Argamum Fortress, one of the first Greek settlements on Romanian territory
One of the oldest Greek settlements on the territory of Dobrogea, Romania, Fortress Argamum, originally named Orgame, was founded by Greek colonists from Asia Minor sometime in the 7th century BC to protect the gulf beneath the Dolosman Cape that offered shelter for boats during storms. The fortress was built on what was formerly the Black Sea: Cape Dolosman and today Razelm Golovita bank, which is part of Danube Delta Biosphere Reserve, in Tulcea County.
In the Roman period, the fortress was named Argamum and many noticeable archaeological discoveries date from this time. The fortress was discovered in 1916 by Vasile Parvan. The excavations have revealed traces of habitation since the Bronze Age.
The fortress of Argamum stretches over two and a half hectares but the archaeological site’s surface is much larger. There important relics were discovered like trade coins, bronze arrowheads, bronze shaped dolphins, glassware, pottery tools, bone and metal ornaments and clothing items.
As mostly the walls during Roman period have been brought to life so far, all that is visible from the Argamum city nowadays are the fragments from these inside walls, basilicas and buildings in the city (4 paleo-Christian basilicas, the oldest Greek tomb from the Pontic basin dating almost the half of 7th century BC). However, most of the city is still underground.
Next to Bisericuta Island, located near the village Jurilovca and Enisala Citadel, Argamum Fortress is one of the most important landmarks in Northern Dobrogea.
Up to the fortress you can enjoy the beauty of Jurilovca village, a special location inhabited by lipovans (lipoveni in Romanian), Old Believers mostly of Russian ethnic origin.