Conference Proceedings


ArhIn 2016: Medieval Changing Landscape – Settlements, Monasteries and Fortification




Settlement and Necropolis


Contributions to the early medieval settlements of Brateiu (Sibiu County)

Anca Nițoi


In the spring of 2015, due to the railway infrastructure modification, a new archaeological research was made din Brateiu, Sibiu County. The site is known in the literature as one of the most important settlement of Prehistoric and Middle Age times from southern Transylvania. Here, several settlements and necropolis belonging to the Middle Ages ranging from the 6th century up to the 13th were researched in the course of decades in the 20th century.

During the investigations from 2015 two new graves dated in the 6th century belonging to the Gepids population were researched. These add to other isolated graves belonging to the same chronological period researched in the area of Brateiu, nearby Necropolis no. 3 and settlement no. 1 excavated here.

The current presentation is aiming to include these new discoveries in a wider context of 6th century Gepids discoveries from southern Transylvania.



The settlement from 8th-9th century on the site of Pančevo (Starčevo) – Livade



Archaeological site "Livade" is situated in the southwestern part of the Serbian Banat, located about 6 km eastern from the periphery of Pančevo. It is located on both sides of the road Pančevo-Kovin, just a few hundred meters from the left bank of the river Nadel. The site was discovered during the field prospection in 1971, and in 1984 there was carried out protective archaeological excavations, when parts of the necropolis from the late Avar period were discovered. In the period 2008-2013 probe and systematic archaeological excavations were carried out, which uncovered a complex medieval archaeological site. On this occasion the oldest early medieval habitation horizon from roughly 8th-9th century will be processed, which can be connected with the nearby necropolis of late Avar period. As a part of that settlement there were discovered 7 sunken dwellings, typologically identical, rectangular, almost square in plan, as well as the remains of two furnaces in the open air.

The archaeological material from this settlement horizon is modest but sufficient for the chronological determination. Early medieval settlement from 8th-9th century at the "Livade" is one of the rare settlements that are explored in the southern part of Serbian Banat and the southern edge of the eastern Carpathian Basin.



Unknowing followers or good neighbors? Remarks concerning the topography of a medieval site from Apoldu de Jos (Sibiu County)

Zeno Karl Pinter, Claudia Urduzia


The construction of the nowadays Orăştie-Sibiu highway raised in the last few years the necessity for archaeological research of a number of sites previously unknown on its track. Amongst these was a medieval site discovered close to Apoldu de Jos (Sibiu County) and researched in 2012 and 2013. While the site displayed certain unitary traits for its entire surface, such us pottery (to some degree), it also displayed some particularities for the two areas observed during research, such as characteristics of the different type of features, occurrence of certain items, etc. The observations made during research and later during preliminary analysis raised the question: are we dealing with two contemporary neighbor settlements or two consecutive ones succeeding in such a tight chronological frame that they are difficult to set apart? The proposed paper considers the pro- and con- arguments for each of these approaches in an attempt to establish which weighs the most.


Life on the right bank of Danube in Early Middle Age: archaeological evidence from Oltina

Cristina Paraschiv-Talmațchi

In Early Middle Age in Dobrudja the settlements were located in areas propitious life and have evolved into close relation with the environment. In the south-west of the territory the emergence and development of human community was determined both by provided facilities and the environment, but also by the existence of some urban centers with a powerful economic influence and an important politico-military role. The settlement from Oltina -„Capul dealului” its part o chain of settlements developed on the right bank of Danube between 8th-11th centuries. The habitation from here started in the first half of the mentioned period and lasted until the end of 11th century A.D., and the findings so far show that it did not work autonomously, but it was part of a larger system, which included both settlements from Dobrudja and from north-east of Bulgaria.



The Landscape Change at Lower Danube in the Middle Ages. The Varna Example (late 9th – beginning of 12th centuries)

Valeri Yotov

The author points attention to more at 50s years no published materials of excavations of the Middle Ages layer in Roman Baths in Varna (Ancient Odessos) were conducted in 1958–1964: the earliest medieval pottery in the city; the Coins; the imports.

According the notes and sketches of the excavators and after analysis of the materials the author concluded four period between end of 11th – middle of 10th century; last third of 10th – middle of 11th century; second half of 11th – middle of the last third of 11th centuriy; end of 11th – end of 12th century.



The problematic link between bi-ritual cemeteries and their settlements in Transylvania

George Tomegea

This presentation aims to raise the issue of settlements where the dead buried in bi-ritual cemeteries in Transylvania, lived. It should be taken into account that in Transylvania were discovered many contemporary settlements, but for few of them it could be establish a link of necropolis-settlement type. Although in the mentioned territory were discovered several, for certain, bi-ritual cemeteries, just in case of two of these may be links to certain settlements that have used by community members whose remains were deposited in them. Transylvania situation is not far different from the rest of the Carpathian Basin.



Preliminary considerations regarding the egg offering habit within burial grounds in Alba Iulia (10th – 11th centuries)

Aurel Dragotă


The analysis of this type of habit within the burial grounds in Alba Iulia allows us to observe a series of ethno-cultural similarities and interferences within human communities living in the above mentioned area. The preliminary data at our disposal enables the portrayal of an overview regarding the egg offerings inside burial grounds belonging both to Transylvania and to ones located inside the Danube Basin, considered similar and opposed as well.

The following positions characterizing the egg offerings inside the graves are listed in accordance to the anatomical elements next to which these have been identified:

a. between the calves;

b. around the armpit area, on the left or right of it;

c. in the skull’s area (left/right);

d. above the pelvis, either on the left side or the outer right side;

e. around the left calf’s area, next to a ceramic vessel;

f. between the thigh-bones, next to a ceramic vessel;

g. next to the lower side of the left leg or on the outer side next to the thigh-bone’s joint with the calves’ bones;

h. next to the left lower leg’s internode;

i. next to the lower left leg/the joint calf’s area and the outer foot side or next to the metatarsus bones;

j. on the left knee-cap and above the pelvis’ right side;

The links to elements belonging to funerary rite and ritual disclose the habit’s frequency along the 10th century, namely at a time prior to the one when Christianity faced its reawakening.



An overview of the Cemetery from Feldioara / Marienburg (Braşov County) in terms of Anthropological Analysis

Adrian Ioniță


The cemetery was located in a square between the evangelical church and the parsonage of Feldioara/Marienburg. The excavations in this area were conducted between 1991–1995, 1998–1999 and 2006–2007. Here, a number of 125 graves with a total of 145 burials were uncovered, 109 graves being found outside and 16 inside the churchyard. For various reasons, some parts of the cemetery were not accessible to research while others have been destroyed over time, so we estimate that about 50% of the total number of graves was excavated.

From the 125 graves that were investigated, most of them were simple graves, but there were also multiple graves – 13 double, 2 triple, and a grave contained the remains of four dead.

Anthropological analysis of the skeletons revealed the following situation: 78 adults – 36 males, 35 females, 7 not determined, and 67 sub-adults – 8 teens, 59 children.

A dominant ritual that gives distinction to this necropolis was observed. The deceased adults, probably wrapped in a shroud, were placed without coffin in pits with a step. This type of pit involves at first a large rectangular hole with another smaller pit at the bottom that has the shape and size of the human body including a niche for the head. Defunct individuals were deposited in supine position with the head to the west and, usually, with the upper limbs arranged along the body.

The inventory and the analogies with the cemeteries of Western Europe and with those from Transylvania – all located in the Saxon colonization zone – show that the cemetery from Feldioara belonged to the first wave of German settlers who arrived in Transylvania after the middle of the 12th century.




Medieval Churches and Churchyard Cemeteries in Transylvania in the Light of Coin Finds (11th century – 13th century)

Maria Emilia Țiplic,Silviu Istrate Purece


The goal of the paper is to provide an inventory and an analysis of the coins dated between the 11th – 13th centuries, which were discovered during the archaeological excavations on medieval churches and medieval churchyards situated in Transylvania. Thus, at this research stage, it stands out that almost medieval churches were surrounded by their own cemeteries; there are only several medieval churches, where graves were not identified, for example the churches of Cisnădioara, Prejmer and Câlnic, which prove once again that they were noble churches / noble residences. Also, there are some medieval churchyards’ cemeteries with no coin discoveries in graves (Caşolţ, Mediaş, Cricău, Sebeş etc.). In our analysis we observed that the main feature of most churchyards is the dominance of the graves without inventory, also the rarity of the burials with coins. We remark that the anonymous denars dominate the monetary horizon in the 12th century; we should note the case of Geoagiu de Jos, where a big number of coins issued by Coloman have been found. The coin presence in graves as Obolus is more rarely beginning with the mid of the 13th century. The coins from the second part of the 13th century are almost missing. The gradually reduced presence of coins in graves could be interpreted as an intensification of the church’s control in respecting the Christian principles in the burial rite, as well as a spread on a smaller scale of the Christianization in the 12th century and an increased and advanced Christianization beginning with the mid of the 13th century in Transylvania.



Medieval churchyard cemeteries along the Târnava rivers (12th-13th centuries)

Adrian Nicolae Șovrea



One of the main needs influencing the dynamic of infrastructural development and landscape modifications as a result of intensive anthropic interventions consists of mapping out the archaeological objectives. In the past, this process was carried through by means of archaeological reports, which aimed to develop a „data base” encompassing all interest points within an archaeological territory. At present, mapping out and developing comparative and qualitative analysis upon archaeological interest areas have been much more eased due to the usage of informational technologies, such as GIS derivatives.

Our presentation sets out to portray the known information regarding churchyard cemeteries dated back between the 12th and 13th centuries along the Târnava rivers, thus establishing a first step towards developing a data base able to allow comparative analysis by using a Q-GIS open source type platform.



Burials with belts (12th – 15th centuries). Status insignia or dress accessories?

Silviu Oța


Papers regarding the burials with belts as grave-goods found on the territory of the present-day Romania are relatively few. One of the purposes of this study is to discuss those burials in which were found buckles, the first clue suggesting the presence of a belt. Beside buckles, belts decorated with appliqués were also found in the graves, but their number is low, at least in the present stage of the research.

Belts, both simple and decorated with appliqués, were used along the entire Middle Age, based on data provided by funerary archaeology and the by the study of treasures. Only the belts ornamented with appliqués were found in treasures and this is an argument of their significance both as status markers and as display of the economic power of the owner.

Belts decorated with appliqués, often registered in medieval paintings or mentioned in documents, are almost absent as grave-goods. The value of the belts deposited in graves is a minor one, compared to that of the belts discovered in treasures. Belts were found in graves belonging to nomadic steppe populations (Tomaševac), in burials close to churches (Cladova, Gornea-Țârcheviște, Curtea de Argeș) or in the funerary area of the convents (Arača, Pecica).



Churches and Monasteries


Researching the medieval urban churches in Transylvania: an archaeological perspective

Daniela Marcu Istrate


The first ”archaeological excavations” of medieval urban churches in Transylvania have been conducted around 1900. The true urban church archaeology emerged only after 1960, that coincided not only with a wave of restoration of a number of monuments, but also with the interest a number of prominent archaeologists took in the study of particular sites of Transylvania. The number of excavations of medieval churches increased steadily throughout the second half of the 20th century, particularly after 1990, spurred by a second wave of monument restorations. Although the church was rarely the main subject of research, the excavations accompanying the restoration work brought to light significant information, which indirectly contributed to the development of the study of medieval churches in Transylvania.

The archaeological investigations of the last few decades revealed not only a great amount of new data, but occasionally transformed radically common views about the emergence and development of the ecclesiastical architecture in the Carpathian Basin. The in-depth investigations in Alba Iulia brought to light the remains of a 10th-11th c. church and provided many new data about the Cathedral of St. Michael. The archaeological investigation of theparochial church from Sibiu, Brașov and Bistrița are only some of the most important recent discoveries.

In my work, I will provide an initial overview of research in this area, highlighting the contribution of archeology to the knowledge of medieval architecture in Transylvania.



Archaeological Recoveries (I). The Medieval Church from Vărădia de Mureș (Arad County)



The study aims to present new data and interpretations of the plan of a medieval church revealed by the archaeological research conducted decades ago in Vărădia de Mureș, in the place locally known as ”La Cetate”.

Evidence found on site and the analysis of the original documents preserved in the archives of the Museum of Arad, bring some corrections to the already published data about the church. Our intention is to find a correlation between the original general plan and a new topographic survey and to attempt a reconstitution of the building using this data.

The four archaeological campaigns (1971-1974) revealed elements of stratigraphy, plan and material culture dating from at least three distinct historical period, Dacian era, Middle ages (13th - 16th Centuries) and the beginning of the Ottoman occupation (16th -17th Centuries).

There are few written sources about the medieval church from Vărădia (in Hungarian Tótvárad, in German Waradia) in the timeframe approached in this study. Thus, the only certain information is that the church was part of the county and the archdeaconate of Hunedoara.

This prompted us to begin this project which provides yet unpublished information regarding the new archaeological discoveries, supplemented with analysis and modern methods in order to promote the medieval church of Vărădia, which is undeservedly little mentioned in the field literature of today.



Changing monastic landscape during the 13th century. The Order of St. Paul the Hermit inside the Hungarian Kingdom

Corina Hopârtean


The medieval monastic landscape during the 13th century has known many variations and changes. The political international context, the papacy’s strive to gain majority over the Greek Orthodox European areas and the Hungarian realm’s desire to complete the conversions of heretics living inside its borders have led to the rise of a new monastic order, developed inside the latter’s territories. This new monastic community was that of the Pauline Order, also known as the Order of Saint Paul the Hermit. Although havingcome to life in the Hungarian Kingdom during the 13th century, the order grew only to become the third largest Hungarian monastic order after the one of St. Francis and St. Benedict. The present paper aims to illustrate the order’s “expansion” within the Hungarian Kingdom and especially the penetration of the western and central territories of present day Romania. The historiographical scarcity regarding this topic hasn’t stopped researchers to trace the existence of at least 5 monasteries belonging to the Order of St. Paul the Hermit in the above mentioned areas. Amongst these, one should mention the ones in Păuca (Sibiu county), Tauți and Alba Iulia (Alba county), Patalani (Cluj county) and Voivodeni (Salaj county). The paper outlines itself as an attempt to map all of these out and bring information regarding other Pauline monasteries in Transylvania and Western Romania.



The administrative subordination of the provostship in Sibiu/Hermannstadt

Alexandru Florin Ciocâltei


The institution of the provost (praepositus) in Sibiu/Hermannstadt developed itself as a fundamental characteristic in the history of the Transylvanian Saxons’ settlement during the Middle Ages. As an ecclesiastical administrative structure, the provost ship (praepositura) helped the Transylvanian Saxons’ community maintain its features and identity. It was brought into existence as an institutional power serving the German settlers that were living in Transylvania within the confines of the territories offered by King Geza II. The other settlers had come to be subordinated to the bishopric in Alba Iulia. The 13th century was a dynamic and important one in the history of the provost ship (praepositura). The problem that arose derived from the provost ship’s (praepositurae) subordination and its jurisdiction. This being the case, the pope’s intervention couldn’t have been avoided. His interest was to use this ecclesiastical structure in order to subordinate this respective area to the Western Church. The present paper aims therefore to analyze the conflict ignited between the Archbishopry in Esztergom, the one in Kalocsa and the Bishopric in Alba Iulia/Weißenburg. All of these ecclesiastical institutions have struggled and fought themselves to subordinate the provost ship (praepositura) in Sibiu/Hermannstadt. Thus, by presenting the provost ship’s (praepositurae) characteristics and role, as well as the personalities that influenced all these religious medieval institutions, we strive to analyze the political, religious and social landscape that brought to the materialization of this institutional conflict.


„Nova capella a retro anexa” and the archaeology of St. Mary’s Church in Sibiu

Ioan Albu


The mural painting on the northern wall of the choir in St. Mary’s Church in Sibiu is epigraphically dated in 1445. Several utilitarian works, investigations, surveys and archaeological excavations on the eastern side of the choir (1911, 1913, 1994, 1996, 2002, 2005 and 2013) failed in providing clear arguments for dating the project of enlarging the choir. The walls of this architectural project were discovered in 1911-1913 and identified as such in 1996. Eventually, the arguments of art historians and the pendant archival documents still appear as the most reliable for dating the „expanded choir”, since the archaeological results themselves could hardly bring new information. Analyzing the results of the archaeological research until now, corroborated with archival documents and with epigraphic and iconographic data provided by the large fresco painted by Johannes de Rozenaw, the study aims to discern and determine the time when the project started and when it was finally abandoned.



When the Byzantine Mount Athos also prayed in Latin! The amazing history of the foundation of the Benedictine Monastery

Marco Merlini


The present study aims at giving a comprehensive and consistent account of the founding of the Benedictine house on Mount Athos at the end of the first millennium. It belonged to the first generation of coenobia that started the structured monastic life on the Holy Mountain. It was a Western outpost in the stronghold of the Eastern monastic tradition for three centuries, from circa 985 to 1287 A.D. In spite of the violent split between the Eastern Church and the Western Church and, more generally, between East and West, the Benedictine Athonithe house not only took an active part in governing the community of Mount Athos, but became a chief monastery.

Dating and rationale of the construction of this “anomalous” monastery remained an open discussion for a long time. Previous studies acknowledged a reasonable founding date, but due to their misunderstanding of some Latin signatures on Athonite acts, the myth of an Amalfitan foundation of the Athonite Benedictine coenobium was established.

Merlini explains that this once thriving medieval monastery known only since 1010 as Amalfion (Αμαλφιόν) was possibly founded around 985 as “Apothikon” (τῶν Ἀποθηκῶν, of the Warehouses) by Longobards of Benevento. Around the turning of the millennium, other Benedictine fathers from the small but dynamic duchy of Amalfi took possession and ruled it. They could then easily assert themselves over the brothers who founded Apothikon, who enjoyed much less economical resources and were politically less influential.

The study describes the reasons why this monastic foundation was associated with the city of Amalfi in the subsequent Athonite collective memory as well as in most modern scholarship, even if Apothikon originated from the political-religious plans of the autonomous Longobard Principality of Benevento. The Principality of Benevento was basically obedient to the Western imperial authority and often in open diplomatic and military confrontation against the Duchy of Amalfi, which was pro-Byzantine, free of any Longobard political and legal control, and strictly Roman-Orthodox.

The article sets up the origin of Apothikon and the related foundation myth within the Grand Game at the turning of the first millennium that was based on the subtle balance of conflict-cooperation between Mount Athos, the Longobard kingdom and in particular the southern Principalities of Benevento and Capua, the Byzantine Empire, the Papacy, the Benedictine Order, the town of Amalfi, and the powers of Jerusalem. The construction of the Latin house by a Longobard noble person occurred under the tradition according to which the earliest not-Greek Athonite monasteries have been built or taken over by monks who were rulers, in their previous secular life, of their respective countries, or members of the reigning families. They were driven by Christian piety, spiritual prestige, and strategic geopolitical approach. These aristocratic monks arrived and settled at the Holy Mountain in topic moments of the relationship between their countries of origin and the Byzantine Empire.



Archaeological Evidences of Monastic Patronage

Szőcs Péter Levente


In the context of medieval Central Europe, the growing number case studies has widened the church-centered archaeological approach to include the whole monastic complex, providing new data on its architectural features and on the surrounding cemetery. These features provide a large number of new evidences, which must be contextualized with the written or other sources. In case of monastic patronage, the analysis of cemeteries, of the individual burials and the grave-goods, seems to be the most significant. Although there are as yet no attempts at synthetic analysis, several elements of cemetery topography, especially the inner structure and the structures of burials (whether they are built or embedded with stones or bricks) have been interpreted as signs of social status that might identify the burials of founders and patrons of the monastery. In parallel, certain grave-goods (like S-ended earrings) regarded in the previous research as significant for social attributions, were accredited with less importance, questioning their chronology and even their use.

Apart from burials, elements of monastic complex, such as chapels, cloister buildings, or annexes to the church might have several functions in context of the patronage. Moreover, art historical debates discusses the function of western galleries and of the oratories inside of the abbey church as places of the patrons and spaces of social display. The paper will analyze, through several case studies, mainly form the medieval Hungarian Kingdom, those elements of the monastic complex which might indicate the relation of the monastic community with their lay patrons.




Archaeology, Architecture, Informatics




Dendrochronology of medieval churches in Transylvania

Botar Istvan


Among several dating methods and sources dendrochronology can provide the best chronological information about wood structures and elements. In optimal circumstances the dendro data can limited to half a year interval. The Transyalvanian Dendrochronology Laboratory is ruled by archaeologists specialized on Medieval Period. In the past years we built valid local chronologies for more species, mainly oak (Quercus sp.) and silver fir (Abies alba) which can be used between the 13-19th century. During the sampling process we have worked on more dozen historical monuments in Transylvania: churches, fortifications, towers, manors, roofs and civil houses. In less proportion but we also have dates wooden series from archaeological excavations. After almost a decade the dendro-chronological dating of wood elements and structures became a sure routine therefore the dendro-chronological analysis can or could be used to obtain primer data during the research or restoration works on historical monuments. The paper will present a short methodological introduction and some study cases of the recent dendro-chronological researches on Transylvanian churches.



Ecclesiastic monuments in southern Transylvania: archaeology, architecture and religious material culture. From several case studies towards a data base:

Maria Emilia Țiplic, Ioan Marian Țiplic


The research of southern Transylvanian medieval ecclesiastic monuments has led to a huge informational volume, be it from an archaeological perspective, an architectural one and a perspective revealing the artistic forms’ evolution, or from a point of view analyzing religious garment and the church as a place of memory. Our presentation will follow two main trajectories: the first bringing forward the diversity of medieval ecclesiastic heritage, movable or immovable, and the role/influence played by technological innovations in respect to managing the information regarding approximately 100 churches. Thus, we are able to present a data base shaped with the aim of displaying as many information possible pertaining to the description of a particular monument. Furthermore, the data base speeds the access to information for both researchers and students, as well as for the public and the cultural associations/cultural agencies. The project’s second trajectory will revolve around two case studies, one regarding the Lutheran church in Cisnădie and the other regarding the Lutheran church in Sibiu. It is by means of these two case studies that we will bring forth the methodology used while studying the ecclesiastic monument: the church as part of a religious landscape, the church as a sacred space within its community, the church as an independent entity, namely the analysis of the church’s structural evolution, of both its movable and immovable heritage, and last but not least the church as part of the collective memory.



Fortified churches from Transylvania in on-line

Cosmin Ioan Ignat


In the recent years we noticed, in addition to the efforts of specialized researchers, a number of initiatives from non-governmental organizations, or of ordinary people, for popularizing the Saxon ecclesiastical monuments. It is gratifying that the number of the websites that addresses to this issue is growing. Unfortunately, many websites still take all the information from online without checking or mentioning the source. So, for now, our initiative is not so easy, since we are dealing with only few online sources that respect certain rules characteristic to a scientific research.

We must mention that we have not considered the websites belonging to the tourism companies, but we considered only those that have a specific purpose: to popularize the fortified monuments.

Through this analysis we want to bring into question the quality of online sources dealing with the popularization of the Saxon fortified monuments.



The Church of Aghioi Saranta, Andros, Greece

Dimitris Koutsogiannis, Anthi Chatzipapa, Margarita Skamantzari


The Church of Aghioi Saranta is situated at the North West part of Andros island, on a at the place of Kouvara the second highest peak of the island. The monument is dated in the 12th century AD.

The church is a three aisled basilica with a narthex. Today the monument preserves only two aisles, the central and the north one.The church was surrounded by other buildings and a circular watchtower

Different methods of surveying and modeling are applied on the documentation and digitisation of cultural heritage. The procedure of the detailed geometric documentation of the complex Church of Aghioi Saranta is presented. Geodetic and photogrammetric methods were used for the 3D representation of the monument and the production of the photogrammetric drawings (ortho-images). Moreover the high resolution, accurate and complete 3D model of the Church was built using image based modelling (IBM) software. The 3D model was used in order to extract and produce the drawings and architectural products (sections, facades, etc.).

The documentation of the current condition of the interior and exterior of this church allowed us to measure and record the various problems within a short time period, while working in a particularly high altitude landscape.



The fortification of Trapezitsa fortress – the second citadel of bulgarian capital Tyrnovo

Deyan Rabovyanov


Subject of this study is fortification of Trapezitsa, one of two citadels of the capital of the Second Bulgarian Tsardom Tyrnovo. Archeologically explored since 1879 in last nine years the fortress was subject of new and massive excavations that give new information about its fortification system.

Built in 1230's during the rule of tsar Ivan Asen II Trapezitsa give best example for fortification traditions of the Second Bulgarian Tsardom in the beginning of its development. Unlike more towns of Bulgarian principality the discussed fortress do not inherit Late roman fortifications but was built "ad fundamentum". It's plan, the monumental construction and the size of defensive perimeter that encompass almost 70 ha made this citadel together with her "sister" Tsarevets the biggest building project of the Second Bulgarian Tsardom. In the end of 14-beginning of 15 c. after the capture of Tyrnovo by Ottomans Trapezitsa was abandoned and suffer steady demolition sharing the doom of most Bulgarian fortresses.



Guarding the frontier of Transylvania. The defensive structures of the 15th-16th Centuries turned into Turnul Spart

Claudia Urduzia


During the works of reinforcement of National Road 7 on the valley of Olt river in 2015 the necessity of an archaeological research in the area of the ruin known as Turnul Spart became stringent. The research took place in the months of August and September 2015 and unveiled a number of unexpected medieval features. Amongst these a fallen half of the tower was discovered and a circular surrounding wall. On the fallen part of the tower the old plastering is visible together with the black marking of the windows. While the half of the tower fell west of the standing ruin on the surrounding wall, smaller parts are scattered all over the south-west quadrant of the researched area. From this debris two harquebuses and a bronze vessel were recovered together with smaller items. The large items helped in a preliminary dating of the collapse of the tower at the beginning of the 16th Century. This corresponds with the little and ambiguous information we previously had on the tower. All the new data together with the old documents and maps helps us in recomposing the image of this old point for crossing the border between Transylvania and Walachia.



New data on the fortifications of Sibiu/Hermannstadt: the construction-account of the Ney Pasttey (New Bastion) in 1544

Liviu Cîmpeanu


Sibiu/Hermannstadt was the most heavily fortified city of the Transylvanian Saxons. Its first fortifications were built in the mid 12-th century and the last ones in the mid 16-th century. The first wall with towers was constructed around the parish church, then the fortifications were extended around the neighborhoods of the town, up to 1500 the whole city was surrounded by walls, towers, and ditches. These fortifications were constantly improved, as it states a construction-account from 1544, regarding the Ney Pasttey (New Bastion). We aim to present this interesting and unpublished document, as an example regarding the continuous efforts of the city in the construction of its fortification.



The System of Water Mills along the River Zaya (Lower Austria) as an Element of Medieval Settlement

Mirela I. Weber-Andreșcov


According to the current state of knowledge which is largely based on available (archival) documents, the origin of the water mills is dated back to a period between the 13th and the 17th century. In contrary, the present study, following an alternative interdisciplinary approach, would indicate a much earlier dating: when understood as elements of larger medieval structures planned and constructed in the frame of a regional feudal system for the sake of defense and prosperity, the origin of the mills has to be re-evaluated in view of the other architectural elements of these structures; in the area under consideration, these are e.g. motes, castles, churches and manor houses. Many of them can be dated through archival sources or other references, but for others, in particular the motes, no such keys exist. It is likely that they originate from the Ottonic period (10th to middle of the 11th century AD) or even earlier (after Carolingian conquers against Hungarian leadership). Their pertinence for the dating of the water mills is derived from the fact that the whole water system, immanently linked to the construction of the mills, had obviously been designed and constructed in a period when the motes were still in function, i.e. before or not later than their conversion into more solid stone built structures around the 12th century.