40,000 year old modern human remains were discovered in present day Romania when the "Cave With Bones" was uncovered in 2002. In 2011 older modern human remains were identified in the UK (Kents Cavern at 41,000BP) and Italy (Grotta del Cavallo at 43,000BP), nonetheless the Romanian fossils are still among the oldest remains of Homo sapiens in Europe, so they may be representative of the first such people to have entered the continent. The remains are especially interesting because they present a mixture of archaic, early modern human and Neanderthal morphological features. One of the fossils found—a male, adult jawbone—has been dated to be between 34,000 and 36,000 years old, which would make it one of the oldest fossils found to date of modern humans in Europe. A skull found in Peștera cu Oase (The Cave with Bones) in 2004-5 bears features of both modern humans and Neanderthals. According to a paper by Erik Trinkaus and others, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in January 2007, this finding suggests that the two groups interbred thousands of years ago. The earliest written evidence of people living in the territory of the present-day Romania comes from Herodotus in book IV of his Histories written c. 440 BCE. Herein he writes that the tribal confederation of the Getae were defeated by the Persian Emperor Darius the Great during his campaign against the Scythians. The Dacians, widely accepted as part of the Getae described earlier by the Greeks, were a branch of Thracians that inhabited Dacia (corresponding to modern Romania, Moldova, northern Bulgaria and surroundings). The Dacian Kingdom reached its maximum expansion during King Burebista, between 82 BCE - 44 BCE. Under his leadership Dacia became a powerful state which threatened the regional interests of the Romans. Julius Caesar intended to start a campaign against the Dacians, due to the support that Burebista gave to Pompey, but was assassinated in 44 BC. A few months later, Burebista shared the same fate, assassinated by his own noblemen. Another theory suggests that he was killed by Caesar's friends. His powerful state was divided in four and did not become unified again until 95 AD, under the reign of the Dacian king Decebalus. The Roman Empire conquered Moesia by 29 BC, reaching the Danube. In 87 AD Emperor Domitian sent six legions into Dacia, which were defeated at Tapae. The Dacians were eventually defeated by Emperor Trajan in two campaigns stretching from 101 AD to 106 AD, and the core of their kingdom was turned into the province of Roman Dacia. Roman Dacia (106-275 AD)
The Romans exploited the rich ore deposits of Dacia. Gold and silver were especially plentiful, and were found in great quantities in the Western Carpathians. After Trajan's conquest, he brought back to Rome over 165 tons of gold and 330 tons of silver. The Romans heavily colonized the province, and thus started a period of intense romanization, the Vulgar Latin giving birth to the Proto-Romanian language. The geographical position of Dacia Felix (another name for the Roman province of Dacia) made it difficult to defend against the barbarians, and during 240 AD - 256 AD, under the attacks of the Carpi and the Goths, Dacia was lost. The Roman Empire withdrew from Dacia Romana around 271 AD, thus making it the first province to be abandoned. Roman conquest of Dacia stands at the base of the origin of Romanians. Several competing theories have been introduced to explain the origin of modern Romanians. Linguistic and geo-historical analyses tend to indicate that Romanians have coalesced as a major ethnic group both South and North of the Danube. For further discussion, see Origin of Romanians and Vlachs. Early Middle Ages
Main articles: Romania in the Early Middle Ages and Origin of the Romanians See also: Migration Period
Between 271 and 275, the Roman army and administration left Dacia, which was...
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