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About the project

This ethno-archaeological project on salt — a primordial reference of humanity — is a worldwide first, both from a methodological perspective, and in terms of the area covered. Starting from an original Romanian study published in 1992, the project continues the research carried out since 2003 by a Franco-Romanian team with that conducted within a Romanian Idei CNCSIS (2007-2010) exploratory project — This approach was put into practice in the Eastern Subcarpathian area of Romania, with impressive results.

The extension of the researches to the whole extra-Carpathian area is justified by the exigencies specific to a saturated model. Unlike the previous project, the research takes into account — besides salt springs — the salt mountains/cliffs from this area; the correlations between their exploitations are thus systematically analyzed for the very first time in the world. The project has two main research directions: the identification of the salt springs and salt mountains/cliffs and the adjacent archaeological vestiges, and the ethnological investigation through spatial analysis. The resulting data, modelled and interpreted exhaustively, corroborated with the available ancient and medieval sources, will constitute a solid reference (by capitalising on a situation that is unique in Europe) for research in any area of the globe where there are archaeological traces of salt exploitation but where currently there are no non-industrial exploitation practices. The research will underline the universal invariants, without omitting the idiographic behaviours.

Latest news

Project manager Marius Alexianu has been selected as member of the the International Advisory Board of the Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology published by Springer.


Official disclosure

Marius-Tiberiu Alexianu the main author of the first ethnoarchaeological study in Romania dedicated to the ethnoarchaeology of salt springs in Moldavia (‘The Exploitation of the Salt-Water Sources in Moldavia: an Ethno-Archaeological Approach’), Thraco-Dacica 13, 1992, p. 159-167, cited in the special works issued abroad. The methodology proposed by the ethnoarchaeological study was extended and applied to other areas of Romania and Turkey. M. Alexianu had published a monography and numerous papers regarding the ethnoarchaeology of salt springs. The most recent one is a chapter in a volume published in Springer Publishing House (Saturated model. A first application in world and Romanian ethno-archaeology, in A. Marciniak, N. Yalman (Eds.), Contesting Ethnoarchaeologies, 2013). He is also the director of two research projects The salt springs of Moldavia : the ethnoarchaeology of a polyvalent natural resource, 2007-2010 ( and The ethno-archaeology of the salt springs and salt mountains from the extra-Carpathian areas of Romania, 2011-2014 ( He has participated at many prestigious international conferences as organizer and key-speaker.

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