Dobrogea Sites - Hamangia (Baia)

Between Constanţa and Tulcea, on the European road E87 lies the village of Baia, formerly Hamangia. On its nearby territory were found important prehistoric vestiges: to the north-west a neolithic settlement and a group of four mounds and near the lake Goloviţa another neolithic settlement. The village gives its former name to the Hamangia culture. The archaeological findings consist of ceramics (such as the terracotta female figurines) and many other home tools, such as grinders or polished axes.

The neolithic settlement near Baia presents three levels, the oldest being contemporary with the one near lake Goloviţa. The diggings at Ceamurlia de Jos in the years 1952-1955, revealed mostly findings from the 3rd period of the Hamangia culture. Other important archaeological sites for the Hamangia culture are Cernavodă (former Axiopolis) and Durankulak.

Although barely anything can be seen nowadays, here is the Google map .

Dobrogea Sites - Argamum (Dolojman Cape)

On the most eastern promontory, where lake Razelm meets lake Goloviţa, can be found the ancient settlement of Argamum (or Orgame).

To reach the ruins, one passed through the village of Jurilovca, a fishing village founded by Lipovans in the beginning of the 19th century, and the departure point for Gura Portiţei resort . After a couple of kilometers of earth road the Argamum ruins can be seen.

The oldest inhabitants discovered in this place date back before the Thracian-Hallstatt culture. The history of the city spans over three thousand years (with short gaps), from the bronze age to the Byzantine era.

Argamum (with the The Small Church Island [Bisericuţa], nowadays situated a few kilometres away in the Razelm Lake) is the first settlement on the Romanian territory mentioned in an ancient document, by Hecataeus of Miletus : Orgame, a polis close to the Istru.

A definitive guide to the history of this settlement can be found (unfortunately only in romanian) here . And a history of the research (in romanian too) here. Also, romanian archaeology reports can be foud on the CIMEC site [97 & 98].

Here's also the location on Google Maps.

Some of my photos follow:
Argamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul DolojmanArgamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul Dolojman
Argamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul DolojmanArgamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul Dolojman
Argamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul DolojmanArgamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul DolojmanArgamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul DolojmanArgamum (Dolojman Cape) - Capul Dolojman

Dobrogea Sites - Histria

On the shore of Pontus Euxinus - Halmyris bay (today Sinoe lake), in the northern part of present Istria Peninsula, arose 2600 years ago the town of Histria, founded by greek navigators and merchants. Olive oil, wine and other greek products were exchanged for products of the local tribes, such as grains, honey, bee wax, leather or salted fish. The city flourished, even after the roman conquest. But sand deposits began to cut the access to the sea and after the Slavs' and Avars' invasions in the 7th century AD the fortress was abandoned. Excavations began in 1914, under the supervising of the great historian and archaeologist Vasile Pârvan.

Much more information can be found on CIMEC, on Wikipedia, and a nice video here.

Google maps location here.

And some of my photos:

- A picture is worth a thousand words

Histria info
- inside Histria Museum

Histria MuseumHistria museum

- the archaeological site

Histria archaeological siteHistria archaeological siteHistria archaeological siteHistria archaeological site

- digging underway

Histria archaeological siteHistria archaeological site

- the Sinoe lake (with an egret)

Sinoe Lake

Dobrogea Sites - Callatis (Mangalia)

The ancient Greek seamen and merchants founded, more than 2500 years ago, several colonies on the shores of Pontus Euxinus, one of which was Callatis (or Kallatis meaning "the beautiful") - today's city of Mangalia (the other important Greek colonies were Histria and Tomis).

The ancient settlement thrived, both in economy and art, facts proven by the archaeological discoveries: fine glass objects, burned clay statues covered with gold (Tanagras), marble statues and monuments.

The second development period was during the Roman domination (beginning of the 1st century AD). As other great Roman cities, Callatis had artistic institutions, scholars and famous artists. From this period dates the "The tomb with the papyrus" (at the entrance of the main city park was found a stone sarcophagus with a skeleton having besides a papyrus).

As is the case of other Greek-Roman settlements from the Black Sea shores, the migratory peoples have stopped the development of Callatis. Only in the 12 century, on the place of the ancient flourishing fortress, was mentioned a small settlement with a port.The name of Mangalia appears in documents and maps only beginning with the 14th century.

Nowadays, although some parts of the ancient city were discovered and most of its artifacts can be seen in the museums (especially the Callatis Museum), the ancient port lies underwater and awaits discovery (research is underway).

Some photos can be seen here, some info (but only in romanian) and movies here while the Google map is here (centered on the museum). Below some old photos taken from an old book.

Dobrogea Sites - Tomis (Constanţa)

I assume it is fair to start the Dobrogea posts with Constanţa, ancient Tomis, the biggest city in the entire region and one of the biggest cities in Romania. But there's too much to tell, so I think I'll post later more info and maybe some pictures.

A short history of the city can be found on the website of the National History and Archaeology Museum Constanta and details about the today city can be found on Wikipedia.

It's safe to say that, although signs of civilizations were found dating back to the Paleolithic era, the "modern" city appeared during the greek colonization of Pontus Euxinus (The Black Sea) , along with the settlements at Histria and Callatis (today's Mangalia).

One of the symbols of the city is the poet Publius Ovidius Naso, exiled here in AD 9-17 by Octavian Augustus.

There are many places to visit in Constanţa, but its ancient history evolves around the old city, the peninsula, where one can see the ruins of the Roman Baths, the Roman Mosaic, the Archaeology Museum in Ovidiu Square or other sightseeing spots such as The Old Port, The Genoese Lighthouse, The Great Mahmudiye Mosque, The Casino or St. Peter & Paul Orthodox Cathedral.

Dobrogea Sites - Intro

Hello and welcome to my blog !

This is the first post in a series that I want to dedicate to Dobrogea (Scythia Minor - Dobrogea [Romanian] or Dobruja [Bulgarian]) region, situated on the western Black Sea coast. To be more precise I am going to post some short descriptions of (mostly) some ancient archaeological sites that can be found in this region (if you would like to know about every archaeological site in Romania feel free to visit the Mapserver for the national cultural heritage), links to (hopefully) useful information and photos that I have personally taken (where available).

More information about Dobrogea can be found at and have to mention though that the history of its first inhabitants dates back to the Stone Age, and while some later ruins can be still visited and admired and some are just being discovered and reconditioned, many were buried or destroyed by modern civilization. I don't plan to give much detail of each site's history, but merely to stir your curiosity about these historical lands. A short history of Dobrogea can also be found here and a much better one here.

Regarding the show places in Tulcea county, the official site has plenty of info.