Săpături de salvare la hanul Constantin Vodă (1996)

Cercetări Arheologice 18-19, 2012, 9-77

Săpături de salvare la hanul Constantin Vodă (1996)

Authors: Eugen Teodor, Anca Păunescu, Ernest Oberländer-Târnoveanu, Mihai Tomescu

Keywords: Late Middle Age; rescue digging; inn; pottery; interdisciplinary research


A major real estate development required a rescue archaeology intervention in the very downtown Bucharest, mainly between February and June 1996. A large section, 75 long and about 3 m large was made in the street, mostly mechanically, just in the front of the National History Museum. The archaeological rescue digging documented 12 rooms belonging to a large inn, built by a famous Ruler of the Romanian Country (Ţara Românească), Constantin Brâncoveanu, in the last decade of the XVIIlh century. This kind of inn, of Oriental inspiration, is typical for the passage from Late Middle Age to Modem times, and is, in fact, a complex project including hosting areas, enclosure for animals, large storehouses, but usually churches also. Flourishing in towns with a certain demographic growth, but with a very poor communication means, like Bucharest, the inns were supposed to gather all goods needed by community in five months of cold and wet weather, when the road network was impracticable. The inn functioned about 160 years, until around 1860, the internai spaces being frequently restored, up to 7 times. Despite the fact that the landlord was unique, for its entire existence, a comparison between the type of internai rehabilitation operations proved that the initiative was lefi on tenants, the sequence type offloors (wood, bricks or vegetal cover) being unrepeatable. The use ofthe spaces – when proved by micromorphological study – is also distinctive, either cooking area, workshops connected with open fire, or even stables for sheep, for some relatively short episodes. Those 12 rooms are placed on the western wing of the building, on the main facade, facing a major street – Podul Mogoşoaiei – studied in the southem end of the archaeological section. The public road was made of wooden boards supported by wooden pillars buried under the walking levei, similarly with a bridge, from which the street took its name („pod” meaning bridge). This type of public street, made entirely of wood, is documented in wet lowlands, where stone is not available, like Timişoara (western Romania). The history of the place begins during the late XV1 h century, for which deep buried huts were discovered. For the mid XVIlh century a new type ofhouse was in use, made ofwood, relatively large and with cellars, typical for aristocracy. In the XVIIlh century this strip of land was no more a constructive area, a little cemetery being discovered in the southem part of the trench. The layers dated between the cellar-houses and the inn are first in which fragments of bricks and mortar were recorded, probably from buildings in proximity. Regarding the political history of the Romanian countries, it might be surprising that from our discoveries Ottoman co ins are missing. W e found instead some Turkish pipes, a good witness of adopting an oriental life-style. This paper also presents the main results of the sedimentological and micromorphological study performed on Constantin Vodă Inn archaeological site. The field study firstly considered in the analysis of the sedimentary successions observed on the main stratigraphic profiles and the identification of the different types of units. The main diagnostic criteria observed in the field at the macroscopic levei – texture, structure, color, nature of constituents, homogeneity and degree of compaction – allowed establishing a typology of sedimentary facies necessary for the interpretation in terms of mechanisms of formation, in order to identify human activities and post-abandon transformations of the accurnulated deposits. Thus, different types of construction and arrangement units, occupation units and natural accumulations were recognized. Micromorphological analysis, at the microscopic scale, brings detailed information on the sedimentary units and thus contributes to a better interpretation of the archaeological levels. Extraordinary information provided by this study is the identification of sferulites, structures indicating the presence of the domestic animals (Ovis/Capra) in spaces fitted out with a wooden floor. The palinological expertise – the first ever done in an archaeological site from Bucharest – revealed a predominance of a ruderal vegetation, followed by hydrophilic vegetation and lowlands trees, but not cereals, explained by the position is in the middle of the medieval town.

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How to cite: Eugen Teodor, Anca Păunescu, Ernest Oberländer-Târnoveanu, Mihai Tomescu, Săpături de salvare la hanul Constantin Vodă (1996), Cercetări Arheologice, Vol. 18-19, pag. 9-77, 2012, doi: https://doi.org/10.46535/ca.18-19.01

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