Argamum

Argamum

Orgame, the ancient fortress visited by the Argonauts

The Greeks called it Orgame. Centuries later, the Romans settled here and renamed it Argamum. The ruins of the ancient fortress are impressive even today, from the top of the stone spur in Razelm lake, a former golf of the Black Sea. The archeological site is situated on the top of the headland called “Capul Doloșman”, not far from the rustic and picturesque Jurilovca village.

According to a local legend, this former golf of the Black Sea was visited by the Argonauts after they stole the Golden Fleece from the kingdom of Colchis.

Orgame was founded in the 7th century B.C., the first settlement to be mentioned in an ancient text, at the end of the 6th century B.C. - beginning of the 5th century B.C. by Hecateu of Milet.

It seems that Orgame was founded a few decades before Histria. This theory is based upon finding graves from the 7th century B.C. It was only a stopover port, and did not reach the level of development that Histria had.

In the first century A.D., ancient Dobrogea (Sciția Mică / Mykra Skythia / Scythia Minor) was conquered by the Romans and Orgame was renamed to Argamum. The settlement developed gradually into a stopover on the route from Byzantion to Tyras (a city in the north of the Black Sea).

Vasile Pârvan was the first romanian archeologist that identified the ruins near the “Capul Doloșman” as being the ancient Argamum. The archeological research began in 1926, led by Paul Nicorescu and is continuing to this day.

There were many archeological discoveries such as enclosure walls from different times, important buildings as well as early christian churches, old coins, arrow tips, dolphin shaped bronze items used as trade currency during the greek era or bronze ingots shaped as sea creatures.

The roman-byzantine fortress was abandoned in the 5th century A.D., under the pressure of attacks by nomadic tribes as well as the natural process of sand clogging that cut the golf from the Black Sea, transforming it into a lake.

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Arhamum
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