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Relaţii interetnice în spaţiul românesc **. Populaţii şi grupuri etnice (sec II î. Hr. - V d. Hr.)

Coordonatori: Ioan Marian Ţiplic şi Silviu Istrate Purece, ISBN (10)973-7724-96-8 , ISBN (13) 978-973-7724-96-0 Editura Altip, Alba Iulia, 2006. Integrare web: Cosmin Suciu

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Ethnical relationships or intercultural relationships.

A view on some hiostorical realities in Transylvania

Iosif Vasile FERENCZ


Romanian text, Plates

1.In the Second half of IV th Century B.C., the Celts penetrates Transylvania (Cri şan 1971, 154-157; Crişan 1977, 19-30; Nemeti 1986, 71-76; Crişan et al 1995, 35-37; Ferencz 1998, 251-226; Rustoiu 2000 182-184; Rustoiu 2002, 55; Rustoiu 2005, 57-65) (Fig. 1), their presence in intracarpathic area being archaeological documentated till the first or the second quarter of II Century B.C.( Ferencz, Ciută 2005, 245; Rustoiu 2002, 33). Some authors think that the beginning of those events has to be placed at the beginning of III Century B.C. ( Kruta 1990, 263).


  • Companionship or colonization?

Some of researchers suggested hypothesises on this issue supporting the idea of mixted (in ethnical way) communities formed by native people (called dacians or tracians, on one hand, and the Celts , who lived in the periods mentioned before ( Rustoiu 200, 184; Popa, Simina 2004, 62).

From our point of view we consider that at this moment we have very little informations which could support the idea according to the communities belonging to these two kind of populations were living inside the same settlements. Moreover, the material culture’s aspect of the populations who lived in the same mentioned area when the Celts arrived, it can not be definite on actual stage of research ( Crişan, Rustoiu, Palko 1995, 35; Popa, Totoianu 2000, 76; Popa, Simina 2004, 66; Rustoiu 2005, 51).


If for the second half of IV th Century B.C. and for entire III Century B.C. in Transylvania are known two categories of archaeological materials, in the second Century B.C., appear new elements which are addes to first, increasing the complexity of situation. Thus, among the objects found during the research of two elements dated in La tene C1, are existing some pieces characteristic to the Bastarns material culture ( Horedt 1979, 47, fig. 21/1+4; Ferencz, Ciută 2005, 239-254).


  • The Bastarns

Around the year of 2000 B.C. inside the area situated in north-eastern part of Dacia, the Bastarns settled down.



The researches done to Moresti, jud. Mures (Pl.) at the middle of XX th Century were concretized with an archeological monograph, a volume which is still representative, worthy to be followed in many ways (Horedt 1979). Among the cultural horizons astonished inside that site it is one which is characteristic to the middle part of La Tene, represented by a rural settlement (Horedt 1979, 35-52)

Recently as a discovery result of some similar materials, inside a contemporary settlement, at Seusa, jud. Alba (Pl…..) has been possible to give out an hypothesis which could explin the presence of bastarns pottery inside those two sites (Ferencz, Ciută 2005, 244-246). More exactly, has been purpose , as an work issue an historical script according to which the bastarns warriors who attacked the Dardans, as an answer to the Filip V request made by a messenger in 184-182, crossed the Eastern Carpathians ravine, after that they followed the Mures and Tisa Courses to arrive in the area where the Scordiscians lived (Ferencz, Ciută 2005, 245).

If we are excepting the datation around zear of 200 for the beginning of the Poienesti-Lukasevsk culture, as V. Babes has suggested ( Babes 1993, 154; Babes 2001, 522) and if we are taking into consideration the association of the Celtic materials and Bastarns pottery inside those two sites mentioned before, we may date both contexts in the first quarter of II Century B.C.. In the same time, the discovery of objects belonging to those cultural circles together are arguments for the Celts presence inside the Carpathical Arch, at the beginning of the mentioned Century (Ferencz, Ciută 2005, 245). The moment is the same with the end of C1 subphase and with the second Iron Age in the mentioned area (Rustoiu 2002, 32-33; Ferencz, Ciută 2005, 241).


Being singular, the german pottery discovered at Moreşti has been determined the idea according which this pottery reflects an attempt of the bastarns to penetrate Intracarpathical Dacia (Babeş 2001, 527). The materials discovered at Seusa give a new point on the map. The placement of the settlement on Mures Valley, and in the same time to a considerabile distance to the areas where lived populations who used those artefacts, corroborate with the chronological frame, give us the right to ask ourselves if they do not reflect an historical fact registered by antique sources meaning the expedition against Dardans. We think, as we said before, that the enunciation of such an idea is opportune (Ferencz, Ciută 2005, 246). More arguments beside those mentioned before, which might support our assumption, are given by the existence of roads, since prehistory, roads which conect the eastern carpathian area with Danube area, crossing Transylvania. To this aspect is necessary to add the shorter distance of this road in comparasion with that through Dobrogea. Alongside the publication of pottery found at Seusa we think that it is possible to support the idea of a directly contact between those two civilisations, even if it is difficult to argue the presence of some germans inside the celtic settlements from Transylvania . The relationships between some celtic population and germanic ones were distinguished by other researchers too (Popovic 199, 47-54) and they have been explained by the existence of affinities between those two (Popovic 1999, 47). This kind of similitudes could have done possible the coinhabitance, in certain conditions and in a certain period of some germans together with celts, but onlz on the informations we have till now it is not possible to support or desagree this hypothesis.

So, in actual stage of researches we may say that in the first part of Second Century B.C. in Transylvania exists artefacts characteristics to many civilisations. Unfortunately, on this stage of researches we have to little informations to make clear assumptions to obtain an answer to a normal question: does the association of archaeological materials reflect the coinhabitance or intercultural relationships between the populations to which they had belonged?


Explanation of plates:

Pl.I. The evolution of some elements of material civilisation in Transylvania during the First and secon Iron Age

Pl.II. The Celts in Transylvania(according to I. H. Crişan)

Pl.III The possible itinerary of the Bastarns during the 179 B.C. campaign.

Pl. IV. Bastarns pottery from Moreşti (according to K. Horedt). No scale

Pl. V. Şeuşa-La Cărarea Morii pottery, made by hand coming from the IV th archaeological level, a certain bastarn one.



Translated by Roxana Stăncescu

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