Bronze objects

The bronze items discovered in the Dacian settlements from the Orăștie Mountains impress both by their quantity and by the quality of craftsmanship, revealing the high level of technical knowledge, combined with artistic sense and refinement, held by the masters who made them. At the same time, they indicate the existence of clients who desired such objects and show the taste of Dacians for certain categories of trendy products. In this context, these are the evidence for a series of activities and practices, quite often going beyond the ordinary sphere.


The Dacian pottery from the Orăștie Mountains is individualized in the ceramic repertoire from pre-Roman Dacia both by the selection of shapes, and by the production  technique. Thus, as we approach the capital of the Dacian Kingdom, the pottery is characterized especially by a “classical” elegance, of Mediterranean inspiration. 

Ceramic pots with graffiti

Ceramic pot with graffitiThe custom of marking the ceramic containers with micro-inscriptions was quite often during the antiquity. Whether it is about potter markings, capacity measurements, indication of price, content or owner, these small notations are important for archaeology, offering additional information about various aspects of daily life.

Open gates day

The National Museum of Transylvanian History with The County Council of Hunedoara, the Babes-Bolyai University of Cluj-Napoca, the Dacian and Roman Civilisation Museum of Deva are organising "The Open Gates Day" at the archaeological site of Sarmizegetusa Regia (Grădiştea de Munte), Hunedoara County.

The National Museum of Transylvanian History with the partner institutions are inviting you on Saturday, the 31st of August 2013, starting at 10 AM to visit the archaeological site of Grădiștea de Munte, Hunedoara County, for the "Open Gates Day - Sarmizegetusa Regia 2013”.

Painted ceramics

Pottery painting is an art that spread around especially at the end of the Iron Age in temperate Europe. In the large settlements of the times of the Dacian Kingdom, the painted ceramics is represented mainly by tableware (“fruit bowls”, jugs, bowls, pots, two handle cups, etc.), as well as larger pieces. One of the most important production centres was in the dava of Brad, on the Siret river, followed in the order of the importance by Ocnița (Vâlcea county). The majority of the painted vessels were decorated with red stripes (in various shades) on a white-yellowish slip (called engobe), or applied directly on the ceramic clay. Other frequently used ornamentations were the geometrical ones, more or less complex.

The silver lioness, symbol of the project

The silver lioness was discovered by chance in the '40s in the area known as „Pietroasa lui Solomon”, near the Fortress of Blidaru. Not without significance, in the same area were discovered, on some artificial terraces, stone column bases belonging to Dacian temples.

Since the circumstances of the finding as well as it's precise location are unknown, the interpretation of the artefact is a difficult task. It can be dated with a serious approximation, based on the style of the representation and the location where it was found, to the end of the Iron Age.

Dacian Fortresses, UNESCO Heritage

Presently, seven monuments and sites of Romania are included on the World Heritage List. Among them is also the complex of the Dacian Fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains.

The complex is listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1999 and determinant for its admission was the value of the component archaeological sites.

The research program, briefly

The multiannual research program for the Dacian fortresses of the Orăștie Mountains starts from the premise of the inestimable scientific and cultural value of the sites included on the World Heritage List of UNESCO.

This program aims to intensify the archaeological research (digs and multidisciplinary investigations), to acquire equipments and to invest in lab tests and lab research, to put together a solid material basis, and, at last but not least, to promote these monuments according to the international standards, in order to be included in national and international cultural tours.

The program coordinator is the National Museum of Transylvanian History of Cluj-Napoca, having as partners The Babeș-Bolyai University (Cluj-Napoca), The Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilisation (Deva), The National Romanian History Museum (Bucharest),The Institute of Archaeology and Art History of the Romanian Academy (Cluj-Napoca).

Subscribe to Blog