Rezervatia arheologicć si de arhitecturć medievalć
de la Tārgŗoru Vechi

The first researches:

Tārgsoru Vechi, a residence of the Wallachian princes, and an old urban centre, drew the attention of historians (Gh. Tocilescu), and architects (Al. Zagoritz) due to the importance of its monuments as early as the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.

The assemblage of the Tārgsor monuments was included in the relevant literature due to the interventions from C.C. Giurescu, in 1924, who in the Bulletin of the Board of Historic Monuments emphasized the interest of the objective and the danger of its being damaged; V. Draghiceanu, the only one to publish in 1927 the unique inscription preserved from Vlad Tepes (1459 - 1462), uncovered here, and N. Iorga, the saviour by direct intervention of some of the mediaeval vestiges.
The first systematic archaeological researches have been conducted at Tārgsor since 1956, on the initiative of the Romanian Academy, through the "Vasile Pārvan" Institute of Archaeology in Bucharest, that ever since, in a close collaboration with the Prahova Museum of History and Archaeology, have continued the researches, resulted in finds covering a long period of time between the Upper Palaeolithic and the Late Middle Ages. This impressive overlapping of human dwelling layers, proved archaeologically, has justified the local researches to name this important archaeological site "the small sub-Carpathian Troy".

Present researches:

This concise survey of Tārgsor monuments points out a rather unusual density, and diversity of sites. Of these, according to the research plan worked out immediately after the first main sections provided the image of a complex objective, those belonging to the first millenium AD have drawn the attention of the research team. That is the reason why the various monuments are in different stages of research.

The big biritual necropolis from the 3rd - 4th centuries AD, situated on the top of the left bank of the Leaota brook, of which until now about 470 funerary complexes have been researched, is in the final stage of systematic research. The first about 300 graves were tackled in a monograph by the researcher Gheorghe Diaconu (see "Tārgsor - the necropolis from the 3rd - 4th centuries AD", Bucharest, Academy's Publishing House, 1965). At present, the team made up of Gh. Diaconu, D. Lichiardopol, and Al. Niculescu is elaborating the entire presentation of the Tārgsor biritual necropolis in the wake of the latest researches.

Only 40 - 50% of sector "D" of the site has been researched. It is situated on the right bank of the same brook, where a Neolithic, Bronze Age, and Early Iron Age site overlapping has been uncovered, dating from the 2nd - 3rd centuries AD, 5th-7th centuries AD, and 8th - 10th centuries AD, as well as the traces of a mediaeval town (15th-17th centuries). This area of the site is to be surveyed a lot, according to the research development plan, during the next period of time.

In sector A, situated in the south-south-eastern area of the site, there is a settlement from the 1st century BC - 1st century AD, the Roman camp and its thermae, traces of a dwelling from the 2nd - 3rd centuries AD, and from the 8th - 10th centuries AD, as well as a part of the mediaeval town with one of the churches (The White Church, raised by the end of the 16th century, by the inhabitants of the mediaeval town).

Of all these monuments about 60-70% of the thermae and the church have been researched, as the other objective are in an early stage of research.

The sites surveyed during the archaeological researches at Tārgsor are extremely diverse, and therefore they could be tackled only by turn, depending on the consistency and relevance of the issues they raise. Thus, archaeologists have conducted researches above all on the monuments dating from the Bronze Age cultures, at the same time considering the Neolithic cultures of Cris, displaying a linear pottery, Boian and Gumelnita in the northern part of Wallachia or the Bronze Age culture - Glina, Monteoru, and Tei.

Of these the Roman monuments have been researched more thoroughly - especially the thermae of the camp here. The latter belongs to the Roman fortification line (Tārgsor, Drajna de Sus, Malaiesti, Voinesti, Rucar) raised in the sub-Carpathian area of Wallachia during the wars of 101 - 102 and 105 - 106 AD, with a view of controlling the access roads from and to the interior of the Carpathian arch, active during the first two decades of the 2nd century AD.

The research team at Tārgsor further concentrated upon the issues raised by the existence on the right bank of the Leaota brook of a large Geto-Dacian settlement dating from the second half of the 2nd century, and the first half of the 3rd century AD - of which until now about 20 dwelling layers have been researched -, on the left bank, at about 100 m east-north-east of a Sarmatian necropolis dating from the second half of the 3rd century AD, of which until now 40 inhumation graves have been uncovered, and of the great Sāntana de Mures - Cerneahov biritual necropolis, from the end of the 3rd century, and the 4th century AD, with over 470 graves researched, situated in the same area.

Similar relevant issues raise the archaeological research in the Ipotesti - Cāndesti (5th-7th centuries AD), and Dridu (8th-10th centuries AD) settlements, stretching on both banks of the Leaota brook, more thoroughly researched in sector B, on the right bank. The sunken floor dwellings, equipped with stone cut kilns, used to shelter an old Romanian population, of farmers, and tradesmen, as proven by the bulky content of the layers, made up of pottery and metal objects, locally made, or even Byzantine imports.

The princely court, mentioned in a document issued by the chancery of Mircea the Old in 1413 under the name of Novum Forum, and the mediaeval town that was founded around it are highly relevant large objectives, having a very well known role in the political and economic life of the Romanian Middle Ages.

Text: Dan Lichiardopol BACK