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A RECENTLY RECOVERED LOT OF IRON TOOLS AND WEAPONS ORIGINATING IN THE AREA OF ORĂŞTIEI MOUNTAINS

Marius-Mihai CIUTĂ, Cătălin BORANGIC


Archaeological literature of the field registered within the last years an increase in studies and articles concerning decontextualized lots of artefacts11 (Borangic, Ciută 2014; Ciută, Ciută 2015; Plantos, Ciută 2016; Ciută, Borangic 2016; Sîrbu et al. 2005; Ferencz, Rădeanu 2002; Borangic, Bădescu 2017, 114-116), recovered as a result of judicial investigations, from various holders, items that made the scope of instrumentation of various criminal files. The story of the group of antique tools and weapons at hand is a special one due to its unique recovery method, which has as starting point the omnipresent desire to gain financial benefits following the capitalization of illegally obtained items of cultural heritage, but also due to the structure of the lot.
On December 13th, 2015, the general director of the National History Museum of Romania received a less than ordinary phone call. A citizen from Orăştie municipality (Hunedoara county), who declined his identity communicated that „he owns a series of antique, Dacian artefacts” most of them made from iron, that he „wishes to sell” to the Museum from Bucharest. Whereas upon being asked about the method of procurement of the artefacts, the respective citizen provided contradictory answers, difficult or almost impossible to accept – the interlocutor proving to be pretty skilled in hiding their true origin – the Director notified the judicial authorities, to whom he provided the data he had. A criminal investigation was opened, with the objective to recover the potential group of artefacts and to clarify the circumstances of their provenance.
Whereas there was the risk of the individual having some fears or suspicions and losing the artefacts - especially since he started to display restlessness in the persistent phone discussions he continued to have with the director of the museum - the investigators proceeded to an exceptional type of organization of the judicial investigation, that of an undercover investigator2. This type of action takes a short time to act upon the recovery, by direct contact, under a fake identity. Such an endeavour was necessary especially since the holder suggested he has other channel of capitalization of the items. The undercover investigator - introduced as an archaeologist from Alba Iulia and close collaborator of the National History Museum of Romania - contacted by phone the citizen A.A. from Orăştie, invoking the necessity of immediate evaluation of the artefacts, an action presented as being essential for their trading/capitalization. The meeting was set at the dwelling place of the holder in Orăştie, where the artefacts were identified, and the holder was persuaded that the items have to be submitted without delay to the museum, because of the imminent danger of them being irremediable affected of corrosion factors3. Being presented a potential perspective of obtaining some amount of money, the holder willingly surrendered the items, insisting upon the payment of the counter value, which in his opinion should have been done as soon as possible, due to the upcoming winter holidays. Concomitantly it was tried, claiming only archaeological interest to recover the data and information related to the way he came to possess the items4.
Once the artefacts were recovered (Pl.I), the investigator rendered them to the Prosecutor’s office attached to the Court of Appeal Alba Iulia, wherefrom, accompanied by an Ordinance of curatorial expertise, issued on 17.12.2015, they were submitted as corpus delicti items at the National History Museum of Romania from Bucharest5.
The lot is made up of 17 items6, as follows:

1.
Type of the item: forged pliers, tip X (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 51) (Pl.II/1).
Sizes: Ltotal=32.2cm; Weighttotal=720.57gr.
Description: wrought iron pliers. Has the opening shaped in wide wings, that overlap upon clamping. The connecting rivet is prominent, and the arms finish by two semi-spherical buttons, well-marked. Displays traces of chemical degrading compounds throughout the entire surface, and at the bending points, the metal has obvious fractures.
Observations: Although whole the item, was bent before it was deposited in the ground, the metal being very affected in the fracture point, this resulting in one of the arms being broken from the rest of the tool. On this observation one can assume that the hole where the item was hidden was of small size. There are no ornaments visible on the item, otherwise common for this type of pliers.

2.
Item type: mower, type II (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 74) (Pl.II/2).
Sizes: Ltotal=37.4cm; lmax=30; Weight=403.79gr.
Description: The tool has the blade slightly curved, with an accentuated loop towards the grasp. It has traces of degrading chemical compounds throughout the entire surface, and the blade is slightly affected by the passage of time.

3.
Item type: iron rake (Pl.II/3).
Sizes: L=385; Lmaxrake teeth=107; Øgrasp aperture=3.5cm; Thicknesssection aperture area for the grasp=4.4cm; Gr.=813.13gr.
Description: Robust tool, of wrought iron, initially with six teeth (today one is lost).
Observation: Although in principle, rakes are part of the agricultural inventory, the items originating from the Dacian era seem to be used, judging by their morphologic particularities (mass, disposition and size of the teeth etc.) and by those deriving from their discovery contexts (almost invariably within the area of forging shops) for arranging and / or manoeuvring coals in the bed stone or furnace, or levelling oar during its reduction. Their use in agricultural activities, although possible, is difficult to prove (Borangic, Bădescu 2017, 82).

4.
Item type: sledge hammer, type II, var.II (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 45-46) (Pl.III/1).
Sizes: L=166; lmax=65; lmaxflat head=56; Ømaxround head=57; Øtale aperture=34; Gr.=1747.18gr.
Description: Robust item, from wrought iron. One of the extremities of the tool is circular and the other one approximately rectangular. The circular extremity has obvious wear and tear marks (tag). It has soil traces and chemical degrading compounds especially into the aperture at the tale.
Observations: This type of sledge hammer has good analogies at Grădiştea Muncelului, on the 8th terrace and from the „Căprăreaţa” point, its use within the forging shops within the proximity of the capital being obvious. Dating of such sledge hammers is lax, being used since the 2nd century BC and until the beginning of the 2nd century AD, sometimes even outside these chronologic limits.

5.
Item type: dolly, type I (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 44) (Pl.III/2).
Sizes: Hmax=14cm; linf=4.2x4.6cm; lsup=8x8.2cm; Gr.= 3835.32gr.
Description: Massive iron item, shaped as a truncated pyramid. It is a type of simple dolly, well spread in the Dacian environment (Grădiştea Muncelului, Bâtca Doamnei, Piatra Craivii, Moigrad, Pecica, Tilişca), with analogies allowing their dating towards the end of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 2nd century BC.
Observations: The artefact is very well preserved. Most of such dollies, some of big sizes, come from the iron processing area of the capital, attesting to the spread of the metallurgic activities around Sarmizegetusa (Borangic, Bădescu 2017, 66).

6.
Item type: chisel, type III, var. a (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 90) (Pl.III/3.a/b).
Sizes: Ltotal=17cm; Ø max toc=24; Gr.=118gr.
Description: Iron item, with longitudinal case, deducted within the body of the chisel, with a rectangular section. Displays traces of chemical degrading compounds throughout the entire surface, and from the upper part of the case is missing a small part.
Observations: The multitude of possible operations by the chisel, from cutting metals to making fine decorations, made it one of the most numerous tools discovered in the Pre-Roman Dacia. Naturally, there are multiple types of chisels, each destined to a certain operation or a certain material that required processing. This type of chisels, with a longitudinal case, destined to attach a wood extension, shows that the type of pressure exercised by the hammer hits was medium, so that the most common use seems to be wood processing (Borangic, Bădescu 2017, p.102).

7.
Item type: perforator or spear tip (Pl. III/4 a/b).
Sizes: Ltotal=15cm; Ømax=17; Gr.=65gr.
Description: Item with a longitudinal case and sharp tip.
Comments: The morphology of this item complicates its precise identification and implicitly the determination of its functionality. The physical characteristics (the heel, the rectangular section, the tip) suggest a type of tool designed for the penetration of soft materials (wood or leather). Such tools were needed in woodworking (carpentry, timberwork or even metallurgy), or more likely in leather, whether we are talking about the manufacture of harnesses, harnesses and belts, or footwear or fur garments. However, the lack of tip wear eliminates the possibility that it has been used as a puncher or dowel for hard materials. Without any real analogy, any possibility of accurate determination of functionality remains open. Another theory, just as possible, is that the artefact meets the conditions to have been a spearhead, despite the short heel and the lack of perforation for the fastening screw (which could have existed in the small portion damaged by the passage of time). The robust allure, the prolonged conical shape in the heel area, the full rectangular tip which gradually narrows, are all features identified in such weapons7.

8.
Item type: Item with an uncertain functionality (Pl.IV/1 a/b/c).
Sizes: L=29.5cm; Sizeactive head=77x21; Ømax=35; Øhole=11; Gr= 1539.33gr.
Description: The artefact is made of a massive bar, flattened and bent on one end. The upper part is widened and thinned, and in the middle has a circular perforation. The body of the rod is rectangular immediately under the flattened part and then becomes circular in the section. The active parts, respectively the side wings, are broken, since the old ages (Pl.IV/1/b).
Observations: Morphology of the item raises some issues. First, the supposedly active upper part is not complete, so the exact form is difficult to identify and implicitly the whole functionality becomes uncertain. Although it looks somewhat like a plough share, it was apparently a dolly; such items are documented for the Dacian era in connection with silverwork tools (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 99-100; Borangic, Bădescu 2017, 69.), but at a closer look things are not all that certain. Especially since the lower part, which in theory slided into a solid wood support, is flattened and has a circular orifice on the shaft (Pl.IV/1/c), which is not only atypical to this type of anvil, but also useless8. Dollies stick by this spur in the wooden holder. The presence of the hole in that place has no logic if the artefact was made as a dolly. Also, the hole has a regular circular shape and the walls of the hole are perfectly straight, which suggests its execution with a metal drill, a non-existent operation in the Danube Antiquity. On these grounds and considering also the lack of context and the mixture of items by their discoverer, the chronological area of the object is difficult to specify. It could be a fragment of an object belonging to another epoch.

9.
Item type: axe, type IV (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 78) (Pl.V/1.a/b)
Sizes: Ltotal=15.5cm; L=; lmax=8.7cm; Øtale aperture=3.8cm; Gr=1.428gr.
Description: iron axe with a narrow body, lean, but robust in the same time. The edge is wide, quadrangle, and the blade almost straight. The aperture for the grasp doesn’t have the usual wings destined to additional stabilizing.
Observations: Although theoretically established as belonging to wood processing tools, axe are frequently discovered by archaeologists first because of a wide range of uses as they can be used as weapons and tools. This type of axe is sporadically present among archaeological findings.

10.
Item type: battle axe (Pl.V/2).
Sizes: Ltotal=21.6cm; lmax=9.6cm; Øtale aperture=3.8cm; Gr.=506gr.
Description: Wrought iron. Thinned body and a blade widened a lot towards the edge.
Observations: The item was recovered from the same source, but its morphology is typical for the Middle Age. The lack of archaeological context, a fundamental and specific issue of archaeological poaching and of the phenomenon of metal detection, deepens or more precisely doesn’t allow the accurate recovery of the origin and cultural level of the objects extracted from the ground. In the absence of the archaeological matrix, all we can do is relate to the more methodically and scientifically analogies, although sometimes quite imprecise. The presence of the medieval axe among the Dacian items can be a result of its integration into the lot, willing or not, by the one who gathered the items, a lot which, in fact, represents a "collection" gathered in time from various points in the area of the mountains of Orăştie, most likely, according to witnesses and suspects, from the proximity of the fortress from Luncani - Piatra Roşie.

11.
Item type: axe, type I (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 78) (Pl.V/3).
Sizes: Ltotal=15.5cm; lmax=7.1cm; Øaperture of the grasp=2cm; Gr.=526.38gr.
Description: Wrought iron item, with a thick edge and rectangular back, strong profiled. The body is massive, thinned and widened towards the blade, with small rounded side wings. It displays traces of chemical degrading compounds throughout the entire surface, but the general preservation condition is good.
Observations: an exemplar of the most common category of axes, this type being frequent in discoveries within the Dacian environment.

12.
Item type: axe, type I (Pl.VI/1).
Sizes: Ltotal=18.3cm; L=; lmax=9cm; Øaperture of the grasp=40; Gr=1048.52gr.
Description: wrought iron, strong edge, rectangular, but short. The axe is very robust.
Observations: The aperture of the grasp is larger in diameter, thus we can assume stronger grasp and implicitly a higher impact resistance, which allowed higher strain and tension, specific to cutting trees or to rough wood material cutting. Good preservation condition.

13.
Item type: axe, typeI (Pl.VI/1 a/b)
Sizes: Ltotal=18.3cm; Øaperture of the grasp=38; lmax=9cm; Gr.=811.63gr.
Description: wrought iron. Similar to the previous one, except for the blade, which is somewhat wider in this case.
Observations: One of the walls of the aperture for the grasp is fractured, possibly a manufacturing defect worsened by the long storage in the ground.

14.
Item type: hinge, type I9 (Pl.IV/2).
Sizes: Lmax=12.5cm; lmax=54.
Description: Wrought iron. Rectangular shape, with two holes for the wood clamping screws.
Observations: of the original ensemble only one part survived, including one of the nails with which it was clamped into the wood. Good preservation condition. Such hinges were used for the lids of wooden boxes or for the mobility of doors or shutters. The hinges have a long use over time, with no special morphological changes. This aspect, plus the mixture of objects from different eras, made by the collector makes it difficult to assign the item to an era or another.

15.
Item type: hoe, typeII, var. a (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 68) (Pl.VI/2. a/b).
Sizes: Ltotal=19.5cm; Øaperture of the grasp=35; lmax=8.5cm; Gr.=488.57.
Description: wrought iron hoe. The tool is robust, trapezoidal in shape, with the thickened body and widened around the aperture of the grasp. The blade is slightly curved towards the interior, and around the aperture of the grasp it thinned and thickened. The blade is affected by the passage of time.
Observations: This type of hoe is the most common within the Dacian environment, being present in many archaeological sites. The original morphology leads to the hypothesis that it is a local innovation, a creation of the Dacian blacksmiths.

16.
Item type: hoe, type II, var. a (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 68) (Pl.VII/1. a/b).
Sizes: Ltotal=21.2cm; lmax=10cm; Øaperture of the grasp=35; Gr.=909.44gr.
Description: wrought iron. Morphology similar to the previous one.
Observations: At the level of the blade it shows a somewhat more accentuated degradation condition.

17.
Item type: hoe, type II, var. c (Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 69) (Pl.VII/2. a/b).
Sizes: Ltotal=24cm; lmax=13cm; Øaperture of the grasp=40; Gr=807.25gr.
Description: Wrought iron. Massive hoe, triangular shape, with the blade area largely widened unlike the rest of the blade.
Observations: At the level of the aperture for the grasp, it displays a fracture of the metal and obvious traces of degradation. This type of hoe is also considered an innovation of the local blacksmiths, based on the lack of analogies within the neighbor cultural environments, as well as on the circumlocution of the discoveries in the vicinity of the capital Sarmizegetusa.

Conclusions
Tracing the conditions of the recovery of the aforementioned lot, respectively the description of the typological-stylistic features and of the cultural-chronological frame proves, from the beginning, the fact that we are dealing with an inhomogeneous lot, probably collected in time, from various points, as a result of illegal activities of archaeological poaching. Under such conditions, the identification of the location/s of origin of the items becomes all the more difficult, even impossible should we add to it the lack of interest from the collector to supply accurate data related to the origin of the items. Nevertheless, in this context we consider important the description made by one of the witnesses who constantly participated in the illegal detections within the area of Sarmizegetusa Regia, between the years 1999-2005. In the context of executing in 2006 some judicial procedures to one of the holes and the point Muchia Căprăreţei - wherefrom have resulted in May 2000, 10 multi-spiraled gold bracelets , Hole no.7 in the terminology used during the criminal investigations - the witness described in detail, how in numerous cases, when the metal detector was signaling the presence of certain items, if they were found to be made of iron, bronze or copper, their inevitable faith was that of being abandoned near the hole they were extracted from.
The situation is also known by the members of the site’s research team, who during multiple campaigns since the beginning of the 2000’s had to recover such abandonments some impressive as number of items and weight. Less known is the situation wherein, according to the same witness, after 2-3 years from their discovery and for the same strictly financial reasons, the participants to the detections rented jeeps and returned to the locations of such discoveries, recovered the abandoned artefacts and then later sold them to the metal recycling centers in Orăştie. The testimony of the witness confirmed by other extrajudicial sources reveal a very unfortunate reality: tons of artefacts made of iron, copper, bronze originating in the area of the Dacian and Roman sites of the Orăştiei Mountains were sold to scraped iron collection centers, being thus lost forever10.
This paper tries to recover the minimum information of historic interest revealed by the chronicled items, being a part of a series of articles and studies aiming to unveil a small part of what meant the phenomenon of “gold fever”, which actively manifested in the Orăştiei Mountains in the period after 1989. We must start such an endeavor from the assumption that at least in principle the reconstitution of the entire puzzle of the phenomenon is impossible, as detectorists with no archaeological background have neither the inclination nor the training to record / register the details of the poached context. Moreover, they have no reason to self-incriminate. Therefore the recovered information is only the tip of the iceberg of what illegal activities within archaeological sites mean. The lack of interest from the poachers when it comes to artefacts made of other metals than gold and silver, gave them an ingrate faith, of being decontextualized, abandoned, destroyed or sold as scrap, although if when it comes to interpretation of historical realities, such deposits have the same value and significance as those of precious metals. The most tempting sites for detection were those from Sarmizegetusa Regia (Grădiştea Muncelului) and the one from Luncani - Piatra Roşie.
No doubt, the completion of this study with metallographic analysis’s results and also with physical-chemical analysis of the soil remains will bring additional information concerning the origin of the artefacts. We can also hope that when the crimes related to poaching of metals carrying contexts of these sites will prescribe, the interest in recording in any manner, new data and information that would contribute to a more correct historical interpretation would rise in the participants at this kind of activities.
We conclude this presentation of the lot by adding it to the number of items originating „from the proximity of the Dacian fortress from Luncani - Piatra Roşie”. Revising the archaeological materials discovered on the site, both in systematic research (Daicoviciu 1954), as well as poached and recovered (Florea, Ferencz 2007, 47-54; Sîrbu et al., 2005; Ferencz, Rădeanu 2002; Borangic, Bădescu 2017, 114-116), we find a substantial number of artefacts originating within that perimeter. Corroborating the statements on file about other large quantities of lost items - because we are not talking about numbers anymore, but quantities- items, one can notice a consistent and diverse inventory. One can only presume the source of such volume of iron tools and weapons, a quantity comparable to that from the proximity of the capital. Either they were products of blacksmith shops dependent on the fortress, shops that are undiscovered to the date, either they were brought from the workshops of Sarmizegetusa. Without further exploring such hypothesis, they both reveal the economic force of the elite that was governing the fortress and the surrounding territory.
During the first Dacian-Roman war, the Romans conquered a few Dacian fortresses, on their way to the capital. One of them was the home of king Decebal’s sister, who was captured and deported in the empire. A member of the royal family, this sister was probably married to another nobleman - in the scene on the Column the character is holding a small child - a commander or owner of another fortress, otherwise one cannot explain the presence of the aristocrat in another location than the powerful Sarmizegetusa (Borangic 2017, 286). The episode is narrated by Dio Cassius (LXVIII, 9) and confirmed by scene XXX on the Traian’s Column. The late historian R.Vulpe issued the hypothesis that the conquered fortress and the home of the king’s sister might have been the one from Piatra Roşie (Vulpe 1966, 88). We will probably never know with certainty if this scenario was real, but the fortress itself, as well as the inventories discovered there, with their multitude of weapons, tools and art items made of iron - from which we remember only the already famous „shields” from wrought iron (Borangic, Bădescu 2017, 112-116), that changed the view on local art - suggest a powerful and prosperous residential center. Either way we look the fortress from Luncani - Piatra Roşie is far from having told its entire story.


NOTE
1 This is also the case with the present study, which shows a depot of iron tools and weapons, namely the circumstances in which it was recovered. The case was the subject of a criminal (penal) file under the supervision of the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Court of Appeal Alba Iulia, no. 631 / P / 2015, which ended in 2016, by confiscating the artefacts and integrating them into museum collections. The legal regime of archaeological artefacts, stolen in various ways from archaeological sites protected on Romanian territory, is regulated by the normative acts in force, with already considerable jurisprudence in this field (see Lazăr 2008, 125176).
2 The Code of Criminal Procedure by Art. 148 (2) provides the use of the undercover investigator as a specific evidence. It is an exceptional procedure because it involves some risks, requiring professional knowledge and the ability of the investigator to adapt to unforeseen situations.
3 The items were at the citizen's home, some of them, more precisely two (the dolly and the pliers), being deposited in the closet of the room and others (12) in the attic of the block, in a plastic barrel filled with soil. All the items in the barrel were wrapped each in plastic foil, which insulated them from the soil and ensured a relative preservation. The entire recovery operation was under the sign of the paranormal, the holder of the items, a profoundly religious person, being convinced that they have a strong spiritual charge, thus motivating the procedure of keeping them in an….unusual location, protected by occult practices (sic!). It is not excluded however, that he attempted to hide them in a place where one would hardly have thought that they could be deposited for preservation.
4 The owner presented a hard-to-believe version of finding these items: in a raffia bag in the Orăştie park at the exit on the road to Deva, somewhere in 2010. The bag holding the items has apparently been abandoned by two other people next to a little bridge at the appearance of public guards in the area. The two individuals apparently came later to recover the bag with an Italian license plates lorry. The idea was that the items were the subject of a previous transaction of some other individuals and the holder has found the objects by accident. Elements of this version, as well as the existence at his home of some objects linked with the forest area and the Orăştie Mountains (for example, a forest hand screwing tool - lost or left by a forest worker in an easy place to find) lead to the potential working hypothesis that the objects were found by the holder somewhere in the vicinity of the sites of the Dacian fortresses in the Orăştie Mountains. The type of soil inside the sheaves of tools, as well as the vegetal remnants (roots) inside them, betray the provenance from a forest area, with sandy clay, rich in mica sparkles, specific to the high areas in the mountains of Orăştie. In the discussions with the holder, he repeatedly stated that he is familiar with the fortress of Luncani - Piatra Roşie.
5 On January 4th 2016 The Report of expertise drafted by dr. Alexandru Bădescu, expert within M.N.I.R., and submitted to the file, confirms the suspected facts, replying point by point, to the demands of the device of the Ordinance: The items represent ancient iron tools, belonging to the Dacian civilization. All studied items are authentic and specific to the geto-dacians in the period of the 1st century BC and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. The presence of items dating from the 1st century AD and the beginning of the next century offers arguments for dating the deposit during this period. As far as the actual site of provenance, at least for the moment, that is difficult to determine with certainty. They are specific to the Geto-Dacians and are part of a hoard discovered in the area of Sarmizegetusa Regia – Grădiştea Muncelului. Similar chemical degradation compounds due to their storage in the ground are similar, that being an argument in favor of the items being in contact with each other until the time they were discovered. Artefacts are important for Geto-Dacian civilization. The items are identical or very similar to those found in the collection of the National History Museum of Romania, with provenance both from systematic archaeological research and from random discoveries. Together, the objects subjected to expertise, illegally excavated and stolen from an archaeological site, meet all the conditions for being part of the National Cultural Heritage. Each individual item can be considered part of the FUND legal category, but together the entire deposit is part of the legal category TREASURY. Most of the items have earth remains and chemical compounds of degradation on them, which testifies for the fact that they were removed from the ground and originally were in archaeological connection with other iron objects, most likely with the other objects of the group. (Alexandru Bădescu, Expert Report on Criminal Case 63/P/2015, Bucharest January 6th 2016). We thank on this occasion to the colleague A.Bădescu for access to information and photographic documentation of the items.
6 The dimensions of the items are in millimetres when they are relatively small, including diameters, and in centimetres (cm) when the dimensions are larger.
7 A relative analogy comes from Grădiştea Muncelului, Hunedoara County, an item that is today in the patrimony of MCDR, Deva (http://dacit.utcluj.ro/scandb/?page=scandb#/model/386/ro; 20.12.2017) and dated between the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd century AD. Sometimes such components have been interpreted as a spear heel (Chidioşan 1980, 57, fig.3/3) or even arrowheads (Dacii... 2004, 96, nr.crt.242).
8 Even in the case of the ancient coulters there is no analogy by which the attachment to the log of the machine is made by a pin that passes through that hole, but they present a terminal spin, deducted from the body of the piece.
9 For hinges of this type of the Dacian age, see typology and analogies in Glodariu, Iaroslavschi 1979, 115.
10 Such a lot (batch, hoard) - made up of 44 pieces and recovered from a collector right from such a collection centre, later recovered by the judicial organs - is undergoing scientific capitalization.


LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS / LISTA ILUSTRAŢIILOR


Plate 1. The lot of the recovered artefacts, at the time of passing over to the Prosecutor's Office attached to the Alba Iulia Court of Appeal (Photo M-M.Ciută). Lotul de piese recuperate, la momentul depunerii sale la Parchetul de pe lângă Curtea de Apel Alba Iulia (foto M-M.Ciută).


Plate 2. 1. Forged pliers; 2. Mower; 3. Iron rake (Photo A.Bădescu, MNIR). 1. Cleşte de fierărie; 2. Coasă; 3. Greblă de fier (foto A.Bădescu, MNIR).


Plate 3. 1. Sledge hammer; 2. Dolly; 3 a/b. Chisel; 4 a/b. Perforator or spear tip (Photo A.Bădescu, MNIR). 1. Baros; 2. Nicovală; 3 a/b. Daltă; 4 a/b. Perforator sau vârf de suliţă (foto A.Bădescu, MNIR).


Plate 4. 1 a/b/c. Item of uncertain functionality; 2 a/b. Hinge (Photo A.Bădescu, MNIR). 1 a/b/c. Piesă cu funcţionalitate incertă; 2 a/b. Balama faţă-verso (foto A.Bădescu, MNIR).


Plate 5. 1-3. Axes (Photo A.Bădescu, MNIR). 1-3. Topoare (foto A.Bădescu, MNIR).


Plate 6. 1 a/b. Axe; 2 a/b. Hoe (Photo A.Bădescu, MNIR). 1 a/b. Topor; 2 a/b. Sapă (foto A.Bădescu, MNIR).


Plate 7. 1 a-b. Hoe; 2 a-b. Hoe (Photo A.Bădescu, MNIR). 1 a-b. Sapă; 2 a-b. Sapă (foto A.Bădescu, MNIR).


REFERENCES / BIBLIOGRAFIE
Dacii... 2004
***, Dacii din Munţii Orăştiei. 80 de ani de la începerea cercetărilor arheologice. Catalogul expoziţiei, Cluj-Napoca (2004).
• Borangic, Bădescu 2017
Borangic C., Bădescu A., Civilizaţia geto-dacică (II). Unelte şi ustensile din patrimoniul Muzeului Naţional de Istorie a României, Bucureşti (2017).
• Borangic, Ciută 2014
Borangic C., Ciută M.M., La limita arheologiei. Reflecţii pe marginea unei descoperiri atipice. În Arheovest II1. Interdisciplinaritate în arheologie (ed. S.Forţiu, A.Cîntar), Szeged (2014), p.415-426.
• Borangic 2017
Borangic C., Seniorii războiului în lumea dacică. Elite militare din secolele II a.Chr.-II p.Chr. în spaţiul carpato-dunărean, Brăila-Alba Iulia (2017).
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Chidioşan Nicolae, Depozitul de unelte de fier descoperit în aşezarea dacică de la Tăşad, comuna Drăgeşti, judeţul Bihor. În Crisia, X (1980).
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Ciută M.M., Borangic C., Echere de metal utilizate în Munţii Orăştiei în epoca dacică. În Arheovest IV1. Interdisciplinaritate în arheologie (coord. D.Micle), Szeged (2016), p.247-258.
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Ciută M.M., Ciută B., Un pumnal eneolitic din cupru descoperit la Bulbuc - Pietrele Bulbucului (com.Ceru-Băcăinţi, jud.Alba). În Terra Sebus - Acta Musei Sabesiensis, 7 (2015), p.59-72.
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Daicoviciu C-tin, Cetatea dacică de la Piatra Roşie. Monografie arheologică, Bucureşti (1954).
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Ferencz I.V., Rădeanu V., Câteva piese descoperite de curând în împrejurimile cetăţii dacice de la Piatra Roşie. În Ateliere şi tehnici.
Contribuţii arheologice
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Glodariu I., Iaroslavschi E., Civilizaţia fierului la daci (sec. II î.e.n.-I e.n.), Bucureşti (1979).
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Lazăr Aug., Combaterea criminalităţii contra Patrimoniului Cultural Naţional. În „Combaterea criminalităţii contra patrimoniului arheologic European - Patrimonium I”, Bucureşti (2008), p.125-176.
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Plantos C., Ciută M.M., Two belt buckles of late Latène period from Craiva - “Piatra Craivii” - recently recovered. În Apulum, LIV, Alba Iulia (2016), p.165-177.
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REZUMAT: Fenomenul ”braconării” siturilor arheologice, prin utilizarea detectoarelor de metale, a înregistrat o dezvoltare deosebită în România, obiectivul fiind acela al obţinerii de artefacte arheologice, care au fost ulterior valorificate prin comerţul ilegal din cadrul ”pieţei negre a antichităţilor”. Foarte multe piese arheologice decontextualizate - unele dintre ele având o valoare deosebită - au făcut obiectul unor investigaţii judiciare ce aveau ca scop recuperarea în sine a acestora dar şi a informaţiilor şi datelor legate de descoperirea lor. Prezentul studiu abordează problematica unui lot de arme şi unelte din fier, dacice, recuperat în anul 2015 de la un colector din Orăştie (jud. Hunedoara). Datele obţinute pe parcursul investigaţiei judiciare, coroborate cu analizele tipologico-stilistice şi funcţionale, conduc spre concluzia provenienţei pieelor dintr-o cetate dacică, situată în arealul Munţilor Orăştiei. Cuvinte cheie: epoca dacică, unelte, arme, fier, recuperare, cetate dacică.

ABSTRACT: In the last 20 years, the phenomenon of poaching archeological sites using metal detectors has grown in Romania, its objective being that of obtaining artifacts to later capitalize through illegal trade on the black market of antiques. Many decontextualized archeological items - some of them of inestimable value - have been the subject of judicial investigations with the purpose of recovering them and also the information and data of their discovery. The present study approaches the issue of a collection of Dacian iron weapons and tools, recovered in 2015 from a collector in Orăştie (Hunedoara County). The data obtained through the judicial investigations, corroborated with the typological-stylistic and functional analyses, concludes that the origin of said artifacts is one of the Dacian fortresses situated in the area of the Orăştie Mountains.
KEYWORDS: Dacian era, tools, weapons, iron, recovery, Dacian fortress.

APĂRUT ÎN: Acta Musei Brukenthal, XIII.1, 2018, p.31-46