Archeologists Unearth a 3400-Year-Old Citadel in Romania

August 7, 2018

A joint team of Romanian and German archeologists have unearthed a 3400-year-old citadel in western Romania. The ancient structure was found in Sântana town in Arad county and is believed to be dating from the Bronze Age.

According to, the citadel covers about 90 hectares of area. Archeologists first started working at this site in 2009, but the excavation and research work was intensified in last two years, and now researchers have finally unearthed this “Old Citadel” (Cetatea Veche).

“The citadel in Sântana is one of the largest fortifications built during the mentioned period. Our purpose is to find out why this fortification was made, why this construction was needed,” said Rüdiger Krause, professor at the Goethe University in Frankfurt.

After detailed research, Rüdiger Krause and Romanian professor Florin Gogâltan, from the Institute of Archeology and History of Art of the Romanian Academy in Cluj-Napoca have arrived at the conclusion that this structure was constructed in the 14th century BC and was much bigger than the ancient city of Troy.

“Troy had an area of 29 hectares, the Citadel in Sântana covers 89 hectares. The buildings of Troy were made of stone. At Sântana, the buildings were made of clay and wood, a sign that civilization was more developed and adapted to the building materials it had,” Florin Gogâltan explained.

“We are facing one of the biggest and impressive fortresses in Europe.”

The team is now using advanced technologies to draw a map of the citadel. They have already studied about 55 hectares of the citadel area and found that the structure had a huge palace within it.  This palace was about 100 meters long and 40 meters wide.

“We want to continue digging and, if possible, we want to make this citadel great again, just as it was over 3,000 years ago,” the Romanian professor also said.

“The community that built the great citadel of Santana-Cetatea Veche was very likely to possess the important golden, copper and tin deposits that were at the foot of the Zarand Mountains,” professor Gogâltan told Business Review.

The director of the Arad Museum Complex, Constantin Inel, the director of the Arad Museum Complex, says he wants a museum to be built in Sântana. The museum can also be built at this particular site.

The city authorities have also announced to provide all support to the research team in their work.

“Beyond local pride, this fortress can be a tourist symbol of the area. We really want to introduce this archaeological site into the masterplan, to create a tourist pole in Sântana,” Daniel Tomuţa, the mayor of Sântana, said.

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