Preliminary reassessment of the Aurignacian in Banat (South-western Romania)


Despite its richness, the Romanian Paleolithic record has remained for decades relatively poorly known to the broader scientific community. The situation swiftly changed after the find at Oase Cave, which brought the Romanian paleoanthropological and archeological record into intensive focus, spurring several international research projects devoted to the regional Early Upper Paleolithic. The present paper provides the first summary of recent research undertaken in the neighboring area of Oase, the Romanian Banat, particularly focused on the Aurignacian open air occupation at Coşava.

A detailed attribute analysis of both old and recently excavated Aurignacian collections from Coşava, supplemented by a comparative overview of the allegedly similar industry at Româneşti-Dumbrăviţa, is presented. An initial chronological assessment of the Banat Aurignacian by means of several OSL samples from Româneşti is also proposed.

The results of the lithic analysis, much like the new chronological estimations (in excess of 30 ka BP) confirm the early assignment of the Banat assemblages to the Krems-type Aurignacian, but also dismiss the unusually young chronology initially attributed to these settlements. While several features, including the constant presence of Krems/Dufour tools, point strongly to an archaic stage of the Aurignacian technocomplex (Protoaurignacian/Aurignacian 0), other elements (carinated forms, twisted bladelets, and Aurignacian blades) recall more ‘classical’ features conventionally associated to the Aurignacian I. No coherent chrono-stadial trend or functional requirements can explain these ‘mixed’ features in the Banat industries with the data at hand. Their presence nevertheless points to the internal variability of these early Aurignacian occurrences.


Sitlivy, V., Chabai, V., Anghelinu, M., Uthmeier, T., Kels, H., Nita, L., Baltean, I., Veselsky, A., Tutu, C. (2014): Preliminary reassessment of the Aurignacian in Banat (South-western Romania). – In: Quaternary International, Vol. 351, p: 193-212

Authors Sitlivy, V. and Chabai, V. and Anghelinu, M. and Uthmeier, T. and Kels, H. and Nita, L. and Baltean, I. and Veselsky, A. and Tutu, C.
Type article
Title Preliminary reassessment of the Aurignacian in Banat (South-western Romania)
Journal Quaternary International
Year 2014
Volume 351
Pages 193-212
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