataire d’un message. Il les considère comme des véritables „lettres” de ce temps-là.

Légendes des planches

Planche I. 1-6: pieces découvertes à Ostrovul Mare au km fl. 870 (Bivolării)
Planche II. 1: piece découverte dans une habitation d’Ostrovul Mare au km fl. 865;
2-3: pieces découvertes à Ostrovul Mare au km fl. 870 (Bivolării); 4: piece
découverte dans l’etablissement de Ostrovul Mare au km fl. 861


 Battle Axe from Bessarabia found in Troy II

In the second level of Troy excavation identified as Troy II dated around 2450-2200 BC four magnificent, highly polished artefacts that truly deserve the name "battle-axes". Three are of greenish stone said to be nephrite, and one bluish one resembles lapis lazuli. Both the exotic materials and the elegant craftsmanship suggest thta these probably come from much farther east-perhaps from Bessarabia.

  Câteva consideraÛii privind înmormânt|rile culturii Tei de Ion Motzoi-Chicideanu

 Influence of the Wietenburg culture spread east to the Noua culture of Moldavia and Sabatinovka culture of the Steppe as far as the Dnieper. Pastoralism was practiced extensively in the central to east of Romania. 

Bronze Age in Romania

Carlomanesti Bronze Age Cemetery and Ceramics. Archeologist I. Motzoi-Chicideanu at work


  Bronze Sickles from Gusterita




Cetatea Cornesti, cercetata de arheologi straini

Arheologi din Marea Britanie, Germania si SUA lucreaza in aceasta perioada pe situl arheologic de la Cornesti, judetul Timis, unde se afla cea mai mare fortareata preistorica din Europa. 
Instituţii străine prestigioase şi specialişti recunoscuţi la nivel internaţional participă la scoaterea la lumină a fortificaţiei. În aceste zile, se află la Timişoara Matthias Wemhoff, director al Muzeului de Preistorie şi Istorie Timpurie din Berlin, Bernhard Heeb, arheolog şi muzeolog în Muzeul de Preistorie şi Istorie Timpurie din Berlin, Rüdiger Krause, profesor la Goethe Universität Frankfurt am Main şi Sarah Sherwood, profesoară de geoarheologie la Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania şi la Universitatea din Tennesse

Cetatea de la Cornesti, veche de 3.500 de ani, este anul acesta investigata de arheologi si specialisti britanici, germani si americani, care dau o mana de ajutor si finantare celor romani. Strainii sunt de-a dreptul socati de maretia vestigiilor descoperite sub terenurile agricole de la Cornesti.

"Este un sit colosal si monumental", spune dr. Sarah Sherwood, profesoara de geo-arheologie la Dickinson College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania si la Universitatea din Tennesse.

Muzeul de Preistorie si istorie Timpurie din Berlin, Germania, a decis, pentru prima data dupa 80 de ani, sa finanteze sapaturi arheologice, atunci cand specialistii institutiei au aflat de vestigiile de la 25 de kilometri de Timisoara. In prezent, dr. Matthias Wemhoff, directorul muzeului, cauta urmele tracilor nordici din cultura Cruceni - Belegiš, cot la cot cu arheologii romani.


Patru inele concentrice

"La Corneşti s-a descoperit cea mai mare fortificaţie preistorică din Europa, care, pe baza probelor de carbon-14, este datată în mod cert în a doua jumătate a mileniului II î.e.n. (sfârşitul Epocii Bronzului). Fortificaţia aparţine culturii Cruceni – Belegiš, care a fost răspândită din N-E Croaţiei până în zona piemontană a Banatului, controlând valea Dunării şi până la nord de Mureş", explică dr. Alexandru Szentmiklosi, şeful secţiei de Arheologie a Muzeului Banatului. Potrivit specialiştilor, cultura Cruceni- Belegiš a fost contemporană cu civilizaţia miceniană.

Fortificaţia de la Corneşti este o construcţie monumentală structurată în patru inele concentrice de dezvoltare. Prin analogie, explică arheologii, numai primul inel ar fi suficient cât să cuprindă fosta cetate a Timişoarei, iar ultimul, cel mai puţin vizibil, trece paralel cu şoseaua Timişoara – Arad.

Primul inel era un zid de apărare din lut bătut, de patru metri lăţime, care mai apoi a fost abandonat şi refăcut la câţiva metri distanţă. Fortificaţia în ansamblul ei se întindea pe 1.720 de hectare şi, probabil, a găzduit câteva mii de oameni în permanenţă, plus, în timp de răboi, alte numeroase mici comunităţi gravitau în jurul ei.

"Este una dintre cele mai spectaculoase cetăţi fortificate din Epoca Bronzului", este de părere dr. Rudiger Krause, profesor la Goethe Universitat Frankfurt am Main.

Zone cult şi ritualuri

Comunitatea din fortăreaţa de la Corneşti era formată din strămoşii dacilor, care se ocupau cu agricultura şi creşterea animalelor. Locuiau în case semi-îngropate, făcute din gropi circulare, cu o structură din lemn şi acoperite cu paie.



Arheologii spun că, potrivit descoperirilor de la faţa locului, aveau zone de cult şi ritualuri de depuneri de obiecte (vase ceramice, obiecte de metal şi chiar alimente), iar populaţiile făceau schimburi comerciale între ele. În plus, arheologii sunt siguri că populaţia acestui sit a fost printre primele din Epoca Bronzului Târziu care au adoptat incineraţia ca ritual funerar.

Elite sociale şi militare

"Va fi un şantier pentru mai multe generaţii, la finalul căruia rămâne să se răspundă cine a construit fortificaţia, pentru ce se apărau acei oameni, care au fost comunităţile care au participat la măreaţa construcţie. Ce structură politică şi socială a putut ridica un asemena complex. Cercetarea aşezării constituie o provocare imensă şi sperărm să putem răspunde la toate aceste întrebări", a mai adăugat Matthias Wemhoff,

Arheologii spun că, din ceea ce le-a "dezvăluit" până acum fortificaţia, cu siguranţă era condusă de elite sociale şi militare capabile să angreneze în muncă oamenii, atât pentru construcţia şi întreţinerea zidurilor de apărare, cât şi pentru producerea hranei necesare ori a mărfurilor pentru comerţ.





Corneşti (comuna Orţişoara, judeţul Timiş)

2. Situri arheologice cu stratigrafie complexă.

a) Punctul Dealul Cornet.

În acest punct se află o mare aşezare fortificată, numită de localnici şi Iarc, de foarte mari dimensiuni cu mai multe niveluri de folosire în epoca bronzului şi cea a fierului. Fortificaţia are mai multe valuri (trei incinte concentrice, după unii autori patru) intersectate de valea Pistrui (Pistruia), spre sud, care la est de sat îşi schimbă numele în Valea Luciului, Lacului sau Vâna Nerat. Spre nord, fortificaţia este mărginită de Valea Caraniului. Suprafaţa III şi cea mai mare are 578 ha.

Între alte materiale arheologice s-a descoperit şi o daltă de cupru, dar şi materiale ceramice reprezentând epoca de trecere de la cultura Tiszapolgár la Bodrogkeresztúr.

Materialele arheologice de epoca bronzului de aici se încadrează în partea timpurie şi mijlocie a perioadei.

Tot aici s-au descoperit materiale ceramice care pot duce datarea fortificaţiei până la sfârşitul epocii bronzului şi, poate, chiar în perioada hallstattiană.

Dintr-o descoperire întâmplătoare provine un topor de fier care poate fi încadrat în Hallstatt.

În incintă s-au descoperit şi fragmente ceramice dacice.

Unii cercetători consideră fortificaţia un ring avar.

Ortansa Radu aminteşte aici şi ceramică medievală târzie. [227]

3. Vestigii dacice.

a) În hotarul localităţii sunt amintite fragmente ceramice dacice. [228]

4. Vestigii daco-romane.

a) La N de localitate, în imediata apropiere a fortificaţiei preistorice (Iarcurilor) se află o aşezare de secolele IV-V d.Chr. [229]

5. Movile de pământ.

a) Pe traseul exterior al fortificaţiei de pământ din punctul Dealul Cornet este semnalată o movilă de pământ, plasată la 1,1 km nord de sat, cu dimensiunile de 15 m diametru şi 1,5-2 m înălţime. Este posibil să fie construită după terminarea ridicării incintei deoarece se află pe coama acesteia. [230]

6. Descoperiri monetare.

a) La sfârşitul secolului XIX s-a descoperit trei denari, dintre care doi imperiali şi unul republican. [231]

b) Cam tot în acelaşi timp s-au descoperit două monede de secolul XVII care pot face parte dintr-un tezaur. [232]

c) Către sfârşitul secolului XX s-a descoperit la Corneşti un tezaur monetar format din taleri austrieci de argint. [233]


 Fortificaţie Iarcuri

Arheologii care lucrează la Corneşti, unde s-a descoperit cea mai mare fortificaţie medievală din Europa, au avut parte de o vizită neaşteptată. Şantierul a fost verificat de poliţişti şi ofiţeri SRI, susţine un martor ocular.

"Au venit cei de la SRI să se intereseze de tezaurul lui Attila. Se ştie că regele hunilor a fost îngropat cu o avere impresionantă, dar nu s-a descoperit niciodată locul. Legenda spune că oamenii care l-au îngropat au fost omorâţi să nu se afle niciodată locul", a spus un martor ocular care a dorit să îi fie protejată identitatea.


Poliţia a pus întrebări

Oficial arheologii nu au spus nimc despre verificările Serviciului Român de Informaţii dar au confirmat că Poliţia Română a trimis o echipă la faţa locului pentru a afla exact ce se petrece acolo. Conform arheologilor, poliţiştii vroiau să se asigure că dacă se găseşte cumva tezaurul lui Attila, acesta va ajunge în mâini bune. "E o nebunie cu zvonurile astea. O să înceapă să vină şi căutătorii de comori. Ipoteza hunilor este absolut ireală. Attila avea o capitală în mişcare. Dacă aici ar fi existat aşa ceva ar fi rămas în istoria vremii", a declarat Alexandru Szentmiklosi, şeful secţiei de Arheologie a Muzeului Banatului.

 „Poliţiştii de la Biroul Patrimoniu Naţional fac periodic controale la toate siturile arheologice din Timiş. Ei verifică dacă săptăturile sunt efectuate legal, dacă există autorizaţii, dacă este respectată legislaţia în domeniu şi nu se interesează ce fel de obiecte sunt descoperite. Verificările nu sunt realizate alături de ofiţeri SRI", a declarat Marinela Apostolache, purtător de cuvânt al Poliţiei Timiş.

Arheologii străini s-au speriat

Prezenţa poliţiei i-a speriat pe arheologii străini, care lucrează la fortificaţia de la Corneşti. Informaţiile că în apropeiera Timişoarei ar fi existat capitala lui Attila au plecat de la un documentar realizat de inginerul Leonard Dorogostayski. Acesta a lansat trei ipoteze pentru uriaşa aşezare antică descoperită: o fortificaţie din perioada dominaţiei avare, o vastă aşezare din Epoca bronzului şi capitala hunilor, teorie susţinută de un cercetător din Canada, după vizionarea locului cu ajutorul Google Earth.

Oraş antic

Aşezarea ar putea avea o vechime de 3.500 de ani. Pe baza probelor de carbon-14 s-a stabilit că fortificaţia este datată în a doua jumătate a mileniului II, înainte de Hristos. "Fortificaţia aparţine culturii Cruceni-Belegis a Tracilor Nordici, care a fost răspândită din nord-estul Croaţiei până în zona piemontală a Banatului, controlând valea Dunării şi până la nord de Mureş", a mai spus Szentmiklosi.


Muzeul Banatului Timişoara
Alexandru Szentmiklosi

(epoca bronzului)

E-mail: [email protected]

- Săpăturile arheologice preventive de la Dumbrăviţa (jud. Timiş). DN6 - varianta ocolitoare Timişoara, km. 549+076 - DN 69, km. 6+430. The rescue excavation from Dumbrăviţa (Timiş County)(Summary), Ed. Waldpress, Timişoara, 2004, 220 ISBN 973-8453-89-5 (în colaborare cu Fl. Draşovean, D.Benea, M.Mare, M.Muntean, D.Tănase, M.Crânguş, Fl.Chiu, D.Micle, S.Regep-Vlasici, A.Ştefănescu, C.Timoc).
- Arta prelucrării bronzului în Banat (mileniul al II-lea în.Chr.). The art of bronzeworking in Banat (IInd millenium BC), Ed. Solness, Timişoara, 2004, 133 p., ISBN 973-729-017-8 (în colaborare cu Fl.Draşovean).
- Umetnost obrade bronze u Banatu. Drugi milenijum pre Hrista, Gradski Musej Vršac, 2004 ISBN 86-83911-15-2 (în colaborare cu Fl.Draşovean).


 Domestic spy agency, police on the hunt for Attila's treasure

Archeologists working at Cornesti, where Europe's largest medieval fortification was unearthed, were in for an unexpected surprise. The dig site was checked by police and Romanian Intelligence Agency (SRI) agents, according to Adevarul. Information that somewhere close to Timisoara is Attila's former capital came from a documentary directed by engineer Leonard Dorogostayski. According to historical data, the king of Huns was buried with an impressive wealth, but the burial spot was never discovered.
"The SRI guys came to ask about Attila's treasure. It is known that the king of Huns was buried with impressive riches, but the place was never discovered. Legend has it that the people who buried him were killed so that the place would never be revealed," and eyewitness told the newspaper on condition of anonymity.

Officially, archeologists made no mention about the SRI checks, but confirmed that the police sent a team to the site to find out what exactly was going on there. According to archeologists, the polcie wanted to make sure that in case Attila's treasure was found, it would have fallen into the right hands. "It's madness with these rumors. Treasure hunters will start showing up. Huns' hypothesis is absolutely unreal. Attila had a moving capital. If anything of the kind had been here, it would have been inscribed in the time's history," said Alexandru Szentmiklosi, head of Banat Museum's Archeology Department.

"Police from the National Heritage Office make regular checks at all archeological dig sites in Timis. They check if the digs are don legally, if there are authorizations and if legislation is respected, they have no interest in what kind of items get discovered. The checks are not done together with SRI agents," said Timis Police spokesperson Marinela Apostolache.

Police presence scared foreign archeologists who are working at the Cornesti fortifications. Information that somewhere close to Timisoara was Attila's capital came from a documentary directed by engineer Leonard Dorogostayski. He launched three hypotheses as regards the huge settlement uncovered there: a fortification from the time of the Avars, a vast Bronze Age settlement, of the Huns' capital, a theory backed by a Canada researcher as well, after viewing the location with Google Earth.

The settlement could be 3,500 years old. Based on carbon-14 tests, it was established that the fortification dates back to the second half of the second millenium before Christ. "The fortification belongs to the Cruceni-Belegis culture, which spread from north-east Croatia to Banat's lower regions, controlling the Danube valley and to the north of Mures," Szentmiklosi added.



 Situl de la Corneşti, studiat de specialişti din Europa

06 octombrie 2009Cea mai mare aşezarea străveche din Europa, aflată în satul Corneşti, din judeţul Timiş, a stârnit interesul mai multor specialişti în arheologie din lume. Arheologii au venit la Corneşti pentru a strânge cât mai multe informaţii despre sit, iar la final vor elabora un dosar pentru înscrierea sitului în patrimoniul UNESCO şi pe lista monumentelor istorice de importanţă naţională.

Aşezarea de la Corneşti, veche de 3.500 de ani şi întinsă pe 1.800 de hectare, este cel mai mare sit arheologic din Europa, fiind anaşizat cu ajutorul Google Earth. În aceste zile, zona este cercetată de către prof. dr. Sarah Sherwood, de la Dickinson College, din SUA; dr. Bernard Heeb, de la Muzeul de Preistorie din Berlin, Germania; prof. dr. Rüdiger Krause, de la Universitatea I. W. Goethe din Frankfürt, Germania; Alexandru Szentmiklosi, de la Muzeului Banatului din Timişoara şi dr. Florin Gogâltan, de la Institutul de Arheologie al Academiei Române. Specialiştii sunt ajutaţi şi de studenţi din Timişoara, Iaşi, Berlin şi Würzburg.

Vestigii distruse de pluguri

După ce şi-au făcut o idee despre structura sitului apelând la Google Earth, specialiştii scanează geo-magnetic întreaga suprafaţă pentru a vedea exact cum arată structurile de lemn de sub pământ şi locuinţele din interiorul fortificaţiei. Ulterior, vor efectua analize de polen pentru a-şi da seama ce fel de plante creşteau acum 3.500 de ani în Banat. Specialiştii din străinătate îi ajută pe arheologii români să topografieze întregul sit pentru a avea o imagine tridimensională a rămăşiţelor construcţiei.
Potrivit lui Alexandru Szentmiklosi, directorul şantierului, prin aceste lucrări se stabileşte strategia de acţiune pentru viitoarele săpături ce vor avea loc anii următori şi se completează dosarele care vor fi depuse la UNESCO, pentru trecerea în patrimoniul uniunii a sitului, dar şi la Ministerul Culturii, pentru recunoaşterea acestuia ca sit de importanţă naţională.
"Acest monument este extrem de important, el îndeplineşte mai mult de jumătate din cerinţele pentru a fi trecut în patrimoniul UNESCO", a declarat Alexandru Szentmiklosi.
Recunoaşterea sitului este foarte importantă pentru conservarea lui, deoarece se găseşte pe terenul agricol al sătenilor, iar din neştiinţă ţăranii distrug cu plugul cele mai importante vestigii europene din Epoca Bronzului.
"Lucrările agricole invazive cu stratificatorul (un plug adânc de 60 cm – n.r.) riscă să pună în pericol aşezarea, deoarece prin folosirea acestui utilaj se distrug zidurile fortificaţiei", atrage atenţia arheologul timişorean.

Case semi-îngropate

Situl de la Corneşti se întinde pe 1800 de hectare şi este structurat în patru inele - incinte de dezvoltare. Prin analogie, explică arheologii, numai primul inel ar fi suficient cât să cuprindă cetatea Timişoarei, iar ultimul, cel mai puţin vizibil, trece paralel cu şoseaua Timişoara – Arad.
Momentan, arheologii discută dacă comunitatea de la Corneşti era formată din daci sau iliri. Cert este că localnicii se ocupau cu agricultura, dar şi cu creşterea animalelor şi trăiau în case semi-îngropate, făcute din gropi circulare, cu o structură din lemn şi acoperite cu paie. Arheologii spun că există semne că aveau zone de cult, existau ritualuri de depuneri de obiecte: vase ceramice, obiecte de metal şi chiar alimente, iar populaţiile făceau schimburi comerciale între ele.

Elite care coordonau uniunea de triburi

Cercetările cu rezonanţă magnetică au relevat şi o necropolă de la finalul Epocii Bronzului, dar şi situri noi, din Neolitic sau Evul Mediu.
O altă certitudine a arheologilor e faptul că populaţia acestui sit a lansat trenduri în Europa. Bunăoară, această populaţie utilizase cu două secole înainte de Europa Centrală incinerarea rituală a morţilor.

"Această comunitate aparţinea unei culturi care s-a răspândit din nord-estul Croaţiei până în sud-vestul României (Cruceni – Belegiš)", a declarat Szentmiklosi.
Destul de mobili, exponenţii ei s-au deplasat de-a lungul Dunării în Moldova de nord-est, unde au format Cultura Chişinău – Corlăteni, dar şi în sud de Morava (sfârşitul celui de-al doilea mileniu î.H.), în lumea mediteraneană. Ei controlau practic orice nod de comunicaţie între lumea mediteraneană şi Europa, inclusiv unul dintre celebrele drumuri ale chihlimbarului.
"Volumul imens de muncă necesar pentru realizarea acestei aşezări ne determină să presupunem că a existat o coordonare extrem de exactă a muncii, şi ideea unei elite care coordona uniunea de triburi", a mai declarat Szentmiklosi.
Cercetările sunt finanţate de Muzeul Banatului şi Fundaţia Thyssen, din Germania.
Conform specialiştilor, o cercetare detaliată nu se va putea finaliza decât în 15 – 20 de ani, datorită dimensiunii şi complexităţii sitului. "Şantierul nu trebuie să fie doar un sit de cercetare, el trebuie să fie o şcoală de arheologie pentru tinerii arheologi", conchide Alexandru Szentmiklosi.


Racos Middle Bronze Age Settlement in Transylvania, 16th century BC, Noua, Ocna Mures

 Iron Age Dacian Fortress Excavation

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. 1600BC.


 Middle Bronze Age Cup - Racos  


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. 

This year, we are also planning to open another intensive fieldschool at Uioara, Central Transylvania where we will try to establish the environment in which the largest European bronze hoard has been deposed. 

Metal,Fire,Water,Salt:Late Bronze Age in Transylvania

Excavation and Survey

July 03 - August 06, 2011



The Late Bronze Age shaped the Old World for millennia to come. Upon its basis, 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 highly developed Classical Middle Bronze Age cultures – Wietenberg, Monteoru, Tei – were very quickly replaced, without any major signs of conflict by a 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. At the same time, there is a very clear evolution and intensification of metalworking, reaching an apotheosis with the end of the Late Bronze Age, when very large and elaborate bronze deposits were made.


Classical MBA Ceramics: Wietenberg and Monteoru

Metal, fire, water, salt, mountains, forests… That is the environment of the mysterious Noua culture bearing people we are going to excavate, in central Transylvania, near Ocna Mures – a very large salt geological formation, about 70m south of Cluj-Napoca. Early 20th century, the three largest  bronze deposits in the world were found there, in or on the shores of an old , dried up lake, less than 500m apart. The largest one, measuring several tons was smelted by the Austrians and turned into canons. The other two are still preserved, over 7000 pieces of bronze. All the tools of the time could be found, in working condition, some of them still very sharp. 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…



Archaeological Techniques and Research Center - Centre de recherches et techniques archaeologiques

ArchaeoTek - Canada

Contact us: [email protected]



Thracian Horses



Odysseus, in Thracian garb, stealling King Rhesos beautiful white Thracian Horses

Euripides Rhesus 310


[300] And when I had heard all I wished to learn, I stood still; and I see Rhesus mounted like a god upon his Thracian chariot. Of gold was the yoke that linked the necks of his horses brighter than the snow; [305] and on his shoulders flashed his shield with figures welded in gold; while a gorgon of bronze like that on the aegis of the goddess was bound upon the front of his horses, ringing out its note of fear with many a bell. The number of his army you could not reckon [310] to an exact sum, for it was beyond one’s comprehension; many knights, many ranks of targeteers, many archers, a great crowd of light-armed troops, arrayed in Thracian garb, to bear them company. Such the man who comes to Troy’s assistance, [315] whom the son of Peleus will never escape, either if he tries to escape or if he meets him spear to spear.

Homer, Iliad, X

When they reached the place where they had killed Hector's scout, Ulysses stayed his horses, and the son of Tydeus, leaping to the ground, placed the blood-stained spoils in the hands of Ulysses and remounted: then he lashed the horses onwards, and they flew forward nothing loth towards the ships as though of their own free will. Nestor was first to hear the tramp of their feet. "My friends," said he, "princes and counsellors of the Argives, shall I guess right or wrong?- but I must say what I think: there is a sound in my ears as of the tramp of horses. I hope it may Diomed and Ulysses driving in horses from the Trojans, but I much fear that the bravest of the Argives may have come to some harm at their hands."
He had hardly done speaking when the two men came in and dismounted, whereon the others shook hands right gladly with them and congratulated them. Nestor knight of Gerene was first to question them. "Tell me," said he, "renowned Ulysses, how did you two come by these horses? Did you steal in among the Trojan forces, or did some god meet you and give them to you? They are like sunbeams. I am well conversant with the Trojans, for old warrior though I am I never hold back by the ships, but I never yet saw or heard of such horses as these are. Surely some god must have met you and given them to you, for you are both of dear to Jove, and to Jove's daughter Minerva."
And Ulysses answered, "Nestor son of Neleus, honour to the Achaean name, heaven, if it so will, can give us even better horses than these, for the gods are far mightier than we are. These horses, however, about which you ask me, are freshly come from Thrace. Diomed killed their king with the twelve bravest of his companions. Hard by the ships we took a thirteenth man- a scout whom Hector and the other Trojans had sent as a spy upon our ships.



Horse Race for Patroclus from a piece of pottery (Sophilos). Sophilos me egrafsen
One of the best early black-figure potters. Sophilos worked in around 590 BC-580 BC. His most famous work was a dinos (a large pot used to mix wine and water at dinner parties (symposia)) upon which was depicted the wedding of Peleus and the nymph Thetis (who later became the parents of the famous Greek hero Achilles). This dinos was very typical of the time; it included many friezes which was typical of early Greek pots. Instead of one main depiction or frieze seen in later Greek black-figure pots such as those of Exekias we can see on his pot friezes depicting trivial scenes of animals and random patterns.


Peleus and Tethis Wedding 

This marble relief is from the Getty collection. Achilles and his mother are in a chariot and approach a group of worshipers along a road. The three rams are for sacrifice to Achilles. This piece is thought to be from Thessaly, where Achilles was born. Scholars believe he was worshiped there. Because Achilles was born of a mortal man and an immortal goddess, he was destined to die. However, Thetis did everything she could to keep him from harm. We refer to a person’s weakness of strength or character as their “Achilles’ heel”.  



Two wild koniks, close relatives of the prehistoric breeds that roamed Europe in the Bronze Age

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Thracian History Time Line

Thrace History Time line

1500-900 BC: Late Bronze Age

"Mycenaean Thrace"; legendary Thracian priest-kings Orpheus, Rhesus, Lycurgus, Tereus, and Zalmoxis; Thracian maritime power in the Aegean (ca. 1000 BC); stone and bronze axes, gold work

Achaean Greeks invade the Balkans, creating kingdoms of Mycenae, Argos, and Tiryns; Mycenaean expansion in Crete and the Aegean; the Trojan War; legendary Greek kings Agamemnon, Nestor, Ajax, Achilles, Odysseus

13th century BC: earliest rock tombs in Thrace

1200-1000 BC: Greeks attack Troy (the Trojan War); Thracians allied with Trojans; destruction of Troy (ca. 1190); northern invaders, the Dorians, settle in Greece, ending Mycenaean power and leading to the Dark Ages.

ca. 1000 BC: the Brygoi, a Thracian tribe, migrates from the lower Strymon River to Asia Minor, where they are known as Phrygians; after Hittite Empire collapses (ca. 1200 BC), ironworking spreads from Asia Minor to mainland Greece.

900-500 BC: Early Iron Age

Thracian contacts with Central Europe, Asia Minor, Ukrainian steppes, northwestern Iran (Luristan), northern Greece, and Illyria

Thracian art developed within the sphere of the international Geometric style; small bronzes, such as jewellery, amulets, cult objects.

776 BC: first Olympic Games

753 BC: Rome founded

ca. 600 BC: first Greek colonies on the Black Sea coast, with resulting political and cultural exchange

ca. 512: Persians invade Scythia; Darius crosses eastern Thrace, forces Thracians to join his army

ca. 510 BC: Roman monarchy ends; Republic founded


The Gold of Mycenaean Thracians

During the Bronze Age, except of the high development of pottery, we have an impressive gold treasure. The Vâlchitrân Treasure found in Central North Bulgaria in 1925, consisting of 13 gold articles weighing a total of 12.5 kilograms, is remarkable of its precise craftsmanship. There are seven lids and six other vessels: a large kyathos, a triple receptacle and four cups - a strange assortment of objects to find buried in the ground. This find is distinguished by the simplicity of the shapes of vessels, and also by the sobtiety of design. The treasure dates from the end of the Late Bronze Age and some vessels have closest parallels in Mycenae. It clearly testifies for the extensive cultural contacts of Thrace with the Mycenaean world.

 The Valchitran Treasure

The Valchitran Treasure (Bulgarian: Вълчитрънско златно съкровище) was discovered in 1924 by two brothers who were working in their vineyard near the village of Valchitran, 22 km southeast of Pleven, Bulgaria.

The hoard consists of 13 receptacles, different in form and size, and weighs in total 12,5 kg:

  • two round platters
  • five round domed pieces, two with central handles
  • three cups with handles
  • a jug with handle
  • three leaf shaped vessels with handles
  • a bowl with two handles (4,5 kg of gold)

The gold metal has a natural mixture of 9.7% silver.

The scientists dated the treasure back to 1300 BC, at the time of the Thracians.

It is now one of the most valuable possessions of the National Archaeological Museum in Sofia.

The biggest golden treasure known to the Bulgarian archaeology – 12,5 kg of pure gold with natural alloys of silver, copper and iron was found by chance while digging up a vineyard. It consists of 13 items:

  • seven of them are lid-shaped objects of different diameters and an extended handle in the middle (very much like the percussion instruments, called cymbals).
  • Four deep one-handle cups with their handles bent upwards (one of the cups is much bigger than the other three);
  • A bowl characterized by its high swung handles, weighing over 4 kg (9 lb);
  • A triple vessel, consisting of three almond-shaped pieces connected to each other with tubes, and with a handle with three branches forming a system of interconnected vessels.

Not only the shape of this vessel itself, but also its intended purpose is very interesting. It is supposed that the Thracian king-priests used the vessels for religious rituals. More specifically rituals related to god Dionysus, worshipped by the ancient Greeks, as well as by the Thracians. The triple vessel allows three different liquids to be poured in it, for example wine, honey and milk, or only two different liquids to be poured in the side (right and left) almond-shaped pieces, and when they mix thanks to the tubes a certain result becomes visisble, a «result» used by the priests to tell the fortune watching the middle piece of the triple vessel. We can only guess what the purpose of the cymbal-like items was. Were they really cymbals or were used as lids for another vessels? Is their shape related to the sun cult or has another merely practical explanation?

A very interesting fact regarding the small cups is that the master goldsmiths made them in such a way that they would stand in upright position only when filled with liquid. Probably we will never find out the right answers to these questions but the Valchitran golden treasure gives us the opportunity to touch on antiquity in a unique and mysterious way. The treasure dates back to the end of the Bronze Age, i.e. to the 16th – 12th century BC.


People of the Sea

Archeology and the Need for Funding from the European Union

I think findings like the Zalau Bronze Age Village (and the ‘German Stonehenge‘) make clear that there is a need for further research of the old central and northern European settlements, maybe through a unified European funding, instead of spending the regional budgets of European states to promote culture in the own regions only.

The problem with such a decentralized (culture) funding – regarding the European Union as a whole – is that we could end having rich regions spending lots of money to find a handful of meaningless stones in their territories, instead of dedicating those resources to study hundreds of buried villages in cost-efficient archaeological sites located in poorer European regions. Maybe the best way to wake up the necessary interest is to learn once and for all that the migrations that shaped Europe came from the East, just like the migrations that shaped modern Spain came from the North after (or accompanying) the Reconquista.

Posted in Archaeology, Education, Europe, European Union, History, Indo-European |



Ceremonial scepter-mace of volcanic stone. The closest parallels to this arifact are found in Romania(    and Bulgaria (northern Balkans).  Max.lenght:14.9 cm , and the Bronze spear heads with solid-cast sockets of ‘northern’ Balkan type. (Photo: INA) Slide# KW-2665

Spear heads

Between 1984 and 1994 at Uluburun, near Kas in southern Turkey, has been brought to light one of the wealthiest and largest known assemblages of Late Bronze Age items found in the Mediterranean from northern Balcans

 While the majority of personal possessions and shipboard items, such as tools, anchors, and oil lamps, indicate that the ship and its crew were Canaanite or Cypriot, the presence of at least two Mycenaeans on board is revealed by a pair of lentoid seals, a pair of swords, a pair of pectorals with glass relief beads, spearheads, curved knives, razors, chisels, amber beads of Mycenaean types, and more than two dozen pieces of fine- and coarseware pottery. A bronze pin, spearheads, and a stone ceremonial scepter/mace head, with its closest parallel (but of bronze) found in Rumania, suggest connections between the ship, or at least with some of those on board, and lands to the north of mainland Greece.


Decorative inlay pieces of bone, possibly from a gaming box. (Photo: INA) Slide# KW-12377 photo at: 

1994 Excavation at Uluburun:

The Final Campaign

by Cemal M. Pulak, Mr. and Mrs. Ray H. Siegfried II Graduate Fellow


That the ship included among its passengers at least one, and more likely two, wealthy Mycenaean merchants, envoys, or individuals of some rank is clearly shown by the several knives, spears, chisels, jewelry (primarily in the form of quartz, faience, amber, and glass pendant beads), a cloak pin, and, more importantly, two Mycenaean swords, and a pair of lentoid seals, one of which was found only this season. Moreover, Jeremy Rutter of Dartmouth College, who is studying the Mycenaean pottery from the wreck, informs us that most of the two dozen or so pots from the wreck are types not common among the repertoire of trade goods in the Levant. Probably these represent personal wares of the merchants aboard.

Half a dozen socketed-spear heads, including one from 1994 (KW 4885: fig. 14), of a type presumed to be introduced to Greece from neighboring regions to its north (Thrace), along with a stone ceremonial mace-axe or scepter of a type found only in the northwestern and western Black Sea regions, with the best parallel coming from Rumania, suggest connections that reach far beyond the boundaries of Greece. The nature of this connection, its development, and its socioeconomic implications for the Late Bronze Age cosmopolitan world will be the focus of future studies. We now will embark on a new avenue of investigation: a quest for knowledge through the systematic and careful interpretation of the material we have so painstakingly excavated over the past 11 years.

Origins of Artifacts from Uluburun Shipwreck







Bronze Age Village Discovered in Recea, near Zalau

BUCHAREST, Nov. 5 (Xinhua) -- A village established in the Bronze Age has been recently discovered near Zalau town, northwestern Romania, the official Agerpres news agency reported on Wednesday.

The discovery was made following an archeological discharge relating to 2 square kilometers in Recea, close to Zalau.

 "It is for the fist time in Transylvania, central-western region of Romania, when a village dating back to the Bronze Age iscompletely examined," said Ioan Bejinariu, the archeologist of the History and Art Museum in Zalau.

    "Only by conducting digging works on large areas of land can one have an overview of a location," said Bejinariu who is in charge of this site. "The village consists of eight houses built in the upper region of a hill on two almost parallel rows. Pits were found near the houses used for supplies' storage," he added.

    As many as 124 archeological sites were found, including houses, graves, supplies' pits or ovens, as well as two human skeletons dating back to several historical periods starting with 1500-1300 B.C. and up to the 3rd and 4th C A.D., Bejinariu informed.

    In addition to the location originating in the Bronze Age, a well-preserved pottery kiln was discovered on the Sulduba valley, dating back to the 3rd and 4th C A.D. According to Ioan Bejinariu, the oven confirms the region used to be populated by sedentary people in that period.

Source: China View

Archaeology - ROMANIA

Monthly Update - August 2007


 This year, due to the fact that another house was being built in the area, the archaeologists had to do some salvation diggings. A team led by prof. dr. Horea Pop, from Zalau County History and Art Museum was commissioned on the dig. It was the second time we have cooperated with dr. Pop, who is a specialist of the Dacian period.

The team opened a section - 17 meters long and 4 meters wide, oriented S to N - on one of the terraces on the hill. We discovered the first archeological complex at the depth of 2.50 - 2.65 metres. There were three stages of construction and around 14 archeological complexes: pit holes, houses, fire places, ovens and a lot of artifacts.

Most of the pit holes were used for provision storing at the beginning but later on they were not suitable for storing food anymore, so they were transformed into garbage holes. Inside the houses, we found remains of hand-made Dacian pottery, animal bones, ash and burn wood. We also discovered hand and wheel-made Dacian pottery around ovens.

One of the houses we dug out had a surface of around 10 per 9 meters, separated in at least 4 rooms. Three of the rooms had each a fire place. in the forth one The slope of the terrace had destroyed a part of the fourth room, so it's possible that it too had had an oven. One of the walls was so well preserved that we even found some of its wooden structure. Inside of the house we discovere Dacian hand made and wheel made ceramic and also Celtic ceramic from the 1st century B.C.

The most interesting discovery was in room number 4, and it consisted of a small pottery statue of a woman, as shown by the small triangle made in the pubic area. It is the second one discovered in this part of Romania. The figurine has eyes, nose, mouth, 2 arms and 2 small legs. The neck and breasts are missing.







Vasile Parvan-Troia Getica. Getai Returning from Mysia, Sinaia Plates

Table 1. Tablet Unread cast around 1600-1550 BC Getae after returning from Mysia, in the neighboring territory
de vest cu Troia. ,,Vizita” lor pe aceste meleaguri s-a datorat explozie de la Santorini din anul 1645 î.e.n. care a produs timp de peste 10 ani o răcire catastrofală a Europei. Pentru ei singura salvare a fost migrarea către sud iar acest popas a durat cam 50 de ani. O parte dintre ei au răams în continuare formînd regatul Mesia sau Masa amintit în documentele hitite din secolele XVl-Xlll BC. 


The Cambridge Ancient History, Second edition

John Boardman, N. G. L. Hammond, D. M. Lewis - 1925 , p.170

The Middle Bronze Age, when the influence of the neighboring complex to the North and West, which we link with the Proto-Daco-Mysians, became strong.  The discovery of Mihalic (Baia Dere) of the typical Trojan double handled cup (depas) indicats a connection with the world of Troy. But they show that there was a close cultural connection between Anatolia and Thrace at that particular period.


Vasile Parvan, Dacii la Troia

Vasile Pârvan, Dacii la Troia, (pdf, 1 MB) extras din Orpheus, Anul II, Nr. 1, ianuarie-februarie 1926, Bucureşti, Tipografia Ion C. Văcărescu at: 


In adevar, casini dincolo de Marea de Marmara la gura ràului Askanios, in Mysia (thracicăîncă din neolitic, dejji nu prin Mysi, cari vin mai tirziu, ci prin alţi Thraci) Kiec, ca in ţinutul getic din Scythia Minor, iar in Bithynia (thracică iarăş din neolitic), la solfili astacenic, numele oarecum senzaţional de Δακίβνζα; forma acestui nume e veche si pur thracică si a fost desigur data de aborigeniii thraci sudici unei loealităţi fumiate de Dadi imigraţi acolo ìntr'o epoca destul de indepărtată, nedatabihl mai pre»3Ìs cronologie dar, in orice caz, vit ìnainte de anni 1000.-Dealtl'el dubletele geto bithynice sunl destul de multe ; mai adăogăm aici: Gapora pe Tyras (carpodacic) şi Cepora in Bithynia; cf. si Capidava, Capisturia, Capustoros: forme getice. CaiK'oiics in Bithynia; Caueoènses in Dacia. Abrìittm in Getta crobyzicu; Άβρεττηνή, regnine in Mysia. Ardesie* (numele Argeşului) in Dacia: Argesis ìn Mysia. Tiaranlos, r. geto-seythic, are de corespondent Τύραντος, r. Δίφανδος, în Bithynia. Suiig-idara in Dacia; Sangìa, Sangasin Phrygia nordica. Sala, "'Sale, în regiuni dacice; Sala, Salon, Sahmia ìn Bithynia şi Phrygia. Setidava pe Warthe ; Sete, Setae, Seti in Bithynia. Crdoiua ìn Dacia; Kydoniae, ìn Mysia la golful Adramyttion. ^μόρνη in Craina sârbeasoă şi SmyrHa in Asia Mica. Careium ìn Gè ti a dobrogeană ; ΚΌρσέαι în Mysia. Germi· in Dacia, la Dentheleţi, ori ìn Dalmati a gotica, şi de alta parte ìn Mysia, Phrygia şi (ialatia. Si nu se poate spune că aceste identităţi do nume s'ar putea explicà numai prin ìnrudirile generale linguietice ìntre Thraco-Phrygi. Căciiatăşi argumentul negativ : numele de localitâţi formate cu -para privesc exclusiv Thracia şi nu se găsesc nici ìn Dacia, nici in Bithynia. fa-rmele de vase
şi de securi din Troia VII, aduse, sigfur dim Dacia, sunl din anii 1000 şi oei urmatori. Le-a adus (loci la Troia un popor care a ìnceput stt §e miste din Dacia kitr'acolo delà acca data ìnainte. Ori acel popor e chiar cţ)l cunoscut apoi subì nuinele de Duci (v. Δακίβιιζα), mânat in coace de necazul ce-1 avuse întăi cu Cimmerienii si apoi cu Scytliii, cari ìi iuvadaseră tara şi cu cari îinpreiină nă-νή lea si cl acum atàt înspre Miazăzi eût si ìnspre Apus. Astfel darà poj-uinole cetăţii myceniene, in care poetul càntase pe Hector eroul şi pe Audromache cea trista, Dacii năyalnici ridicaseră din non, la càteva secole dupa grozava cadere o alta cetate; si făurarii Nordului carpatic turnau acum arme de bronz şi olarii gotici modelau vase în pământ ars, ale căror modèle fuseseră odinioară create în văgăunile mun,ţilor nostri şi pe malurile roditoare ale Dunării si Tisei.
VI. Dar se va spune că, éventuel, Thracii nordici, din regiunile carpato-danubiane ajunseseră in Mysia si Bithynia înea delà începuturile, neolitice, ale marilor migraţii thrace spre Asia Mica, şi deci nu sunt post-mycenieni la Troia. Aici din non toponimia (care ne arata Mysi la Dunăre: .şi ştim din Strabo că sunt aeelaş popor cuGeţii, — şi Mysi ìn colţul de NV al Asiei Mici, — şi Homer, Iliada XIII 5, îi cunoaşte la Dunàre, împreună cu diferiti nomati ai stepei, cari se hrônesc cu lapte de iapă !) ia in sprijinul ei archeologia:


Plosca, Dolj Bronze Age Cemetery, Romania


 R1a is thought to have been the dominant haplogroup among the northern and eastern Indo-European speakers who evolved into the Indo-Iranian, Mycenaean Greek, Thracian, Baltic and Slavic branches. The Proto-Indo-Europeans originated in the Yamna culture (3300-2500 BCE), in the Pontic-Caspian steppe between modern Ukraine and south-west Russia. Their expansion is linked to the domestication of horses in the Eurasian steppes, and the invention of the chariot (see R1b above).

The eastern part of the Pontic-Caspian steppes is strongly associated with the Indo-Iranian and Balto-Slavic branches of Indo-European languages. Based on archeological, linguistic and genetic data, it is possible to say that the pastoralist nomads who lived in the northern Russian steppes and forest-steppes 5,000 years ago carried predominantly R1a paternal lineages.

Nowadays, high frequencies of R1a are found in Poland (56% of the population), Ukraine (50 to 65%), European Russia (45 to 65%), Belarus (45%), Slovakia (40%), Latvia (40%), Lithuania (38%), the Czech Republic (34%), Hungary (32%), Croatia (29%), Norway (28%), Austria (26%), Sweden (24%), north-east Germany (23%) and Romania (22%).

The Germanic branch

The first expansion of R1a took place with the westward propagation of the Corded Ware (or Battle Axe) culture (3200-1800 BCE) from the Yamna homeland. This was the first wave of R1a into Europe, one that is responsible for the presence of this haplogroup in Scandinavia, Germany, and a portion of the R1a in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary or Poland. The high prevalence of R1a in Balto-Slavic countries nowadays is not only due to the Corded Ware expansion, but also to a long succession of later migrations from Russia, the last of which took place from the 5th to the 1th century CE.

The Germanic branch of Indo-European languages probably evolved from a merger of Corded-Ware R1a (Proto-Slavic language) and the later arrival of Italo-Celtic R1b from Central Europe. This is supported by the fact that Germanic people are hybrid R1a-R1b, that these two haplogroups came via separate routes at different times, and also on the linguistics of Proto-Germanic language, which shares similarities with Italic, Celtic and Slavic languages. The Corded Ware R1a people would have mixed with the pre-Germanic I1 aborigines to create the Nordic Bronze Age (1800-500 BCE). R1b presumably reached Scandinavia later as a northward migration from the contemporary Hallstatt culture (1200-500 BCE). The first genuine Germanic tongue has been estimated by linguists to have come into existence around (or after) 500 BCE. This would confirm that it emerged as a blend of Hallstatt Proto-Celtic and the Corded-Ware Proto-Slavic. The uniqueness of some of the Germanic vocabulary points at borrowing from native pre-Indo-European languages. Celtic language itself is known to have borrowed from Afro-Asiatic languages spoken by Near-Eastern immigrants to Central Europe. The fact that present-day Scandinavia is composed of roughly 40% of I1, 20% of R1a and 40% of R1b reinforces the idea that Germanic ethnicity and language had acquired a tri-hybrid character by the Iron Age.

The Baltic branch

The Baltic branch is thought to have evolved from the Fatyanovo culture (3200-2300 BCE), the northeastern extension of the Corded Ware culture. Early Bronze Age R1a nomads from the northern steppes and forest-steppes would have mixed with the indigenous Uralic-speaking inhabitants (N1c1 lineages) of the region. This is supported by a strong presence of both R1a and N1c1 haplogroups from southern Finland to Lithuania and the adjacent part of Russia.

The Slavic branch

The origins of the Slavs goes back to circa 3000 BCE. The Slavic branch differentiated itself when the Corded Ware culture (see Germanic branch above) absorbed the Cucuteni-Tripolye culture (5200-2600 BCE) of western Ukraine and north-eastern Romania, which appears to have been composed primarily of I2a2 lineages descended directly from Paleolithic Europeans, with a small admixture of Near-Eastern immigrants (notably E-V13 and T). Thus emerged the hybrid Globular Amphora culture (3400-2800 BCE) in what is now Ukraine, Belarus and Poland. It is surely during this period that I2a2, E-V13 and T spread (along with R1a) around Poland, Belarus and western Russia, explaining why eastern and northern Slavs (and Lithuanians) have a considerable incidence of haplogroups I2a2 with a bit of E and T. After just a few centuries, this hybridised culture faded away into the dominant Corded Ware culture.

The Corded Ware period was followed by the Trzciniec (1700-1200 BCE), Lusatian (1300-500 BCE), Chernoles (1025-700 BCE) and Milograd (600 BCE-100 CE) cultures in north-east Slavic countries. The last important Slavic migration is thought to have happened in the 6th century CE, from Ukraine to Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, filling the vacuum left by eastern Germanic tribes who invaded the Roman Empire.

Historically, no other part of Europe was invaded a higher number of times by steppe peoples than the Balkans. Chronologically, the first R1a invaders came with the westward expansion of the Corded Ware culture (from about 3200 BCE), then the Mycenaean invasion (1600 BCE), followed by the Thracians (1500 BCE), the Illyrians (around 1200 BCE), the Huns and the Alans (400 CE), the Avars, the Bulgars and the Serbs (all around 600 CE), and the Magyars (900 CE), among others. These peoples originated from different parts of the Eurasian steppes, anywhere between Eastern Europe and Central Asia, which is why such high STR diversity is found within Balkanic R1a nowadays. It is not yet possible to determine the ethnic origin for each variety of R1a, apart from the fact that about any R1a is associated with tribes from Eurasian steppe at one point in history.

The Indo-Iranian branch

Proto-Indo-Iranian speakers, the people who later called themselves 'Aryans' in the Rig Veda and the Avesta, originated in the Sintashta-Petrovka culture (2100-1750 BCE), in the Tobol and Ishim valleys, east of the Ural Mountains. It was founded by pastoralist nomads from the Abashevo culture (2500-1900 BCE), ranging from the upper Don-Volga to the Ural Mountains, and the Poltavka culture (2700-2100 BCE), extending from the lower Don-Volga to the Caspian depression. The Sintashta-Petrovka culture was the first Bronze Age advance of the Indo-Europeans west of the Urals, opening the way to the vast plains and deserts of Central Asia to the metal-rich Altai mountains. The Aryans quickly expanded over all Central Asia, from the shores of the Caspian to southern Siberia and the Tian Shan, through trading, seasonal herd migrations, and looting raids.

Horse-drawn war chariots seem to have been invented by Sintashta people around 2100 BCE, and quickly spread to the mining region of Bactria-Margiana (modern border of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and Afghanistan). Copper had been extracted intensively in the Urals, and the Proto-Indo-Iranians from Sintashta-Petrovka were exporting it in huge quantities to the Middle East. They appear to have been attracted by the natural resources of the Zeravshan valley for a Petrovka copper-mining colony was established in Tugai around 1900 BCE, and tin was extracted soon afterwards at Karnab and Mushiston. Tin was an especially valued resource in the late Bronze Age, when weapons were made of copper-tin alloy, stronger than the more primitive arsenical bronze. In the 1700's BCE, the Indo-Iranians expanded to the lower Amu Darya valley and settled in irrigation farming communities (Tazabagyab culture). By 1600 BCE, the old fortified towns of Margiana-Bactria were abandoned, submerged by the northern steppe migrants. The group of Central Asian cultures under Indo-Iranian influence is known as the Andronovo horizon, and lasted until 800 BCE.

The Indo-Iranian migrations progressed further south across the Hindu Kush. By 1700 BCE, horse-riding pastoralists had penetrated into Balochistan (south-west Pakistan). The Indus valley succumbed circa 1500 BCE, and the northern and central parts of the Indian subcontinent were taken over by 500 BCE. Westward migrations led Old Indic Sanskrit speakers riding war chariots to Assyria, where they became the Mitanni rulers from circa 1500 BCE. The Medes, Parthians and Persians, all Iranian speakers from the Andronovo culture, moved into the Iranian plateau from 800 BCE. Those that stayed in Central Asia are remembered by history as the Scythians, while the Yamna descendants who remained in the Pontic-Caspian steppe became known as the Sarmatians to the ancient Greeks and Romans.

The Indo-Iranian migrations have resulted in high R1a frequencies in southern Central Asia, Iran and the Indian subcontinent. The highest frequency of R1a (about 65%) is reached in a cluster around Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and northern Afghanistan. In India and Pakistan, R1a ranges from 15 to 50% of the population, depending on the region, ethnic group and caste. R1a is generally stronger is the North-West of the subcontinent, and weakest in the Dravidian-speaking South (Tamil Nadu, Kerala, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh) and from Bengal eastward. Over 70% of the Brahmins (highest caste in Hindusim) belong to R1a1, due to a founder effect.

Maternal lineages in South Asia are, however, overwhelmingly pre-Indo-European. For instance, India has over 75% of "native" mtDNA M and R lineages and 10% of East Asian lineages. In the residual 15% of haplogroups, approximately half are of Middle Eastern origin. Only about 7 or 8% could be of "Russian" (Pontic-Caspian steppe) origin, mostly in the form of haplogroup U2 and W (although the origin of U2 is still debated). European mtDNA lineages are much more common in Central Asia though, and even in Afghanistan and northern Pakistan. This suggests that the Indo-European invasion of India was conducted mostly by men through war, and the first major settlement of women was in northern Pakistan, western India (Punjab to Gujarat) and northern India (Uttar Pradesh), where haplogroups U2 and W are the most common.

Turkic speakers and R1a

The present-day inhabitants of Central Asia, from Xinjiang to Turkey and from the Volga to the Hindu Kush, speak in overwhelming majority Turkic languages. This may be surprising as this corresponds to the region where the Indo-Iranian branch of Indo-European speakers expanded, the Bronze-Age Andronovo culture, and the Iron-Age Scythian territory. So why is it that Indo-European languages only survives in Slavic Russia or in the southern part of Central Asia, in places like Tajikistan, Afghanistan or some parts of Turkmenistan ? Why don't the Uyghurs, Uzbeks, Kazakhs and Kyrgyzs, or the modern Pontic-Caspian steppe people (Crimean Tatars, Nogais, Bashkirs and Chuvashs) speak Indo-European vernaculars ? Genetically these people do carry Indo-European R1a, and to a lesser extent also R1b, lineages. The explanation is that Turkic languages replaced the Iranian tongues of Central Asia between the 4th and 11th century CE.

Proto-Turkic originated in Mongolia and southern Siberia with such nomadic tribes as the Xiongnu. It belongs to the Altaic linguistic family, like Mongolian and Manchu (some also include Korean and Japanese, although they share very little vocabulary in common). It is unknown when Proto-Turkic first emerged, but its spread started with the Hunnic migrations westward through the Eurasian steppe and all the way to Europe, only stopped by the boundaries of the Roman Empire.

The Huns were the descendants of the Xiongnu. Ancient DNA tests have revealed that the Xiongnu were already a hybrid Eurasian people 2,000 years ago, with mixed European and North-East Asian Y-DNA and mtDNA. Modern inhabitants of the Xiongnu homeland have approximately 90% of Mongolian lineages against 10% of European ones. The oldest identified presence of European mtDNA around Mongolia and Lake Baikal dates back to over 6,000 years ago.

It appears that Turkic quickly replaced the Scythian and other Iranian dialects all over Central Asia. Other migratory waves brought more Turkic speakers to Eastern and Central Europe, like the Khazars, the Avars, the Bulgars and the Turks (=> see 5000 years of migrations from the Eurasian steppes to Europe). All of them were in fact Central Asian nomads who had adopted Turkic language, but had little if any Mongolian blood. Turkic invasions therefore contributed more to the diffusion of Indo-European lineages (especially R1a1) than East Asian ones.

Turkic languages have not survived in Europe outside the Pontic-Caspian steppe. Bulgarian language, despite being named after a Turkic tribe, is actually a Slavic tongue with a mild Turkic influence. Hungarian, sometimes mistaken for the heir of Hunnic because of its name, is in reality an Uralic language (Magyar). the The dozens of Turkic languages spoken in the world today have a high degree of mutual intelligibility due to their fairly recent common origin and the nomadic nature of its speakers (until recently). Its two main branches Oghuz and Oghur could be seen as two languages about as distant as Spanish and Italian, and languages within each branch like regional dialects of Spanish and Italian.

The Greek branch

Little is known about the arrival of Proto-Greek speakers from the steppes. The Mycenaean culture commenced circa 1650 BCE and is clearly an imported steppe culture. The close relationship between Mycenaean and Proto-Indo-Iranian languages suggest that they split fairly late, some time between 2500 and 2000 BCE. Archeologically, Mycenaean chariots, spearheads, daggers and other bronze objects show striking similarities with the Seima-Turbino culture (c. 1900-1600 BCE) of the northern Russian forest-steppes, known for the great mobility of its nomadic warriors (Seima-Turbino sites were found as far away as Mongolia). It is therefore likely that the Mycenaean descended from Russia to Greece between 1900 and 1650 BCE, where they intermingled with the locals to create a new unique Greek culture.



Cauas, Satu Mare, a Newly Discovered Thracian Settlement 1750-1050 BC

 Descoperire istorică la Căuaş

Săpăturile arheologice efectuate săptămâna trecută pe un teren mlăştinos de pe raza comunei Căuaş au confirmat că în această zonă există ruinele unei aşezări fortificate preistorice aparţinâd unor triburi tracice.




Cercetările la situl arheologic de la Căuaş au început anul trecut, în urma unui parteneriat între Muzeul Judeţean Satu Mare şi Universitatea Ruhr din Germania, în baza căruia s-a iniţiat un proiect de cercetare a civilizaţiilor preistorice din Valea Ierului şi din mlaştina Ecsed. Cu ajutorul scanării geomagnetice, procedeu prin care se pot identifica obiecte sau construcţii aflate sub pământ, în primăvara acestui an, cercetătorii au descoperit la Căuaş existenţa unei aşezări fortificate, despre existenţa căreia existau bănuieli încă de la începutul secolului trecut. „Prin scanarea unei părţi de 20% din suprafaţa sitului, s-a observat existenţa unei aşezări care conţine 130 de case, şi care este înconjurată de un sistem de fortificare complex, format din val, şanţ şi palisadă”, a declarat arheologul Liviu Marta, coordonatorul proiectului din partea română. Săpăturile arheologice de săptămâna trecută au confirmat aşteptările specialiştilor: situl de la Căuaş conţine o aşezare preistorică, datând de la începutul epocii fierului, 1050 – 1750, înainte de Hristos.


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