About the project Partners and research team Research methodology Publications Photo Galery Database


Grant TE_50/304





The archaeology and ethno archaeology as separate academic fields have witnessed real achievements in Transylvania beginning with the second half of the 20th century. In spite of this true evolution there have been no interdisciplinary researches, based on data correlation using the specific research methods of these fields in order to achieve in picturing a more complete image of the cultural heritage in a well-defined micro zone.
By proposing this research project our aim is twofold: scientific and, respectively, utilitarian. From a scientific point of view, we intend to realize the archaeological repertory of central and north-western Transylvania by specific archaeological and aerophotogrammetrical methods. The project is analyzing the historical evolution of the habitat from central and north-western Transylvanian area, the peer polity interactions and core-periphery relations and archaeological heritage; we aim at synchronizing the research in Romania to the European scientific trends.



„Aero-Archaeology Project" is an international collaboration, a research project focused on the direction of modern research in the field of habitat archeology. The research is highly interdisciplinary, integrating innovative archaeological conclusions with the results of various expertises in natural sciences.


What we want to achieve:


The research program aims at aerophotogrammetrical and archaeological mapping of prehistoric habitation traces, key elements of historic habitat in Transylvania. Examines the evolution of the habitat and built space, intercultural influences and center-periphery type relations in Transylvania. The fundamental and interdisciplinary research of the archaeological heritage is corroborated with the study of historic habitat and theoretical models existing in the literature. We want to connect the Romanian scientific research to the European trends. The research brings a real contribution to the scientific research in the study of prehistoric and archaeological Transylvanian habitat. At the same time it is also a useful tool in developing strategic plans of the study areas.


Key words:


  • fundamental and interdisciplinary research
  • modern methods, comparative analysis
  • magnetometric measurements
  • landscape archaeology, 3D models
  • aerophotogrammetry


Research topics:


  1. Mapping and interdisciplinary research of the archaeological heritage in central and north-western Transylvania.
  2. Studying the process of change in the perception of cultural heritage in the mentality of communities of central Transylvania.
  3. Study of the multicultural character and the intercultural influences between communities. Positioning of the studied archaeological heritage in central European context.
  4. Study of the evolution and of the relation between the public and private space. Analysis of the initiation and development of different forms of symbolic spaces.
  5. Analysis of the peer polity interaction and core-periphery relationships and their historical evolution. Elaborating a model for the habitat system in central Transylvania, the reconstruction of its historical evolution.




  1. Integrated research of the archaeological heritage
    • Mapping of the archaeological heritage. Morphological, stylistic, chronologic analysis of the mentioned data.
    • Elaboration of a cadastre of the archaeological heritage as a database, by aerophotogrammetrical methods.
    • Elaboration of a cadastre of the archaeological heritage elements as a database that can be used later by the specific institutions in the decision making process pertaining to the local and regional modernization.
    • Active contribution in preventing the deterioration of the archaeological heritage that might occur in the modernization process.
    • Study of the process of change of the notions of heritage and value in the mentality of the Transylvanian area.
  2. Elaboration of a model for the habitat evolution in the central and north-western Transylvania and the study of peer polity interaction and core-periphery relationship this region.
    • Recreation of the evolution (in time and space) of habitat and built perimeter in the researched area.
    • Study of the peer polity interaction core-periphery relations and their historical evolution.
  3. Study of communication and intercultural influences between communities in Transylvanian area.
    • Analysis of the multicultural character of the intercultural influences of the researched archaeological heritage


Researched control areas


When deciding upon the area to be researched we have taken into account the economical, political and cultural characteristics of the region, as well as other facts pertaining to the central Transylvanian region. Nine research areas have been identified, which are representative from to point of view of their heritage, and geographical morphology. These areas have been chosen in conformity with the Die Zentralen Orten theoretical model and the micro-regional models of Core-periphery and Peer polity interaction theories. The 9 control zones what was chosen are: Valley of Criş River, Valley of Eriu River, Valley of Barcău River, the Carei Plain, the area of Călata, the area of Cluj, Valley of Mureş River, Valley of Someş River and the area of Bistriţa.

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