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The 1983-1996 campaigns



Between 1983 and 1996 have made new archaeological diggings in several points around the Bistreţ lake, on the territory of the villages Bistreţ, Plosca and Cârna, county Dolj, in south Oltenia. Before 1968 the Bistreţ lake belonged to a large lacustrian system with a surface of about 23 square kilometers and made up of several lakes, swamps, sand hills and channels by whom the system was bound to Danube. Well before the World War II, the Bistreţ area was well known for archaeological finds, especially for Bronze Age. These finds are already published, but the most important archaeological objective is still the well-known cremation cemetery from Cârna, belonging to Gârla Mare culture, excavated in the years 1942 and 1955-1956. After 1968-1970 the whole area was hard modified, the lake had been reduced in a surface at 2000 ha and removed in a fishery farm. Occasionally many archaeological sites - cemeteries and settlements -, were destroyed.
Today the destruction of archaeological sites is going on which made necessary new rescue excavations. In the late spring and beginning of summer 1983, shortly before excavations, it was made surface researches on the sand hills around the lake and occasionally it had identified several archaeological sites, belonging to the Neolithic, (Starčevo-Criş and Gumelniţa cultures), the Early Bronze Age (Coţofeni culture), the Middle Bronze Age (Gârla Mare culture), the Early Iron Age, the Latčne Period, the Roman Period, and to the beginning of Medieval Age (Dridu culture). Altought only from the surface researches, the material of the Coţofeni culture is of a peculiar interest by its shapes and decoration, some sherds, especially those of cord-ware type, might bring new data about this culture.
The beginning of rescue excavations had place in late June 1983, in the point Grindu Ciumaţi, where it had discovered about ten cremation tombs in a sand hill, on the southern border of the lake. Unfortunately, the graves have been disturbed, but rescuing the inventory of the tombs was possible. The ceramic shapes are the amphora, the bowls, the cups and the so-called twin-pot (Zwillingsgefäß). These burials belong to the Bistreţ-Işalniţa-Group at the Late Bronze Age.
Between 1985 and 1993 had been excavating a cemetery in the point Malu Mare, ond the sand hill Ostrovogania, today an island in the middle of the Bistreţ Lake. Only in part rescued the cemetery was made up from 68 cremation tombs and a skeleton grave. The most part of the tombs - 59 -, belong to the Middle Bronze Age, Gârla Mare culture, others eight to Bistreţ-Işalniţa-Group. The skeleton burial, without any inventory, could not be framed to any archaeological group and also a cremation grave. The Gârla Mare tombs had a rich inventory composed from the amphora with two or four handles, bowls, cups, zoomorphic vesells, the so-called pixida and, of course, the well known anthropomorphic statuettes. Some pottery shapes and decorative patterns might suggest, for some graves, an early Gârla Mare phase possible in relation with the Szeremle type discoveries. A big part of the cemetery is contemporaneous with the cemetery from Cârna-Grindu Tomii, so-called phase Cârna, and only a few belong to what was called phase Orsoja of the same culture.
On the oposite bank of the lake, on the sand hill Prundu Măgarilor, the point La rampa boţogului, it had dug a settlement belonging to the same Bronze Age culture. On this spot it had uncovered remains from several surface dwellings and hearths, a domestic oven, a large amount of sherds, animal bones, stone tools, and several metallic finds such as a pendant and a knife. Judging after the pottery shapes and decorative patterns the settlement seems to belong to the same span of time with the cremation cemetery from Ostrovogania.
At 400 m to west, in the point La nea Vasile Feraru, on the same broder of the lake, it was discovered and researched an archaeological objective make up from a hearth and seven pits. All pits were filled with adobe and sherds from large biconical amphora with flutted decoration, bowls and some cups. In the pit 6, just on the bottom, were discovered some human bones. According to the pottery (shapes and decoration) the objective, which might be put in rellation with cultic practices, belong to the beginning of the Early Iron Age.
In the last part of the 1996 campaign we have started the researches in two settlements on the southern bank of the former Nasta Lake. The first one, from which 17 pits were excavated, belongs to a span of time from the Early Iron Age till the early Laténe Period. The second one, very large and just in the neighbouring of the place Grindu Tomii, belongs to the Gârla Mare culture. In these late two objectives the reaserches are still going.