Transylvania perches on a plateau surrounded by the great arc of the Carpathian Mountains in central Romania. Richly endowed with medieval castles, cities, and ruins, Transylvania is the home of the real Count Dracula, portrayed in fiction as a vampire. In the Bronze Age, however, the province was famous for entirely different reasons. The area is rich in metal, and became a focal point in trade between the major cities in the eastern Mediterranean and northern Europe.
…Merchants and travelers alike followed the vast rivers – the Mures, the Danube and the Tisza – through flat floodplains and meadows nestled in the Carpathian Mountains.
Some of the smaller rivers were rich in gold, and in the mountains one could extract copper. Because of this the area became an important meeting point between peoples from North and South some 3,300 years ago.
…Not only did Cioclovina Cave have beads and glass originating from Mesopotamia and Egypt: the archaeologists also found 1,770 amber beads that came from Scandinavia.
…Radiocarbon analysis carried out on animal bones found in the cave supports the timeline of between 1,428 to 1,263 B.C.E.