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Balasescu A.,National History Museum of Romania
Anthropozoologica | Year: 2014

A large number of animal remains (186 pieces) were accidentally discovered in 2008, during construction works on a private property in Agighiol village (Tulcea County), in an area previously unknown to have archaeological relevance. This material led to the identification of camel remains (155 bones), an exceptional result because camel material had been previously reported from only two other localities in Romania, both of them in Romano-Byzantine archaeological sites from Dobruja (9-12th centuries). Two 14C dates obtained on the camel remains from Agighiol place the animals in the Middle Ages, 17-18th centuries, thus relating the presence of camels to Ottoman Turk influences. We review the archaeological record of camels from Roman until Ottoman times, in Romania and surrounding countries. Camels were encountered in Dobruja up to the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, as proven by old photographs. © Publications Scientifiques du Muséum national d'Histoire naturelle, Paris. Source


Hervella M.,University of the Basque Country | Rotea M.,National History Museum of Transylvania | Izagirre N.,University of the Basque Country | Constantinescu M.,Romanian Academy of Sciences | And 8 more authors.
PLoS ONE | Year: 2015

The importance of the process of Neolithization for the genetic make-up of European populations has been hotly debated, with shifting hypotheses from a demic diffusion (DD) to a cultural diffusion (CD) model. In this regard, ancient DNA data from the Balkan Peninsula, which is an important source of information to assess the process of Neolithization in Europe, is however missing. In the present study we show genetic information on ancient populations of the South-East of Europe. We assessed mtDNA from ten sites from the current territory of Romania, spanning a time-period from the Early Neolithic to the Late Bronze Age. mtDNA data from Early Neolithic farmers of the Starčevo Criş culture in Romania (Cârcea, Gura Baciului and Negrileşti sites), confirm their genetic relationship with those of the LBK culture (Linienbandkeramik Kultur) in Central Europe, and they show little genetic continuity with modern European populations. On the other hand, populations of the Middle-Late Neolithic (Boian, Zau and Gumelniţa cultures), supposedly a second wave of Neolithic migration from Anatolia, had a much stronger effect on the genetic heritage of the European populations. In contrast, we find a smaller contribution of Late Bronze Age migrations to the genetic composition of Europeans. Based on these findings, we propose that permeation of mtDNA lineages from a second wave of Middle-Late Neolithic migration from North-West Anatolia into the Balkan Peninsula and Central Europe represent an important contribution to the genetic shift between Early and Late Neolithic populations in Europe, and consequently to the genetic make-up of modern European populations. © 2015 Hervella et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Source


Constantinescu B.,Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering | Vasilescu A.,Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering | Stan D.,Horia Hulubei National Institute of Physics and Nuclear Engineering | Radtke M.,BAM Federal Institute of Materials Research and Testing | And 4 more authors.
Journal of Analytical Atomic Spectrometry | Year: 2012

This paper is an overview of the work developed by our group in the investigations of museum objects and alluvial gold, reflected in a series of studies published between 2000-2011, supplemented with new results, unpublished up-to-date. The X-ray based spectrometric techniques employed range from various X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) investigations to ion beam analysis, including synchrotron radiation XRF and micro-Particle Induced X-ray Emission. The gold objects discussed are mainly part of the Sarmizegetusa Dacian hoards - spiraled bracelets (armbands) and coins. After obtaining in 2011 the permission of the Romanian authorities to take very small (1-2 mg) samples from the most "unimportant" areas of the Dacian bracelets and several Koson staters, to analyze them by micro-SR-XRF at BESSY, in February 2012, the investigation of several micro-areas of 17 stater and 28 bracelet samples revealed important micro-structural inhomogeneity, especially in Sn and Cu. The same inhomogeneous micro-structure has been seen in Transylvanian alluvial gold. The analyses revealed details on the fingerprint of geological gold deposits and also the main characteristics of ancient gold metallurgy procedures used by the Dacians: a relatively low temperature (lower than Au melting point) and hammering during heating to obtain an ingot through sintering. The use of the sintering procedure was proved for the spiraled bracelets and the Koson without monogram coins, a tradition starting in the Bronze Age in Transylvanian gold processing. The existence of micro-inclusions of Ta-minerals in alluvial gold was also detected, explaining Ta trace presence in the artifacts from the Pietroasa hoard. © 2012 The Royal Society of Chemistry. Source


Balta Z.I.,National History Museum of Romania | Csedreki L.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Furu E.,Hungarian Academy of Sciences | Cretu I.,National Art Museum of Romania | And 5 more authors.
Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section B: Beam Interactions with Materials and Atoms | Year: 2015

In this study, metal threads from Romanian religious embroideries and precious velvet brocades dated from 15th to 18th century were analyzed by using IBA methods (PIXE and RBS) which, in comparison to the traditional analytical techniques (XRF, EDS), allowed the detection of their structures and accurate identification of the trace elements (detection limits of few tens of ppm). PIXE results confirmed that both types of the metal threads studied - wires and strips - have layered structures being made of fine silver, refined by cupellation, and gilded most probably with pure gold, and not of Au-Ag alloy, or gilded Ag-Cu alloy or Au-Ag-Cu alloy, as resulted from the previously performed SEM-EDS analysis. Trace elements of historical interest like lead, mercury and bismuth have been also possible to be detected by PIXE. The resulting elemental maps allowed us to identify the areas from which the metal thread structure and quantitative composition could be accurately determined. RBS measurements revealed that the gilding layer is separated from the silver bulk by an interface layer resulting through atomic diffusion of silver into the gold, which lead to the conclusion that the methods used for gilding were probably either the diffusion bonding or the fire gilding. The gilding layers thicknesses were estimated by PIXE with the GUPIX software and also determined from RBS measurements. © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. Source


Gillis R.,CNRS MNHN | Brehard S.,CNRS MNHN | Balasescu A.,National History Museum of Romania | Ughetto-Monfrin J.,CNRS MNHN | And 3 more authors.
World Archaeology | Year: 2013

Abstract: Borduşani-Popină is a Gumelniţa tell site in south-eastern Romania. The cattle mortality profile suggests a husbandry oriented towards prime meat exploitation and dairy production highlighted by the keeping of cattle to advanced age. Besides, the culling strategy also targeted young calves. A stable isotope ratio study was undertaken on dental rows. Bone and dentine collagen δ15N values show that the calves within the slaughtering peak were well-advanced in the weaning process, suggesting that the slaughter was delayed until the end of the cows’ lactation. A consequence would be the sharing of milk production between herders and calves. High inter- and intra-individual variability in bone collagen and enamel bioapatite δ13C values indicated variations in the seasonal ratio of C4 and C3 plants in fodder and between age groups. Overall, the complementary study of mortality profiles and stable isotopes provide evidence of sophisticated husbandry during the fifth millennium cal. bc. © 2013, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. Source

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