Bronze Age citadel unearthed in Romania

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Walls of the ancient citadel

A team of Romanian and German archaeologists working at Sântana in Western Romania has discovered a citadel which covers an area of almost 90 hectares. This is four times the size of the world-famous site at Troy. According to Romanian news website Aradon.ro, the site is believed to be almost 3,400 years old, dating from the Bronze Age.

Excavations at the site, known to the archaeologists as the “Old Citadel” (Cetatea Veche), first began in 2009. Rüdiger Krause, professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt, and Romanian professor Florin Gogâltan, from the Institute of Archeology and History of Art of the Romanian Academy in Cluj-Napoca, came to the conclusion that the “Old Citadel” in Sântana was built in the 14th century BC, about 3,400 years ago. “The citadel is one of the largest fortifications built at this period. Our purpose is to find out why this fortification was made, why this construction was needed,” said Professor Krause.

So far the team has only excavated a small part of the huge fortress in Sântana. Instead, using state-of-the-art technology to map the fortification, the archaeologists believe they have discovered a huge palace measuring 100 metres long by 40 metres wide.

“We are looking at one of the biggest and impressive fortresses in Europe” said Professor Gogâltan. “Troy had an area of 29 hectares, the Citadel in Sântana covers 89 hectares. The buildings of Troy were made of stone. At Sântana, the buildings were made of clay and wood, a sign that the civilization adapted to the building materials it had. The fortress of Sântana was surrounded with defensive trenches over four metres deep and earthen walls over 20 metres high”.

Aerial view of the site

Text Alun Harvey

Photos: Consiliul Judetean Arad on Facebook

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