Commingled Remains Osteology Research Workshop
Simeria, Hunedoara County,
July 5 - August 1, 2015
Room and Board
Logistics and Housing
Our project aims at exploring the funerary monument situated on one of the north terraces on the Magura Uroiului geological formation, as well as the analysis of the remains present. Our archaeological site is within 8 kilometers from the city. For the excavation component, a bus will be taking us from the hotel to the site and back..
We house everyone in double or triple occupancy rooms in a nice hotel in the city of Simeria. Every room is equipped with bathrooms.
The housing, laboratory and excavation conditions are very safe. There are several fully equipped hospitals and stores near by. Generally speaking, you will have all the advantages and comfort of an urban environment.
Breakfast is included in the fees during the work week (Mon-Fri) and we will have it as a team at the hotel. You are responsible for your own lunches and dinners during the week, and all meals during the weekend.
There are plenty of stores, supermarkets and farmer's markets in Simeria where you can purchase fresh cheese, various meat products, garden vegetables, bread, drinks, etc. There are also restaurants, pizzerias and supermarkets.
Costs: $2475 for 4 weeks
Team size: maximum 15 patricipants
The fee is for the full 4 (four) week duration of the workshop. It includes a $385 non refundable registration fees, room and board as described above. Usually, we expect the entire project fee to be paid in full within 21 days after being accepted to the program. No refund will be considered after March 14, 2015.
The registration cost does not include the trip to and from Romania. If you arrive at the pre-established times, someone will wait for you at the train station in Simeria. Participants must arrange their own travel and health insurance. Participants are responsible for their own lunches and dinner, as well as all meals during weekends.
No entry visa is generally required for Romania for up to 12 weeks for EU, US and Canadian citizens. It is always a good idea to check with the Romanian Consulate.
Getting There: Travel and Safety
In light of recent global events, questions of safety are on everyone’s mind. Romania is safe and Transylvania as a whole is very safe. Most crimes in Romania take the form of petty theft or corruption. Very few violent crimes have occurred in the country. Most of the problems and crimes that are exposed in the media: poverty, gypsy problems, street kids, etc., – happen south of the Carpathian Mountains, mainly around Bucharest and Craiova.
We will pick up everyone at the Simeria train station upon arrival and drive you to the dig house. There are several easy ways to get there: Simeria is a train and bus hub, easily accessible. We advise to land in Budapest: it is very easy to get to Simeria by train from there. Another option is to land in Targu Mures, Cluj, Arad, Timisoara, or Sibiu (there are daily flights from England, France, Germany, Italy and Hungary to most of these cities – check, among other sites, www.lufthansa.com , www.austrianair.com , www.carpatair.ro , www.tarom.ro , www.wizzair.com , etc.). We do not recommend to land in Bucharest. Although a lot of progress has been made in the last few years to keep the airport and the train station clean and safe, the city is not always welcoming to foreigners traveling alone, and getting from the airport to the train station could be very expensive.
Most of the people, who participated in the Southern Transylvania Projects in the past, chose to land in Budapest. It is very easy to get from the airport to the Keletli train station. There are several trains daily to Simeria. In case you want to arrive early and explore Budapest for a day or two, there are several hostels not too far from the train station, relatively inexpensive. The return trip Budapest-Simeria is around US$175. It usually lasts around 7-10 hours one way. From Simeria train station, our dig house is less than 10min cab ride (and about $10).
Although landing in Bucharest might save you a few dollars on airfare, the trip from the airport to the train station can set you back around US$50 or more and is usually an hour (or more) long. There are at least two direct trains to Simeria daily and the train ride lasts more than 9 hours. The return train fare was about US$60-70, but if you choose this way to travel, I strongly suggest to pay an extra $30-35 for first class seats: the conditions are not much better than second class, but it is somewhat cleaner and you get different kind of travelers.
All participants have make their own travel arrangement to the closest train station to the project home base. Once you arrive at the pre-established times at the designated spot, someone will pick you up and take you to the dig house.
A more specific, detailed "travel kit", with train schedules, pick up locations, a guide to food and drinks, an overall list of what to bring, etc will be sent to all team members in March. Meanwhile, you can explore the participants' blogs from various ArchaeoTek past projects and visit our Facebook Community page where they have shared thousands of pics.
Simeria is located in the center of Hunedoara County, a region of great historical significance in Transylvania. The city of Simeria itself is surrounding by a number of important cultural sites that students are encouraged to visit. Each season the project team takes a horse-drawn wagon ride to the Roman military castrum of Cigmau, a major supply distribution center for the locally stationed Imperial army.
The Roman (and modern) bath complex of Germisara (now Geoagiu Bai) which was once a hub of Roman social life is now a popular tourist destination as well, and is only a few bus stops from Rapolt. The nearby fortresses of the Iron Age Dacians at Costesti/Blidaru and Piatra Rosie are some of the best preserved examples of Dacian military defenses here in the heartland of the Dacian Empire. The political, religious and economic capital of Hunedoara County, Deva, is easily accessible, home to the Deva History Museum, our collaborative partner and repository for all projects finds. The hilltop Deva Castle dominates the city center, and accessible by stair or cable car. Beautiful orthodox churches, restaurants, pubs and shops abound as well.
The two ancient capitals of Free and Roman Dacia, Sarmizegetusa Regia and Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana are also located in Hunedoara County. The ancient Dacian sanctuary and fortress complex of Sarmizegetusa Regia has long been a national icon of Romanian pride as well as one of the sites most studied by academia and represented by the media in Romania. The royal capital of the proud Dacian people, its temples and fortified acropolis are located high in the Orastie Mountains. The Roman procuratorial and gubernatorial seat at Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana has been excavated and studied for almost a century, and much of the foundations of the monumental city forum and surrounding temples and amphitheater have been well preserved and reconstructed. Artifactual finds from previous excavations are on display on site at the Sarmizegetusa Museum.
The adjacent transportation hub of Simeria affords students easy access to further destinations. Hunedoara is home to the famous Corvin Castle of the medieval Hungarian client-kings. Both the elaborately appointed and designed castle and its original occupants have captured the popular imagination. Alba Julia, the original capital of the unified modern Romania and one of the oldest continually occupied sites in Romania, is only a short train ride away. The city center still boasts its massive late medieval defensive walls, built in the shape of concentric seven pointed stars, now both an open air museum and the center of local nightlife. Within the walls students will find one of the largest historical museums in Transylvania, some of the largest and oldest Orthodox and Catholic cathedrals, and a vibrant culinary and social scene. For more involved excursions, Simeria offers access to the famous medieval Transylvanian cities of Brasov and Sighisoara (Dracula’s birthplace), Cluj and Sibiu.
Note that many cultural sites of interest in the area are only accessible by foot or off-road vehicle. Students are strongly encouraged to consult with the staff concerning all travel plans, and weekend group trips can be organized for students more affordably, efficiently and enjoyably.