The 2010 field season ran from 15 March – 30 April, with the first 3 weeks focusing on documenting the limestone karst tributary valleys of the Danube in the southern half of Constanta county. The next 3 weeks were spent identifying the potential of the northern part of the county, north of the Danube-Black Sea Canal, both visiting old sites and looking for new ones.

Fifteen BA and Magister students in prehistory and physical anthropology from the University of Mainz took part in the survey and test excavations.

Although it was snowing when we arrived in Adamclisi, we had good luck and we were able to carry out our survey through the early spring months virtually without interruption.

The survey was carried out using 3 teams of 3-4 people who were sent to explore the landscape radiating from a central meeting point. The survey methodology was adapted to the conditions in Dobrogea from McPherron and Dibble (2003) and Olszewski et al. (2010). Survey areas were chosen in advance using a combination of geological and topographic maps as well as aerial views downloaded from Google Earth. Teams were instructed to record the locations of all points with a GPS unit, while also photographing their finds. The photos were geo-tagged using the teams’ GPS tracks from that day (using GPSPhotoLinker software).

The archaeological survey yielded 59 data points, out of which 20 were surface find-spots of lithic material, 35 were locations of rockshelters or other sites with sediment deemed suitable for testing, and 4 were already known archaeological points of interest (either surface-find localities or stratified sites). The known sites were re-evaluated for future research. From the suite of sites identified, 5 specific localities were chosen for test-excavations. We dug a total of 15 testpits (each 2 × 1 m in area and with an average depth of 1.87 m) at these  sites.

One new site was discovered, and one of the already known sites was selected for reevaluation. Samples for OSL dating were taken at these two archaeological locations. The new site, called ‘Dealu Guran’ is a collapsed rockshelter situated in a Cenomanian mixed sandstone-limestone cliff in an area known as a raw material source. High-quality fine-grained flint is, in fact, present in the vicinity, both as bands and as nodules. So far, only one  test pit was dug at the site, but two occupation levels are already visible. We plan on continuing investigations at this site in the next season.

In addition to the work involving survey and test-excavations, an approximately 20 m thick continuous loess-paleosol sequence was identified at a quarry near the village of Urluia and sampled for sedimentological and geochronological analyses. Samples from this site will produce a comprehensive chronostratigraphic and paleoenvironmental record for the region.

A view of the sequence at the Urluia quarry

OSL and sedimentological sampling was carried out in April and August 2010. The samples are currently being processed at the Luminescence Laboratory at the Max-Planck-Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology (MPI-EVAN) in Leipzig, Germany.


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