Romanian field trip diary: Day 1

The first set of fieldwork of the YMPACT project will take place during summer 2019 in Romania. A preparatory visit was made by some project members and partners in May to scout suitable fieldwork sites. Postdoctoral researcher Bianca Preda kept a diary of the trip.

Monday, May 13

Dear diary,

We got to Romania late last night and I did not have the time to write anything. So let me start from the very beginning. We have been planning this field trip for weeks. Our aim is to find the best lakes or peat bogs to investigate during the project. The actual fieldwork will take place during the summer, but for now we just want to identify some possible candidates. Three of us - Heikki Seppä, María Ramos-Román and Bianca Preda-Bălănică - left Helsinki on Sunday afternoon, while two others, Enikő Magyari and Zoltán Szabó from Hungary, would join us in Romania.

Early today morning we left Bucharest and headed to Buzău County. On our way we spotted several Bronze Age kurgans in the beautiful green plain landscape of Muntenia, so we had a perfect start to the day. In Buzău we met our colleagues and packed the equipment. The team was now complete and ready to go. We paid a short visit to the Buzău County Museum where the manager, archaeologist Daniel Costache, was kind enough to support us. Daniel Garvăn, an archaeologist who has done serious fieldwork there and is familiar to the area came along and offered to guide us for two days to make sure we find the lakes we're looking for.

Our first target was Lake Vintileasca located in Vrancea County, one and a half hours driving from Buzău, at the altitude of 750-800 meters. The lake is around 5 meters deep, and with the collaboration of local authorities, we got access and spent almost three hours on its shore. The landscape is lovely and I was able to take some nice pictures. Our next goal was to reach the Bisoca region in Buzău County, but because of the heavy rains from the past two weeks, the roads were in bad conditions and it was not safe to venture. We were disappointed but decided it was best to return to Buzău. This is how fieldwork goes, you never know what will happen. Maybe tomorrow it will be better.

Useful links:
Buzău County Museum
The Vintileasca area

Photos from preparatory fieldwork trip to Romania