The Dacian fortresses of the Orăştie mountains

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           a. Country: ROMANIA.
           b. Province or Region: Hunedoara county, Alba county, historical province of Transylvania.
           c. Name of the asset: The Dacian fortresses of the Orastie Mountains.
           1. Sarmizegetusa Regia - the capital of the Dacian kingdom - Gradistea de Munte
village, Orastioara de Sus commune, Hunedoara county.
           2. The Dacian citadel of Costesti-Cetatuie - Costesti village, Orastioara de Sus
commune - Hunedoara county.
           3. The Dacian citadel of Costesti-Blidaru - Costesti village, Orastioara de Sus
commune, Hunedoara county.
           4. The Dacian citadel of Luncani-Piatra Rosie - Luncani village, Bosorod
commune, Hunedoara county.
           5. The Dacian citadel of Banita - Banita village, Banita commune- Petrosani city,
Hunedoara county.
           6. The Dacian citadel of Capâlna - Capâlna village, Sasciori commune, Alba
           The nominated Dacian fortresses are found in the south-west of the historical province of Transylvania.
           d. Poziţia exactă pe hartă şi coordonatele geografice.
           Indication of geographical coordinates:
           - latitude: 45 27' - 45 49' North;
           - longitude: 23 09' - 29 31' East.


          a. Statement of significance
          b. Comparative analysis


a. Statement of significance

           The civilisation of the Dacians was created by the north branch of the Thracians, the people known in history under the name of Getae, given by the ancient Greeks, or of Dacians, given by the Latin authors (to be compared with Keltoi and Galli).
           From the middle of the 2nd century BC the economic and cultural flourishing, whose most authentic characterisation can be found in the concise formula of Trogus Pompeius incrementa Dacorum per Rubobostem regem, can be illustrated above all by the emergence and development of fortified places and the construction of citadels defended by stone ramparts (the Dacian fortresses of the Orastie Mountains).
           While refraining from giving an even short account of the Dacian history, still two events of major importance should be pointed out:
           - Firstly, the creation of the Dacian kingdom under King Burebista (82-44 BC) and the territorial expansion of the Geto-Dacian ethnos had a strong impact upon the way Dacia was to emerge in the Graeco-Roman historical conscience. Although divided by his successors, at first in four and then in five parts, the state of Burebista marked the decline of the tribal power, the crystallisation of the Geto-Dacian world under new coherent forms, within a geographical area; a new centre of barbarian power, based on a significant economic force and an important demographical potential took shape (Strabon, Geogr., VII, 3, 13).
           - The second event is the restoration of the Dacian kingdom in the second half of the first century BC, under the last king, Decebalus (87-106); smaller, but better organised, it ceased to exist after the Roman conquest (106), when Dacia became a province of the empire.
          During the time between Burebista's reign and that of Decebalus was created the defensive system of the Orastie Mountains strongholds, unique in European architecture. Around them and in other dwellings sanctuaries relatively similar in form were raised, that are the expression of a strong and prestigious religion, well established and fully crystallised.
          The overwhelming aesthetic emotions aroused by the military and sacred architecture of the Dacians, above all in the Orastie Mountains sites, overcome the virtual interest in everyday life in the small settlements, that used to differ only in details from other barbarian sites.
           The sanctuaries, witnesses to the ceremonies of the past, as well as the defensive system, reveal the Dacian type of spirituality, an intermingling of a warrior's spirit and religion, and the close ties between religion and the state (Strabon, VII, 3, 5, Jordanes 71-72).
           In the time of Burebista and of Decebalus, the Dacians began to build fortresses (citadels or strongholds). While the fortified acropoles can be found in many settlements, fortified or not (davae), the Orastie Mountains stand out as true landmarks of a defensive system unique in its complexity. A vast region (about 500 km2) is pervaded by fortresses, small forts, watch towers. The Dacians favoured the decoration in cut stone, especially as far as military decoration was concerned, but also in the constructive works inside the site, (sustaining walls of dozens of anthropogenetic terraces), sanctuaries, roads, water pipes, maybe the sacred mountain of the Dacians - Kogaionon. The site of Sarmizegetusa can be singled out for its scale and proportions, graceful sculptural pattern, and the sacred atmosphere, impregnated by a spirituality marked by the belief in immortality.
           The strongholds with purely military function are the object of our study and reflect the classic phase of the Dacian civilisation, its "golden age".

Justification for inscription - Introduction

b. Comparative analysis

          The wide range of military architecture of the Geto-Dacians is proved by the ingenious fortification system and the materials used to build it.
          While the fortifying techniques took shape in the first Iron Age, in the course of their historical evolution, the Geto-Dacians took over other models or foreign patterns, and they adjusted them to their conceptions or necessities. First of all there is this equilibrium between the tradition and innovation that confirms the cultural and ethnic continuity.
          The Geto-Dacians civilisation was connected to the cultural paradigms of the southern Thracians, the Illyrians, the Celts (inside the Carpathian arch), and above all to the Greeks and the Romans.
          A comparison between the classic and Celtic Dacian civilisations of the Oppidan phase reveals a few common elements.
          The relationships between the two civilisations during the period of Celtic dominance in Transylvania (4th - 2nd centuries BC), but also during the period of Geto-Dacian expansion in the Pannonic Danube basin (1st century BC) emerged as a tight cohabitation. They used to share cultural concepts and practices: the iron metallurgy, the remarkable proliferation of local coin issues from the 3rd - 2nd centuries BC, the burial practices.