PEATS ROMANIA – Neolithic Settlement / Rescue Archaeology

PEATS Romania – Neolithic Settlement / Rescue Archaeology

Placement dates:
Number of UK Participants: TBC
Duration: 32 days


Accommodation: self catering flats provided by the university (hostel)

Meals: self catering

Communication: there is wi fi at the accommodation. Wi fi is also available in public spaces and at the university.

Transport: Public transport, some organised transport for excursions.

Weather: Can vary between 28 – 35 degrees C

**If there is interest, we can arrange a staff trainer group to go out during the student placement. Please contact us to discuss**

*****Due to limited flight availability, the return flights for this placement are highly likely to be from  London airport, likely Luton*****

The 2021 placement will focus on rescue excavations in advance of a housing development. This is still at the site described below. Participants will spend some days in the university labs, washing and analysing finds, pottery and possibly human remains.

The placement will once again take place at Lumea Nouă, where the group will work alongside a team on a Neolithic site in the Transylvania historical region that has been going since 2002. The Neolithic settlement of Lumea Noua is located in the north eastern part of the city of Alba Iulia, on the second terrace of the Mures River. The site director is Mihai Gligor, PhD, Head of History, Archaeology and Museology department within the “1 Decembrie 1918” University in Alba Iulia.

Discovered in 1942, there have been archaeological campaigns on the site right up until 2011. Rescue excavations focusing on recording the site have been the most recent activity, starting in 2002 and continuing in 2017. During the excavations, a site of some 40ha has been discovered, though it is estimated to be larger than this.

The most intensive habitation period appears to have been around 4600-4500calBC when the Foeni group used the site, a group attributed to the funerary complex that has been the focus of the most recent excavations. So far, the discovery of around 120 disarticulated individuals mainly represented by skull caps has been very interesting as there traces of burning on the caps and no facial bones are present. This appears to indicate one of the unusual mortuary practices of the Lumea Noua community. Males, females and children are all present. It has been suggested that the human remains were not interred during an epidemic; moreover, collective death as a result of violence is unlikely since there at no traces of interpersonal violence, such as wounds inflicted by arrows or lithic weapons. In addition, no arrow tips or axes have been found in connection with human bone material. One possible explanation of this funerary practice is that Alba Iulia was a ceremonial centre where Neolithic communities practiced organised burial rituals, including special treatment of human cranial remains.

Pottery has been found associated with the bone remains, of very good quality, made with clay with no impurities. A large quantity of well burnished black topped fired vessels have been found at the site. Pottery that has had painted decoration applied before being fired without any slip are also typical of this site.

Several ditches have also been identified at the site of different shapes and sizes. At the time of the Foeni habitation of the site, the ditches appear to represent a circular- concentric plan to the settlement for that time period.

The group will be working with the team, continuing the excavation of this interesting site and labelling finds. Some days will be based in the labs, washing and analysing human remains and pottery. The working week is Monday – Friday.

Accommodation will be in the university hostel in shared rooms. The hostel is 5 minutes’ walk from the site and it has cooking facilities and washing machines. Bedding is provided.

The town centre is 20 minutes’ walk from the hostel and it has many restaurants, coffee shops & pubs.

The weather is hot in the summer, temperatures of around 30 degrees are usual for this period. It is highly recommended that participants make sure they have plenty of water at hand and bring sun cream, hat & insect repellent.

Weekends are free and some cultural trips are organised by the host. Previous trips included the towns of Sighisoara, Sibiu, the Huniazi castle in Hunedoara and the salt mines in Turda.

As with most archaeological sites, expect a degree of physical work. As with all our placements, participants are joining partner excavations. These are not UK led excavations. The group will be learning different methods and techniques that are used for this particular site, so must expect differences in how the site is run.



The EU Erasmus + funding will cover return travel, insurance, accommodation, food,  supervision, airport transfers and internal transport in Romania to site. Participants will have to make sure they have their EHI card and extra money for personal purchases and any excursions.

If you are interested in this placement, then the application form is available to download on the PEATS main page

For past participants feedback, please refer to the Participants reports page.

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission

This publication [communication] reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.