The Prehistoric Fortification in Cornești - Iarcuri


Cornești, Romania


Considered the largest fortification of the Bronze Age in Europe, the Cornesti earthen fortification, also known as the Iarcuri or Turkish Hills, is located about 20 km north of Timisoara and occupies an area of ​​over 1700 ha.

Drawing the attention of military topographers in 1720, the fortification was first researched by Ioachim Miloia in 1932 and then by Marius Moga in 1939.

In the autumn of 2007, the research was resumed by a team of archeologists from Romania and Germany, led by Alexandru Szentmiklósi, the head of the Banat Museum's archeology department. At present, researchers from Austria and the United States also participate in the research.

Unique in Europe's prehistory, the fortress was dated 1500-1000 BC, being built by the Cruceni-Belegiš communities. It consists of four concentric circles representing the walls of the settlement, being raised by means of wooden pillars, to which ground has been added.

Inside the fortification there were discovered: an access gate provided with towers of defense 4 meters high, ruins of an ancient temple, Sarmatian tombs, ceramic manufactories and a settlement dating from the third or fourth century.

It is believed that the Corneşti-Iarcuri fortress belonged to a population of farmers and livestock breeders who controlled the main access routes to various areas rich in raw materials (salt in Transylvania, gold in the Apuseni Mountains, copper in the Banat Mountains). From a strategic point of view, the fortification is halfway between the Timiş and Mureş river basins, the main access road to Transylvania.

It is not excluded that this fortification is also a construction with a prestigious role for the warriors of the end of the Bronze Age in the north of Banat.

The authorities intend to open a museum in the village to highlight the discoveries made in the area.

Specialists are now preparing the necessary documentation to inscribe the fortification on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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