Recent additions, changes and updates to the Alexis site


Contact Dr Gheorghe, the coordinator, at alexis_pro[email protected] for further information about the Alexis Project:

Email: [email protected]

Bridges connecting the Peoples of the World - a Country without a Past has no Future!
Click here for the song "M-a facut muica oltean" or "I was born in Oltenia" by the Allegretto children's chorus





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Outlaw Cave - Peştera Haiducilor

Outlaw Cave
Outlaw Cave

The Thieves' Cave or Outlaws' Grotto is located under the Ciorici Peak at an altitude of 160 metres, near the resort town of Baile Herculane. The cave is medium-sized (143 m long), horizontal, old, and developed on a system of fissures.

Text from:

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

It contains the following areas:

The main gallery, not very high (2 to 4 m)
The signatures room ( 3 to 7 m high)
The digging rooms ( the larger one is 50 m long and 10 to 13 m high)
The calcite wall gallery whose height diminishes gradually to the cave end.

It is a warm humid cave.

It was inhabited as far back as the middle palaeolithic. The cave was first included in the tourist circuit at the beginning of the 19th century.

Outlaw Cave
The Thieves' Cave is very important from an archaeological and biological point of view.

The complex researches performed so far have revealed the most complete archaeological profile in Romania with a habitation continuity from the middle Palaeolithic to the 16th and 17th centuries.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Outlaw Cave
Also here some cave and endemic species of isopoda and diplopoda as well as microscopic crustaceans (especially in the calcite wall room) were discovered and described for the first time.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Outlaw Cave
To all these we have to add the wall inscriptions, some of them from the 19th century.
In 1960 and 1961, the speleologist St. Negrea dicovered the signatures of N. Golescu, the minister of Domestic Affairs of the 1848 Provisional Government. It was dated 1836 but after 1972 it was covered over by other inscriptions.

Shown here is an inscription from 1831.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Outlaw Cave
From: Elizabeth H. Dinan, 1996 'A preliminary report on the lithic assemblage from the early Holocene level at the Iron Gates site of Baile Herculane', Mesolithic Miscellany 15 Volume 17 Number 2

The site of Peştera Hotilor (The Cave of Thieves) at the town of Baile Herculane (The Baths of Hercules) is located in perhaps the most picturesque locale in all of Romania. The site itself is in a rather large and impressive cave, with three large mouths to the east and southeast and three front inner chambers. The cave is on the side of a sheer cliff overlooking the fast-running Cerna River. Immediately below the cave bubble up hot sulphur springs which are tapped today to make Baile Herculane an important spa.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Outlaw Cave
Archaeologically the site is unique, with numerous levels including Mousterian, 'quartzitic Palaeolithic', one early Holocene (or Mesolithic) level referred to as Late Epigravettian, as well as numerous later levels, including Late Neolithic to Medieval periods.

The most intensive excavation of the Early Mesolithic level occurred in 1960 - 1961 under the direction of Alexandru Paunescu. The site has been erroneously reported to have two late Pleistocene/earlyHolocene levels, approximately contemporary with the two levels at Cuina Turcului. In fact there is only one undated level, with a remarkably small lithic material assemblage - 107 pieces in all.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Outlaw Cave
Although there are no radiocarbon dates, this level appears to belong to the early Holocene on the basis of the lithic assemblage typology which is similar to that of levels I and II at Cuina Turcului, the faunal remains found in the hearths, the floral (macrobotanical) remains, and the superposition of the level directly on cryoturbated sediments, (sediments disturbed by freezing) said to represent the final stadial of the Wurm, which was particularly harsh.

The faunal and floral remains all indicate a much cooler environment such as that of the very early Holocene when spruce dominated but more diverse forests were invading.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Outlaw Cave Outlaw Cave Outlaw Cave Outlaw Cave
There are many signatures on the walls of the cave.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Outlaw Cave
The forest near the outlaw's cave.

Photo: Adrian Gheorghe

Baile Herculane Băile Herculane - this town is close by the Outlaw's Cave.

TaxonCommon Name
Apodemus sylvaticusCommon wood mouse
Chionomys nivalisSnow vole
Clethrionomys glareolusNorthern bank vole
Microtus agrestisField vole
Microtus arvalisCommon vole
Microtus nivalissnow vole
Microtus subterraneusCommon pine vole
Sorex araneusCommon shrew
Ursus arctosBrown bear
Cervus elaphusRed deer
Castor fiberEurasian beaver
Cyprinus carpioCarp
Aspiu rapas(fish)
Thymalus thymalusGrayling
Picea sp.Spruce
Alnus sp.Alder

Pollen Analysis below from:
Carciumaru, 'Mediul geografic in pleistocenul superior si culturile plaeolitica din Romania, Editura Acadamiei Republicii Socialiste Romanaia, Bucuresti, 1980, p.93:

Pollen Analysis, Baile Herculane (c. 8100 B.C. uncalibrated)

arboreal pollen: 82%

TaxonCommon Name%
Pinus sp.pine2% decreasing
Quercus sp.oak5%
Ulmus sp.elm4%
Tilia sp.linden4%
Carpinus sp.hornbeam1%
Alnus sp.alder5%
Fagus sp.beech1%
Betula sp.birch1%
Salix sp.willow1%
Corylus sp.hazel48%

non-arboreal pollen: 18% (decreasing).


baile herculane bridge.jpg


Baile Herculane

Baile Herculane is a resort town in SW Romania, population 6,076 (July 1, 1991). located between the Mehedinti Mountains in the east and the Cerna Mountains in the west, spread along the valley pass of the Cerna River, between high limestone walls, 19 km from the storage lake of the Danube River (at Orsova), and 40 km from Drobeta -Turnu Severin. The spa is part of the Cerna-Domogled National Park.

The maximum and minimum temperatures are 31.1 C (1953) and -18 C (1950), respectively. Average: 10.5 C



Karst landscape typical of the area.


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
Email: [email protected]

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

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