The Intangible Elements of Culture in Ethnoarchaeological Research

pp 231-240


Romanian Salt Springs, Intangible Cultural Heritage, Archaeological Reconstruction: A Variable Geometry

  • Marius AlexianuAffiliated withPlatforma Arheoinvest, Secția etnoarheologie, Universitatea Al. I. Cuza Email author 
  • , Olivier WellerAffiliated withUniversité Panthéon-Sorbonne UMR 8215
  • , Robin BrigandAffiliated withUMR 8215 (Lab. Trajectoires)Universitatea Al. I. Cuza

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This paper examines the importance of the oldest chronological layer of the intangible heritage concerning the exploitation of salt springs, which is fortuitously still recoverable in Romania at the beginning of the twenty-first century. This layer, which comprises the first half of the twentieth century, has been investigated systematically through ethnological inquiries only since 2007, as part of two projects on the ethnoarchaeology of salt. Solely on the basis of this old layer, it was possible to study the complex relationships established between the salt springs and the various types of settlements supplied with natural brine, with ignigenous salt or even with naturally recrystallized salt. Additionally, the paper uses those elements of the intangible heritage that highlight the economic and symbolic dimensions that complete the purely archaeological approaches of the issue of salt springs.


Salt springs Intangible heritage Natural brine supplying Ignigenous salt supplying