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Bridges connecting the Peoples of the World - a Country without a Past has no Future!





Click on the photos to see an enlarged version

The Fossiliferous site near Bîlta

Town of Bilta

Bîlta from the hills at the west border of the village. 1000 people live in Bîlta, most of whom are farmers. A few of them work in other towns close by, Filiaşi, Turceni, even Craiova, going there by train and coming back home every evening. In Bîlta there is an Orthodox church, about 5 stores with food and household supplies, as well as eight bars or taverns. However many people make and drink their own wine. There is also a school. For many things, everyone must go to Filiaşi, about 3 km distance to the north, walking over the wooden bridge across the river and through the forest.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

shells on track
These fossils were discovered where a track was being eroded by running water, at the entrance to a large forest about 1.5 km from Bîlta. Near here a small river flows out of the forest, becoming the source of the Balta River, which passes through Bîlta, and empties into the Jiu River.

The fossils are from the Romanian II level, dated at 3.5 million years ago, like the sites at Bîlta itself and at Meteu. At the site there are a lot of small stones and clay, and a few shell fossils uncovered at the surface.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

shells on track
The old lake of Oltenia covered almost the entire area of Romania, so it is theoretically possible to find fossils everywhere, at the same level, about 5-10 metres underground, known as "Level 10", presumably because the deposits are typically ten metres below ground. However they are only visible where rain or meltwater has uncovered them, and where they have not been completely removed by subsequent erosion.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

shells on trackshells on track
Most of the fossils at this particular site appear to be of bivalves.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

This stream passes through the forest, becoming the source of the Balta River, which passes through Bîlta, and empties into the Jiu River.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Water sources such as these in the photo are usually put where a traveller needs them, deep in the forests or at the intersection of roads, or in the middle of a field - anywhere that it is hard for a traveller find water.

These water sources were built by moderately rich people in memory of a family member. Near every source is a cross, a kind of wooden cross, called here Troitza, and on it is written the name of the dead person and the name of the people who built the water source.

Those who drink water from the well must remember the soul of the deceased person, so the dead person can ... drink water, even after his/her death!!!.

Note also that the well or spring usually has a fence built around it to stop animals from fouling it, but the water trough extends outside the fence so that animals can drink from the spring as well.

The tradition here is, as well as this, to put crosses near a river, as can be seen near the Bîlta wooden bridge over Jiu river, to remind travellers about the soul of the dead people!

Also, near most water sources a table and chairs are often put for travellers for food and rest, a reason again to commemorate the soul of the dead person remembered there.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

These trees are part of the forest near the fossil site. There are huge trees like these all through the forest. It is a very large forest, ten kilometres square, a relic of the ancient forest of Oltenia. The old stories said that in such a forest you could walk for over 100 km, between Craiova and Drobeta-Turnu Severin to the west.

From this forest, people take wood for their fires and wooden houses, or other things made of wood. The forest is taken care of by the Romanian state.

Also, in this huge forest, live all kind of wild animals, deer, wild pigs, foxes, a lot of birds etc. The entire area of this part of Oltenia, the northern part of the area, is occupied by forests, with many different kinds of trees and many, many sources of water, wells and springs.

Dr Gheorghe writes: "What is strange for me is the fact that there are a lot of stones brought by water, everywhere. We have here only clay hills, but no mountains around. This is an old and huge forest, like a dream one! I call this area..."heavenly hills"!"

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe


De la Wikipedia, enciclopedia liberă

Trovanţii sunt microforme de relief caracteristice acumularilor de nisipuri şi unor stratificaţii de gresii bogate în carbonat de calciu. Ei apar sub forma unor agregate minerale nodulare, sferoidale, elipsoidale, discoidale, cilindrice sau dendritice cu structura masivă, concentrică sau plană (stratificată), avănd dimensiuni de la caţiva milimetri la caţiva metri.

Trovants are microforms of relief that are characteristic of sand accumulations and of some sandstone layers that are rich in CaCo3. They appear as mineral aggregates that could be nodular, spheroid, ellipsoid, discoid, cylindrical or dendritic with a massive structure, concentric or plane (stratified), having dimensions between some millimeters and some meters.

These trovants are rare in the area, but Dr Gheorghe found this one, which measures approximately six centimetres across, in the Bîlta West forest.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site


This site is to publicise the history and culture of Romania, and displays information from the Alexis Project Association

Alexis Project Filiasi/Romania
RC J/263/230/2007 CIF 21464151

in a partnership and contract with the Oltenia Museum:
Oltenia Museum Craiova/Romania
CF 4417192

Because Oltenia Museum has the ability to verify the scientific importance of this information and because the specialists of Oltenia Museum have made contributions to this site, the copyrights to it are part of Oltenia Museum property.

If you have any photographs or information which would be useful for this site please contact Don Hitchcock

This page last modified Monday, 24th January, 2011 02:17am

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