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Underground research in Roșia Montană

Specialized studies have been carried out – starting from 1999, untill 2007 – by a specialized team from the University of Toulouse Le Mirail (France), coordinated by Dr. Beatrice Cauuet. They aimed at producing a detailed study on this type of archaeological vestiges, respectively the old mining galleries, of ancient age and later developments.

The following areas have been studied as of 2009:

  • Cetate massif (2000-2002);
  • Cârnic massif (1999-2003), with detailed topographic mapping for 1:1 scale tri-dimensional model, and interdisciplinary studies between 2004 - 2006;
  • Jig Vaidoaia massif (2003-2004);
  • exploration for archaeological research and set up of Cătălina-Monuleşti gallery for public access (2002-2005);
  • exploration and preliminary research in the area of Ţarina and Orlea massifs (2004 - 2006)

During the archaeological research in Roşia Montană (annual missions every two or four months between 1999 until 2006), over 70 km of underground mining works from all eras have been mapped (out of a total of 140 km explored).

The main conclusions after 8 years of mining archaeological research are the following:

  • Within Roşia Montană site, around 7 km of ancient mining works (galleries) have been identified; the galleries are not continuous structures, but sections and portions of mining works spread throughout almost all the mining perimeters within the deposit.
  • In the protected areas currently highlighted within the scope of the Rosia Montana mining project -- respectively Cătălina Monuleşti, Piatra Corbului and Păru Carpeni -- the French archaeologists mentioned they highlighted most of the types of mining works existing also in the other mining sectors to be affected by the mining project.
  • Mining archaeology studies in the massifs of Cetate and Carnic showed the ancient mining works have already been affected, as they were disturbed, damaged and transformed in varying degrees by mining works previously performed, mainly those performed between the 18th century and 2006.
  • The human impact on the underground environment (mining re-exploitation), as well as on the natural environment (mine slides, floods, mud spills, caving-ins) have led to the current situation in which ancient mining works are found in a poor preservation state.
  • It is necessary to continue the research and preservation works in the areas of Păru-Carpeni (a Roman mine water draining system was discovered here) and Cătălina Monuleşti.

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