Type of Work

Research Paper - Limited Access

Publication Date



The largest gold deposits in Europe sit in the Apuseni Mountains of southwest Transylvania. These mountains have been mined for over five thousand years and in that time they have hosted generations of mining communities and incited recurring conflicts based on control of the mineral rich area. Now, a transnational mining company's plan threatens the modem communities, the environment, and the rich Romanian cultural heritage. In order to better understand this current debate over ownership and control of mineral deposits we must first understand that mining is much more than an economic concern. In this paper I focus on two interrelated research questions: what are the social, economic, and political histories of mining in southwest Transylvania, and how might archaeology inform the discourse around modem mining? While exploring these questions I approach mining as a political act which frequently has complex social and environmental consequences, as well as an economic process. Through this research I attempt to gain insight into the specific issue of the Rosia Montana mining project while also looking at the important role archaeology is often able to play in discussions concerning sustainability, economic development, and preservation of cultural heritage in the modem world.

Hamilton Areas of Study


Hamilton Sponsoring Organization

Levitt Public Affairs Center

Hamilton Scholarship Series

Levitt Summer Research Fellowship

Hamilton Faculty Advisor

Colin Quinn