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Stratum plus. 2020. No5

B. Ciupercă (Ploieşti, Romania)

The Fortifications of Slon and the Presence of the Adrianopolitans North of the Lower Danube

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Pages: 313-327

The fortifications from Slon in the South Carpathians represent, to a certain degree, unique monuments for the region north of the Lower Danube, outstanding in the area’s archaeological context between 8th and 10th centuries AD. The location of these fortifications on a strategic route (previously used by the Roman legions and later by the medieval states in order to cross the Carpathians) connecting the Balkans and Central Europe is of highest importance.
Built most likely by the first Bulgarian empire through Byzantine masons recruited from among the population of Adrianopolis resettled to the north of the Danube by the khan Krum, the Slon fortifications represented a key site which allowed the Bulgarian Empire to control both the salt exploitations from the south-east Transylvania, as well as the route which connected the Danube region with the areas north of the Carpathian Mountains. The existence of a commercial route which connected the above mentioned areas is confirmed, on the one hand, by some archaeological artefacts, typical for the north-west of Romania, towards the Moravian Kingdom, discovered in settlements along Teleajen Valley, and on the other hand, by some archaeological artefacts, characteristic for the areas to the south of the Carpathians, discovered in south-east Transylvania.
It is not the present study’s goal to settle the debates concerning the chronology, the evolution and the functions of Slon fortifications. Its goal is rather to sum up all the information available in the current literature in order to acquire a better understanding of this site.

Keywords: Lower Danube, South Carpathians, Slon, Byzantine Empire, First Bulgarian Empire, 8th—10th centuries AD, fortifications, Adrianopolis population, salt

Information about author:

Bogdan Ciupercă
(Ploieşti, Romania). Doctor. Prahova County Museum of History and Archaeology. Toma Caragiu St., 10, Ploieşti, 100246, Romania
E-mail: [email protected]

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