Bowing to public pressure, Romanian authorities on Wednesday ordered a halt to the construction of a four-storied building on the remains of a historical site, following the discovery of relics dating back thousands of years.
The four-storied residential building project attracted attention after tons of earth containing the relics were dug out and dumped in a field on the outskirts of the Black Sea port of Constanta.
On Friday, dozens of protesters formed a ring around the building site in the Tomis Fortress, the old part of the city. Archaeologist Octavian Mitroi said that the relics and artifacts dated back to the Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine eras.
Lawmaker Stelian Ion, of the Save Romania Union, drew public attention to the issue, and his party filed a legal complaint which led to the project being halted.
“We managed to stop it!” he said after the announcement.
Marcel Colesniuc, the director of the National History and Archeology Museum, also confirmed to G4Media that the work had been stopped while the inquiry was underway.
Mitroi said: “These pieces are extremely important…. relics from Constanta’s history have been destroyed.”
He said a Roman recipient for holding oil from the 2nd or 3rd century was among the relics, as was a human thigh bone. “I’m surprised how much pottery there is from the Hellenistic period” he told Mediafax news agency.
Constanța, was founded in about 600 BC by seafarers and Greek merchants who came from Asia Minor, which is part of Turkey. They were drawn by the location and good trade opportunities with the local population. Tomis is the city’s historical name.
The Romans later conquered the fortress, which became a Roman colony. Roman poet Ovid was exiled there.
Mitroi said he’d handed a report to the County department for cultural affairs detailing what shad happened
. “It is not normal to continue these construction works without an archaeologist being present,” he said. “We need to see what is there.”
“In good faith and with tenacity we can stop the degradation of Cinstanta and restore its historic aura,” lawmaker Ion said.