Gradistea Muncelului

Grǎdiştea Muncelului


a peak in the Transylvanian Alps (Hunedoara, Rumania); the site of the remains of Sar-mizegetuza, the capital of pre-Roman Dacia, destroyed by the Romans in 106 A.D . Intensive digs have been under way since 1950.

The settlement is situated at an altitude of 1,200 m and extends for about 3 km. At the summit there is a hexagonal stone fortress with eastern and western gates and guard towers. Inside have been uncovered remains of wooden structures (for the garrison and for shielding the inhabitants from enemies). From the eastern gate a paved road led to the so-called sacred enclosure, a complex of cultic structures from the first to the beginning of the second century A.D. Most interesting are two round sanctuaries. The smaller of them (about 12 m in diameter) is a circle of stone columns; the larger (about 30 m in diameter) is several concentric circles (made from stone blocks and stone and wooden columns). The grouping of the columns in the first sanctuary has been linked with the astronomical observations of the Da-cians; the grouping in the second, with the ancient Dacian calendar.

Around the fortress and the sacred enclosure are the dwellings of the Dacian aristocracy, auxiliary storehouses, and workshops. Archaeologists have found many work implements, painted ceramics, and various articles of bronze, iron, and clay, as well as Greek and Roman coins, vessels, and other objects brought from Black Sea cities and the Roman Empire. After the capture of Dacia, the Romans built a small stone fortress, thermae, and other buildings on Grǎdiştea Muncelului.


Daikovichu, K., and Kh. Daikovichu. Sarmizedzhetusa. Bucharest, 1963.