Our country has previously hosted once more this Congress, 17 years ago, when the 7th edition was held at Constanţa-Mangalia-Neptun/Olimp. Since then, other editions of this congress have been organized by colleagues from Bulgaria (2000), Republic of Moldova (2004), Greece (2005) and Turkey (2010). In 1996, when the 7th edition of the Congress was held, the status of this research direction – Thracology – was most probably different than today both in Romania and in the other countries. At that time, our research field benefited from the existence of an independent institution (The Romanian Institute of Thracology, director prof. dr. Petre Roman), with its own juridical status and budget. Today, the Centre of Thracology activates harmonically as part of the “Vasile Parvan” Institute of Archaeology of the Romanian Academy.
As other peoples from antiquity were dedicated distinct branches of research that included historical, archaeological, linguistic, anthropological, archaeo-zoological, and ethnographical investigations it was only natural that the Thracians also had their own distinct discipline. The Thracology was and still is a field of extremely interesting scientific disputes. An example in this direction is the dispute concerning the appearance of the first Thracians in the Balkans.
Many research opportunities are still offered by the study of antic written sources. The archaeology and the linguistic studies permit (and most surely will still do so in the future) the discovery of new faces of the material and spiritual culture of this people.
The development and the evolution of the Thracians cannot be fully comprehended without knowledge of their neighbors and of the connections between the Thracians and the Celts, the Greeks, the Macedonians, the Scythians, the Romans, etc. This is what justifies the theme of this congress, namely “The Thracians and their Neighbors in Antiquity, in the Bronze and Iron Ages”.
Of course, not all the specialists that research the Thracians accept the existence of a separate field of research dedicated to this people. Some do it out of belief, having, in their opinion, the necessary arguments in this direction, others, unfortunately, do it for reasons that include fashion or pure opportunism. As long as the disputes are carried at a scientific level, the things subscribe to normality. But, unfortunately, we notice that sometimes this pseudo-conflict is transferred to the relations between institutions or even between persons which is damaging to the scientific research.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee, we convey our thanks to everyone for the personal, scientific and financial efforts made in order to attend this prestigious scientific event.
We need to express our gratitude to the Dâmboviţa County Council, and to its President – Professor Adrian Ţuţuianu, who, understanding the meaning of a scientific manifestation of the amplitude of the present one, accepted from the start to grant us a decisive financial help without which we could not have organized this event. We also thank the “Valahia” University, its rectors – Professor Ion Cucui and Professor Călin Oros, who allowed us to use their International Conference Center and the Campus. And we also thank the colleagues, Dr. Marian Cosac and Dr. George Murătoreanu, for their support. We must not omit from the “thank you” list the “Curtea Domnească” National Museum Complex from Târgovişte and its director, Dr. Ovidiu Cârstina and his colleagues, the Brasov County Museum and its manager – Dr. Radu Ştefănescu, and the Brăila Museum and its director – Professor Ionel Cândea. Another “thank you” we direct towards the manager of the “Vasile Parvan” Institute of Archaeology – Academician Alexandru Vulpe and to the colleagues from the Centre of Thracology.
We also want to express our high appreciation towards the efforts of Professor Marin Cârciumaru, who, with his well-known ability and determination, was the generator of energy that made all the people involved in the organization of the Congress to resonate in unison.
The Institute of Archaeology, an institution with a smaller budget compared to the other partners, wishes to thank for the financial help granted by the ArchaeoCommunity Foundation from the USA and “Sebastian Morintz” Foundation from Oltenita and to Cristina-Hannelore Schuster.
One can say – and many have said upon departure and in messages sent afterwards – that this congress was a scientific and cultural success, but also a success in terms of the interpersonal relations.
The congress was attended by 96 distinguished researchers, from 14 countries, which held 67 lectures of great topical, geographic and chronological diversity.
Without a doubt, the lectures and the discussion that took place resulted in a significantly wealthier body of knowledge on the Thracians and neighboring peoples. Furthermore, the publishing, before the end of the year, of the lectures will result in the quick adoption by the international scientific world of many finds, ideas and interpretations of the phenomena in question.
It is worth noticing that the participants voted, unanimously, in favor of establishing an association with legal personality – The International Association of Thracian Studies –,whichwill be able to include all the specialists across the globe involved in the research and scientific and cultural application of the Thracian vestiges, of course as interacting with the neighboring peoples. This association will be able to promote a more fruitful scientific cooperation across borders, between researches with such interests.
Also, all the participants to the Congress adopted a Statement of protest against the destruction of historical monuments, in general, and of Thracian vestiges, in particular, destructions which have multiplied lately.
The lectures held at the congress will be, for topic and financial reasons, published in 2013, in two volumes. The first volume, containing the lectures on the topic ”Settlements, Fortresses, Artefacts”, will be published in Târgovişte, while the second one, on the topic “Necropolises, Cult places, Religion, Mythology”, will be published in Braşov.
On behalf of the Organizing Committee,
Prof. Dr. Valeriu Sîrbu
Prof. Dr. Cristian Schuster