The Danube, called by Greeks "Istros", is known from ancient times as “the largest of the rivers of
Europe...” (Aelian, On Animals 14. 23). It joins the Black Sea through the Delta, the second largest and best preserved in Europe. The name of the Danube Delta is also Greek in origin, deriving from its geographical shape similar to the Greek letter “delta”.
Described by Hesiod as the “beautifully flowing Istros” (Theogony, 339), this river is an open gate to
Europe, as well as the confluence of many cultures and civilizations.
Today, because of the richness of its ecosystems and of the particular cultural heritage identified there, the Danube Delta became a UNESCO protected area in 1991.
The city of Orgame (called "Argamum" in Roman times) was placed by Hecataeus of Miletus on the Istros river (Orgame polis epi to Istro…., apud Stephan's of Byzantion, Ethnica, FGrHist I, fr. 172). Following I. Malkin's (2005) theory concerning the phenomenon of Greek colonial settlements, that they are founded in places which create a web or net pattern within micro-regions, the site of Orgame could be considered as part of the Istros micro-region.
In order to study the role of this river in the life of the ancient Greek colony of Orgame, an archaeological excavation team, formed by professors and students from
Romania and working this year on the Greek necropolis of Orgame, organized a field trip on the Danube Delta on August 7th. Canada