Roman Military Excavation

Cumidava Castrum

 

Rasnov, Brasov County,

Transylvania, Romania

July 3 - August 6, 2016

 

Room and Board

 

Logistics and Housing

 

          Students and volunteers will be housed in the very beautiful medieval town of Rasnov, rich in history and culture, half way between the great cosmopolitan city of Brasov and Bram Stoker's Dracula Castle, Bran.

          Students and volunteers will be housed in double or triple occupancy rooms, in newly renovated houses rented expclusively for us, within 45min easy hike from the  castrum. This way we will have access to full a full kitchen, laundry machine, large common spaces and courtyard. If we run out of space in the houses, some of our participants will be housed in a  nearby hotel.

          Rasnov, and especially Brasov, provides all the ammenities of a European city, which includes hospitals an international bus station, train station, and all the stores you might need.

 

Meals

         

          Breakfast and dinner will be served Mon-Fri in a restaurant nearby. Participants will sample a variety of home cooked Romanian traditional meals. Students and volunteers are responsible for their own lunches in the field. Beware that Romanian cuisine is generally meat oriented. There are plenty of small stores, supermarkets, farmer markets, where you can purchase fresh cheese, various meat products, garden vegetables, bread, drinks, and anything else you might need. 

 

 

Project Fees

 

Costs: US$ 1585 for the full 5 weeks ($450 per week for short  stays - 2 weeks minimum)

Team size:  maximum 15 patricipants per session

 

          The fee is for the full 5 week session. 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, 2016.

          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 Brasov. Participants must arrange their own travel and health insurance. Participants are responsible for their own lunches.

           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.

          There is no terrorist threat whatsoever in regards to Romania. Romania is a country with the lowest terrorism risk in the world - for references, check: Global Terrorism Index (http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Global-Terrorism-Index-2016.2.pdf) and  Global Peace Index (http://economicsandpeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/06/GPI-2016-Report_2.pdf). Also, have a look at the Department of State specific Romania page for more information: http://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/country/romania.html . Statistically speaking, as far as crime (and terrorist threats) are concerned, you will be safer in Transylvania than in any major city in the US (for reference on comparative crime rates, see https://www.numbeo.com/crime/rankings_by_country.jsp). Also, the current migrants/refugees are really not interested in Romania (poor social safety net and low average salaries) and Romania is only accepting a symbolic number of refugees (less than 4000 in 2016). Since Romania was one of the last countries to join the EU, it still has active borders and it controls transit in and out of the country.

          We will pick up everyone at the Brasov train station upon arrival at the scheduled pick-up and drive you to the dig house. There are several easy ways to get there: Brasov is a major train and bus hub, easily accessible. Budapest was the preferred destination in the past: it is very easy to get to Brasov by train from there. However, due to the Syrian immigration crisis, Budapest has become slightly problematic. Another option is to land in Bucharest, Targu Mures, Cluj, or Sibiu, or a bit further, to Arad or Timisoara (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.rowww.wizzair.com , etc.). Bucharest is the cheapest option, but the city doesn't offer much. Budapest is slightly more expensive and it is a great city. The other smaller airports are closer but a bit more expensive.

         Most of the people, who were part of our 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 Brasov. 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-Brasov  is around US$175. It usually lasts around 14 hours one way. From Bucharest, it is a 4-6h train ride and costs around US$75. From Brasov train station, Rasnov is about 30min train, bus or taxi ride (and about $10-20).

          All participants have make their own travel arrangement to Brasov for us to pick you up at the pre-established times at the designated spot. If you arrive at a different time, you will have to make your way to Cristian or Rasnov  and wait at the train station until one of our staf is availabel to pick you up.

          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.

 
 

Sightseeing

 

          Transylvania is a magical place and it is really worth exploring. Rasnov, our base, is situated in south-eastern Transylvania. The whole region is a country of immense natural beauty and extraordinary history. Half way between the medieval city of Brasov and Bram Stoker's Bracula Castle of Bran, the region is filled with history and possibilities: Bran Castle, Rasnov Castle, Peles Castle (summer residence of the Romanian kings), fortified churches of Prejmer and Viscri...

          Brasov is an important train hub whcich means that it is relatively easy to move around and explore. The birth place of Dracula, the medieval city of Sighisoara is only a short train ride away. Not far from there, we have the fortified castle churche of Biertan and the Rupea castle.. Going towards the beautiful medieval "Red City" of Sibiu, with its amazing open air ethnographic museum and the Brukenthal collections, one can stop and explore the imposing Fagaras Fortress.

          Further east from Sibiu, we enter the heart of Dacian and Roman country, with plenty of great sites to explore, ranging from the Dacian fortresses of Costesti, Blidariu and Piatra Rosie, to the Dacian capital of Sarmizegetusa Regia, to the subsequent Roman capital of the Dacian Provinces - Sarmizegetusa Ulpia Traiana, to the earliest stone church in Romania, Densus, built with the spolis from the Roman Sarmizegetusa, to the amazing Corvin Castle in Hunedoara.

          One of the downsides of sightseeing in Romania is that public transportation, train or bus, is rather chaotic and it takes a lot of time to move around the country, as a result, weekend travelling might be complicated to organize. The staff is always available to help out with organizing trips, transportation and other logistical matters.

WHAT'S UP?
LAST EVENT

NEW PROJECTS

 

  • The outstanding success of our 2018 and 2019 GPR projects, the Applied Field Geophysics Workshop - GPR Applications, prompted us to buy a second GPR unit with a different central frequency and a different configuration. As a result, our participants will have the unique opportunity to get fully proficient on a 250MHz GPR system, in a cart configuration, as well as 500MHz system, in a rough terrain configuration.

  • Furthermore, participants who are committed to expand their field skill set can register to our new Geophysics Exploration and Field Excavation program. It is a 4 week program, combining the GPR Applications Workshop (5 days) and  Roman Villa Excavation (3 weeks). Participants save $200 over the combined costs of the individual programs.

2020

CORONAVIRUS COVID-19 ADVISORY

By now, everyone has  been caught in the media whirlwind surrounding the subject of the coronavirus (COVID 19). We are monitoring the situation very closely through both the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), WHO (World Health Organization) and ECDC (European Center for Disease Prevention and Control). Those institutions are the only competent and informed sources of factual information and subsequent advice for further action in this matter. We will fully abide by their recommendations.

 

In case the CDC raises the travel health advisory to level 3 or above for our region of interest, we will cancel the osteology, bioarchaeology, and Roman Villa and Settlement Excavation and the associated program fees will be refunded. In this very unlikely event, the GPR intensive workshop will be moved to Ottawa (Canada) and we will proceed with the training during the same dates, adding urban GPR signatures to the program. In this latter case, if you are registered to the Geophysics (GPR) Exploration and Roman Excavation, you will be reimbursed for the Roman Villa Excavation portion of the fees and receive a bonus credit of $495 off the program fees for our 2021 Roman projects, if still interested in exploring the archaeology of the Dacian Provinces.

 

At the moment, both Hungary and Romania have no travel restrictions or advisory of any kind. I do not anticipate either of them to change in any drastic way, as prophylactic measures have been set in place early and efficiently, following all ECDC and WHO guidelines.

 

To obtain the correct (and credible) information on the reality of the coronavirus outbreak, check the following sources:

 

WHO Situation Reports: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/situation-reports/

CDC Situation Report: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/summary.html

CDC Travel Advisory: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html

ECDC Risk Assessment: Daily risk assessment on COVID-19, 7 March 2020

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