Persani Mountains: Karst of Vârghis Gorge

  • Daniel VeresEmail author
  • Marian Cosac
  • George Murătoreanu
  • Ulrich Hambach
Part of the Cave and Karst Systems of the World book series (CAKASYWO)


Vârghiș karst, with its limited spatial development but well-preserved features, is a peculiarity in the karst inventory of Romania. It shows several well-marked karstification levels, and a relatively high number of caves, the majority harboring thick clastic deposits. However, its most important asset is that it hosts numerous traces of past human occupation. For example, recent investigations of rock shelter Abri 122 produced one of the most significant Middle Paleolithic lithic assemblages for Romania, covering the time interval from Marine Isotope Stage (MIS) 5/7 to MIS 3. The occurrence of a volcanic ash layer within Bear’s (Ursului) Cave originating from the Ciomadul volcanic complex (East Carpathians) and dated to ~43/50 ka highlights the potential of Vârghiș karst in preserving such isochronous marker horizons, calling for further research.


Karst Caves Middle Paleolithic Vârghiş Romania 



The authors wish to thank Mrs. I. Dénes and the staff of Baraolt “Lost World” Association for the unconditional support offered during the archaeological research. DV acknowledges the support from project PN-II-ID-PCE-2012-4-0530 “Millennial-scale geochemical records of anthropogenic impact and natural climate change in the Romania Carpathians.”


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Daniel Veres
    • 1
    Email author
  • Marian Cosac
    • 2
  • George Murătoreanu
    • 2
  • Ulrich Hambach
    • 3
  1. 1.“Emil Racoviţă” Institute of Speleology, Romanian AcademyCluj-NapocaRomania
  2. 2.“Valahia” University of TârgovișteTârgovișteRomania
  3. 3.BayCEER & Chair of Geomorphology, University of BayreuthBayreuthGermany

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