The Land of Bucium
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Supported by
- Pro Patrmonio Foundation UK,
- Alburnus Maior Association      


                Since the Early Bronze Age (3rd mil B.C.), Transylvania was in the middle of the exchanges between North and South-East Europe. The gold found in the Early Helladic graves in Northern Greece is supposed to come from the Transylvanian ores. During the Iron Age, the Dacian population extended the gold production, both from the alluvial deposits and the rich veins from Metaliferi Mountains. Underground mines were already in use in the 3rd c. B.C., as recent 14 C analysis proved at Roşia Montană.


                The gold ores in the Western Carpathians were one of the main reasons why the Romans invaded Dacia. Several Dalmatian tribes (Pirustae and Baridustae), well-known for their mining skills, were colonised in the Apuseni Mountains and their hard work increased the gold production during the 2nd and 3rd century AD, while Dacia was part of the Roman Empire.


                The most extensive Roman galleries are those which are still to be found at Roşia Montană and Bucium, where medieval and modern mining made very little impact on them. The techniques which were employed to extract the gold in Dacia are far more impressive than those found in Spain or Portugal.


                The Bucium valley is practically unexplored, although important Roman finds were reported here by Romanian and Hungarian archaeologists in the 19th and 20th century. The open-cast gold mines and underground workings from Bucium were part of the territory of the Roman town Ampelum (nowadays Zlatna), where several "procuratores aurariarum" are known in the 2nd and 3rd century AD.


                Threatened by the future mining projects, the Bucium area became the subject of the BUCIUM VALLEY RESEARCH PROGRAMME, supported by Pro Patrimonio Foundation. An interdisciplinary team started to work in the area since 2003. There are three main research fields, archaeology, ethnography and recent history, coordinated by the Mining Heritage Society of the Apuseni Mountains (which will be registered as member of MINET). The research base will be located in the future Bucium valley museum, hosted in a traditional wooden house.

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