Saturday, 19 March 2011 13:30


Click on pictures to enlarge them

The French have named them TROVANTS, seeming to have been formed by rolling and this is where they get their name from . The correct name is microlith , although I had at home (! ) one of more than 100kg ( now it is at the Museum of Natural Sciences in Bacau ) and in the valley of Teleajen I photographed one of about 3-4 tonnes; on the lawn in front of the National Theatre of Craiova I saw two much larger stones .

I found trovants in several places in the country and think they are sandstones formed by sedimentation of sand carried by water in preformed channels and other water flows in sandy soil after heavy rain. Looking to get the most relevant explanation I found one given by the well known Prof. Marcian Bleahu and I allow myself to reproduce it here : "the result of movement through sand at different water temperatures and pressures loaded with dissolved calcium carbonate and due to CO2 removal from solution, precipitates. By precipitation a limestone cement is produced that glues together the grains of sand. Such precipitation of calcite is usually in the depths of the mass of sand around a solid core, for example a stone or wood fragment, the resulted build up of concentric sandstones getting ovoid or spherical shapes, according to a simple physical principle, as to include maximum volume in minimum of surface"... "in fact the intimate mechanism is not yet well explained. It is to be assumed here the intervention of some chemical forces too, electricity and possibly even gravity, under-studied." "If there are two close nuclei, the precipitation occurs independently around each. When two spherical concretions touch eachother, the precipitation continues concomitantly, uneven, over both spheres and welds them together, and from the millennial work resulting complex and bizarre shapes, extremely varied and attractive, worthy of the most perfect artist's imagination."

However, a dilettante like me I never found a core of other nature in the middle of a broken trovant, in fact they part, so it is still ... a sandstone. Much of the "trovants" have shapes so bizzare that compete the artificial art works. I will try to explain how I have found them.
July 3, 1983: crossing the valley of Teleajen I spotted something iteresting and stoped the car: outside House of Culture in the village of Izvoarele an enthusiast director brought some stones from the riverbed, some not quite small, with very interesting shapes:

Some time after hat (1984 July 21) I learned that a farmer has taken such a stone in front of his house in a nearby village - Schiueşti and I went to see it:

In the same area, in the riverbed of Teleajen , someone committed a petty crime , they scratched it, but ... look at it:

I would have brought her home! I would have needed a strong excavator bucket filled with bales of straw. (to Moldova!?)
Once, I cut out from a magazine "Magazin" an article on "The Unknown" from the Museum of Natural Sciences in the city of Bistrita. I had to go to see it. I arrived after closing time (1984 August 22), but I was "lucky": the trovants were "kept" on the sidewalk! I was told that the building would not have resisted because it was very old and they were expecting to move location soon. I was appalled: if someone comes and scratched with a nail ... who knows what inscription

I found that they had been brought from Râpa cu păpuşi " Dolles Ravine " from Domneşti, a place I had visited in 1981 :

After a few years I found the new location of the museum in Bistrita: a former barracks of the time of Maria Theresa. I went there on 21 May 1988 and an acquintance of mine recognized the place since he had been "assigned" to re-education during military service in the disciplinary battalion. It had to be disbanded after several years because spectators had appeared at the windows of the newly built blocks around it! I met the museum curator, engineer Ioan Chintăoan who knew nothing of the nickname "the Unknown"; at the museum it was called Măria:

I also found the story of the stone: it was transported from Râpa cu Păpuşi as ordered by a Count in the area, who planted it vertically in the park of his mansion and decorated it with a necklace and a brass belt decorated by molted metal. After the war the revolutionary peasants ripped off the stone ornaments and upturned it. However, someone took care of it and it became a museum piece.

The City Council decision to transform the barracks into a museum s is commendable.

I was on an "active rest" leave in the summer of 1985: the day before I got a visit from a friend and he brought me a gift of departure: the photo album edited by engineer Ion Lazu who worked in the Horezu area, "Nature carves," Ed . Sport-Turism, Bucharest, 1984:

Gresarea brook is only about 3 km long, but during the spring the torrent coming from the melting snow, diggs out the sandy banks and displaces preformed rocks: "trovants"! I also played around (like the author of the album) for two days photographing in the riverbed. Splendid!

Some children were telling that "gentlemen from Bucharest" also come and look for beautiful stones to take home . Good idea! Since at kilometer 2 (!) were the "chicken" and then I found the hen (54 kg!). It was difficult take it to my car, but that's another story, perhaps funnier. Sunday night I arrived home in Piatra Neamt and Monday I built wood pedestals and upholstered them until Wednesday: I improved the interior decoration of my home. it came out quite "artistic"! (I went again twice to collect more of them, now I have 30 pieces).

References to the trovants I also found in the magazine "Înainte" (Dolj) no. 8453 / 12 May 1972 in the article by Vasile G. Paleolog about similar stones in other countries (Canada, the Pyrenees, Ireland, Tatra Mountains) and in our country at Blahniţa, Brebu, Valea Dracului, Dealul Feleac, Gresarea valley, and Vrancea County. I could add: Buzau County - Bozioru village on the Pineanca creek that flows into the Brăneasca creek, a tributary of the Buzău river at Pârscov.


28 August 2012 - while passing through Horezu I decided to have a little detour for the fourth "fishing" on Gresarea stream and I found a few interesting stones.