Cioclovina Cave Bear Fossil Recovery Romania


Remote site in southwest Carpathians. Five week program to recover ice age cave bear fossils (10-35,000 yrs old) otherwise being plundered and to seal a man-made entrance. Ten US students (Colorado State, Dartmouth, Tufts Univ, Univ of Oregon, Univ of Hawaii) joined ten Romanian students and professional staff. Fees paid by US students supported Romanian participants. Support from Sudbury Foundation and Dimancescu Family.
Coordinator: Catalin Petrea

Sponsors: Speleological Institute and National Geographic Magazine (Romania)

See: SEE: Article by Dartmouth College participant

Return to STUDENTS

Top to Bottom:

– Cave entrance

– Recovered cave bear bones

– Outdoor meal and campsite at cave site

– American student group

Click photos for more details

Promo video clip created by Nicholas Dimancescu with photos by Cristian Lascu.

In 2003, in the same area as Cioclovina cave, were found the earliest European human remains by a US archaeologist. Dated to 34- to 36,000 yrs ago, the discovered bones in a bear cave are “the earliest known modern human fossil in Europe,” said Erik Trinkaus (more), the Mary Tileston Hemenway Professor of Anthropology at Washington University in St. Louis. “Taken together, the material is the first that securely documents what modern humans looked like when they spread into Europe. Although we call them ‘modern humans,’ they were not fully modern in the sense that we think of living people.”