The latest paper from the project, “Loess accumulation during the last glacial maximum: Evidence from Urluia, southeastern Romania”, is now in press in Quaternary International, and can be found here: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.quaint.2013.08.005. The paper shows that between 6-8 m (!!) of loess were deposited during the LGM in the Lower Danube steppe.

Our latest paper, published recently in PLoS One, shows new ash data from Romania, which suggest that the CI-eruption and its possible effect on human populations 40 kyrs ago in the region might have been grossly underestimated: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0065839.

New paper on the survey project 2010-2012 out: Iovita, R., A. Dobos, K. E. Fitzsimmons, M. Probst, U. Hambach, M. Robu, M. Vlaicu, and A. Petculescu, (2013) “Geoarchaeological prospection in the loess steppe: preliminary results from the Lower Danube Survey for Paleolithic Sites (LoDanS)”. Quaternary International doi:10.1016/j.quaint.2013.05.018. Link

Our first paper on the late Middle Pleistocene site of Dealul Guran was published today in Antiquity. Link: http://antiquity.ac.uk/ant/086/ant0860973.htm

The field work is done, the excavation trench filled up and the cars clean again. But this does not mean that nothing more has to be done. Besides the excavation and the survey operations, the lab had to be run as well.

In the previous five weeks we sieved, washed and sorted over 450 buckets of sediments. All the artefacts had to be cleaned, labelled and sorted. We worked on refittings and plotted the progress of the excavation.

Cristina and Nico washing sediments

Cristina and Nico washing sediments

Kristin at the refitting tableand Nico washing sediments

Kristin at the refitting table

Even now with most of the team already gone there is still a lot of work left and our analysis and documentation continues on.

Adrian and Radu back at Bucharest and still at work.

Adrian and Radu back at Bucharest and still at work.

On Thursday it was time for us to pack up our tents, equipment, finds and samples. The field season 2012 is over and we said our goodbyes to everyone.

Thank you Peştera for making us feel welcome over those last five weeks!

Part of our group left by train to various next locations, while some took the cars with all our gear back to Bucharest.

On the way back we made some little stops though. The abbot of the Dervent Monastery had offered us a tour of the Monastery and we gladly took him up on it. He even gave each of us a bottle we could fill up with healing water from the holy spring.

Dervent Monastery

Dervent Monastery

Next we drove to the Bulgarian border, parked our cars, took a nice walk across and had a drink in a Bulgarian café as well as a look at the city centre and of course the archaeological attractions of Silistra.

Radu and Nina in Silistra

Radu and Nina in Silistria

After we walked back into Romania we took a ferry across the Danube and drove straight back to Bucharest,were everything we brought with us had to be unloaded (Adrians office looks quite packed right now.)

View from the ferry

View from the ferry

We all had a great time during the last couple of weeks, we met new people and gathered new experiences. Though, by now, most are already back home or on their way there will be one more post to come, so stay tuned ;)

One of the main issues for archaeologists, especially for students, to discuss when returned from a field campaign is the food. In many instances – from France to the Crimea and probably even far beyond – the meals served are barely more than a source for carbohydrates, fats, protein. During the last weeks Tanti Geta was cooking for us and we all agree that there is nothing to complain about her undisputed skills in the kitchen – quite the contrary. Asked for our favorite dish we had to discuss at length which of her dishes we like the most – Salată de vinete or Chiftele, Ghiveci or Musaca, Pilaf or Borș de sfeclă roşie?  In fact, they all taste really great and some already asked for Tanti Geta’s recipes.

Tanti Geta in the kitchen

Tanti Geta in the kitchen

However, we want to thank our cook not only for preparing a delcious dinner every day, but also for washing the dishes, providing us with home made Pálinka and important information about life and people in Peştera: Thank you Tanti Geta! Sărut mâna pentru masă! Mulțumim pentru tot!

Tanti Geta and Nico, stoked by the amazing meatballs

Tanti Geta and Nico, stoked by the amazing meatballs

P.S. Tanti is a common Romanian affectionate name used by children for adult women.

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