New archaeological artifacts dating back in the Late Bronze Age uncovered at the Custura Cetatelei site

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Archaeologists uncovered new remains at the Custura Cetatelei site, including in a nearby cave, some dating from the Late Bronze Age, the Maramures County Museum of History and Archeology announced today. The first archaeological finds at Custura Cetatelei – Salnita were discovered in 2018.

“The artifacts identified in the shallow ground, on the north-eastern, eastern and south-western slopes of the Custura hill spur, consist of ceramic fragments from the Late Bronze Age (second half of the second millennium BC), respectively from the medieval period (13th – 14th centuries AD). Starting from these discoveries, the team of the Baia Mare museum proceeded between 2019 – 2020 to archaeological excavations on the Custura Cetatelei hill. The cultural vestiges discovered on this occasion belong to the Late Eneolithic/the Early Bronze Age (Cotofeni culture, 3.500 – 2.500 BC), the Late Bronze Age (Suciu de Sus culture, second half of the 2nd millennium BC) and the medieval period (13th – 14th centuries AD). The enclosure wall built in the Middle Ages was documented on the entire preserved portion, and it was found that in several places the regularly shaped stones were bound together with mortar,” reads a museum press release.

After they found out artifacts from the Cotofeni culture at the Custura Cetatelei site, archaeologists started to excavate the caves in its vicinity, as it is known that the communities back then used to dwell or take shelter in caves.

One of these caves, called Sura Dracului, with a length of 16 m and a portal 5 m wide and 6 m high, is located beneath the hill saddle leading to Custura Cetatelei, on the left bank of the Lapus river.

In 2021, the Maramures County Museum of History and Archeology, in cooperation with the Montana Caving Club in Baia Mare, started the first archaeological excavations at the Sura Dracului cave. The digging works brought to light numerous ceramic fragments belonging to the Cotofeni culture, as well as artifacts from the Late Bronze Age, the Suciu de Sus culture, as well as animal bones, which indicate an even temporary habitation of this place.

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