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For the Gold of the Dacians. Baia Mare. Roman Ownership of the Gold. Alburnus Maior,  Rosia Montana.

 

Muntii nostri aur poarta, noi cersim din poarta-n poarta! 

Our mountains luster in gold, we beg all over the world!

http://danielroxin.blogspot.com/2011/09/halucinanta-incompetenta-si-tradare.html 

Text at: http://www.cimec.ro/Arheologie/gold/hoard/hoard1.htm

  

 Discovering Decebalus' Treasure

Scene CXXXVIII depicts the capturing of the treasure of the Dacian state. Three Roman soldiers, a legionary and two auxiliaries, in fact symbolizing a much larger number, are loading in the bags on animal backs, mules or mountain horses, a lot of items of precious metals, especially pots. Thus the Romans have captured the huge treasures gathered through the centuries by the Dacian kings, coming from taxes on trade, intertribal gifts, but above all from the exploitation of rocks and gold sands in the mountains and waters of the country. These riches had been increased by the Roman Empire itself through the subsidies that, even before Domitian and up to the first years of Trajan's reign, were paid to the Dacians to prevent them to attack south of the Danube.

Trajan had started the Dacian wars out of strategical and political reasons, but he was certainly tempted also by the prospects of capturing the considerable Dacian thesaurus. Decebalus too had been careful to shelter his riches in a safe secret place, hard to reach. Giving an account of this hiding, the historian Cassius Dio (LXVIII, 14, 4) recounts how the Dacian king hid his treasures close to his residence, under the bed of a river called Sargetia. Deterring its waters by the work of some prisoners, he dug a hole where he gathered a lot of silver and gold, and then covered everything with stones and earth and brought back the course of the water. The same prisoners were used to hide in caves rich clothing and other things that would not stand the wetness of the river. After finishing also this task, he murdered all of them so that the secret of the hiding place would nit be revealed. But a companion of the king, called Bicilis, who had knowledge of the hiding place, falling in the hands of the Romans, disclosed everything.  



The Roman historian's account, that might have been altered also by the additions of Xiphilinus, includes an  episode of the river deterring, was  inspired by  a similar one found with the Hellenistic historian Diodorus if Sicily, in an excerpt conveyed by the Byzantine writer Tzetzes, concerning Audoleonus, king of Peonia (north of Macedonia), who, attacked by 300 BC by a neighbor king, probably Lysimach of Thracia, hid his treasures under the bed of a river called almost the same: Sargetia.  As for the name of Bicilis, the traitor that does not sound Thraco-Dacian (instead found with his analogous in Peonia, Zermodigestos) seems also unlikely.  In Cassius Dio's account, nevertheless we consider that his version of the caves being used as hiding places seems more plausible; only that in the cavities of these natural undergrounds could be hidden not only clothing, but also the metal items of the treasure. It is a fact that Decebalus hid his treasures very shrewdly and the victorious emperor discovered them only from treason, irrespective if the secret was disclosed by just one "Bicilis" or by more Dacian pileatus prisoners, as C. Cichorius interpreted in scene CXXX on the Column. (left)

   http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Traj_col_homage_3.jpg

 In scene CXXXVIII is depicted only the transport of the treasures to Rome, with no clue as to the way they had been hidden. We can understand only from the trees and the rocky aspect of the place, that everything occurs in a woody region in the mountains, of course somewhere around conquered Sarmizegetusa, as it was normal and as revealed by Cassius Dio's account, in its plausible part.

The value of the treasure is huge. From doctor Cryton, who took part in Trajan's Dacian wars and wrote a book about them (unfortunately lost), we find out, due to an excerpt conveyed by the writer Ioannes Lydus, in the sixth century (II, 28), that, defeating the Dacians, Emperor Trajan brought to the Romans "five million gold and twice as much silver (= between 380 and 550 g), besides pots and items going beyond any price". Naturally, as agreed by all modern critics, these figures are totally exaggerated, even fantastic - the conveyor exaggerating it - but even reducing them to a tenth, as plausibly calculated by the French scholar J. Carcopino, namely summing up only 165000 kg of gold and 331000 kg of silver, they remain huge.

The Dacian spoils must have contributed immensely to the flourishing of the economic, social and constructive activities of the Empire. Before his wars against Decebalus, Trajan had been forced to take harsh measures to save in order to balance the finances of the state, left in a poor condition by his predecessors, but now he passes to sudden unlimited expenditure: draining the Pontine Marshes, extending Italy's ports, building a new aqueduct to provide water to Rome, remaking in Egypt the channel between the Nile and the Red Sea, increasing the army by founding two new legions, preparing the great war against the Parthes of 113 - 117, renouncing certain taxes, giving to the Roman people grand and long performances, allotting to the poor considerable grants, but, above all, building in the middle of the City the incomparable Forum Ulpium, with magnificent edifices and with his Column itself, whose relief depicts the Dacian wars we are so interested in.

Dio Cassius

LXVII, 6
4. Also Decebalus treasures were discovered, although they had been hidden under the Sargetia River, close to his capital. Because [Decebalus] had deviated the river by means of some prisoners and had dug there a pit. He had put in it a pile of silver and gold, as well as other very precious things - above all of those that stand damp - he had laid over them stones and had stuck in earth, and then he had brought the river to its bed again.

5. He [Decebalus] used the same men to put away in safety, in some caves, clothes and other such things. After he had finished with all that, he slaughtered them, in order to conceal everything. But Bicilis, a comrade of his who knew what had happened, was taken prisoner and disclosed everything. After returning to Rome, to Trajan came many messengers from other Barbarians and from the Indians. He gave performances for one hundred twenty-three days, while about eleven thousand wild and domestic animals were killed. Ten thousand gladiators fought.

31. Meanwhile, Trajan built stone roads through Pomptine marshes, with buildings on the sides and with magnificent bridges. He melted all the damaged coins.

LXVIII, 16
3. He founded libraries and raised in the forum a very high column, both for [using it] as tomb, and as a testimony of the greatness of the forum works. Because that entire place had been mountainous, and he dug as deep as the column height, and this way he made an even square.

Aur din minele de lângă Brad s-au găsit şi în tezaurele antice din piramidele egiptene, fapt demonstrat prin analize chimice.

Din când în când, aurul dacic a trimis câte un "semnal", cele mai semnificative fiind

 

 

 : - În secolul XVI, la vărsarea Streiului în Mureş, un pescar a scos de pe fundul apei câteva monede de aur. Mai sus, într-o boltă zidită, a găsit 40.000 galbeni şi bucăţi de aur nativ. Prima descriere a monedelor Koson a fost efectuată de cronicarul medieval Mathesius Sarepta, în anul 1554, cu prilejul scoaterii la lumină a unui mare tezaur de sub apele Streiului. Unul dintre beneficiarii comorii a încercat să vândă câte ceva la Alba Iulia, dar a aflat cardinalul Martinuzzi, care, prin mijloace "specifice" a recuperat totul, în urma unor cercetări intense în apa râului el rotunjindu-şi tezaurul. Cardinalul a început să cheltuie fără socoteală, construind un castel la Vântu de Jos şi cumpărând cu nemiluita cai, bijuterii şi alte obiecte de lux, atrăgând astfel atenţia asupra lui. Drept urmare, împăratul Ferdinand de Habsburg l-a trimis în zonă pe generalul Castaldo, care l-a lichidat pe Martinuzzi, dar nu a mai găsit decât 2.000 de monede de aur. Un cronicar povestea că la Gherla, un alt domeniu al lui Martinuzzi, s-au găsit 1.600 kg. aur nativ si 250.000 florini. - Cronicile vorbesc de nişte butoaie cu monede vechi de aur aflate în posesia domnitorului Petru Rareş al Moldovei. - La 1716, un clujean pe nume Pavel Varga, îmbogăţit brusc, lăsa un testament în care pomenea de o mare comoară din care luase ceva, restul, care ar fi putut îmbogăţi toată populaţia Transilvaniei, rămânând ascuns. - Pe la 1800, copilul unui ţăran a găsit 264 monede de aur pe Dealul Anineşului. - În 1804, un preot din Vâlcele a descoperit la rădăcina unui fag bătrân 400 de monede dacice tip "koson". Ulterior, în aceeaşi vară, s-au mai găsit 35, respectiv 987 monede de acelaşi tip. - În 1970, un lucrător a găsit o monedă tip "koson" (nume care se presupune a proveni de la regele Cotiso, ceea ce ar confirma vechimea şi acumulările din tezaurul dac) în zona sanctuarelor de la Sarmisegetuza. Enigmele rămân. Dacă evaluarea la 1.000 tone a tezaurului dacilor este măcar aproximativ reală, înseamnă că romanii au mai fost păcăliţi o dată de înţeleptul Decebal, chiar si după moarte, Bicilis jucând, probabil, rolul de "pion otrăvit". Chiar dacă o parte din aur a fost îngropată în albia Streiului, restul poate fi oriunde în arealul fostului regat dacic, zona cetăţilor de lângă Orăştie fiind cea mai "fierbinte", dar să nu uităm că toată zona montană dintre Olt şi Ţara Haţegului, probabil chiar şi Masivul Godeanu, era un spaţiu strategic, cu drumuri de culme şi cu cetăţi la gura văilor. Dacă mai adăugăm şi zona aşezărilor şi a exploatărilor aurifere din Munţii Apuseni şi Munceii Dognecei, aria de căutare se măreşte, la fel şi şansele de a se mai găsi ceva şi doar norocul sau eroziunea naturală pot aduce ceva nou.

 

 

 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dXP2OsYcx8k

History of Baia Mare and the Gold of the Dacians

Historicaly, Maramures was in Antiquity the land of Dacian tribe of Costobocs, of which the Maramures people presumably descend. These areas were not included in the Roman province of Dacia, the Costobocs preserving their Dacian idendity till 3-4th century AD, as archaeology proved (even this land is the least archaeologicaly explored in Romania).

The city's placement on the middle course of Sasar River, in the middle of a plateau with a warm Mediterranean-like climate, facilitated living conditions since the Palaeolithic. During the Bronze Age the region was inhabited by Thracian tribes. Later, Baia Mare was included in the Dacian kingdom formed by the King Burebista when the mining exploration begun, as the area is rich in gold and silver.

 The Cavnic Mine

 

 Gold Nugget from the Cavnic mine sold on line

Cavnic deposit is a polymetallic deposit with local Au-Ag enrichments generally in the upper part of the system, which was selectively mined out in the past. The deposit is hosted by Neogene volcanic rocks.The main ore minerals at Cavnic are sphalerite, galena, chalcopyrite and gold. Minor Sb-, Pb-, and Agsulphosalts
and tungstates also occur.

 

 Rosia Montana Alburnus Maior

Dacian and Roman Gold Mines  

 

 Rosia Montana - The Goldmines

 

Rosia Montana - The Goldmines

 http://www.visittransilvania.ro/show_atractions.php?language=english&district=Alba

 Archaeologists in a circular mausoleum dated 2nd-3rd century.

 The galleries in the mines were built 2000 years ago and they are presently set for visits. Right near there is a small museum with traditional tools for mining.

http://www.drumulaurului.ro/EN/index_rosia_montana_en.htm

 

Roman gold bar from Cluj Museum  stamped  which reads:
"LUS FAMUS OBRISIC"ns   Inscription contains the word "HODIGNA"  

 

  A Roman gold bar, 4th c. AC,, Brithish Museum

 

  Alburnus Maior Rosia Montana gold

 http://www.mineralatlas.com/mineral%20photos/G/gold50cp.htm

  

  ROMAN VILLA


 

 

 

 

 

   Rosia Montana-Carpeni-4.jpg

 Archaeologists have discovered in the town ancient dwellings, necropolises, mine galleries, mining tools, 25 wax tablets and many inscriptions in Greek and Latin, centred around Carpeni Hill.

http://www.cimec.ro/arheologie/cronicaCA2004/planse/163/images/Rosia%20Montana-Carpeni-10.jpg

http://www.mnir.ro/cercetare/santiere/rosia/rosia.htm

FUNERARY INVENTORY AT ALBURNUS MAIOR; CASE STUDY:
ROMAN CREMATION NECROPOLIS FROM TAUL SECUILOR (ROSIA MONTANA, ROMANIA)
Ionuţ Bocan, Decebal Vleja, National History Museum of Romania, Rescue
Archaeology Departament, Romania
The inventory of the necropolis at Tăul Secuilor – generally characteristic for the
necropolises in Roman Dacia – is made up of ceramic, metal and glass objects and varia.
The ceramic inventory: the archaeological research in 2004 - 2006 has yielded
a great quantity of ceramic material. This is represented by amphorae, pitchers, pots, turibula, tureens, krateroi, pedestal bowls, trays, plates, bowls, lids and lamps. Special attention should be given to item discovered in M 112, a T.S. pitcher –probably of Italian origin–, discovered in 2004. One item, discovered in M 235, has a lead glaze, and it is very possible it was produced in one of the workshops at Ampelum (Zlatna).
Special attention deserves a lamp with lead glaze, which was very possibly produced in the workshops at Ampelum.
Coins - 84 were collected; 83 of them are made of bronze and one of silver.
All the coins they are included in the periood betwin Hadrianus and Marcus Aurelius.
The metal items are: a golden artefact (the golden earring discovered in M
225 in 2005), as well as bronze, fibulae, buckles, mirrors and iron items (knives,
casket fixtures, cramps, tacks and spikes).
Glass objects are very well represented by unguentaria items and many
fragments of vitrified glass.
Varia: three miniature items made of amber and of an important artistic value
were discovered in M 205. We must also mention four beads, probably made of
bone (three in M 240 and one in M 225).

EXPRESIONS OF PROVINCIAL FUNERARY ARCHITECTURE AT ALBURNUS MAIOR; CASE STUDY: ROMAN CREMATION NECROPOLIS FROM TAUL SECUILOR (ROSIA MONTANA,ROMANIA)
Catalina Mihaela Neagu, Emil Dumitrașcu, Mihaela Simion, National History Museum of Romania, Rescue Archaeology Department, Romania
A Roman incineration necropolis was researched at Tăul Secuilor (Alburnus Maior), during the three campaigns. 332 complexes were identified (321 cremation graves, 7 complexes with funerar character, ant three funerary enclousures), as well as elements of funerary architecture.
The presence of external structures or layouts of the graves’ pits is one of
this necropolis’ characteristics. Thus we came across both the simple form of the
girdle, as well as that of the funerary precinct. Three funerary precincts have been
identified and partially researched, one of which is individualized by an elaborate
construction system (Funerary precinct no. 3). Regarding the girdles, these were
made of stones of different dimensions set in most cases on a single course
preserved. In certain situations, the stone layout followed the rectangular contour of the
sepulchral pit (10 graves).
Thus, besides the predilection for the busta-type burial, the necropolis is also
individualized by the mixt character (barrow-shaped and plane) of the funerary
layouts. Also, the large presence of the stone rings and of the funerary precincts,
certain peculiarities of the inventory and funerary ware (the presence of the
amphorae as offerings, the presence of amber artefacts etc) as well as the low
presence of graves in which the cremated remains were laid in different types of
recipients (cistae, ceramic urns) can indicate a series of stronger influences from the
Balkan space than in the rest of the necropolises at Roșia Montană.

Dacia: landscape, colonisation and romanisation

 By Ioana Adina Oltean, revealed figures of some 1.3 tons of gold extracted in 165 years of Roman occupation

The Gold Museum, Brad, Hunedoara County

 http://www.welcometoromania.ro/DN76/DN76_Brad_e.htm

BRAD – The Gold Road.

  ROSIA MONTANA

  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ro%C5%9Fia_Montan%C4%83Rosia Montana

From Wikipedia the free encyclopedia

History

There is archaeological and metallurgical evidence of gold mining in the 'Golden Quadrilateral' of Transylvania since the late Stone Age.[1] Alburnus Maior was founded by the Romans during the rule of Trajan as a mining town, with Illyrian colonists from South Dalmatia. [2] The earliest reference to the town is on a wax tablet dated 6 February 131. Archaeologists have discovered in the town ancient dwellings, necropolises, mine galleries, mining tools, 25 wax tablets and many inscriptions in Greek and Latin, centred around Carpeni Hill.[3] The Romans left Dacia in 271.

Mining appears to have started again in the Middle Ages by German migrants using similar techniques to the Romans. This continued until the devastating wars of the mid-16th century.

Mining was much expanded under the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the encouragement of the Imperial authorities. Charles VI funded the construction of ponds („tăuri”) in 1733.

Demographics

 

YearTotalRomanians
Romanians

HungariansRroma
Rroma minority in Romania

18505,7564,651 (81%)669170
1880 5,6404,130 (73%)1,452n/a
18905,5434,037 (73%)1,472n/a
19005,6654,211 (74%)1,424n/a
19105,1653,623 (70%)1,515n/a
19204,2523,341 (79%)880n/a
19304,3623,673 (84%)60960
19415,4094,557 (84%)651n/a
19564,1693,684 (88%)41663
19664,5914,178 (91%)31787
19774,3934,060 (92%)157168
19924,1463,808 (92%)104228
20023,8723,518 (91%)55289

[2] After the empire broke up in 1918, most of the remaining veins were mined out under fixed-length concessions (cuxe) granted to local citizens. The sulphide-rich waste generated large volumes of sulphuric acid which in turn liberated heavy metals into local water sources, in addition to the mercury used to extract the gold.

In 1948 the mines were taken over by the Romanian state, with traditional small scale underground mining continuing until the late 1960s. Attention then turned to the lower-grade gold disseminated through the rock surrounding the veins. In 1975 an open-cast pit was constructed at Cetate for bulk mining. This mine was operated by Rosiamin, a subsidiary of the state-owned company Regia Autonomă a Cuprului din Deva (RAC), and provided 775 jobs,[4] representing most of the employment in the region.[5] The ore was floatation-concentrated at Gura Roşiei and then extracted by cyanide leaching at Baia de Arieş.[6] This mine needed subsidies of $3m/year in 2004[5] and was closed in 2006 before Romania joined the EU.

http://www.tracersurveys.com.au/Rosia%20Village.html

 Gabriel Resources and Rosia Montana

In 1995 RAC Deva signed a deal with the controversial Romanian-Australian businessman Frank Timiş to reprocess the tailings at Roşia Montană.[7]. Eventually the mining licence for an area of 23.8823 km² around Roşia Montană was transferred to the Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC) from Minvest Deva SA (successor to RAC Deva). RMGC is owned 80% by Timiş' Toronto-listed company Gabriel Resources, 19.3% by the Romanian government via Minvest, and 0.7% by local businessmen. RMGC plan to replace the old workings with a new operation according to EU standards, which would be the largest opencast gold mine in Europe. The controversy surrounding this project brought Roşia Montană to world attention.

 Effects on historical buildings

The remains of the Roman mining town include ancient industrial facilities, temples, baths, houses and tunnels. The latter have been described by UNESCO as "a unique archaeological complex of Roman mine galleries", [19] although company spokesman Adrian Dascalu has suggested that "They're more Austro-Hungarian than Roman".[20] Most of these remains would be destroyed by the project.[4]

Gabriel Resources’ three-year rescue archaeology programme cost $10m and discovered many objects that can now be seen in the "Mining Museum" (Muzeul Mineritului) of Roşia Montană. The Ministry of Culture gave them the Constantin Daicoviciu Award "for excellence in archaeological programs conducted during 2001".[21] The 2003 Academy report thinks that the area could be made a World Heritage Site if the mine did not go ahead, and wants to turn the local economy towards archaeological tourism.

Opponents have claimed that the mine would destroy 900 houses, 9 churches and 10 cemeteries.[22] However most of these will be in the buffer zone around the mine, or in the Protected Area. According to the company, only the Orthodox church and the dormant Greek Catholic church will be destroyed, and the company will pay for the movement of all cemeteries and funeral remains.[2]

RMGC plan to produce 7.943 million ounces of gold and 28.891 million ounces of silver over 17 years. The project will cost $638m[9] and involves the creation of four mining pits covering 205ha, the first two at the old mining sites of Cirnic and Cetate, followed by pits at Jig and Orlea in Phase II. Up to 250 million tonnes of tailings will be dumped in a 363ha pond in the Corna Valley behind a 185m-high dam.[3]

Gabriel Resources expect their EIA to be approved in the first quarter of 2007, followed by a construction permit, with first gold in the summer of 2009.[10] The company is committed to ensuring an economic platform to create sustainable development that has social and cultural benefits. The company has made it a priority to preserve and protect the cultural heritage of the region. The funds provided by the company to preserve the archaeological finds of the mines are much more than could be expected from the Government.[11]

The accident at Baia Mare in 2000 brought home to Romanians the dangers of cyanide leaching of gold. Resistance to RMGC's plans really started after the Romanian Academy released a report on the project in April 2003.[5] This is a key document which has been somewhat misunderstood over the years, but still gets referred to although it's been overtaken by events and changes in legislation.

Other key documents are the various reports and EIA from RMGC [12] and the ripostes from Alburnus Maior, the pressure group that continued the work started by the Academy.[13][14]

Alongside the 300 tonnes of gold and 1,800 tonnes of silver the deposit also contains other important minerals like Germanium 4,000 tonnes, Vanadium 500,000 tonnes, Molybdenum 2,000 tonnes, Bismuth 4,000 tonnes, Nickel 6,000 tonnes, Chromium 10,000 tonnes, Titanium 200,000 tonnes, Cobalt 6,000 tonnes, Gallium 60,000 and Arsenic 1,000,000 tonnes.[15]

[edit] Effects on the environment

See Gold cyanidation for general information on the effects of cyanide from mining operations and relevant legislation

RMGC commit themselves to making sure that the mine operates in a manner that meets or exceeds all international environmental standards. Since 2008, The European Union has allowed no more than 10 parts per million (PPM) of cyanide at mining operations. The Rosia Montana levels will be between 5-7 PPM. Most cyanide will be used up in the mining process; that which remains will quickly be detoxified by using a modern and commonly-applied oxidation process. After the detoxification process, the remaining water will be discharged into a tailings dam. The dam, which will be 188 meters high and nearly 600 meters long, will be built to withstand an 8.0 Richter Scale earthquake and once-in-a-millennium rainstorms.[16]

The 2003 Academy report was completely against the use of cyanide at the mine, recommending that all mining should be suspended until a non-cyanide method could be used. It cited a study[17] claiming that the company had infringed the EIA Directive (85/337/EEC) and SEA Directive (2001/42/EC) during the application process up to 2003, although the company submitted a new EIA in May 2006.

The same study claimed that cyanide leaching infringed the Groundwater Directive (80/68/EC). This point was always debatable given the number of other gold mines in the EU using cyanide, and the legal situation changed as the Groundwater Directive was replaced by the Water Framework Directive (2000/60/EC), and dedicated legislation appeared with the Mining Waste Directive (2006/21/EC). The latter has forced the company to plan an SO2/air cyanide detoxification circuit that will reduce the cyanide to below 1ppm,[5] less than 1% of the concentration in the pond at Baia Mare.[18] The Academy were still worried about the release of heavy metals from the tailings, and the products of cyanide neutralisation.

The Academy also mentioned the 2001 Berlin Convention, which was a voluntary ban on cyanide in mining that has not been signed by Romania. The Academy worried that the company would not fully neutralise the tailings, recommending that the company should sign up to third-party audits under the Cyanide Code.[19] The company has now done this.

Other worries of the Academy included the effects of explosions on local buildings, and the possibility of acid rain releasing hydrogen cyanide.

The orange water of the Roşia River is already heavily polluted from 2000 years of uncontrolled mining, with 110 times the legal limit of zinc; 70 times the legal limit of cadmium; and 3.4 times the legal limit of arsenic.[20]. The company say that they will reduce the existing Acid Rock Drainage.

[edit] Effects on the local economy

By September 2006 Gabriel Resources had purchased 60% of the properties required for the project from local land owners.[10] Prior to commencing construction of the mine site, the company will need to make additional land purchases from property owners. The Academy report claims that compulsory acquisition would be a breach of the European Convention on Human Rights, and that the 20% local ownership is not sufficient to justify a 'public interest' defence of expropriation.

According to the company, the project will employ 634 people (including foreign experts) for about 15 years, and 1,040 during construction.[21] Moreover, the company's impact study estimates that at least US$4bn will be injected into the Romanian economy [22]. RMGC will pay a 2% mining royalty, but as Roşia Montană is considered a "less favoured area" (zonă defavorizată), the company will benefit from tax exemptions and reduced customs duties for ten years.[5] Obviously the government will still take 19.3% of the profits directly via Minvest.

The 2003 Academy report[5] argues that the mine will benefit the area only for 20 years or so, and that it would be more sustainable in the long term to create a new industry based on archaeological tourism. Rosia Montana Gold Corporation is working to develop the village as a tourism site so that the community can be economically self-sustaining once the mining project is completed. The company is also committed to preserving and restoring homes and buildings in the village’s historic center, most of which are 100 years old or older.[23] To that end, the company has already finalized restoration of the first building in the historic center, which has become an exhibition space, part of the future Mining Museum.[24]

RMGC argues that the project would have a lasting economical impact on the struggling region of Rosia Montana. Not only will the company implement several aspects to enable new business and economic growth, it will fund a non-profit organization committed to the development of the region that is impacted by the project.[25]

Public reaction

The Romanian Academy, the Romanian Orthodox Church, the Romanian Catholic Church and the Romanian Unitarian Church have all signalled their opposition to the project.[23] Large western NGOs such as Greenpeace[24] and political organisations such as the European Federation of Green Parties[25] are also opposed. The World Bank Group's International Finance Corporation expressed reservations about the project in a 2002 letter to Gabriel Resources when it decided to not proceed with plans to finance the project, although it noted that "Our withdrawal...does not reflect the efforts your team have made in developing the programme's resettlement, environmental, cultural properties and social development issues."[26] The plan outraged Prince Charles of Great Britain, who is fond of Romania's Old Saxon villages. On the other hand a majority of residents favours the development of the mine as the project would greatly increase employment in the town, and inject some estimated $2bn USD into the Romanian economy [27].

In August 2005, the Canadian government announced that it supports Gabriel Resources' project, while in October 2005, Miklós Persányi, the Hungarian Minister of Environment announced that the Hungarian government strongly opposes the project.[23]. [28] The Hungarian Historic Churches are particularly concerned about the threat to monuments and churches that are part of the common Hungarian cultural heritage.[29]

In 2005, Gabriel Resources launched a new media campaign for the project. The National Broadcasting Council dismissed complaints that the ads were "immoral", but an email campaign led to the Romanian affiliates of the Discovery Channel and National Geographic pulling the ads anyway.[30]

British actress and campaigner Vanessa Redgrave spoke out against the project as part of her speech for the acceptance of the lifetime achievement award at the 2006 Transylvania International Film Festival. The mining company retaliated with a full page advert in The Guardian, in which they argued that their mines would replace "2,000 years of poor mining practices" and will improve the condition of the environment.[31]

 

Films: "Gold Futures" and "Mine Your Own Business"

The debate over the Rosia Montana mine project inspired two documentaries so far.


The controversies surrounding the Rosia Montana gold mine project are explored in a documentary entitled Gold Futures by Tibor Kocsis. [32] This film presented the plight of the anti-Gold Corporation residents of Rosia Montana, with a strong emphasis on the cultural and natural treasures of the area. The tourism attracted by the natural beauty and tranquillity of this isolated spot of the world is presented versus the risks of using huge amounts of cyanide in the gold ore processing. Gold Futures was based on Kocsis' previous multiple award winning documentary on the subject entitled: "New Eldorado. Gold. The Curse of Rosia Montana."

More recently a new documentary partially funded by Gabriel Resources, Mine Your Own Business, asserts that environmentalists' opposition to the mine locks people into poverty. The film claims that the majority of the people of the village support the mine, and the investment. The film presents foreign environmentalists as alien agents opposed to progress while residents are depicted as eagerly awaiting the new opportunity. [33]

 http://www.dacoromania.go.ro/nr06/comert.html

The Dacian Stones Speak

by Paul Lachlan MacKendrick - 2000 - Social Science - 272 pages
The tablet illustrated (figs. 8.23a and 8.23b) comes from Alburnus Maior (Rosia Montana), is dated June 20, 162, and records a loan made by a Roman to a ...
books.google.com/books?isbn=0807849391...

 

ALBVRNVS MAIOR
(Rosia Montana, Alba county)

 http://www.archweb.cimec.ro/Arheologie/gold/sources/alburnus.htmll

 

Important Roman mining settlement

 developed around the gold

ore centre, under exploitation

since the pre-Roman period, of

course, named with the Dacian  

toponym of Alburnus and the

Roman determinative Maior ("the large

 one" supposing the existence of a

"Alburnus Minor"), attested in Latin

 and Greek writing (TabCer D I,

IV, IX, XIII, XVIII). The practice of an

intense mining both under the

 form of surface excavations (surveys)

 in the so-called "Fortress Breccia"

 (that is in the "Fortress" with the four courtyards), and in many coast

galleries left many archaeological and epigraphical vestiges in the Red Valley

(Verespatak), including a hamlet, probably made up only of miners' dwellings,

known under the name of "vicus Pirustarum" (Wax Tablets D, IX).

That could not be identified on the ground, but the traces, and even the existence

 of a fortified place, were signalled. At the foot of the "Fortress", lower than the

centre of the present locality of Rosia, fragments of a column, tiles, statues,

 etc. were signalled (Neigebaur, 1847), that as early as that were walled in by  

locals in substructions and in the facades of beautiful buildings (for instance,

the Romanian parish house, a.s.o.).

Beyond "Fortress" massif, towards Corna, in the zone named "Gauri", near

 "Deac" mine, were identified remains of a cemetery (as reported by eng. N. David),

 certainly dating from the Roman Age. Most funerary monuments, including several

sarcophagi (some of them made out of stone from another region), appeared in the

northern part of the locality, on the "Nanului" Valley and the "Tarina" height.

 On mining and topographical maps, especially Fr. Posepny's map (from 1850),

also here west of the "Martin" well were uncovered some Roman substructions.

 Aqueduct pieces were uncovered on the occasion of artificial lakes works in

 "Orlea" massif under "Zanoaga" and other places on the path running from

 the "Nanului" Valley to "Carpen" massif. 

  Catalina -Motulesti gallery of the vax tablets  

  

Besides Alburnus Maior, the wax tablets discovered in this important (probably

main) mining centre revealed also other localities; most of them have to be grouped

 - according to their content and social and juridical context - in the environs of

Rosia Montana. Thus: Cartum (Wax Tablets D, VI), Deusara (Wax Tablets

D, I). Other localities appearing in the texts of the same triptychs are likely to be

placed in the native land from where the characters came, who are obviously

of Illyrian origin, and conclude various contracts, reports or are mentioned in

them: Cavieretium (Wax Tablets D, VI), Sclaietae, Marcinium, Nocnetae (ibid.),

 Tovetae (Wax Tablets D, V), Geldonae(?) (Wax Tablets D, I).

The Roman mining exploitations in the Alburnus Maior zone were concentrated in

Orlea massif (height + 718), as gold veins were opened through more coast galleries

dug into the Red Valley in a rather advanced technique for the level of the ancient

world (as procedures of tracing the veins, providing adequate working conditions by

reinforcing galleries and exhausting the water). Such galleries - visible also

today - have been preserved in the topographical points 29, 30, 40-41, 31-35, through

 which the depth of -175 m was reached. In "Tarina" massif were performed Roman

 mining works on the present veins 79-81/1; 81/8; 81/9, the descent was conducted

 by the method of excavation in upward directional strips down to 91 m. In "Igren",

"Vadoaia" and "Lety" massifs have been preserved more mines bearing the print of

Roman technology; beyond any doubt the mines in the whereabouts of "St. Joseph's"

 and "Ecaterina Monulesti" galleries (cf. I.D.R., I, Wax Tablets D, V-IX; XIV, XVI,

 XXI-XXII) can be attributed to this age. Here in 1788, and 1855, respectively,

the wax tablets were found in a very special archaeological and mountainous

 environment. They represent written documents of an exceptional documentary

worth for the social and economic history of Roman Dacia, first of all for the

private and public law institutions, the organisation and development of the province

 and their links with the Roman law in general. Several triptychs (of the total of

25 known, as many were destroyed immediately after they had been discovered,

 others during the restoration attempts at Vienna) emerged in 1786 in the

mine of the small businessman Gheorghe Iancu (Wax Tablets D, IV), and in 1854

 (Wax Tablets D, XI, XVIII). Vestiges of the practice of Roman mining can be seen

here on the modern veins "Napolean-Ranta" and "Napolean Ungur", where

the exploitation with directional strips and the filling up of the excavated space are

practised (Fig. 277).

Of the many galleries and breakthroughs that were visible on the "Big Fortress"

and the "Small Fortress", until the mines were taken off the jurisdiction of the

Monuments of nature (February the 2nd 1970) with a view to operating by the

open quarry method, many were attributed to the Roman Age, but their crumbling

over the centuries did not allow establishing more accurate typological observations.

 Except the wax tablets (made of wax-coated wooden plates, for writing the text),

most epigraphs (the votive monuments, and most funerary ones) come from

the settlement on "Carpen" and the "Tarina" cemetery. They were made of the

gritstone called "of Orlea" and were discovered by chance, without systematic

 and scientific researches, which facilitated their migration to various collections

 (not all having good conservation conditions); others vanished altogether. Many

sculptural monuments (medallions, reliefs, etc.), by their decorative and symbolic

elements, bear the print of the massive colonisation of mining technicians

and specialists from Dalmatia, whose typically Illyrian anthroponyms appear

everywhere in the documents; at many, the Illyrian-Dalmatian "nationality" is

expressed by the very ethnika or demotika borne by the ethnical groups

settled here (Pirustae, Baridustae, Sardeates); they kept their "national" anthroponymy,

 like the social and political institutions (canton organisations, etc.) brought from

Dalmatia. All those tribes were of the old Thracian descent as the Dacians.

The epigraphs and sculptures that were preserved in Rosia Montana or nearby and

could be recovered has been grouped and sheltered in a lapidarium-museum

organised in recent years at the mining Enterprise in the locality, through the initiative

 and endeavor of engineer Aurel Sintimbreanu, with the support of the local

 state and party authorities. Other Alburnus epigraphs are preserved in the museums

 of Cluj-Napoca, Turda, Alba Iulia and Deva.

 

MORE at: http://enciclopediagetodacilor.blogspot.com/ 

 

THE GOLD OF ROSIA MONTANA

http://www.eurotopics.net/en/search/results/archiv_article/ARTICLE14519-The-gold-of-Rosia-Montana

 

Historians like Ioan Piso also oppose the exploitation of the goldmine because they say it would lead to the destruction of a cultural heritage that is around 2000 years old. Piso calls for UNESCO protection for Rosia Montana: "This village is of great archaeological importance for Romania. At the same time the Alburnus Maior, a former goldmining area of the Romans which is now called Rosia Montana and is the best preserved Roman settlement in modern Romania, is also important for the EU. The famous wax tablets documenting the mining were discovered here in the 18th and 19th centuries and serve as a source of Roman history. Alburnus Maior has not yet been adequately researched, but we know that shortly after the invasion of Dacia an entire people moved here from Dalmatia to mine for gold… This site is historically important because these ancient Roman mines were once the main source of gold for the Roman Empire." 

 

ROSIA MONTANA
Mining Romania'a past

by Tim Judy
December 2004

The international outcry from historians, archaeologists, university professors and academics over plans to let a Canadian mining company destroy a unique archaeological site has gone unnoticed at the Ministry of Culture, say opponents of the project. The Ministry, some local archaeologists claim, is all too eager to clear the path for Gabriel Resources to set up an open-cast gold mine in Alburnus Maior (Rosia Montana) while vast areas remain unexcavated.
 In the eye of the debate is Carnic mountain in Rosia which is now the object of a court battle in Alba Iulia . The ministry has signed off on the discharge papers, meaning that the mountain has been thoroughly researched and can now be used for commercial purposes ñ or to put it more bluntly, Gabriel Resources can destroy it to start open-pit mining. Opponents, including the NGO Alburnus Maior, are legally contesting the discharge certificate.
The Carnic case underscores two streams ofthought that sharply diverge on the issue of industry versus archaeology. ''Preventative archaeology is about compromise when it comes to major investment projects,'' says Dr Mircea Angelescu, director of historical monuments and museums at the Ministry of Culture, and who signed the discharge papers.
 ''There must be no compromise. If we don't defend our interests, no else one will. Those whose task it was to defend the monuments have sold them,'' counters Ioan Piso, director general at the Transylvania Museum of National History in Cluj and professor of Roman History at Cluj University .
Your correspondent was lucky enough to find a guide into the Carnic mines, and the Roman galleries are impressive indeed. We crawled and stooped through the ancient tunnels that wove through the guts of the mountain and which occasionally opened up onto massive galleries adorned with splendid stalactites. But always the tunnels dovetailed with the rich veins of gold and silver. Small niches were carved into the rough-hewn walls that once held the wicked oil lamps and which also measured the periods of work. Slipping through the mud-caked passageways and navigating descents that fell into a yawning blackness, we came across ancient stone steps carved in the rock that led deeper and deeper into Carnic's interior until pools of water stopped any forward progress.
Diodorus of Sicily, a contemporary of Julius Caesar and Augustus, describes Roman miners delving down into great depths ''extending their diggings for many stages and driving on galleries branching and bending in various directions, bringing up from the depths the ore which provides them with gain.'' Much of the gain from the Dacian mines was eventually shipped to Rome . The ore was carted down the mountain to the centre of the gold administration in modern day Zlatna, now a run-down mining town. The ore was then brought to the Danube or Sava rivers to be loaded on barges bound towards the capital of that great monarchy. And it's here in second century Rome where we should start the story.
The people of Rome had not witnessed such a savage display of imperial splendour in recent memory. The year was 106 AD and the Emperor Trajan was fresh from his campaign against the Dacians, finally eliminating the threat from, in Edward Gibbon's words, ''those most warlike of men who dwelt beyond the Danube.'' In celebration hundreds of thousands of spectators crammed into the newly refurbished Circus Maximus where the emperor staged gladiatorial games for 123 consecutive days. Following the reconstruction three years earlier the available seats expanded to 350,000 and the areas behind the senators and ambassadors of various kings were desegregated, allowing men and women to sit together to watch some 10,000 combatants and 11,000 animals spill their blood onto the circus sands. The extravagant games, coupled with the erection of a host of public works, spawned rumours that the state's coffers were bulging with captured booty.
Ancient writers accentuated on this, noting that the victorious legionnaires carted back some five million pounds of gold and double that amount in silver ñ the hoard of the deceased Dacian King Decebalus, who chose to commit suicide in the dense forests of the Carpathians over being hauled back to Rome in chains.
 But modern historians have disputed the amount of gold and silver cited in early writings. A French historian wrote that the amount was most likely ten times less than what was included in ancient sources. ''The large amount initially stated may have been simply propaganda,''says Mircea Babes, a member of the National Commission of Archaeology and Director of the
Excavation: archaeologists in a circular mausoleum dated 2nd-3rd century.  School of Archaeology at the University of Bucharest. 
''The wars were hard fought and many Roman soldiers lost their lives. Trajan had to show the public that it was all worthwhile, and he spent lavish amounts on the people, games and public works. But large hordes of gold were unlikely as all the gold was under the mountains.'' He points out that there is no evidence that the Dacians had conducted large scale mining in the area prior to the Roman conquest, as much of the gold discovered had been imported, or found in river deposits.
But Beatrice Cauuet, a scholar from Le Mirail University in Toulouse who led a team of ten French archaeologists to Romania in 2000, discovered a pre-Roman wooden prop from the first century which, she said, ''proves for the first time that Dacian mining activity existed on the site.'' But archaeologists remain sceptical owing to the margin for error in the dating system used. Plus there has been no Dacian pottery found in the area.
One has to remember that from the time of Augustus in the beginning of the first century AD, the empire had strictly set boundaries, which, with the exception of the conquest of England , had stayed in place until Trajan crossed the Danube into Dacia . To again quote Edward Gibbon, ''On the death of that emperor (Augustus) his testament was publicly read in the Senate. He bequeathed, as a valuable legacy to his successors, the advice of confining the empire within those limits which Nature seemed to have placed as its permanent bulwarks and boundaries; on the west the Atlantic ocean ; the Rhine and Danube on the north; the Euphrates on the east; and towards the south, the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa.''
Hence, as Babes puts it, ''It is naïve to think that Trajan would risk the lives of his troops and extend the frontier by 500-600 kilometres only for the gold. The expansion was mainly strategic because at the time of Domitian, Nerva and Trajan the Dacian kingdom became too strong and too aggressive. They posed the danger of unifying the entire barbarian people - the Germanic people in the middle Danube , today's Slovakia , and the Eastern Parthians.''
Dr Piso also supports the idea that Trajan's motivations were based solely on military strategy. The first war ended in 102 after an agreement was struck under which Decebalus would cool his ambitions and adopt a peaceful attitude towards Rome. But after the king again insulted the impunity of Rome Trajan finally decided to crush the Dacians and annexed the province in 106.
After the native population was driven out from the best part of the land, Dalmatians from central Illyricum were brought in to run the mining operations. Dr Piso notes that ''whole populations were brought in and each community had its own gallery. Rosia Montana consists of many settlements and each settlement consists of dwellings, temples, cemeteries and of course galleries. There are many Illyrian inscriptions found in Rosia Montana as well as names of unknown deities. The most well known find was wax tablets, which were contacts between the mines' operators and the Roman state, and are some of the best examples of Roman law. The Romans had rented the mines to investors and the investors did the same at a lower scale, hiring workers to mine the ore.''
 The Romans employed three types of mining techniques: the first and least difficult was surface mining, where the ore was in streambeds or exposed on the ground. When the ores were found on the surface the miners could track the metals into the ground by strip-mining the surface. This method is called open-cast. The third technique, which was used in the to Roman mine gallery.
mountains of Rosia Montana, was deep-vein mining. 

 

  Fragment of the hydraulic  wooden wheel traught 

 Room of the Roman hydraulic wheel evacuating water from the mine Paru Carpeni, found in 2004'

Fragment of the hydraulic wheel arm

  
Only gold and silver were valuable enough to merit digging underground. Dangers posed to the miners working underground included lighting, poor ventilation and water flooding the tunnels. However, the thick veins of precious ore that criss-crossed the mountains of Alburnus Maior far outweighed the risks. Dr Piso explains: ''The amount of gold there was immense. For example, in the ancient mines of Spain there was on average one gram per ton. In Rosia Montana it could reach 7-10 grams per ton.'' It was said that there was enough gold to pave a road all the way to Rome.
Today, the four mountains that had once helped Rome finance so many luxurious endeavours would have to be destroyed if Gabriel Resources gets the go-ahead to start mining. (The fourth mountain Cetate is already being mined). Plans for the 13 million ton a year mine call for the valley of Rosia Montana to be turned into four open pit mines. (The company is still waiting for the government to grant the environmental license before it can officially start). But under these mountains are precious antiquities of mining techniques that date from not only the Roman times, but also the Medieval and Austro-Hungarian periods, Dr Babes from Bucharest University says.
''The point is this issue is not about individual finds. The whole landscape, which spreads over about a four-kilometre by four-kilometre radius, needs to be preserved, as it contains not only mines, but settlements, cemeteries and sanctuaries. It's not okay to simply put things in a museum, as one has to look at the landscape that has been modified by man as a whole.''
Gabriel Resources has set aside $6 million for archaeological research in the area, yet this is not a ''present,'' Babes notes, but a legal obligation. Under Romanian law, if a company wants to build, mine, or conduct earth-moving operations that could potentially destroy archaeological sites, the company has to pay for the research.
''It is alleged that somebody in a high position said 'If you pay that we will convince people to give the approval to discharge areas,'''Babes contends. ''The Ministry of Culture seems to be pressuring the archaeologists to give the go-ahead - directly or indirectly. The Ministry of Culture or regional authorities organised the research and now every year the National Commission of Archaeology, which advises the ministry, says nothing of importance was found that would merit the need to change the project. After removing the archaeological remains  
the area would be free and the company could do what it wants.''Dr Babes was the only member of the  Ancient steps cut in stone leading into Carnic.
Commission to oppose the discharge of Carnic during a meeting in December 2003. He says that Gabriel Resources is pushing for 2005 to be the last year for research, yet, he says, an operation of this type and complexity would require a research period of at least 20 years, and at least $10 million funding for that research. ''One has to proceed slowly, unearthing every corner. We need time and money to excavate the whole area. It is a unique place in Europe where you can find settlement, religion and mining.''
But with investors chomping at the bit to get business started, is this view realistic? Mircea Angelescu from the Ministry of Culture says no. He admits that the entire area is filled with galleries, but he says the problem is the Roman galleries were followed by Medieval and Hapsburg mining operations so many of the ancient galleries were destroyed or are only a partial representation of their original state.
The second problem he says is that it would never be possible to make the area accessible to the public owing to high costs and security. ''There has never been an official feasibility study but it is estimated that it would cost $10-20 million for this. So who are we preserving them for if nobody could visit them,'' he says. ''Preventative archaeology is about compromise when it comes to major investment projects. So, you have an investor and he wants to make something, but this may impact the archaeology. This leads to two choices: the first is to let the investor do what he wants, and the second is to seek a compromise with the investor. Let him do the investment under some conditions and have him pay for what needs to be done and to save as much as possible before destruction. For example: a grave is discovered. The archaeologists make all the photos and proper studies. Then they take the bones out as well as the ornaments around the body. Now we have a hole in the ground ñ should that be preserved? Ninety nine per cent would say no, as all of the data have been saved. This small example is true for everything. Take the motorway being built by Bechtel ñ if we would excavate everything we would have a long hole, like an empty channel. So archaeologists make surveys and decide what needs to be saved.''
Angelescu also points out that opponents of the project say the area must be preserved to make a big archaeological park, but never say where the money would come from. ''If the NGOs offered an alternative plan for that area then it would be okay. In the past five years we have received $6 million from Gabriel Resources for research and we know 200 times more than we did before. It has given young archaeologists the chance to work to EU standards and we have had money for laptops, digital cameras, and other technical equipment.''
He also categorically denied that archaeologists are being bribed to downplay any findings that might delay the company from starting operations. ''In Romania there are 500 archaeologists that are registered. Of this number 250 are still working, while the rest are too young or too old. From this 250 there are 100 that have been working for the past five years at Rosia Montana. You cannot bribe 100 archaeologists at the same time.''

Leaving behind the new, modern offices of the Ministry of Culture, I travelled to Alba Iulia to speak with the director of the History Museum there, Horia Cigudeanu, who has slammed the practice of allowing business interests to trump the country's archaeological heritage. He also says he was forced off the National Commission for Archaeology in an attempt by the ministry to choke off any dissent.

''Two purges within the commission have taken place where people opposed to the project were kicked out. The first was in 2001, when I was ejected, and the second in 2003 when Dr Piso and others were removed,'' he says. ''What is very serious is that this commission has produced a system that completely controls research and excavation in Romania. One cannot practice independent research here, as this commission, together with the ministry, is responsible for granting licences for research. Until two months ago, this was only the case for excavations. The main reason for this is to allow big contracts, like the ones for Bechtel and Rosia, to go forward without any problems.'' (Dr Angelescu refutes this, saying that the ministry is simply aligning its practices with EU regulations under the La Valetta convention which, he says, states that there must be a sole authority that issues licences.)

Continuing, Cigudeanu says, ''In 2000 after the Rosia Montana mining project started I asked the Ministry of Culture to control and protect the site, as the company did not contact us. It was the duty of the museum, as the area was under its jurisdiction, as well as my responsibility to protect the site.''

''I did not want the area to follow the fate of Cetate, a mountain that was penetrated by hundreds of Roman mines, so spectacular that in the 18th and 19th centuries German artists make sketches of the place. But in 1972, after a political decision, the mountain was destroyed to start an open-cast pit mine. This was the first blow against Romania 's heritage.'' After Carnic, the next targets would be Jig mountain then Orla, the current site of the mining museum.

Cigudeanu says the French team led by Beatrice Cauuet in 2000 was invited by his museum to locate the most important archaeological sites in the area. But the following year, when a new minister of culture appeared, the Alba Iulia museum lost its power and leverage and the National Museum of Bucharest was handed complete control and was able to dictate policy, he says.

''Also in 2001, the French team stopped its co-operation with us and began a direct relationship with Gabriel Resources. This was not fair as the only reason the team came to Romania was because of our signed agreement and project. But in effect the French went for a more profitable co-operation and signed a contract with the company for all underground excavations. Ms Cauuet did not say she agreed that Carnic should be discharged but she did not disagree either.''

A portion of Cauuet's 2003 Carnic report reads: ''Thanks to its five-year prospecting work (1999-2003) and four-year excavation work (2000-2003) the mining archaeologists team is now able to draft a first summary on the scope, quality and characteristics of the mining vestiges. Approximately 75 kilometres of underground workings dating from various periods of time have been visited and almost 5 kilometres of ancient working have been inventoried. They all reveal impressive quality, are well preserved and all the galleries under study show a specific trapezoidal profile.'' The report went on to say that, ''the gold and silver mines in Alburnus Maior undoubtedly represent one of the most important mining structures of the Roman age, while the excavation now in progress on these sites constitutes the largest preventive archaeological project ever to be carried out in a European mining environment so far.'' The ministry has set aside a corner where some of the galleries will be preserved, Dr Angelescu says, dismissing concerns that the massive explosions necessary for pit mining would disturb them. ''The company says it has new technology that would diminish the impact. It's not like the old fashioned use of dynamite.''

Still, those who want everything to be saved, or ''fundamentalists'' as Angelescu calls them, are not backing down. ''Authorities in Bucharest have sold our mountains. In Rosia Montana only 2.2 hectares have been excavated but 1,100 hectares have been discharged. The only reason that this project could be considered is corruption,'' claims Dr Piso, a sentiment with which Dr Cigudeanu agrees. In 2001, archaeologists and directors of institutions and museums who were working at the Rosia Montana project received monetary bonuses from the company as a reward for their work. ''These bonuses were given right before the beneficiaries write their reports,'' says Dr Cigudeanu.

''We have to look at what we gain and what we lose from such a project. We gain nothing and we lose everything. The state would only take two per cent of the proceeds. That is worse than under colonial times. No one with a sane mind would approve such a thing,'' Dr Piso says.

 

Rosia Montana-Alburnus Maior

Introduction
           
Paul Damian, PhD

          
          The site located in Roşia Montană, also known as Alburnus Maior, an ancient mining center mentioned in encyclopedias, dictionaries, itineraries, as well as in the treaties dedicated to the history of Roman Dacia and the history of mining activity, has undergone from the ancient age to this day an evolution almost exclusively determined by the peoples' interest in gold exploitation. In this line, the history of the settlement Roşia Montană itself represents, to some extent, the very history of gold-exploitation on the Romanian territory. 
           Located between Câmpeni and Abrud, on a ramification of the road which used to connect Alba Iulia (Apulum) to Zlatna (Ampelum) following the river course, Roşia Montană represents the center of gold exploitation in the Apuseni Mountains. It is not impossible that the ancient Dacians had exploited the gold-bearing ores in the area- as indicated by the very name of the place which, according to the historian and philologist I.I.Russu is of Dacian origin, considering that the root "-alb-" is Dacian with a Latin suffix; yet, the settlement was known as an ancient mining center after part of the Dacian state had become a Roman province and the gold mines in Dacia had become the property of the Emperor who was considered the direct heir of the Dacian kings who controlled the gold exploitation. The transfer of the Dacian gold exploitations (aurariae Dacicae) at:

 http://www.drumulaurului.ro/imagini/rosia_montana_014-320.jpg

under the Emperor's property (operated directly or assigned to his subordinates - the most important of them was the procurator aurariarum having his the premises in Ampelum (Zlatna), must have been provided in the legal status concerning the establishment of the Roman province of Dacia. Exploitations were carried out independently, not related to urban or rural territories; such sites had the same rights as the municipalities and a quasi-urban development. We can only make assumptions about the area on which the aurariae Dacicae extended. The eastern boundary was probably the borderline of Dacia Superior; to the west and south - the Mureş river, and to the north - the Arieş valley and the Crişul Alb valley. The ancient settlement flourished during the Roman age. Gold was extracted starting from the very first days of the Roman conquest and until the Aurelian retreat. From the very time of Trajan's reign, Illyrian-Dalmatian peoples who had been colonized to Dacia undertook metal exploitation. Also, many clerks, slaves and freed-slaves were employed in the administrative structure. A major moment in the province's history is represented by the Marcommanic wars, the reigns of Septimius Severus, considered as the second founder of Dacia, and of his followers probably benefic for the Roman habitation located in the mountains.
           While the interest in ancient vestiges in Roşia Montană became manifest as early as the 15th c. due to the writers, foreign travelers on political, military or diplomatic missions or to the scholars, the ancient finds in the area became of real interest for humanists starting from the second half of the 18th c. Thus, Alburnus Maior entered the historic and epigraphic literature due to a chance discovery made between 1786-1855, i.e. the unique 25 wax-coated wooden tablets containing Latin inscriptions which had been hidden in the galleries during the Marcommani wars. Written in vulgar Latin, some of them in Alburnus Maior, others in the canabae of the Legio XIII Gemina in Apulum, as well as in a number of localities which have not been identified yet, dating back to the year 131 (the oldest board) and the 29th of May, 167 (the most recent one), the wax-coated tablets are actually sale-purchase contracts, payments of services, loans with certain interests, documents of the colleges, lists of prices and expenses, agreements of association, etc. Therefore, they are first-rank sources of legal, social-economic, demographic, linguistic information on the settlement and the entire province Dacia, as well as on the Roman Empire, implicitly.
           The interest in Roşia Montană also became manifest in the period 1856-1868 when F. Pošepny drew an exceptional map of the place (Geologisch-montanistische Karte des Goldbergbaureviers Abrudbanya-Verespatak), indicating the routes of Roman age, dating from the epoch of Empress Maria Theresa, as well as modern galleries, but especially the Roman vestiges indicated as funerary areas, habitats and sacred places.
           An important chapter in the evolutionary history of Roşia Montană is represented by the particular interest in epigraphic realities from that place when the contents of the wax-coateded tables were published in the 3rd volume of Th. Mommsen's monumental collection of Latin inscriptions; also, Constantin Daicoviciu published some inscriptions from Alburnus Maior in one of his studies and Ion Iosif Russu opened the series of corpora dedicated to the inscriptions from the Roman Dacia with a volume dedicated to military diplomas and wax-coated tables from Roşia Montană (IDR).
           Besides the providential discovery of many inscriptions during mining, construction or agricultural works in the 18th-20th c., which allows us to reconstitute the history of the ancient settlement, also walls, architectonic monuments and inscriptions, tools and jewelry, as well as mining tools from the Apuseni Mountains were found; a series of archaeological researches were conducted at the end of the 19th c., as well as undersized rescue excavations works were undertaken at the end of the last century. We would like to indicate that, although gold exploitation works at the surface had heavily affected the area, before 2000 no funds at all were allocated to archaeological research. The so-called "investigations" mentioned by some experts were nothing more than empiric activities meant to recover certain very valuable materials now exhibited in the Museum of Roman Galleries (which also comprise a gallery in the Orlea massif; the museum was destroyed unfortunately at the beginning of the '90s).
           The history of Roşia Montană before the year 2000, when the extensive diggings began, could only be reconstituted based on epigraphic sources and analogies with the history of other mining regions in the Roman Empire, such as Dalmatia, Noricum, Pannonia, Moesia Superior. In Dacia the same techniques as presented in the writings of ancient authors were used to extract gold from the Apuseni Mountains.
           In the summer of 2000, upon request of the company S.C. Roşia Montană Gold Corporation S.A., specialists from the National Union Museum in Alba Iulia and the Center for Protection of the National Cultural Heritage in Bucharest made an assessment of the archaeological potential of the area further to site-researches and archaeological survey. Afterwards, according to the Consulting Agreement concluded between S.C. Roşia Montană Gold Corporation S.A. and the National History Museum of Romania, in the period May-October 2001 extensive rescue excavations were undertaken in the area of the settlements Roşia Montană and Abrud, as part of the "Alburnus Maior" National Research Program initiated by the Ministry of Culture and Religious Affairs in March 2001. The objectives of such archeological researches were the identification and investigation of all the sites of interest from an archeological point of view; excavations were performed in order to discharge from archaeological burden the area outside Roşia Montană, west of the Cetate massif, i.e. the locations: Găuri-Hop, Hăbad, Tăul Ţapului, Valea Nanului, Carpeni, as well as the area inside the built-on area of the village Gura Cornei-Abrud; archaeological surveys were conducted in Corna Valley; diagnostic-appraisal of the ancient and medieval galleries in the massifs of Cârnic, Orlea, Ţarina, Văidoaia, Cetate, Carpeni; investigations of an archaeological-mining characteristic carried out in the ancient and medieval galleries in the Cetate area, the Zeus and Găuri locations.
           Archaeological researches carried out in 2001 were made possible due to the joint efforts of archaeologists from several institutions, such as the National History Museum of Romania in Bucharest, the National Union Museum in Alba Iulia, the Center for Protection of the National Cultural Heritage (currently known as the National Institute of Historic Monuments in Bucharest, the National History Museum of Transilvania in Cluj-Napoca, the Museum of Dacian and Roman Civilization in Deva, the "Vasile Pârvan" Institute of Archeology in Bucharest, the Institute of Archeology and Art History in Cluj-Napoca, "Iulian Antonescu" Museum in Bacău, "Le Mirail" University in Toulouse, France. Specialists from the Bucharest University - the Faculty of History, "Babeş-Bolyai" University in Cluj-Napoca - the Faculty of Biology - Geology and CIMEC - the Institute for Cultural Memory in Bucharest also took part in the project.
           Archeological investigations have been carried out on vast areas of more than 700,000 sq.m., revealing many vestiges, mainly from the Roman age - the 2nd-3rd c. (cemeteries, sacred areas and settlements), as well as traces of human activities from the medieval and modern times. The site investigations revealed several areas of high archeological interest: the identification of some settlements of the kastellum - type formerly inhabited by the Illyrian colonists, located in the Găuri-Hop-Hăbad-Tăul Ţapului area and in Valea Nanului - the Szekely and Drumuş properties, as well as some Roman dwelling structures with public edifices (the Carpeni area); the partial identification of the course of a Roman wall in the Găuri-Hop-Hăbad area; research of mining galleries (Cetate and Cârnic area), of several sacred areas (Hăbad-Brădoaia and Vasinca, Valea Nanului-Szekely, Drumuş and Dalea properties) where 37 votive epigraphic altars and three Roman incineration cemeteries containing more than 180 graves (Hop-Găuri, Valea Nanului şi Carpeni) were discovered.
           The research methodology employed consisted in sections opened for the identification of archaeological objectives, attempting an exhaustive examination of the respective sites. We should lay special stress on the fact that, in spite of the objective terms required by contract, sometimes aggravated by the very limitations of our mentalities about the rescue approach, the archeological investigation was constantly subordinated to the scientific rigor of a systematic research. Besides research at the surface, several investigations in the ancient, medieval and modern mining galleries were conducted using a special methodology.
           The vast research undertaken in 2001 made possible the examination and analysis of several human communities from a historical-archaeological point of view, by the identification of the economic or spiritual aspects of their everyday life, thus composing a complete image of the ancient settlement.
           Besides the scientific discoveries (archaeological and epigraphic), the research carried out in Roşia Montană also entailed and benefited from the remarkable participation of a large number of specialists from various scientific domains. The participation of many interested institutions in the National Research Program "Alburnus Maior" contributed to the establishment of special relations among archaeologists from all over Europe, an attempt to standardize the working methodology of archaeological site-investigations.
           The site of Roşia Montană represents both the epitome of remarkable collective efforts, the victory of team-spirit without which archaeology, generally, and protective archaeology, especially, could not exist, and the opportunity to lay the foundation of a real school-site for the young archaeologists facing delicate situations and the efforts of processing an important material under special circumstances (extremely rainy season, deadlines, a certain social local pressure as well as a general pressure exerted by the media).
           We can say that, widely speaking, we have reached the objectives, most of the archaeological ensembles being entirely investigated and most of the movable archaeological heritage thus following to be conserved, restored and exhibited.
           Just like any other organization of that size and complexity, the activity carried out at Roşia Montană also had its share of non-fulfillment, partially remedied during the 2002 campaign. The working methodology, naturally arising from the difficult preparation of the archaeological campaign and the formation of dedicated teams, had to be established as research progressed. This required many adjustments; the 2001 database could not be effectively accomplished until the following campaign. A series of difficulties, most of the times subjective, arising between the team of archeologists who worked at the surface and the team of mining archaeologists underground could be overcome, to the benefit of the project. The formation of a homogenous and specialized team still remains an ambitious goal.
           This volume, the first contribution from the Alburnus Maior monographic series, presents the results of the archeological researches carried out in Roşia Montană during the 2000-2001 campaigns, an outstanding reward of all the efforts made by the archaeologists and the other specialists involved in this project. The volume only includes those researches which could by almost completed, grouped according to their location. As for the investigations carried out during the 2001 campaign, this volume only presents the conclusions of the site-research, the actual contents of such works following to be presented when the respective excavations in those areas are completed.
           Maybe some of the statements included in this volume are insufficiently documented and substantiated, possibly because of the short-term assigned to the elaboration of this complex study and also because the production of the present work constantly overlapped with intensive site-investigations.
           Let us not forget that this is only the beginning and the future volumes may rectify eventual flaws of the present one.
           Research of the Roşia Montană site could not be conducted without the financing provided by the investor. Also, the active involvement and permanent assistance offered by the representatives of S.C. Roşia Montană Gold Corporation S.A. were a pleasant surprise for all of us. At the same time, the representatives of the local state administration apprehended the positiveness of our activity and were always alert and ready to offer their support.
           I would like to thank to all who worked hard for this most difficult, yet very rewarding endeavor.

 ucium-Sasa Site
(Alba county; "Botesti-Corabia", the miners' cemetery)

 http://www.archweb.cimec.ro/Arheologie/gold/sources/bucium.htm

 In the mountain massif between the Ampoi and Aries basins, between which there are the Abruzel Valley and the Rosie (Red) Valley, close to "Corabia" Hill (1351 m) during the Roman Age an intense mining was practised, that left visible traces under the form of an "Ieruga" surface exploitation, that cannot be confounded with an water supply canal (as believed previously); instead, the traces of a 100 x 200 m intake basin are clearly visible.

According to observations made at the "Peter and Paul" mine it results that it is not possible for the Roman miners to have practised here gold extraction through coast galleries. At the foot of "Corabia" massif there is the miners' dwellings settlement where were discovered more ancient archaeological finds, tools for ore processing and the Greek votive altar of Zeus Kimistenus laid by a miner or mountainous clerk; a lamp (lucerna) bearing the stamp FESTI (CIL, III 8076, 15), a.s.o.

At the foot of "Corabia" mountain on the saddle formed by "Botes" Hill, in the place called "Poduri", archaeological excavations were performed (in 1878-1879, 1885), and then in 1938, and were uncovered incineration tumuli belonging to a large cemetery dating from the 2nd century. All the graves in the studied cemeteries are tumular incineration graves. Under the tumuli, sometimes surrounded by a row of shapeless stones at the basis, was found the usual rectangular pit, well contoured, where the incineration remains were sheltered: calcinated bones fragments, coal and ashes. The graves inventory consisted in clay vessels, lamps, glass fragments, nails and two damaged coins from the 2nd century. Besides lithic objects (fragments of funerary reliefs, lion statues, etc., signalled by G. Teglas), appeared in this cemetery also the funerary stele in the Latin language.

As regards the ethnical character and funerary ritual, if the dead were burned in pits or if the burning was done at an ustrinum, the researchers' opinions vary. But it is not out of question, besides Illyrian and Graeco-Oriental colonists, who worked and were buried here, for other ethnical communities to have been here.

The most obvious proofs of the Roman gold mines exploitation in Zlatnei Mountains (south of Bucium) - by the traces left by these works - are those on "Corabia" massif (a real mountain) situated at the border of Bucium village, not far from the ancient Roman settlement of Ampelum and closer to the archaeological mining zone of Alburnus Maior. At the foot of "Corabia" Mountains, at "Poduri", "Botes", etc. there are large lands with a vast cemetery of the miners who worked, lived and were buried during the Roman Age. The "flourishing" age of these

 

Ancient Mining Networks
The French Archaeological Missions 1999-2001
http://www.cimec.ro/Resurse/RosiaMontanaen/05_cap5/C05_UTAH-dm_11.html


Béatrice Cauuet [1],Bruno Ancel [2],Christian Rico [3], Călin Tămaş [4]
The research framework Orlea/Ţarina/Carpeni Sectors
The geologic framework The "Coş" sector
The geology of Roşia Montană area Results of archaeological surveys
The Cârnic Massif The importance of the excavations campaign
The Cetate Massif List of ilustrations
Hăbad Sector 
         The importance of the excavations campaign
          
           The 2001 mission was entirely positive. We could investigate the area known as "Cetate" threatened by the mining project, and we realised that it contains only a few ancient vestiges worth being studied or preserved. During our research, we benefited from the remarkable support offered, on the one hand, by the Romanian  mining company and, on the other, by the Romanian-Canadian team from Roşia  Montană Gold Corporation. Thus, we could have access to modern plans available on site, copies of such plans, preparation of certain heavy equipment and access to underground mining networks inside the Cetate massif and other surrounding networks [28].
          
           In the end, the mining archaeological investigations carried out in 2001 on
 the Cetate sector revealed that the massif only conserved very few old works, which would have made this area of the site famous. Unfortunately, we can see that the  vestiges have been destroyed by the mining operations carried out over the last 30 years.

We do not consider that further research should be undertaken in this very
 poor and destabilised area, given that other sectors of the area contain remarkable mining works- such as Cârnic and the Orlea-Ţarina areas.
           We do not think that the works explored in 2001 in the Cetate massif should be conserved in situ unless the current mining objectives inevitably require it. In our opinion, it is more urgent to identify the new, better preserved sectors, such as those in the network Cătălina Monuleşti, recently unloaded (Lety sector), to examine and thoroughly research a consistent ensemble, well preserved and representative for  the protection and conservation in situ of the underground patrimony of Roşia Montană.
          
           The analysis of the old networks found in Cârnic and Cetate massifs, both by prospecting works and excavations, helps us draw some conclusions on the
chronology of mining exploitation and the origin of the techniques employed. They
relate to the dynamics of exploitation, the topography of vestiges and information
provided by excavations. Thus, in Cârnic (fig. 1 and 5), a drift with trapezoidal section  opened with mining tools had been cut by two fire-setting works with characteristic round faces (Level 960, Cârnic 7, Site 14). In 2002, further fire-setting works found in  a sector nearby, to the SE of the massif, i.e. the sites 14 (Level 960, Cârnic 7)  could be C14 dated to the Roman age, between 135 and 355 (fig. 15).
We can notice that the trapezoidal drift had been dug by mining
tools before the fire-setting opening from the Roman age.

 

File:KunsthistorischesMuseumDacianGold1.jpg

Dacian gold plaque photo byCristian Chirita at: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:KunsthistorischesMuseumDacianGold1.jpg

           
           The Dacian dating resulting from the C14 analyses
(chronological dating between -265 and -90) performed on a plank
 found in the Ch1 site of the NW sector of Cârnic 1 raises the
problem of the evolution of the extraction method used between
 the Dacian age and the Roman time. In fact, after the different
excavation stages observed on the plan (fig. 16, 21) and the
topography of the works present in this drift, it is not possible
to distinguish major changes in mining technique. The use of
mining tools and the identification of the cutting points with a
trapezoidal section remain the techniques employed in ancient time.
          
           The only novelty brought by the Romans into the mining
drifts was the use of oil lamps for which we could see niches
carved into the walls. Before that, the miners had certainly used
wooden torches, as we could find partially burnt fragments in
the filling materials of G1 and G2 on the Cârnic massif. The niches
carved for the oil lamps also indicate that such lamps were mainly used
for the illumination of the central area between G2 drift, Dep1 exploitation
 and the Ch1 room (fig. 16). The extremity of the small drift G1 is far from
any light source. This could explain why the work had been deepened
before the introduction of lamps in the mine, that is during the Dacian
 age.
At the moment when the network was resumed, that abandoned
drift had already been turned into a waste area (broken Roman lamps
were thrown into the filling of the drift), while mining activity focused on
G2, Dep1, P1 and Ch1 (fig. 21).
          
           Nevertheless, at Zeus we could notice the precocity of mining
activity, which could be dated to the 1st c. AD, the "independence"
age (fig. 15). The works found at Zeus are close to the surface and
undoubtedly correspond to the starting works of mining activities in this
sector of the site. On the other hand, no Roman lamp and no lamp niche
could be found, not even deep into the network, such as Dep2 and G16.
          
           Moreover, the works examined in 2002 in Cârnic (Cârnic 5, Site
19; fig. 5) yielded wood and charcoal for radiocarbon dating, two of
them being dated to the same age, the 1st c. AD (cf. RM02 Cârnic 5-
Work19; fig. 15). Yet, we have two Dacian dates, from Ţarina and Cârnic,
 for the mining works found at Roşia, as well as three other dates that
could also be attributed to the period between the 1st c. AD and the Roman conquest.
          
           All such things indicate that during the three centuries before the
conquest, mining activity had reached a high level of development in the
underground sector of Roşia Montană, both at Ţarina and Cârnic. After the
conquest, when mining activity was resumed on site, the works already dug during
the pre-Roman age were resumed and continued, probably by the same indigenous  families of miners. Those last keepers of an ancestral craft continued to open their drifts using the same characteristic technique, with standardised, calibrated and very geometrical proportions, probably an old Dacian mining method.
  1. Researcher C.N.R.S. (Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique),
 archaeologist at U.T.A.H (Unité Toulousaine d'Archéologie et d'Histoire),
Le Mirail University, Toulouse (France) ; Head of the French missions at Roşia Montană.
2. Curator at the Cultural Department of L'Argentičre-la-Bessée (France).
3. Lecturer at Le Mirail University, Toulouse; archaeologist at U.T.A.H. (France).
4. Lecturer at Geology Department, Babeş-Bolyai University, Cluj-Napoca (Romania).
28. We would like to thank the managers of these two companies, that is Mrs.
Gheorghe Gruber, Lawrence Marsland and Gary O'Conor (RMGC), M. Valentin
Rus (Minvest), for their important help. 

  The Cenotaph from Ampelum -Zlatna
 and the administration of the gold mines http://www.archweb.cimec.ro/Arheologie/gold/sources/sources.html

 
D(is) M(anibus)
M(arco) Ulpio aug(usti)
lib(erto) Hermiae proc(uratori)
aurarium cuius
5. reliquiae ex indulgentia
aug(usti) n(ostri) Romam latae
sunt
Salonia Palestrice
coniunx et Diogenes
10.lib(ertus0 benemerenti fecer(unt)
vixit ann(is) LV
Translation: "To the gods Manes, to Marcus Ulpius Hermias, Libertus (freeman) of the emperor (augustus, Traianus), procurator of the gold mines (of Dacia), whose /5/ earthly remains, by the benevolence of our Augustus, were brought to Rome, Salonia Palestrice wife and Diogenes /10/ (his) libertus made (the funerary monument) to the one who deserved it; he lived 55 years."

This epigraphic text became famous, enjoying an exceptional attention from epigraphists and historians (as proved also by its rich bibliography), by the fact that it has preserved information on the organisation of Dacian gold mines from the first years of the Roman occupation and by the remarkable mention of transporting the earthly remains (either the embalmed body, or the urn ashes) from Ampelum to Rome.

The tomb stone above used to be a cenotaph left to be raised at Ampelum by the the procurator's wife and libertus, who certainly travelled to Italy and Rome together with their dead master. Other cases of great dignitaries or Roman military men who died in Dacia and were transported to their fatherland: general Caius Iulius Quadratus Bassus carried with great military pomp to Pergam in Asia Minor (AnnEp, 1933, 268 = 1934, 176, etc.); the young wife of officer Servilius Fortunatus a militiis qui per maria et terras retulit reliquias coniugis ex provincia Dacia", CIL, VIII 2772 (Lambaesis in Numidia).

 An Evaluation of the Environmental Impact Assessment Report for the Rosia Montana Project with an Emphasis on Archeological and Cultural Patrimony Issues by Dr. Horia Ion Ciugudean

THE BASELINE STUDY ON THE NATIONAL CULTURAL PATRIMONY has been
written by STANTEC CONSULTING, a company which is not officially accredited to do esearch on the evaluation and conservation of the cultural patrimony – mobile and immobile - in Romania. This fact casts serious concerns about the validity of much of information in the report or the assessments made therein. The latter contains incomplete or inaccurate information as well as subjective and biased appraisals that have a negative impact on an accurate reading of the significance of the cultural patrimony in Rosia Montana in the national and global contexts. Therefore, the deferences to the pre-roman period, in the introductory chapter (vol 6, p. 7) do not include information about the prehistoric discoveries made in the village’s surrounding areas, thus creating the false impression that such marks do not exist there.
It is also stated, in a tendentious manner, that researches have not produced evidence about the presence of the Dacians in Rosia Montana although in the archeological site’s file, card # 9 about the Orlea Massive very old mining works are identified close to the surface, out of which a wooden post has been dated, using the C14 method, in the interval 50 BC-80 AD (volume 6, annex 1, p. 222), so belonging precisely to the Dacian age. Other data collected from the Carnic Massive, using the radio-carbon method that are also indicative of the Dacian age (3rd century BC- 1st century AD) are negatively commented in chapter 4. 9 of the Assessment Report (p. 22) although they have been published and were commented upon by the French archeological mining team in the first volume of the Alburnus Maior series. The subchapter on the cultural landscape is written with the clear intention to minimize the value of the Rosia Montana area. For that
reason false data was inserted such as the statement that the Carnic Massive has been mined in an open pit since the 1970s and hence has been damaged to a large extent (vol. 6, p. 15). There isn’t actually a correct description of the cultural landscape in Rosia, the respective subchapter being overloaded with data about secondary subjects (climate, geology, jobs, local and regional economy etc.), the true potential being left outside the analysis.
The BASELINE STUDY underlines the fact that large areas that will be impacted by the project have not been archeologically explored, this being particularly the case of the Corna Valley, the village of Corna where the map of the archeological sites for the interval 2000-2005 (vol 6., pl. 4) indicates the almost complete absence of such sites in the south-eastern side where the Carnic waste dump is to be located (vol. 6, pl. 6).
According to the present legislation (Law 462/2003), it is illegal to impact, through a project, an area that has not undergone any preceding archeological exploration.Read the rest on line

THE HUNGARIAN POINT OF VIEW

  The Road Network 3. THE ROMAN PROVINCE OF DACIA (Endre Tóth) The Long War, and Renewal in the Severan Era
 Commerce and the Economy: the First Growth Phase

http://mek.oszk.hu/03400/03407/html/15.html

For the empire, the central European provinces were of little economic significance and offered negligible exports, yet required great expenditures for the stationing of troops. Nevertheless, the mineral deposits in Transylvania must have enhanced Dacia's importance to Rome. There were stone quarries as well as iron and salt deposits, but the most valuable resource was gold. Although much is known about Transylvania's gold, there is no evidence of its exploitation in Dacian times — archaeological finds indicate that the Dacians preferred silver jewellery — or about the goldmines' yield in Roman times. New information surfaced in the form of wax-coated wooden writing tablets, several of which were discovered at Verespatak in 1786, 1790, and in the 19th century, and which bear a variety of commercial texts, contracts, and accounts dating back to 131–167.

The exploitation of gold deposits (aurariae Dacicae) began shortly after the occupation of the creation of the Roman province. The goldmining centre was in the Érc Mountains (Muntii Apuseni), where miners lived in larger settlements — Ampelum (Zalatna, Zlatna) and Alburnus Maior (Abrud-Verespatak, Roşia Montana) as well as smaller ones (Deusara, Kartum, Immenosus Maior, and Vicus Pirustarum).

The mining district (territorium metalli) was the property of the Emperor, and its settlements did not benefit from local government. It is not clear whether the largest settlement, Ampelum, was granted the status of municipium. A mine procurator (procurator aurariorum) was in charge of local administration and of the gold mines. In keeping with Roman practice, these officials (ten names survive) were chosen mostly from among former slaves of the imperial household. Slaves who had earned their freedom at around age 30 might, if they performed meritoriously in other official capacities, be appointed procurator at age 40–45. The first procurator {1-79.} known by name, M. Ulpius Hermia, had been freed by Trajan and administered the district under Hadrian. This, together with the date of the earliest tablet, 131, indicates that mining began, at the latest, during Hadrian's reign. It is likely that the Dacian gold mines were under the joint administration of two procurators, one a freed slave, and the other a knight. This dual system, reserved for important installations, provided better checks and supervision, as well as administrative continuity, for the terms of office were staggered: the former slaves served longer terms as procurator than did the knights. Most of the lower-rank officials who looked after administrative and technical matters (vilici, tabularii, dispensatores) also came from the ranks of imperial slaves and freed slaves. In some cases, the librarii who served in the procurator's secretariat (officium) were drawn from the ranks of the legion XIII Gemina. They were not the only soldiers in the mining district. This important area, situated near the frontiers of the empire, had to be guarded against bandits as well as external attack. Internal security and the protection of ore and precious metal shipments was entrusted to North African soldiers of the numerus Maurorum Hispaniorum; the location of their garrison is not known. The ore was mined both in open pits (currugus) and by tunneling.

The wax tablets offer some information about this mining society, as do the epitaphs at Ampelum and Alburnus. Most of the mine workers were brought from Dalmatia, and belonged to Illyrian tribes — the Pirusti, Sardeati, and Buridusti. Some 64 per cent of the Illyrian names found in Dacia belonged to the mining district. These Illyrian miners lived in closed communities (Vicus Pirustarum), with their own tribal leaders (princeps). Following the practice in their homeland, they often called their settlements a castellum. The mines also employed workers from Asia Minor.

Most of the actual mining was probably done by wage labourers, who earned 70 or, more likely (the sources are unclear), 140 denarii a year. This was a considerable sum at a time when a lamb {1-80.} in the Alburnus region cost 3.5 denarii, and a piglet 5 denarii, prices comparable to those prevailing in the rest of the empire; wine, at 1.3–1.8 denarii a litre, was expensive.

Surviving records make no mention of the prisoners sentenced to labour in the mines (damnati ad metallum) or of the employment of slaves in other than administrative work. Slaves fetched exceedingly high prices in northern Dacia: in 139, a six-year old girl was sold for 205 denarii, while in 142, a boy was bought in the neighbourhood of the legion camp at Apulum for 600 denarii. These rates suggest that slave labour would have been unprofitable in the mines, and that there could not have been many slaves in the district or, indeed, in northern Dacia.

It also seems likely that, despite the efforts at resettlement, the mines suffered from a shortage of manpower. High wages are indicative of a tight labour market. One of the wax tablets clearly indicates that by the late 160s, the district's population was declining. On 9 February 167, before the outbreak of the great wars (and before the concealment of the tablets), the officers of the Jupiter Cernenus collegium at Alburnus disbanded the association because the membership had dwindled from 54 to 17. Thus the population was shrinking even in Dacian districts that offered well-paid employment.

Less is known about the Transylvanian iron and salt mines. These were also state property, though managed by leaseholders (conductores). The surviving epigraphs bearing a mention of the latter date from around 200. One records that Flavius Sotericus, a man of Greek origin who leased an iron mine, was also a member of the emperor's cult association at Sarmizegethusa. That inscription was found at Alsótelek (Teliucul Inferior), where the Romans had begun to exploit the large iron ore deposits of the Ruszka Mountains. The remains of an iron smelter have been uncovered at Gyalár (Ghelar), in the vicinity of Alsótelek. A number of salt mines were in production inTransylvania, in the northern part of the {1-81.} province (Homoródszentpál-Sînpaul, Szék-Sic, Kolozs-Cojocna, Homoródszentmárton-Mărtiniş, Marosújvár-Ocna-Mureşului, etc.); the operators leased not only the salt deposits but also the surface land and, in some cases, the right to trade salt.

Besides mining, little is known about the economic life of Dacia. As in other provinces, domestic crafts served mainly local demand. Agricultural and mining implements were probably fashioned from local iron. The most thoroughly investigated craft is that of ceramic houseware, although very few workshops and kilns have been discovered.

The province did not develop a common style of pottery. Shapes and finishes common in southern Dacia reveal influences coming from south of the Danube. Northern styles were more influenced by Noricum and Pannonia, as seen in the typical tripodal dishes. Northern Transylvania did give birth to a distinctively decorated ceramic that, as far as can be ascertained, was not used in other parts of the province; the sides of the roughly hemispherical bowls bore sigillary imprints. The style of the grey and pink dishes produced in large quantities in Porolissum can be readily traced back to their south Pannonian models; the sigillary decoration on the sides had been simplified, figures being replaced by geometric patterns.

Good land and fluvial communications potentially favoured trade with distant markets, while the domestic market was buttressed by the presence of a large and well-paid military force. The existence of far-reaching trade is attested by the merchant M. Secundianus Genialis (negotiator Daciscus),[30]30. CIL V. 1047. who came from Colonia Claudia Agrippinensium (Cologne), a city that traded actively with the Danubian region; he died in Aquileia, a center and meeting point for northern and eastern trade. By way of the Sava valley and Aquileia, Dacia could link up to a major commercial artery, the Amber Road, which crossed western Pannonia. The family of Titus Fabius, which originated from Augusta Treverorum {1-82.} (Trier), on the Mosel River, also became involved in Dacian trade through Aquileia; one of their members, Fabius Pulcher, became the augustalis of the colony at Apulum (a body made up mostly of wealthy merchants and libertines). The epitaph of a woman who died in Salona (Dalmatia) relates that her husband, Aurelius Aquila, had been a town councillor at Potaissa and gives the latter's occupation as negotiator ex provincia Dacia. Macrobius Crassus styled himself protector of the merchants of Dacia Apulensis (the name given in 167 to Dacia Superior). There is evidence of close contacts between the Sava valley and Siscia: C. Titius Agathopatus had been at one and the same time the augustalis of both Siscia and Sarmizegethusa. Bricks produced in Siscia have been uncovered in the Maros valley, and the products of south Pannonian potteries also found their way to Dacia.

The presence in Dacia of many people of eastern origin facilitated contact with Syrian traders, who played an important role in the commercial life of the Roman world. The names of some of Dacia's Syrian merchants (Suri negotiatores) survive: altars to a deity of Syrian origin, Jupiter Dolichenus, were erected in Apulum by Aurelius Alexander and Flaus, and in Sarmizetgethusa by Gaianus and Proclus Apollophantes.[31]31. CIL III, 7761, 7915.

Excavations have produced scant evidence of the actual activities pursued by Dacia's numerous merchants. It may be that they traded in goods, such as food and clothing, that leave little or no trace. There is a similar dearth of information about the export trade. The longer-established iron mines of Noricum as well as of Moesia limited the prospects of Dacia, which may, however, have exported iron to Pannonia Inferior and Moesia Inferior. The exports of salt were probably more significant: one epigraph refers to the leasing of both salt mines and trading rights. As for agricultural products, Dacia was a net importer to satisfy demand from the large number of troops stationed in the province. In any case, Transylvania's mountainous terrain did not favour grain production; most {1-83.} suitable land lay in the southeastern part of the province, on the Oltenian plain. Wild animals, such as bears and wolves, may have been exported to satisfy the Roman taste for circus games. Sheep and goats were plentiful and cheap enough to satisfy domestic demand, and perhaps some export demand as well.

A very limited range of imported goods has been unearthed in Dacia — mainly sigillated earthenware, along with some amphorae from the Mediterranean region, which were used to transport oil, wine, and grain. Food for the soldiers and their families must have accounted for a major share of the imports. According to the wax tablets, wine was expensive; this was probably due to the fact that Burebista destroyed Dacia's vineyards. Fragments of an epigraph in Thrace speak of two merchants of Syrian origin who shipped wine to Dacia. A merchant from Sarmizegethusa, Aelius Arrianus, left an epigraph on the island of Delos, where he may have been drawn by the oil or wine trade. As the economy improved, some resourceful people were inspired to replant vineyards in southern Dacia.

The biggest import item, as noted, was earthenware — fine, red, partly embossed, terra sigillata pots, dishes, bowls, and cups. In the 2nd century, these items were produced in the potteries of central Gaul and the Rhineland, and shipped down the Danube to Noricum, Pannonia, and Dacia. Such ceramics are prized by archaeologists, for it is easy to date them and identify their provenance. The finds of imported, sigillated ceramics are modest in number, but sufficient for analysis, all the more since the same pattern of dates is found throughout the province. In the 130s, following the Roman conquest, imported earthenware in Dacia Inferior came from central Gaul. Between 130–160, the main supplier was a pottery at today's Lezoux: its products account for close to half of the terra sigillata items found in Dacia. The early boom was followed by a sharp slump. The potteries at Rheinzabern and Westerndorf, which were established somewhat later than the one at Lezoux, continued to export well into the 3rd century, but their market in Dacia {1-84.} Inferior was rapidly shrinking. The origin of the sigillated earthenware found in Apulum reflected this pattern, while the incidence of central Gallic and Rheinzabern products was more uneven in Oltenia. Even there, however, there was a sharp drop in the number of Westerndorf products. The latter, which came after the central Gallic products, are completely absent in Napoca, and very few were found in the camps at Porolissum and Bucsum. Steadily growing exports from the same sources to Pannonia make the Dacian slump even more remarkable. Since reports of Transylvanian finds are few, the only observation that can be made is that the absence of late sigillatae in Napoca seems anomalous when contrasted with their continuing incidence in Apulum. This disparity may simply be the result of an unbalanced pattern of excavations. The other plausible explanation is economic. In Dacia, as in the other Roman provinces, the army was the principal beneficiary of economic expansion during Severus' rule, and Apulum was a garrison town, while purely civilian settlements like Napoca ceased to offer a ready market for imported products.

The decline of the sigillata market in Dacia may be better understood if one examines earthenware found outside the empire, in the Great Hungarian Plain. The products of the Rheinzabern and Westendorf potteries appeared in small number before 200, then came to dominate the Pannonian market for earthenware. Thus exports from Rome's western provinces continued to reach Pannonia in considerable number at a time when sales in Dacia petered out. The merchants presumably found a more proximate market, among the Sarmatians. The terra sigillatae represent the main surviving indicator of economic activity, and they suggest that after an initial spurt, Dacia's foreign trade declined in the 160s–170s. The decline cannot be fully accounted for by the appearance of domestically-produced copies, which were few in number and could complement, but not substitute for the imported product. The other type of decorated earthenware, produced in the {1-85.} northern part of the province, was only distributed in its home region. Thus the domestic production of sigillata imitations was not a cause of the decline in imports, but rather a consequence, to fill the gap in supply. The absence of imported, western ceramics confirms Dacia's economic slump in the last third of the 2nd century; future finds may facilitate a more differentiated analysis of this process.

The Road Network 3. THE ROMAN PROVINCE OF DACIA (Endre Tóth) The Long War, and Renewal in the Severan Era

 

Contracts on wax tablets

V 2
Rosia Montana (Alburnus Maior), Alba county, Romania. Wax tablet (TabCerD III) - ancient loan contract dating from 20th of June 162 A.D., inner side. The National History Museum of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca
 VI 2
Rosia Montana (Alburnus Maior), Alba county, Romania. Wax tablet (TabCerD XVIII) - labour contract. The National History Museum of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca  
 See photos at:
http://www.archweb.cimec.ro/Arheologie/gold/sources/sources.html

 

Roman wax tablets were found in the “St. Joseph” gallery in 1788 and in the “Catalina-Monulesti”
History
There is archaeological and metallurgical evidence of gold mining in the Golden Quadrilateral of Transylvania since the late Stone Age
Gündisch, Konrad http://forum.skadi.net/sitemap/http://forum.skadi.net/history_transylvania-t24696.html "Siebenbürgen und die Siebenbürger Sachsen"] tr. Georg Schuller Alburnus Maior was founded by the Romans during the rule of Trajan as a mining town, with Illyria colonists from South Dalmatia. PROIECT Alba SA http://www.truestory.ro/plan_urbanistic/4729_m_puz_15062006_eng.pdf Zonal Urbanism Plan for Roşia Montană Industrial Area] The earliest reference to the town is on a wax tablet dated 6 February 131 Archaeologists have discovered in the town ancient dwellings, necropolises, mine galleries, mining tools, 25 wax tablets and many inscriptions in Greek and Latin, centred around Carpeni Hill.--- (1976) Dicţionar de istorie veche a României Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică p. 27 The Romans left Dacia in 271. Mining appears to have started again in the Middle Ages by Germans migrants using similar techniques to the Romans. This continued until the devastating wars of the mid-16th century. Mining was much expanded under the Austro-Hungarian Empire with the encouragement of the Imperial authorities. Charles VI funded the construction of ponds („tăuri”) in 1733. After the empire broke up in 1918, most of the remaining veins were mined out under fixed-length concessions (cuxe granted to local citizens. The sulphide-rich waste generated large volumes of sulphuric acid which in turn liberated heavy metals into local water sources, in addition to the Amalgam#Mining used to extract the gold. In 1948 the mines were taken over by the Romanian state, with traditional small scale underground mining continuing until the late 1960s. Attention then turned to the lower-grade gold disseminated through the rock surrounding the veins. In 1975 an open-cast pit was constructed at Cetate for bulk mining.

Romania: Community Group Now Faces Newmont in Mine Fight
by Ben Wheeler, Greengrants Intern

September 17, 2004


Circular mausoleum dating from the 2nd or 3rd century recently discovered at Rosia Montana.
Newmont Mining Corporation, the world's largest gold mining company, recently acquired a 10 percent stake in Canadian company Gabriel Resources' Rosia Montana project in Romania. Newmont's financing resuscitates a project that many hoped would be shelved, as Gabriel Resources' missteps over the past two years appeared to have doomed the project. Global Greengrants Fund has provided two grants to the community group Alburnus Maior, which is working to stop the project.

 „Blestemul” aurului dacic, un mit întreţinut 

Ciprian Iancu (Romanian only)
 Evenimentul Zilei, nr.5674

Sâmbătă, 09 Ianuarie 2010
 http://www.evz.ro/articole/detalii-articol/882059/Blestemul-aurului-dacic-un-mit-intretinut/ 

Pedepsele din dosarul „Aurul Dacilor I” readuc în discuţie existenţa unei afurisiri destinate jefuitorilor de comori. Istoricii contraatacă: nu există dovezi, ci doar credinţe populare.

Subiect predilect al promotorilor valorilor dacice, „blestemul” comorilor din
Munţii Orăştiei, reapare în prim-plan la fiecare deces suspect al vreunui localnic. În căutare de argumente în favoarea existenţei acestei afurisiri, există persoane respectabile care fac calcule matematice şi observaţii optice şi geometrice. De cealaltă parte, istoricii spun că e vorba doar despre legende, care au farmecul lor.

104, cifra mistică

Sentinţa în dosarul „Aurul Daci lor l”, emisă la sfârşitul anului trecut de Tribunalul Hunedoara, se poate transforma într-un alt argument al celor care cred că piesele din comorile dacilor poartă un blestem puternic şi crud. Astfel, 11 dintre cei 13 inculpaţi au primit condamnări grele cu închisoarea. În total, este vorba de 104 ani de detenţie.

Această cifră coincide cu suma pietrelor de andezit care compun cercul exterior al Marelui Sanctuar Circular de la Sarmizegetusa Regia. Argument suficient pentru cei care aşteptau dovezi ca să creadă într-un blestem.

O altă coincidenţă, constatată relativ recent, este faptul că bisectoarea triunghiului dreptunghic format de razele soarelui de andezit care cad tangenţial pe sanctuarul circular duce chiar în locul unde au fost descoperite 10 dintre brăţările dacice.

Zece este şi numărul de raze ale soarelui de andezit. În fine, cele 10 brăţări au fost descoperite de Florin Râmbetea, martorul principal al acuzării în acest dosar, în aceeaşi groapă, pe culmea Căprăreaţa. Pe seama blestemului dacic unii pun şi moartea lui Sorin Popa, unul dintre inculpaţii în dosar, care a decedat pe parcursul procesului din cauza unor afecţiuni cardiace.

Supoziţia se bazează pe mai multe cazuri din ultimele decenii în care persoane care ar fi descoperit comori au sfârşit tragic.

Inhibiţii cu iz de vrăjitorie

Coincidenţa referitoare la cifra 104 a fost semnalată mai întâi de profesorul Timotei Ursu, consultant ştiinţific al Fundaţiei „Renaşterea Daciei”. Totuşi, Ursu e rezervat: „Nu prea cred în povestea asta, cum nu se confirmă nici «blestemul faraonic» şi nici cel din piramidele mexicane”. Am făcut remarca aceasta, cu 104, pentru că, de vreo 40 de ani, am tentative de interpretare numerică a sanctuarelor dacice, iar această cifră esenţială, în mod straniu, identică cu o formulă numerică mayasa, îmi era la îndemână”, explică istoricul.

Ursu crede că ideea blestemului apare în urma unei asocieri pur subiective între decesele consecutive, unele naturale, altele timpurii, ale unor indivizi care au intrat în contact intim cu Kogaionul (muntele sfânt al Dacilor - n.r.).

„Pe lângă dezinteresul naţional, absolut de neacceptat, asupra valorii ştiinţifice, istorice şi turistice a Kogaionului geto-dacic, pluteşte valul unor inhibiţii cu iz de vrăjitorie ţesut tocmai de unii care erau interesaţi să rămână singurii «scotocitori » ai adevărurilor îngropate în zonă”, consideră Ursu.

„Ce nu poţi înţelege trebuie studiat”

Cele câteva coincidenţe matematice apărute în legătură cu Sarmizegetusa Regia l-au pus pe gânduri şi pe Vladimir Brilinsky, preşedintele Fundaţiei „Renaşterea Daciei” - filiala Transilvania. „Eu, unul, nu sunt un adept al misticismului. În general, atunci când nu înţeleg ceva, oamenii sunt tentaţi să-l nege şi să zâmbească ironic la apariţia acelui ceva. E o greşeală! Ce nu poţi înţelege, trebuie studiat, iar abia apoi negat, dacă este cazul. Eu am studiat până acum 14 cazuri de persoane care ar fi căzut sub blestemul aurului dacic, începând de la poveşti din secolul XVIII ori XIX, până la întâmplări mai apropiate de ziua de azi. Oamenii despre care se spune că ar fi descoperit comori dacice ori au murit de boli cu evoluţii rapide, ori în urma unor accidente, ori şi-au pierdut minţile. În multe cazuri, comori dacice au fost găsite iniţial de câte două, trei, patru persoane. Când le ascundeau, fiecare jura pe viaţa lui să nu umble la comoară fără acordul celorlalţi”, spune Brilinsky.

El admite că mare parte din scepticismul pe care îl avea faţă de aceste interpretări s-a spulberat atunci când Timotei Ursu a sesizat coincidenţa. „Nu comentez în ni ciun fel sentinţa, pentru că nici nu este treaba mea. Eu mă refer doar la simpla coincidenţă apărută, care ne dă voie să încercăm să privim lucrurile şi altfel decât am făcut-o până acum, referitor la o parte a istoriei dacilor. Din păcate, noi încercăm acum să scriem istoria dacilor, însă doar 3% din Sar mizegetusa Regia, unde sunt îngropate secretele dacilor, a fost cercetat arheologic”.

„Unde sunt ruine, apar şi poveşti despre ele”

Arheologul Cristina Bodó, cercetător ştiinţific la Muzeul Civilizaţiei Dacice şi Romane Deva, pune aceste interpretări pe seama credinţelor populare. „În general, unde sunt ruine, apar şi poveşti despre acele ruine şi cred că se vorbea despre ruinele aşezărilor dacice şi, implicit, despre comorile lor şi până la acel moment din secolul al XVl-lea”, explică arheologul Cristina Bodó.
 
„În general, în folclor, fiecare comoară poartă şi un blestem, indiferent dacă vorbim de aur dacic sau de o comoară de altă provenienţă. Înclin şi acum să cred că aşazisul blestem al aurului dacic e un rezultat al credinţei populare, un produs dezvoltat de aceasta odată cu trecerea veacurilor şi cu apariţia de noi şi noi situaţii în care descoperirea vreunei comori a fost urmată de vreo nenorocire”, conchide cercetătorul.

Conform istoricilor, nu există izvoare istorice din perioada antică în care să fie indicată existenţa vreunui blestem pus pe comorile dacilor. Specialiştii cred că legendele, care de care mai fabuloase, au existat dintotdeauna în folclorul aşezărilor umane aflate în Munţii Orăştiei, dar s-au amplificat după descoperirea primelor comori. Cea mai veche consemnare istorică a unui astfel de eveniment este datată la 1540.

Nişte ţărani au găsit atunci în albia râului Strei un adevărat tezaur, care era alcătuit din 40.000 de monede din aur Lysimacos. Se spune că toată comoara a ajuns în posesia primului cancelar al principatului Transilvaniei, cardinalul Giorgio Martinuzzi. Apoi, de-a lungul timpului, comoara s-a risipit, monedele fiind în mare parte topite.
 
ISTORIE

Cum i-a blestemat Decebal pe trădători

Prima legendă despre aurul dacilor se leagă de un fapt istoric, respectiv de credinţa că, pe când romanii treceau pentru a doua oară Carpaţii (în războiul daco-roman din perioada 105-106), Decebal ar fi dat poruncă să fie puse la adăpost toate comorile din aur şi argint. Acestea, se spune, ar fi însumat câteva zeci de tone.

Cele mai de preţ obiecte ar fi fost îngropate astfel în albia unui râu, al cărui curs ar fi fost deviat în acest scop, iar după ascunderea comorii, ar fi fost readus în albia firească, pentu a şterge orice urme. Unii istorici cred că este vorba despre râul Sargeţia, alţii de râul Strei, ceva mai îndepărtat de principala cetate dacică din Munţii Orăştiei.

În aceeaşi perioadă, o altă parte a comorii ar fi fost ascunsă în peşteri. Se spune că Decebal i-ar fi blestemat pe cei care vor trăda secretul să nu se bucure de vreun koson (monedă din aur) luat din avuţia dacilor.
 
LA JUDECATĂ

Condamnările au fost contestate

Pe 18 decembrie, după mai bine de patru ani de la începerea procesului, Tribunalul Hunedoara a dat sen tinţa în cazul celor 13 persoane acuzate că ar fi căutat, găsit şi traficat ilegal 15 brăţări dacice din aur. Pe lângă acuzaţia de a fi prejudiciat patrimoniul cultural naţional, în cazul majorităţii inculpaţilor s-au adăugat şi alte capete de acuzare, printre care constituire de grup infracţional organizat, şantaj şi lipsire de libertate în mod ilegal.

11 dintre ei au primit pedepse cuprinse între 7 şi 12 ani de închisoare, Ioan Vasinca a fost achitat, iar în cazul lui Popa Sorin procesul a încetat după ce instanţa a luat act  de decesul său. Sentinţa nu este definitivă, inculpaţii au declarat recurs, iar dosarul se află acum la Curtea de Apel Alba
. O altă chestiune rezolvată parţial este recuperarea cheltuielilor făcute de statul român pentru reintrarea în posesia brăţărilor.

Ministerul Culturii s-a constituit parte civilă în procesul de la Deva şi a solicitat aproximativ 6,6 milioane de euro despăgubiri, pentru acoperirea răscumpărărilor. Instanţa a decis însă ca inculpaţii să plătească în total 1,6 milioane de euro. Un al doilea lot de inculpaţi e judecat la Judecătoria Deva în dosarul „Aurul dacilor ll”. Procurorii de la Parchetul de pe lângă Curtea de Apel Alba lucrează la un al treilea dosar pe tema traficării de obiecte de patrimoniu găsite în arealul cetăţilor dacice din Munţii Orăştiei.

 TURNEU. Brăţările au fost expuse în muzee din ţară Foto: Codrin Prisecaru
 
 
LEGENDE

De la Sapta „Nebuna”, la Şerpărie

O poveste care încă se mai spune prin satele din Munţii Orăştiei, de prin anii ’30, e cea a Saptei Nebuna, care, se spune, ar fi descoperit din întâmplare o peşteră plină cu bani şi podoabe din aur de pe vremea dacilor. Imediat ce a pătruns în peşteră, intrarea s-a surpat, dar ea a reuşit să iasă. Câteva săptămâni mai târziu, la o nedeie, le-a povestit sătenilor din Costeşti - Deal despre descoperire. Sapta i-a dus în acel loc, dar peştera dispăruse.

Supăraţi, sătenii au alungat-o cu pietre. Femeia şi-a pierdut minţile şi a hălăduit ani buni prin munţi, până la moarte. Într-o variantă mai „elaborată”, se spune că în acea peşteră se găseau şi doi câini din aur care păzeau încăperea, precum şi un jilţ aurit. O altă istorisire, din anii ’60, este despre Milan, un localnic din Costeşti, care a găsit şi el o comoară dacică.

A păstrat secretul 37 de ani, dar a fost găsit mort în albia râului, cu apa de o jumătate de metru, după ce a vrut să demonstreze că a descoperit averea. În satul Grădişte, cel mai apropiat de Sarmizegetusa Regia, se află un loc numit „La şerpărie”. Aici a fost o casă
pe care proprietarii, care ar fi găsit obiecte dacice, au trebuit să o părăsească după ce a fost invadată de şerpi.

Unul dintre cele mai crunte blesteme ale ţăranilor din zonă era „Să-i mănânce şerpii!”. Localnicii spun că blestemul a fost folosit atunci când locatarii casei nu şi-au respectat jurământul de a nu lua obiecte din comoară.

SIT. Deasupra fostei cetăţi pluteşte misterul  Foto: Remus Suciu
CAZUL ROŞIA MONTANĂ
Vâlvele care protejau minele de aur

În perioada interbelică, în Roşia Montană existau circa 160 de mine, deţinute de localnici. Din vremuri străvechi, mina era un loc sacru, lucru explicabil şi prin faptul că era, practic, singura lor sursă de venit. Pentru asta, zic localnicii, în mină nu se comiteau fărădelegi şi nu intrau femei, cum nu intrau nici în altarul bisericii.

Cei care se angajau la un proprietar de mină îşi luau asupra lor şi un fel de blestem, arată istoricul Marius Cristea, de la Muzeul Naţional al Unirii din Alba-Iulia, care a studiat viaţa comunităţilor mi niere din Apuseni. Exista un jurământ cu consecinţe foarte grave, depus de cei care se angajau la mină - să le moară familia, să ajungă în iad - dacă ar fi furat aurul sau nu ar fi lucrat aşa cum promiteau.

„Era singura formă în care patronul se putea proteja. Nu existau contracte sau modalităţi de control. Şi atunci, omul îşi lua asupra lui un jurământ foarte greu, o formă de blestem”. În plus, exista credinţa în aşazisa Vâlvă a Băii, spune Cristea: „Vâlva era considerată ca fiind un spirit care proteja pământul. Nu era nevoie să-l deranjezi neapărat fizic. De exemplu, dacă făceai un păcat, Vâlva putea să apară, sub diferite forme: pisică neagră, bufniţă, câine negru. Era, în general, un avertisment, iar oamenii mergeau ime diat la biserică să li se ierte pă catele, pentru că altfel riscau să nu găsească aur sau să se prăbuşească mina peste ei”.

Cei din Roşia Montană spun că, în perioada interbelică, a apărut o astfel de Vâlvă, pe deal, motiv pentru care au ridicat o cruce fix în acel loc, s-o alunge. „Unii mi-au spus că au văzut-o cu ochii lor. Trăiau într-o lume de mituri, erau permanent în căutarea «loviturii norocoase» şi de aceea căutau semne care să le spună dacă au noroc sau nu”, spune istoricul. Existau şi Vâlve bune, care se arătau sub formă de fecioară sau sub formă de animal deschis la culoare.

„Era ca o recompensă pentru oamenii buni. Sunt poveşti că acolo unde au văzut Vâlva bună au găsit aur. Aici se împleteau credinţele religioase cu cele păgâne. În galerii, preotul putea ţine o slujbă, dar permitea şi efectuarea de ritualuri păgâne sau specifice altor credinţe”, conchide istoricul Marius Cristea. (Mihaela Moraru)

 

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Istoria Aurului de pe Teritoriul Romaniei (Romanian only)

Cele mai vechi bijuterii de aur descoperite până acum provin din Balcani, în arealul fostelor neamuri pretracice. În apropierea oraşilui Varna, din Bulgaria, a fost descoperit un tezaur vechi de 6.500 de ani. La Moigrad, judeţul Sălaj, România, a fost descoperit un idol de aur vechi de 5.500 de ani. Populaţiile balcanice, în general, şi cele de pe teritoriul ţării nostre, în special, au fost mai mereu menţionate în antichitate ca iubitoare de aur. Neamul dacic al agatârşilor, sau dacii ardeleni, a fost localizat de Herodot la izvoarele râului Maris (Mureş). Herodot îi aminteşte pe agatârşi în conflict cu sciţii, fapt ce se opune clar ipotezei moderne care îi consideră o ramură a sciţilor. Legenda transmisă de Herodot, spune că Skytes şi Agathirsos erau fii legendari ai lui Heracles. Faţă de ceilalţi traci, agatârşi aveau unele trăsături aparte, cum ar fi gingăsia, bogăţia în aur şi proprietatea comună asupra femeilor. Aristotel menţionează că la agatârşi legile se cântau, pentru a fi invăţate pe dinafară. Tracii, aliaţi ai troienilor, erau toţi îmbrăcaţi în aur, aveau chiar şi arme din aur, precum zeii, după cum îi pomeneşte Homer în Iliada. De aceea au şi luat bătaie de la greci, care aveau arme din bronz, mult mai dure, mai rezistente decât cele din aur. Aşa a căzut Troia. Bogăţia în aur le-a mai jucat o festă tracilor, de data aceasta ramurei nordice, adică dacii. În plină "foame de bani", împăratul Traian atacă Dacia şi o cucereşte în 6 ani pentru a o jefui de aur. Înfrângerea regelui Decebal şi cucerirea Daciei de către împăratul Traian, în anul 106, a însemnat aducerea la Roma a unei prăzi de război inimaginabile chiar şi pentru zilele noastre. Conform istoricului Dio Cassius, dar şi medicului personal al împăratului, Criton, legiunile romane au adus din Dacia 165,5 tone de aur şi o cantitatea dublă de argint, 331 de tone. Doar aurul găsit prin trădarea generalului dac Bicilis, ar valora, în ziua de azi, peste 4,6 miliarde de euro. Bogăţia imensă căzută în mâinile sale, i-au permis lui Traian să amâne cu câţiva ani declanşarea crizei economice în Imperiul condus de el. Mai mult decât atât, împăratul a luat şi alte măsuri nemaiîntâlnite până atunci: a organizat, timp de 123 de zile jocuri şi lupte în care au fost angrenaţi 10.000 de gladiatori, a suprimat toate datoriile, a scutit toţi contribuabilii de impozitul pe un an întreg, a dăruit fiecărui cap de familie romană câte 650 de dinari (o sumă ce echivala cu preţul câtorva sclavi buni). În plus, a mutat un deal întreg, pe locul acestuia fiind ridicată faimoasa Columnă a lui Traian, a construit numeroase edificii şi monumente şi a secat mlaştinile din jurul capitalei imperiale. Afluxul de metal nobil a dus practic la prima prăbuşpire a preţului aurului din istoria omenirii, cursul preţului aurului scăzând vertiginos, cu aproape o zecime pe tot cuprinsul Imperiului Roman. Astfel, Traian s-a văzut nevoit să facă, în 107, o reformă monetară, prin devalorizarea monedelor de aur şi de argint, iar prefectul Egiptului, parte a imperiului în acea vreme, a modificat oficial paritatea dintre cele două metale. ”Creştera producţiei de aur a Imperiului roman – estimată la circa 10 tone de aur pe an – prin exploatarea minelor din Dacia, a generat şi ceea ce în termeni actuali ar putea fi numit prima inflaţie din istoria omenirii. Tot de Dacia Romană este legată şi prima menţiune din istorie, în anul 162 d.Hr., despre un împrumut cu dobândă în monede de aur. Este vorba de o plăcuţă ceramică descoperită la Roşia Montană, în care sunt stipulaţi termenii împrumutului unei sume de 60 de dinari cu o dobândă de 1% pe lună, tranzacţia fiind încheiată în prezenţa a doi martori şi girată de o a treia persoană”, ne-a spus profesorul universitar Gheorghe Popescu, expert în mineritul aurului.
Şi acum să facem un salt în timp, de 1.400 de ani. Descoperirea Americii la 1492 a reprezentat un moment important nu numai în istoria omenirii, ci şi în cea a exploatării aurului, în zăcămintele din Mexic Columbia şi Brazilia. Exploatări uriaşe existau deja în Africa de Vest. Cu toate acestea, la anul 1600 din minele de aur ale Munţilor Apuseni şi din zona Baia Mare se extrăgea aproxiamtiv 20% din producţia mondială de aur – sunt date statistice ale specialiştilor în domeniu.

Roman Wax Tablets from Dacia Alburnus Major

Wax Tablets.

There still remain to us, however, very interesting inscriptions of
a private nature on the wax tablets of Dacia and Pompeii.

As early as 1786 and also in more recent years there have been dis-
covered in the mining regions of Dacia, at modern Verespatak, wax
tablets which extend in date over a period of forty years, 131-167
A.D. These are preserved to-day in the Museum of Pesth. 1

Other wax tablets have also been found at Pompeii in the house
of L. Caecilius lucundus, the banker. 2

These wax tablets, similar in form to the bronze tablets mentioned
above, with the exception that most of the former are triptychs, i.e.
of three tablets, while the latter are diptychs, are made of wood
with inner sides covered with black wax and sunk below the surface.
The rim or border of each tablet is pierced with holes for binding
purposes. Across the middle of the second page of the second
tablet, i.e. the fourth of the triptych, a groove is cut parallel to the
shorter edge. At the ends of the groove holes are pierced, through
which triple strings were drawn which were fastened in the groove.
The third tablet was not fastened, in order that an abstract of the
deed, which in Dacian tablets appeared on the fifth and a part of
the fourth page, but in the Pompeian triptychs only on the fifth,

1 C. I. L. TIL, p. 921, Instrumenta Dacica in Tabulis Ceratls Conscripta.

2 G. de Petra, Le Tavole Cerate Pompei in Atti dell' Academia del Lincei,
vol. III. 1870. Mommsen, Hermes, XII. 1377, p. 88. Overbeck, Pompeii, 4th
ed. by Mau, 1884, pp. 489 ff. Notizie degli Scam, 1887, pp. 415-420.



PRIVATE DOCUMENTS



383




Inner face of the first tabula of a Dacian triptych. The second tabula is shown on pages
384, 385; the third has disappeared.

Maximus Batonis puellam nomine \ Passiam, sive ea quo alio nomine est,
an\norum, circiter p(lus) m(inus^) sex, empta sportellaria, 1 \ emit manci-
pioque accepit \ de Dasio Verzonis Pirusta ex Kaviereti[o'] \ X, ducentis
quinque \ lam puellam sanam esse a furtis noxisque \ solutam, fugitium
erronem non esse, \ praestari. Quot si quis e[a~\m puellam \ partemve quam
ex eo l quis evicerit, \ quominus Maximum Batonis quo\ve ea res pertinebit,
habere possi\dereque recte liceat, turn quanti \ ea puella empta est, [tan]tam
pecuni[a]m. C. I. L. III. p. 937.

This is a cautio de puella empta, dating March 17, 139 A.D., now in the
museum at Pesth.



1 Mommsen believes that the words empta sportellaria imply that the girl was,
sportulae causa, given with her mother without additional charge, sportula
having the meaning of gratuity-



384 LATIN INSCRIPTIONS

might be seen without disturbing the seals. The Dacian tablets
have wax surfaces on all but the first and sixth pages, which were
not used. In the Pompeian tablets the first, fourth, and sixth pages




Inner face of second tabula of the Dacian triptych shown on p. 383.

Et alterum tantum dari, fide rogavit \ Maximus Batonis, fide promisit Dasius \
Verzonis, Pirusta ex Kaviereti[o~\. \ Proque ea puella, qiiae s(upra) s(cripta)
est, 3 ducen\tos quinque accepisse et habere \ se dixit Dasius Verzonis a
Maximo Batonis. \ Actnm Karto XVI k. Apriles, \ Tito Aelio Caesare
Antonino Pio II et Bruttio \ Praesente II cos.

are plain wooden surfaces, so that the names of the witnesses which
are written in both cases on the fourth page are cut in the wooden
surface of the Pompeian triptychs.

These tablets are inscribed in cursive letters and contain business
documents of various kinds.



PRIVATE DOCUMENTS



385



Devotiones.

We may also class with these private documents the devotiones
or defixiones which contain phrases of ill wishing directed against




Outer face of the second tabula of the Dacian triptych shown on pp. :i>8, :-!S4.

Maximi Ve\ncti princi\pis |, Masuri Messi \ dec(urionis') \ Anneses An\dunoc-
netis, \ Plani Verzo\nis Sclaietis |, Liccai Epicadi \ Marciniesi], Epicadi
Plaren\tis qui et Mico \ Dasi Verzonis \ ipsius vendiltoris.

The abstract of the deed in the above is the same as the deed on the first
tabula except that it is not completed, running only to ea res ; et is inserted in
line 9, earn takes the place of iam, and a is omitted in line 10, noxaque appears
for noxisque, fiigitivam IOT fugitium, earn for em.

personal enemies or those guilty of some offence. They consist of
formulaic expressions consigning the one disliked to some sinister
deity to whom the defixio is addressed. Most of these devotiones

LAT. INSCRIP. 25

Roman Contracts on Wax Tablets from Rosia Montana

Contracts on wax tablets

V 2
Rosia Montana (Alburnus Maior), Alba county, Romania. Wax tablet (TabCerD III) - ancient loan contract dating from 20th of June 162 A.D., inner side. The National History Museum of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca
 VI 2
Rosia Montana (Alburnus Maior), Alba county, Romania. Wax tablet (TabCerD XVIII) - labour contract. The National History Museum of Transylvania, Cluj-Napoca  
 See photos at:
http://www.archweb.cimec.ro/Arheologie/gold/sources/sources.html

Roman wax tablets were found in the “St. Joseph” gallery in 1788 and in the “Catalina-Monulesti”
History
There is archaeological and metallurgical evidence of gold mining in the Golden Quadrilateral of Transylvania since the late Stone Age
Gündisch, Konrad http://forum.skadi.net/sitemap/http://forum.skadi.net/history_transylvania-t24696.html "Siebenbürgen und die Siebenbürger Sachsen"] tr. Georg Schuller Alburnus Maior was founded by the Romans during the rule of Trajan as a mining town, with Illyria colonists from South Dalmatia. PROIECT Alba SA http://www.truestory.ro/plan_urbanistic/4729_m_puz_15062006_eng.pdf Zonal Urbanism Plan for Roşia Montană Industrial Area] The earliest reference to the town is on a wax tablet dated 6 February 131 Archaeologists have discovered in the town ancient dwellings, necropolises, mine galleries, mining tools, 25 wax tablets and many inscriptions in Greek and Latin, centred around Carpeni Hill.--- (1976) Dicţionar de istorie veche a României Editura Ştiinţifică şi Enciclopedică p. 27 The Romans left Dacia in 271.

 

 

J. C. (James Chidester) Egbert.
Introduction to the study of Latin inscriptions
. (page 28 of 36)
1 W. Liebenam, Decrete der Collegien, Leipzig, 1890.

 

Wax Tablets



There still remain to us, however, very interesting inscriptions of
a private nature on the wax tablets of Dacia and Pompeii.

As early as 1786 and also in more recent years there have been dis-
covered in the mining regions of Dacia, at modern Rosia Montana-Verespatak, wax
tablets which extend in date over a period of forty years, 131-167
A.D. These are preserved to-day in the Museum of Budapest-Pesth. 1

Other wax tablets have also been found at Pompeii in the house
of L. Caecilius lucundus, the banker. 2

These wax tablets, similar in form to the bronze tablets mentioned
above, with the exception that most of the former are triptychs, i.e.
of three tablets, while the latter are diptychs, are made of wood
with inner sides covered with black wax and sunk below the surface.
The rim or border of each tablet is pierced with holes for binding
purposes. Across the middle of the second page of the second
tablet, i.e. the fourth of the triptych, a groove is cut parallel to the
shorter edge. At the ends of the groove holes are pierced, through
which triple strings were drawn which were fastened in the groove.
The third tablet was not fastened, in order that an abstract of the
deed, which in Dacian tablets appeared on the fifth and a part of
the fourth page, but in the Pompeian triptychs only on the fifth,

1 C. I. L. TIL, p. 921, Instrumenta Dacica in Tabulis Ceratls Conscripta.

2 G. de Petra, Le Tavole Cerate Pompei in Atti dell' Academia del Lincei,
vol. III. 1870. Mommsen, Hermes, XII. 1377, p. 88. Overbeck, Pompeii, 4th
ed. by Mau, 1884, pp. 489 ff. Notizie degli Scam, 1887, pp. 415-420.



PRIVATE DOCUMENTS



383




Inner face of the first tabula of a Dacian triptych. The second tabula is shown on pages
384, 385; the third has disappeared.

Maximus Batonis puellam nomine \ Passiam, sive ea quo alio nomine est,
an\norum, circiter p(lus) m(inus^) sex, empta sportellaria, 1 \ emit manci-
pioque accepit \ de Dasio Verzonis Pirusta ex Kaviereti[o'] \ X, ducentis
quinque \ lam puellam sanam esse a furtis noxisque \ solutam, fugitium
erronem non esse, \ praestari. Quot si quis e[a~\m puellam \ partemve quam
ex eo l quis evicerit, \ quominus Maximum Batonis quo\ve ea res pertinebit,
habere possi\dereque recte liceat, turn quanti \ ea puella empta est, [tan]tam
pecuni[a]m. C. I. L. III. p. 937.

This is a cautio de puella empta, dating March 17, 139 A.D., now in the
museum at Pesth.



1 Mommsen believes that the words empta sportellaria imply that the girl was,
sportulae causa, given with her mother without additional charge, sportula
having the meaning of gratuity-



384 LATIN INSCRIPTIONS

might be seen without disturbing the seals. The Dacian tablets
have wax surfaces on all but the first and sixth pages, which were
not used. In the Pompeian tablets the first, fourth, and sixth pages




Inner face of second tabula of the Dacian triptych shown on p. 383.

Et alterum tantum dari, fide rogavit \ Maximus Batonis, fide promisit Dasius \
Verzonis, Pirusta ex Kaviereti[o~\. \ Proque ea puella, qiiae s(upra) s(cripta)
est, 3 ducen\tos quinque accepisse et habere \ se dixit Dasius Verzonis a
Maximo Batonis. \ Actnm Karto XVI k. Apriles, \ Tito Aelio Caesare
Antonino Pio II et Bruttio \ Praesente II cos.

are plain wooden surfaces, so that the names of the witnesses which
are written in both cases on the fourth page are cut in the wooden
surface of the Pompeian triptychs.

These tablets are inscribed in cursive letters and contain business
documents of various kinds.



PRIVATE DOCUMENTS



385



Devotiones.

We may also class with these private documents the devotiones
or defixiones which contain phrases of ill wishing directed against




Outer face of the second tabula of the Dacian triptych shown on pp. :i>8, :-!S4.

Maximi Ve\ncti princi\pis |, Masuri Messi \ dec(urionis') \ Anneses An\dunoc-
netis, \ Plani Verzo\nis Sclaietis |, Liccai Epicadi \ Marciniesi], Epicadi
Plaren\tis qui et Mico \ Dasi Verzonis \ ipsius vendiltoris.

The abstract of the deed in the above is the same as the deed on the first
tabula except that it is not completed, running only to ea res ; et is inserted in
line 9, earn takes the place of iam, and a is omitted in line 10, noxaque appears
for noxisque, fiigitivam IOT fugitium, earn for em.

personal enemies or those guilty of some offence. They consist of
formulaic expressions consigning the one disliked to some sinister
deity to whom the defixio is addressed. Most of these devotiones

LAT. INSCRIP. 25

 

 

Cine sunt miliardarii din spatele Gabriel Resources care baga bani in Rosia Montana

 Cine sunt miliardarii din spatele Gabriel Resources care baga bani in Rosia Montana

In spatele firmei canadiene Gabriel Resources, care detine peste 80% din actiunile Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, se regasesc nume mari din business-ul mondial, precum John Paulson, Beny Steinmetz si Thomas Kaplan, care au investit sute de milioane de dolari in proiectul minier din Apuseni, scrie Mediafax.

Gabriel Resources anunta la sfarsitul anului 2009 ca Paulson & Co. si Electrum Strategic Holdings detin cate 18% din actiuni, urmate de Newmont Mining Corp (SUA), unul dintre cei mai mari producatori de aur din lume, si BSG Capital Markets, parte a Beny Steinmetz Group (BSG), cu 9% din tiluri.
BSG isi poate dubla numarul de actiuni detinute prin exercitarea, pana la sfarsitul acestui an, a unei optiuni care i-ar asigura lui Steinmetz 16% din capitalul Gabriel Resources, diminuand in acelasi timp participatiile Paulson & Co., Electrum si Newmont la 17%, 17% si, respectiv, 14%.
 
Paulson & Co. este fondul de hedging al cunoscutului miliardar american John Paulson, iar Electrum face parte din grupul de companii controlat de Thomas Kaplan, un investitor important in proiecte aurifere.
Cine sunt miliardarii din spatele Gabriel Resources care baga bani in Rosia Montana

Practic, toti actionarii cunoscuti ai Gabriel sunt mari investitori in aur si au facut o buna parte din avere prin astfel de afaceri.
Paulson a devenit miliardar in 2007, cand a facut, personal, 3,5 miliarde de dolari pariind impotriva creditelor ipotecare subprime. El a castigat anul trecut 5 miliarde de dolari mizand pe aur si a stabilit astfel un nou record pentru industria fondurilor de hedging. Mai mult de o treime din activele administrate de Paulson, de 36 miliarde de dolari, sunt conectate la industria aurului.
Paulson si-a inceput cariera la fondul de hedging Odyssey Partners si a devenit mai tarziu director la Bear Stearns, banca americana de investitii care a dat faliment in prima parte a anului 2008. A fondat Paulson & Co. in 1994 si este pe locul 39 in ultimul top Forbes privind miliardarii lumii, cu o avere de 16 miliarde de dolari.
Paulson declara, la finele anului 2009, ca actiunile Gabriel Resources isi vor tripla valoarea dupa ce compania va primi toate avizele necesare exploatarii zacamantului aurifer din Muntii Apuseni. Intre timp, valoarea actiunilor companiei a crescut de peste doua ori, de la 3,5 dolari canadieni la 6,7 dolari canadieni.

Beny Steinmetz controleaza a doua avere din Israel, estimata de Forbes la 6 miliarde de dolari, mai mica doar decat cea a familiei lui Sammy Ofer, decedat in luna iunie.
Steinmetz a facut bani din diamante si aur si a vandut in 2010 grupului brazilian Vale, pentru 2,5 miliarde de dolari, 51% din actiunile companiei sale din Guinea, care se ocupa cu mineritul fierului. Zacamintele preluate de Vale sunt considerate printre cele mai mari rezerve de minereu de fier din lume.
Steinmetz mai are afaceri in imobiliare, inclusiv in Romania, unde este implicat, in Bucuresti, in proiectul rezidential West Park din Militari, prin intermediul firmei Seven Hills. Forbes noteaza ca omul de afaceri nu a avut la fel de mult noroc in imobiliare precum in industria metalelor si pietrelor pretioase, viabilitatea companiilor sale Scorpio si Five Mounts fiind pusa sub semnul intrebarii de auditori.

Americanul Thomas Kaplan, locul 736 in topul Forbes cu o avere de 1,7 miliarde de dolari, este "un istoric cu educatie la Oxford care s-a reprofilat in investitor" si pariaza masiv pe aur. A facut avere din gaze naturale, dupa ce a cumparat licente de exploatare in Texas care au oferit accesul la zacaminte de 68 miliarde metri cubi.
Personajul Kaplan apare in presa ca o surpriza, ca un profesor de istorie cu educatie aleasa care a reusit in lumea dura a afacerilor. Forbes il descrie prin intrebari retorice: "De ce il urmeaza marile fonduri de hedging pe Tom Kaplan in investitii pe aur?".
Natura interesului Newmont la Rosia montana este evidenta. Compania, infiintata in urma cu mai bine de 90 de ani, este unul dintre cei mai mari producatori de aur din lume, cu afaceri de 9,5 miliarde de dolari in 2010.

Prezenta (sau absenta) miliardarului George Soros in actionariatul Newmont a starnit controverse in Romania privind interesul sau pentru proiectul Rosia Montana. Ca orice speculator si investitor, Soros a fost intotdeauna cu ochii pe aur. Pretul metalului a urcat de peste trei ori din 2007 in urma diverselor crize financiare si economice care au maturat lumea. In vara lui 2010, Soros avea mai putin de 200.000 din actiunile Newmont, cumparate in acelasi an si inregistrate drept "investitie noua".
Potrivit presei internationale, Soros a vandut in luna mai expunerea pe aur dupa ce declara, in ianuarie 2010, ca metalul pretios reprezinta "balonul speculativ suprem".
Paulson si-a mentinut insa in trimestrul al doilea al acestui an investitiile in aur, hotarand sa nu urmeze exemplul lui Soros. El declara, la inceputul lunii mai, la o televiziune din SUA, ca pretul aurului se indreapta spre 4.000 de dolari pe uncie. In prezent, aurul se tranzactioneaza in banda 1.800-1.900 de dolari pe uncie.
Gabriel Resources a fost fondata in 1997, compania fiind construita cu ajutorul omului de afaceri de origine romana Frank Timis, care s-a retras in 2003 pentru a se ocupa de alte afaceri.

Timis este implicat in numeroase afaceri in industria resurselor naturale, iar compania pe care o conduce, African Minerals, exploateaza impreuna cu investitori chinezi unul dintre cele mai mari zacaminte de minereu de fier din Africa. African Minerals a vandut recent catre o companie din China 25% din actiunile proiectului respectiv pentru 1,5 miliarde dolari.
Gabriel Resources mentiona la finele anului 2009 ca a investit in dezvoltarea proiectului Rosia Montana peste 350 milioane de dolari. Compania noteaza, in cel mai recent raport financiar, ca avea la jumatatea acestui an lichiditati de 176,4 milioane de dolari.
Compania canadiana detine 80,23% din actiunile Rosia Montana Gold Corporation, restul capitalului fiind in proprietatea statului roman.
 Zacamantul de la Rosia Montana are rezerve de peste 300 de tone de aur si 1.600 tone de argint.

Ministrul Culturii a emis certificatul de descrcare de sarcina arheologica pentru Rosia Montana

Ministerul Culturii a emis certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru Roşia Montană

Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură Alba a emis, joi, certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru o parte din masivul Cârnic, după aprobarea raportului de cercetare arheologică preventivă "Masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană, România - proiectul minier Roşia Montană".

Ministerul Culturii a emis certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru Roşia Montană (Imagine: Haaz Sandor/Mediafax Foto)

Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură şi Patrimoniu Naţional (DCJPN) Alba a emis acest certificat pe baza hotărârii din 12 iulie a Comisiei Naţionale de Arheologie privind aprobarea raportului de cercetare arheologică preventivă "Masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană,România - proiectul minier Roşia Montană", potrivit unui comunicat al Ministerului Culturii.

"Acesta este primul pas necesar în procesul de a asigura salvarea, conservarea şi valorificarea moştenirii arheologice şi arhitectonice de la Roşia Montană", se spune în comunicatul citat, precizându-se că ministrul Culturii şi Patrimoniului Naţional, Kelemen Hunor, a iniţiat un plan de acţiune care să asigure conservarea celor mai importante situri arheologice şi monumente arhitectonice.

Planul are ca obiectiv salvarea şi punerea în valoare a 80% dintre valorile arheologice şi arhitectonice din regiune, printre ele numărându-se: galeriile miniere cu semnificaţie istoricădeosebită aflate în zona Piatra Corbului, galeriile din zona Cătălina-Monuleşti, care vor fi cercetate, restaurate şi deschise publicului, incinta funerară romană de la Tău Găuri, sistemul hidraulic roman din sectorul minier Păru-Carpeni, inclusiv galerii romane, medievale şi moderne, 41 de clădiri monument istoric din zona protejată, centrul istoric al localităţii revitalizat, peste 100 de kilometri de galerii de mină care vor fi cercetate de arheologi pentru alte descoperiri.

Acest plan va fi realizat prin alocarea de către compania Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC) a 70 de milioane de dolari, care vor fi cheltuiţi la Roşia Montană pentru lucrările de conservare şi punere în valoare a patrimoniului arheologic şi arhitectonic. De asemenea, planul cuprinde înfiinţarea unei comisii speciale - din care vor face parte experţi independenţi - care va monitoriza şi va avea puterea de a opri în orice moment exploatarea, în situaţia în care se vor face descoperiri importante, se mai spune în comunicatul Ministerului Culturii.

Roşia Montană Gold Corporation dezvoltă proiectul minier de la Roşia Montană, din Munţii Apuseni, cu costuri proiectate de un miliard de dolari, prin care compania estimează că va extrage 626.000 de uncii Troy de aur pe an timp de cinci ani de la inaugurarea minei. O uncie Troy este echivalentul a 31,1 grame de aur.

Compania este controlată de firma canadiană Gabriel Resources, care deţine 80,46% din capitalul social, în timp ce statul român controlează 19,31% din acţiuni, prin firma Minvest Deva, iar alţi acţionari cumulează 0,23% din titluri.

 

Angelescu (MCPN): Proiectul minier de la Roşia Montană aduce fonduri pentru prezervarea sitului

Şeful Direcţiei de Patrimoniu din Ministerul Culturii, Mircea Angelescu, a declarat, joi, pentru MEDIAFAX că demararea proiectului minier de la Roşia Montană va aduce fonduri pentru prezervarea sitului, în timp ce includerea acestuia în patrimoniul UNESCO nu garantează şi obţinerea de fonduri.

Angelescu (MCPN): Proiectul minier de la Roşia Montană aduce fonduri pentru prezervarea sitului (Imagine: Cristian Movila/Mediafax Foto)

Ministerul Culturii, prin Direcţia Judeţeană pentru CulturăAlba, a emis, joi, certificatul de descărcare de sarcinăarheologică pentru o parte din masivul Cârnic - după aprobarea raportului de cercetare arheologică preventivă "Masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană, România - proiectul minier Roşia Montană" -, dând astfel unul dintre avizele necesare pentru demararea proiectului minier al companiei Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC).

În februarie 2010, consilierul pe probleme de Patrimoniu al ministrului Culturii, Csilla Hegedus, a anunţat că Ministerul Culturii şi Patrimoniului Naţional (MCPN) a iniţiat procedura pentru includerea Roşia Montană în lista patrimoniului mondial UNESCO. Ea a spus atunci că ministrul Culturii, Kelemen Hunor, consideră că pentru Roşia Montană se poate găsi o variantă pe termen mediu şi lung mai profitabilă şi mult mai bună decât mineritul. De asemenea, ea a anunţat că, potrivit ministrului, vechiul certificat de descărcare arheologică primit de compania Roşia Montana Gold Corporation a fost anulat printr-o hotărâre judecătorească definitivă. Totuşi, această propunere a MCPN de includere a Roşia Montană în lista UNESCO nu a mai fost înaintată.

Mircea Angelescu a declarat, joi, pentru MEDIAFAX, că s-a făcut o alegere între a avea Roşia Montană în lista tentativă a UNESCO, ceea ce nu ar fi adus însă bani pentru conservarea sitului, şi a beneficia de fonduri de la investitor pentru prezervarea patrimoniului de la Roşia Montană.

Angelescu a precizat, pe de altă parte, că, dacă proiectul minier nu va fi demarat, RMGC nu va aloca aceste fonduri.

"Dar nu există niciun fel de înţelegere ca noi să dăm aceste aprobări ca să primim aceşti bani. Sunt proceduri administrative", a mai spus Angelescu.

Ministrul Culturii, Kelemen Hunor, a declarat, joi, că în cazul emiterii de către Direcţia de Cultură Alba a avizului de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru Roşia Montană s-au respectat toate etapele legale, iar acest lucru înseamnă salvarea a circa 80% din patrimoniul cultural construit.

 

Kelemen: Statul român trebuie să ia o decizie în legătură cu Roşia Montană: da sau ba

Ministrul Culturii, Kelemen Hunor, consideră că statul român trebuie să ia o decizie în legătură cu proiectul Roşia Montană - "da sau ba", menţionând că statul ar fi fost corect, în 2000-2001, dacă ar fi spus: "Da, v-am dat licenţă, începeţi lucrările" sau "Mergeţi acasă".

Kelemen Hunor, care este şi liderul UDMR, a declarat, vineri, la Zăbala (judeţul Covasna), răspunzând unor întrebări ale jurnaliştilor, că UDMR nu a formulat o poziţie cu privire la proiectul Roşia Montană, transmite corespondentul MEDIAFAX.

"Nu am luat nicio decizie fiindcă în Uniune acest subiect nu a fost discutat şi nu am considerat că este necesară o astfel de discuţie şi o poziţie oficială", a spus Kelemen, adăugând că în cadrul Uniunii părerile sunt împărţite.

Potrivit lui Kelemen, Comisia Naţională de Arheologie a votat în unanimitate pentru descărcarea de sarcină arheologică, cu "condiţii foarte stricte".

Kelemen a subliniat că nu poate să nu ţină cont de părerea specialiştilor, ca ministru, şi că procedura încă nu este finalizată.

"Acum nu mai vorbesc în calitate de ministru, deoarece nu pot săfac o astfel de apreciere a unui proiect important doar din aceastăcalitate", a precizat liderul UDMR.

El a subliniat că statul român trebuie să ia o decizie în legătură cu acest proiect.

"Dacă nu avem nevoie de un investitor, statul român trebuie săspună: «Mergeţi acasă». Dacă ai dat o licenţă de exploatare minieră, atunci trebuie să ţii cont de acea decizie", a afirmat Kelemen Hunor.

Potrivit acestuia, statul român "ar fi fost corect", în 2000-2001, dacă ar fi spus: "Da, v-am dat licenţă, începeţi lucrările", respectând nişte condiţii "absolut necesare", sau ar fi trebuit să spună: "Mergeţi acasă".

"În niciun stat european, cu astfel de chestiuni nu se joacă 11 ani. Statul român trebuie să ia o decizie: da sau ba. Nu este de acceptat să ţii aici investitori 11 ani şi să nu spui nimic. Din acest punct de vedere, responsabilitatea este a tuturor guvernelor de după 2000, care nu au dat un răspuns. De aceea sunt convins că,indiferent ce decizie va lua Guvernul, procedura fiind la început, acea decizie va fi atacată, ori de unii, ori de alţii. Important este ca, indiferent de ce decizie luăm, trebuie să oferim ceva oamenilor de acolo, dar să îi trimitem să culeagă fructe de pădureşi să aştepte să vină turiştii e cam puţin, e nevoie de un pic mai mult", a conchis el.

Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură Alba a emis, joi, certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru o parte din masivul Cârnic, după aprobarea raportului de cercetare arheologicăpreventivă "Masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană, România - proiectul minier Roşia Montană".

Potrivit unui comunicat al Ministerului Culturii, Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură şi Patrimoniu Naţional (DCJPN) Alba a emis acest certificat pe baza hotărârii din 12 iulie a Comisiei Naţionale de Arheologie privind aprobarea raportului de cercetare arheologică preventivă "Masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană, România -proiectul minier Roşia Montană".

"Acesta este primul pas necesar în procesul de a asigura salvarea, conservarea şi valorificarea moştenirii arheologice şi arhitectonice de la Roşia Montană", se arăta în comunicatul citat, precizându-se că ministrul Culturii şi Patrimoniului Naţional, Kelemen Hunor, a iniţiat un plan de acţiune care să asigure conservarea celor mai importante situri arheologice şi monumente arhitectonice.

 

Zeci de persoane au protestat la ministerul Culturii faţă de avizul dat pentru Roşia Montană
 

Câteva zeci de persoane au protestat, marţi,07,19,2011, în faţa Ministerului Culturii, faţă de aprobarea certificatului de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru masivul Cârnic de la Roşia Montană şi au cerut demisia ministrului Kelemen Hunor.

Protestul, autorizat să se desfăşoare în intervalul 12.00 - 14.00, a fost organizat de mai multe asociaţii care militează pentru protejarea patrimoniului în numele campaniei "Salvaţi Roşia Montană".

Manifestanţii au afişat pancarte cu mesaje precum "Kelemen Hunor ministrul cianurii", "Ministerul Cianurii şi al Distrugerii Patrimoniului Naţional", "Coaliţia de guvernare PDL+UDMR+RMGC egal Love", "Guvern plătit de moarte" şi "Luaţi voi cianura, noi vrem natura şi cultura" şi au fluturat un steag al României.

De asemenea, protestatarii au adus mai multe fotografii ale ministrului Kelemen Hunor, încadrate în rame aurii, şi au scandat, printre altele, "Hunor, demisia", "Guvern de derbedei vinde aur pe doi lei", "Kelemen neisprăvit, Cârnicul l-a otrăvit", "Hunor, ieşi afară, ne-ai adus cianura în ţară".

Printre participanţii la protest s-au numărat Mircea Toma, de la Agenţia de Monitorizare a Presei, Nicuşor Dan, de la Asociaţia "Salvaţi Bucureştiul", Remus Cernea, Voicu Rădescu, precum şi arhitectul Şerban Sturdza, vicepreşedintele Ordinului Arhitecţilor din România şi al fundaţiei Pro Patrimoniu.
 
"Sperăm să modificăm ceva din nenorocirea care s-a petrecut. Acum, din punct de vedere formal, instituţia (Ministerul Culturii, n.r.) are timpul şi instrumentele să repare", a spus Mircea Toma. El a amintit că decizia ministrului Culturii de a aproba certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru masivul Cârnic a fost luată pe baza votului favorabil dat în unanimitate de Comisia Naţională de Arheologie din cadrul ministerului.
 
"Eu nu înţeleg cum nişte arheologi pot să-şi omoare cu mâna lor obiectul de activitate", a spus Mircea Toma.
 
Pe de altă parte, el a spus că ministrul poate să consulte şi Comisia Naţională a Monumentelor Istorice, care, în urmă cu o lună şi jumătate, a propus promovarea zonei Roşia Montană pentru includerea în patrimoniul UNESCO. "Comisia Naţională a Monumentelor Istorice are clar o opinie opusă. Ambele comisii sunt consultabile de către ministru, dacă ministrul vrea să întrebe şi cealaltă comisie, are o acoperire, dacă el nu are propria lui judecată, propria lui gândire, care să reflecte interesul public", a mai spus Toma, adăugând că sunt destule entităţi ale interesului public care s-au pronunţat împotriva proiectului minier de la Roşia Montană, dând ca exemplu Academia Română şi Patriarhia.
 
Întrebat cum comentează motivaţia ministerului privind aprobarea certificatului de descărcare de sarcină arheologică - aceea că investitorul Roşia Montană Gold Corporation va acorda fonduri pentru reabilitarea patrimoniului din zonă -, Şerban Sturdza a spus că el nu îşi schimbă părerea şi că există o lipsă de transparenţă totală în comunicarea legată de proiectul minier. "Consider că este o mare greşeală semnarea de către arheologi a descărcării pentru masivul Cârnic. Guvernul ar trebui să aibă un punct de vedere explicit şi să nu interpună tot felul de metode în comunicarea cu populaţia. De fapt, este un proiect care este ocult. Faptul că se găsesc metode de reabilitare a clădirilor este un amănunt. El poate fi acceptat în anumite limite, dar nu poate în niciun caz să devină scuză pentru ceea ce urmează", a spus Sturdza.
 
Acesta a mai spus că "târgul este complet incorect şi nejustificat". "Cu toţii suntem interesaţi să reabilităm clădirile şi mediul de acolo, dar modalitatea în care se face cred că este, la o cercetare mai amănunţită, mincinoasă. (...) Nu are nicio legătură reabilitarea cu schimbul care se face sau cu faptul că se descarcă de sarcină o suprafaţă extrem de importantă", a mai spus Sturdza.
 
Protestatarii au mai venit la minister cu o petiţie în care îi solicită lui Kelemen Hunor demisia din funcţia de ministru al Culturii şi Patrimoniului Naţional, în urma deciziei MCPN de a emite certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană, monument istoric din grupa valorică A, recunoscut cu valoare naţională.
 
Contactaţi de MEDIAFAX, reprezentanţii ministerului nu au făcut comentarii pe marginea protestului.
 
Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură Alba a emis, pe 14 iulie, certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică pentru o parte din masivul Cârnic, după aprobarea raportului de cercetare arheologică preventivă "Masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană, România - proiectul minier Roşia Montană".
 
Potrivit unui comunicat al Ministerului Culturii, Direcţia Judeţeană pentru Cultură şi Patrimoniu Naţional (DCJPN) Alba a emis acest certificat pe baza hotărârii din 12 iulie a Comisiei Naţionale de Arheologie privind aprobarea raportului de cercetare arheologică preventivă "Masivul Cârnic, Roşia Montană, România - proiectul minier Roşia Montană".
 
"Acesta este primul pas necesar în procesul de a asigura salvarea, conservarea şi valorificarea moştenirii arheologice şi arhitectonice de la Roşia Montană", se arăta în comunicatul citat, precizându-se că ministrul Culturii şi Patrimoniului Naţional, Kelemen Hunor, a iniţiat un plan de acţiune care să asigure conservarea celor mai importante situri arheologice şi monumente arhitectonice.
 
Planul are ca obiectiv salvarea şi punerea în valoare a 80% dintre valorile arheologice şi arhitectonice din regiune, printre ele numărându-se: galeriile miniere cu semnificaţie istorică deosebită aflate în zona Piatra Corbului, galeriile din zona Cătălina-Monuleşti, care vor fi cercetate, restaurate şi deschise publicului, incinta funerară romană de la Tău Găuri, sistemul hidraulic roman din sectorul minier Păru-Carpeni, inclusiv galerii romane, medievale şi moderne, 41 de clădiri monument istoric din zona protejată, centrul istoric al localităţii revitalizat, peste 100 de kilometri de galerii de mină care vor fi cercetate de arheologi pentru alte descoperiri.
 
Acest plan va fi realizat prin alocarea de către compania Roşia Montană Gold Corporation (RMGC) a 70 de milioane de dolari, care vor fi cheltuiţi la Roşia Montană pentru lucrările de conservare şi punere în valoare a patrimoniului arheologic şi arhitectonic. De asemenea, planul cuprinde înfiinţarea unei comisii speciale - din care vor face parte experţi independenţi - care va monitoriza şi va avea puterea de a opri în orice moment exploatarea, în situaţia în care se vor face descoperiri importante, scria în comunicatul Ministerului Culturii.
 
"Este o procedură legală care a respectat toate etapele necesare. Nu pot oferi mai multe detalii. În momentul în care se va parcurge o nouă etapă, atunci voi oferi alte informaţii. Avizul înseamnă salvarea a circa 80 la sută din patrimoniul cultural construit şi respectă criteriile privind salvarea patrimoniului naţional. Urmează, dacă va fi cazul, scoaterea de pe lista monumentelor istorice a unei părţi a masivului Cârnic", a declarat Kelemen Hunor, întrebat despre certificatul de descărcare de sarcină arheologică.
 
Roşia Montană Gold Corporation dezvoltă proiectul minier de la Roşia Montană, din Munţii Apuseni, cu costuri proiectate de un miliard de dolari, prin care compania estimează că va extrage 626.000 de uncii Troy de aur pe an timp de cinci ani de la inaugurarea minei. O uncie Troy este echivalentul a 31,1 grame de aur.
 
Compania este controlată de firma canadiană Gabriel Resources, care deţine 80,46% din capitalul social, în timp ce statul român controlează 19,31% din acţiuni, prin firma Minvest Deva, iar alţi acţionari cumulează 0,23% din titluri.

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