Hundreds of pages have been written on the impressive monument built on Nistru's coast - the medieval fortress. Built on the ancient location of Tyras, the fortress has drawn the attention of tourists, soldiers or scholars which have noticed various aspects: its size, thickness, the multitude of towers and precints or its predominant white colour.

Bearing in mind the archaeological investigations focused until now in the departments from outside the fortress, together with the scarcityof the figures derived archaeologically up to the 50's, adding the lack of a faultless demonstration concerning the date of the first defence's works construction and its identification, it has been to our purpose to develop a project in which we will assamble all the figures known by now regarg to diplomatics, epigraphics, numismatics, heraldry, sigillography, etc,. for obtaining the most conclusive and wide result.

The interest for the medieval monument from Belgorod is still awake coming from thousands of visitors anually passing by also from the specialists that want to solve its mistery. The last contribution towards this, that tried to give a resume on the main hypothesis concerning the genesis and the evolution of the defence work was given by M. Spalas, White Fortress , in Arta '96, Chisinau, 1996, p.56-71. Wishing a renewal of the data about the White Fortress, it is emphasized that " the grat mistery remains the problem of identifying the initial date of the interior fort, together with the ethnic origin of the construction workers ( Byzantines, Cumans, Slavs, people from Genova, Moldovians or Turkishs) which has been the source of dispute for a century between scientits" (p.58). By all means, the list of constructors can't include the Cumans or Slavs, but the author focuses on three hypothesis : genovian (sustainers: N. Murzacevici, A. Kociubinski, Gr. Ionescu, etc.), turkish (sustained by A. Bertier- Delgarde, N. Veselovski) and moldovian (sustainers: Gr. Avakian, V. Vatasianu, L. Polevoi, V. Voitehovschi, A. Toramanean, L. Chitescu, P. Barnea, etc.).
Our view to this is that a " turkish hypothesis" it is impossible to occur in our scientific debates from today.

Due to the known results of some archaeological investigations and taking into consideration the objectives of the research, we have decided the digging of some 5X5 m areas as it follows.
The "S1" with an area of 25 mp has been digged in order to examinate the disposition of layers in the north wall area of the fortress and to reach the basis of the wall on this side, between the east wall of bassement and the east wall of the fortress, including the north - east tower. In conclusion, the west side of "S1" is perpendicularly to the north wall of the fortress at 2,40 m distance from the east wall af the bassement. Also, the east profile of "S1" is perpendicularly to the north wall of the fortress at 3,40 m distance from edge of this wall with the south - east wall of the north -east tower.
This place has also been chosen to discover new archaeological results in connetion with others found on the edge of the fortress's north - east tower.

In order not to overuse material and financial resources, we have decided to open up a second area: "S2"=5X5 m, perpendicular to the east wall of the fortress, so that its north profile to be at 920 cm from the edge of the north -east tower with the east wall of the fortress and the south profile at 600 cm north from the south wall and also from the entrance of its south - east tower.
In the same time, the south profile of "S2" falls perpendicularly on the east wall of the fortress, instead the projection of the broken pick’s arch from this wall. This way, there are chances that we should continue the research to the east wall of the fortress, in an archaeological medium untached in 1929 by Grigore Avakian, that had concentrated his research to the south and south - east tower.


From the beginning, we should mention that the problem of the stratigraphy of the fortress and also the report between this and the other elements of the fortress (walls, towers, stairs, gates, etc.) is the main element followed in order to obtain a convincing answer to the following question : when was the fortress built?
As far as concerning the stratigraphy from "S1", it is represented - up to the maximum heigh of -580 cm form the 2 nd lot, between the wall 32 and the east profile of the surface, by five succesive layers of débris. This is made of ferruginous limestone stones of different size, coming, naturrally, from the multitude of the fragments produced during time in the fortress and moved all the time. The disposing of the five layers of debris, with small difference between them, from which, the first four contained frequently asbestos’s rests and other contemporary materials (plugs, objects from woods- for instance, a wood dipper dated 1964) showed that the digging was made on a surface no bigger than 3-4 m from the north wall of the fortress to the south. All the five layers contained strong traces of mortar and sand, together with different fragments of tiles. Some of them were easy to identify with the contemporary tiles put at the restaurary works from 60s and 70s on the north - east tower.
The stratigraphy of the 2nd surface, "S2", mostly realised up to the -332-335 cm from 0, is much more complex. It gives us the opportunity to come in the from archaeological medium nearby the east wall of the fortress,under the altar of a chapel that functioned under the Christian domination of the fortress.
The north profile of the section, from the west to the east presents as it follows: under a vegetal layer of 7-8 cm, follows a layer containing small fragments of limestone, débris and sand. This layer comes down to -264 cm, above a layer of offals material of 85-100cm and this way, the thickness of the layer is up to -349-364 cm. Then, in the north -west side, down from this level to -764 cm ( the maximum depth of "S2") is disposed an enormous group of tiles fragments and Roman bricks, bones and many ceramics fragments (Roman amphoras from II-III AC).


In the two areas researched, the archaeological material discovered - especially pottery- but also metal, glass, coins, etc. - is widely placed chonologically (from IV-III BC till Early Modern and Contemporary Times).
According to this, we will present the most interesting materials, by sellection, of course, without ignoring the statistics that can be obtained from the discussion of the entire material. We also mention that the archaeological material is highly broken. Whether is Greek, Roman, Byzantine or Romanian pottery, it appears to be small fragments, the whole or almost whole pieces being rather rare.

GREEK CERAMICS (HELLENISTIC) - is present in both searched areas.Unfortunately, in both S1 and S2, the fragments - rather small- appeared in the conditions of the disposition of layers that we have already stated, meaning in association with medieval or modern ceramics material.
Between the fragments discovered are noticeable the ones from S2 with painted background that are placed in IV- III BC. It is interesting that they were found nearly the Roman layer from II BC - III AC. They were separated only by the testemony left north from the 7th wall, between this and the north profile of the 2nd area. The presence of some ceramics fragments from the Hellenistic Times in the fortress's perimeter, together with the earlier results obtained by Grigore Avakian, consolidate the idea the ancient City of Tyras was built under today's establishment oh the fortress to an area that will have to be decided.

ROMAN CERAMICS - it is greatly spread, especially in area no. 2. Here, in "S2"- first square- between -340 cm and - 764 cm (the maximum level of the two searched areas) an important amount of Roman ceramics from II BC - III AC was discovered. It consists of amphorae bottoms, apertures and ears of different size but all placed during the stated period of time. We also mention the presence of some different ceramics species, extremelly broken, as: early lamps and cups.
In a Roman context, meaning materials associated with Roman ones, are to be mentioned the two fragments of Getic hand- made ceramics with trails of secondary burning, discovered in "S2" and also the Sarmatic fragment discovered in the same area. The Getic fragments date from I BC - I AC and the Sarmatic one from I -II AC. We also mention the few glass fragments discovered in the same context, strongly made iridescent, that we consider to be of Roman origin. Chonologically speaking, after the Roman ceramics found in the fortress, come some fragments known as ”Balcano- Danubian Culture” or ”Dridu”. Although the researches from the medieval fortress have proved the existence of some vestiges from the Golden Hoarde Times, only few elements were discovered in the two areas from the period of Mongolic domination.
The XIV and the XV centuries are dominated by the so-called ”Byzantine ceramics”, meaning the stoneware with a cup foot of circling shape. Chronologically, it is preceded by some fragments of Moldovian pottery, for common use, painted with waving ornaments, from XIII - XIV century and sometimes from the XV th century.
As expected, the ”Byzantine ceramics” is well represented, being wide spread in the west and north- west of the Black Sea in XV- XVI century, when, the Byzant was only a memory. Due to the fact that very few fragments have been preserved in order to establish the initial form of the pot, we can only make some observations concerning the ceramics species. First of all, we notice that the general distinguishable shapes, as well as the cap circling shapes are commonly known in the south part of the Lower Danube area, to Moldavia. Tha technique seams to be the same, the difference being noticeable in quality. We mention the fact that most of the cupfeet of circling shape from the two areas, do not preserve the emanel they initially had. We believe that the material esed by the potters is inferior in quality in calcarous rich. Some of the fragments still have traces of ceramics tripods used for keeping aport the pots during their burning in charges. The traces of the tripod used are obvious in the central area of the bowl found in S2 square 3-4-224-234 cm. The pots from this ceramics species are: plates, bowls, cups and urns, some of them minutely painted.
Another important species of ceramics discovered in the 1997 campaign is the Turkish ceramics. To our view, in this case, we distinguish two main categories after their origin. Some of them were made in the workshop of the fortress, after 1484, and another werw brought here before or after the turkish conquest. We distinguish between the foreign ones, the fragments of a pot in white paste painted with cobalt flowers dating from the second half of the XIV th century or the first half of the next century. A small number of pipes have been discovered with the mark of their production workshop. The bowl cup made from white, exquisite paste, painted with flowers is present, widely spread in this geographical area, as well as the pitchers with a characteristic profile. From all the species found here, either important from other areas of the empire, either from outside of it, we distinguish the ones with combinations between the old Greek geometrical ornaments and the flowers made by the Turkish potters in their specific way.

Given the nature of the studied fortress, the number of metal objects reached our expectations. Taking into consideration the ones from the period of intense activity of the fortress, we clasify them as follows: metal pieces for harness, weapons (or the constitutive pieces of them), metal pieces for common use (nails, clamps, spikes, etc.), jewelry. From the metal pieces of the harness, the most commonly discovered are the small buckles. They were found numerously in 1929, varying in size and some characteristic shapes without being able to date them. There was also discovered a great number of very big spikes, nails of divers profiles from constructions. Among the jewelry we notice a simple bronze ring and a small sheet iron decorated with circles and curves and also having two holes for sticking to another or directly to another material - leather or tissue. Among the weapons there have been identified three tops of arrows and three ”hedgehogs” in metal used against the chivalry or against the infantry on large surfaces. At last, thimbles of metal, horseshoes of different size and others smaller objects (chains, etc.) and also two cannon balls in cast iron from different soze complete the list.

Three coins were discovered in "S2". The first one in the first square at -126 cm was found folded and is probably Turkish. The second one, in the third square, at -208 cm had not been able to be cleaned, and the third one, in the fourth square, at -289 cm is a coin with the emperor Caracala,a face and with the legend TYPA/NON on the other side.

OBJECTS IN BONE AND GLASS have been identified in small number (glass) and rather broken. Among the objects in glass there are fragments of pitch paste, strongly made iridescent. Such ”pots” of thick spheric glass (6-7 mm) have also been discovered in 1929 in the fortress and we believe that they were used for preserving some special substances (mercury, etc.). We can also notice that in an area so rich in fish, the bones were used for tools or simple auxiliaries from bones of big fish: pins, arrows, daggers, etc.