About Orgame/Argamum

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Blog created and administrated by: Dr. Vasilica Lungu (excavation director of Orgame necropolis), Dr. Alexandra Dolea, Dr. Alina Mușat-Streinu and Dr. Marius Streinu. Orgame/Argamum is one of the most important archaeological sites along the Black Sea coast. The pattern of habitation for the area lasts, with small periods of interruption, almost two millennia. The archaeological discoveries fully illustrate this interval, starting about the 13th century and divided into the following periods: Bronze Age (13th century B.C); Early Iron Age (10th – 8th centuries B.C.); Archaic and Classical (7th – 4th centuries B.C.); Hellenistic (3rd – 2nd centuries B.C.); Early Roman (2nd – 4th centuries A.D.) and Late Roman (4th – 7th centuries A.D.).


On the traces of the Ancient Greeks in the Black Sea: the Danube Delta

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 Canada working this year on the Greek necropolis of Orgame, organized a field trip on the Danube Delta on August 7th.

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