Schela Cladovei Culture – Asociaţia Pro-Mehedinţi

Thematic Route:  The Cultural Heritage Route

Name of the Touristic Attraction: Schela Cladovei Culture

Location: in Mehedinți County

Description: Schela Cladovei is a district of Drobeta Turnu Severin. It is located on the first terrace of the Danube, at 2-4 m height from the current level of the river, towards the exit to Orşova. Here, a number of archaeological research has led to the discovery of the oldest human settlement in Europe, about 9000 years old. The first discoveries were made between 1964-1965, when a group of researchers who researched the area of the Iron Gates region, uncovered archaeological material from the Neolithic period. Later on, between 1965 and 1966, older artifacts from a period before the Neolithic, or even Mesolithic were discovered, whose age is about 11,000 years old. Schela Cladovei’s culture outlines a well-defined, Danubian, evolving civilization, framed chronologically between 7000-5000 BC. Dwellings, ritual towers and graves were discovered. Also agricultural tools (hoes and planters made out of deer’s horn) have been discovered. The dwellings were rectangular and had fireplaces for heating, for food preparation, and ritual fireplaces. Inhumations were made near the house. People were cultivating plants and hunting. The main tools were made out of rock, quartz, but mostly bones. Artistic manifestations consist mainly of geometric incisions on different objects made out of bones. Subsequently, the objects were used as amulets or pendants. This settlement seems to be, at least up to now, the oldest stable human settlement, destroyed by an armed conflict. Over 60 burial tombs were discovered during the research. Due to the consumption of raw meat, the skeletons of the deceased, seem to be of some giants (usually they were over 1.90 m tall)

Legend / Story / Impressions / Recommendations: The research at Schela Cladovei – 1965, Ostrovul Banului – 1966, Răzvrata and Icoana – 1967, Veterans-terrace – 1978 and Alibeg – 1971 shaped the cultural complex Schela Cladovei.  It is also identified in Serbia, following the 1965 research at Lepenski Vir, at Haiduča Vodenika – 1966, Vlasac – 1969, Padina – 1969. It is the same cultural complex that Serbian archaeologists have called Lepenski Vir. This complex, Schela Cladovei – Lepenski Vir, is not the result of the influences of the Neolithic in the Near East. It is the result of normal evolution due to the warming of the climate, the changing ecological conditions of flora and fauna in the Balkan regions in general and the Danube defile and valley, in particular. From the hunter’s stage, man moves to hunter and fisherman stage and then moves to animal domestication and plant cultivation stage. He begins to polish the stone, he establishes a small household and becomes sedentary. He buries the dead around the house, binding more to this place through the influences that the ancestors’ spirits exert on him. For the cultivation of the land, he invented the hoe with gloving hole and the plough made of deer antlers. Discoveries from this period were made after intense archaeological research at Ostrovul Corbului and Ostrovul Mare. In fact, up to this last area, the bearers of the Schela Cladovei – Lepenski Vir culture could be traced. If the beginning of this civilization is to be specified, especially from the genetic poit of view, its evolution and its end must be related to the appearance  and the development of the Neolithic communities belonging to the Starčevo – Criş culture, the two cultures being largely contemporary.

Information and  Contact:

The Schela Cladovei culture is under the administration of the Iron Gate Region Museum:

phone: +40252 312 177

e-mail: office@muzeulpdf.ro;  muzeulpdf@rdslink.ro

website: http://www.cimec.ro/Muzee/MuzeulRegiuniiPortilordeFier/Index.htm

Route close to other Thematic Route:

In the area you can also visit:

  1. The Iron Gates Hydropower Plant Museum
  2. Thw Natural Reservations “Cracul Crucii”, „Cracul Găioara”, „Fața Firului” and “Gura Văii-Vârciorova”
  3. Vodița Monastery
  4. Roman-Catholic Cathedral, in Orșova
  5. The Iron Gate Region Museum, Orșova Subsidiary
  6. „St. Nicholas” Church in Orșova
  7. „St. Ana” Monastery in Orșova
  8. The Danube Cluster with all the tourist attractions in the area
  9. Drobeta Turnu Severin

Coordonate GPS: lat, long: 44.6352054, 22.6056093, elevation: 83 m