The geographical premises concerning the development of early dacian communities in the middle part of Mureş River and in the south-eastern part of the Apuseni Mountains
Autor: Mircea Gligor
The penetration of the Celtic element in the Carpathian inner space towards the end of the 4th century B.C caused a series of changes in the political and social scenery of the area. Up to this moment the autochthonous population known also as „The Cultural Group Ciumbrud”, is little known, the only discoveries in the area having a preponderant funeral aspect.
Is difficult to give an appreciation of the aspect of the relationships between the new-comers and the autochthonous population, but certainly the Celts had the most important role in the cultural and political plan, fact resulted from the archeological discoveries.
Examining the evolution of the settlements in this space in the second Iron Age, is established that during the Celtic ruling the number of the traces that confirm their presence is little, from which almost half are older considerations, some of them even from the end of the 19th century. These traces are to be found scattered on the Mures passage, two important concentrations in the following areas: Alba Iulia-Sebeş-Vinţu de Jos and Aiud-Turda. The explanation of these concentrations can have economic causes, and also can reflect a certain stage in the evolution of the research. From this disposing is established the preference for the low areas of plain (Geoagiu, Blandiana, Vinţu de Jos, Lancrăm, Oarda, Şeuşa; Alba Iulia, Peţelca, Rădeşti, Aiud, Micoşlaca, Uioara, Ocna Mureş etc.) and for the hill area (Ampoiţa, Cetea, Ciugud, Gârbova, Romos, Săliştea etc., that bound Lunca Mureşului and its streams .The traces of the Celtic presence are sporadically encountered in the high areas, at the foot of the mountain areas or the depression areas of the Metaliferi Mountains.
The Celtic presence in this space, has a preponderant economic motivation. Good farmers but also feared warriors, the Celts settled especially in the low areas, with fertile lands around the Mures river and its streams, searching also to have the control of the main commercial roads and of the salt resources in the area.
Although there are controversies upon the disappearing of the Celtic element in the area it prefigures more and more clearly the idea that they left due to local political motives, but also in the area, like the growing of the Dacian power, possibly with the support of some Thracian-Getic elements, south of the Carpathians and Celtic retreat from the Panonian basin towards the centre of Europe. In this context is possible that their place might have been taken by a population south of the Carphatians joined by new military elites. The phenomenon is archeologically distinguishable by the unparalleled multiplication of settlements and of other traces of inhabitation in this space. Is possible that at the foundation of the constitution of the new etnic identity of the Dacians might be exactly this fusion between the autochthonous element , local and the new-comers, who were related to their material culture.
Beginning with the second half of the 2nd century B.C took place a significant growing of the number of settlements in this space. Besides known settlements from the anterior phase, new settlements took birth, some of them on the same hearth (Blandiana, Sebeş, Lancrăm, Vinţu de jos, Alba Iulia, Şeuşa, Aiud, Ocna Mureş, Noşlac, Cicău, Lopadea Veche etc.); appear new traces of human presence at Geoagiu, Oarda, Pâclişa, Teleac, Dumitra, Şard, Teiuş, Decea etc. The existing information shows that only a small number of the old Celtic-Dacian settlements disappear, very likely because of some natural causes, the changing of their location etc.
In the same time the habitation area changes establishing a massive penetration towards the high area, fact confirmed by the monetary discoveries from Bozeş and Bucium, but especially by the appearance of the fortifications from Ardeu, Cugir and Piatra Craivii. The appearance of the fortresses and fortified settlements denotes the changes supervened in the social relations, by the appearance of pyramidal power structures, on top of which were to be found the leaders of the military elites.
The demographic growing amplifies even more in the classical period, when the number of settlements and considerations assigned to this period grows significantly.
New locations appear at Renghet, Romos, Nădăştie, Zlatna, Galaţi, Inuri, Ampoiţa, Ţelna, Tibru, Geoagiu de Sus, Colţeşti etc. Besides this data it must be noticed the big number of discoveries assigned to the Dacian period, but which are not enclosed tightly in a certain phase. Their number confirms a massive penetration of the Dacian population in the valley south-east of the Apuseni (Arieş, Aiud, Gârbova, Ampoi), but also in the high areas, as the considerations from Rimetea-Piatra Secuiului, Poiana Aiudului, Vălişoara, Râmeţ, Benic, Izvorul Ampoiului, Tăuţi,Văleni-Meteş etc. prove.
Is established in the same time a powerful economic development, documented by the richness and variety of the economic inventory. Besides the traditional occupations – agriculture and animal breeding – the trades develop (especially those connected with ore extraction and their processing) and the trade, with the neighbouring tribes as well as with the Roman and Greek world.
Although the Dacian civilization did not reached the classical phase of urbanization with few exceptions known in the area of the Orăştie Mountains, by its economic development, entered between the most advanced cultures of the barbarian antiquity, capable to measure its strength with the one of Imperial Rome.