As I am the daughter of Eugen Comşa, some people would consider that the following lines create a
subjective view about my father. Even so, I take the risk and state that my father was not only a very good
specialist in his field, but also a wonderful person.
How could someone comprise a lifetime within few words, if not enlisting a summary of the most
important events that happened? As my father had never had such intention, or opportunity, I will do it
myself, considering that both his scientific and personal life are intertwined, in a most interesting way.
He was born on October 20, 1923, being the only sun of his family. According to the stories told by people
who met them, his parents were nice, decent an honorable people. He lived surrounded by the great love
of his parents, spending the wonderful years of his childhood with his friend, Colea (whom is his friend
even today, after 80 years), wondering in the surroundings of Chisinau, his native town (at that time, part of
Romania). But, those years have passed rather quickly and he became a young man, who studied at the
high school “Alexandru Donici” from Chişinău.
During the World War II, in various conditions, he had lost his father and later on his mother, so that he
remained alone and taken care by his grand mother. He went to the war and this is why today he is a war
veteran. At the end of the ordeal, he had graduated the high school in Bucharest, where his family initially
took refugee at the today
National College “Cantemir Voda”. Afterwards, he was admitted at the University of Bucharest-Faculty of
History, becoming one of the most promising students. He was fortunate enough, to have prominent
personalities as teachers.
We could mention here Ion Nestor and Gheorghe Stefan. During his student life, he had eagerly learned
and worked on the excavation sites, trying to achieve a best possible knowledge in the field of archaeology.
This is probably the reason why, when he graduated, he was chosen by Prof. Ion Nestor to be his
assistant at the Chair of History. He worked there for few years, being replaced in 1952, at the same time
with his master and many others, due a debatable decision. I have no detailed information about that but, I
know that my father is, even now, gifted as a professor, being able to spend a lot of time, in order to explain
the evolution of phenomena or other important things, being comprehensive not only to the specialists, but
also to the novices. And this happens without loosing his temper. For those who wanted to listen to him,
he was full of involvement and passion, when he discussed about archaeological matters. For those who
didn’t talk to him about that, he was almost silent. He told me that his models as specialists were Ion
Nestor and Mircea Petrescu-Dâmboviţa and these were also the archaeologists who taught him a lot of
the archaeology secrets. During the 1950s, I think before one of the archaeological campaign from Garvan,
he had met my mother, also an archaeologist and, in 1955, they got married. In 1959 was born my sister
Delia and later on, in 1963, myself, Alexandra. We were a very happy family and we tried to spend as much
time together as we could. This is why our parents took us, as children, on most of their excavation sites.
We were fascinated by the objects found in the earth and we were glad, whenever we were allowed to give
a helping hand for washing or wrapping them. Our holidays had partly consisted in such experiences.
Later on, when being at the high school, we could not join them anymore and, truly speaking, we hadn't the
same interest like before.
Yet, we were missing both of them, especially when they left Bucharest for few months. At that time, in
most of the villages the telephone was a luxury but, anyway, we were glad even when we could talk to them
once a week. In time, other troubles appeared, as well. The transport was not proper, the lodging was
difficult because of the poor living conditions and therefore, we had a lot of things to worry about. In some
villages where they worked they didn’t even had a doctor.
After the high school, my sister went to the Academy of Economic Sciences - Bucharest, where she
graduated. For some time, she worked in the Institute of National Economy - Bucharest and later at the
private Ecological University - Bucharest, at the Management Chair. In the meantime she also got married
with Bogdan and had a daughter, Ana.
I graduated the University of Bucharest-Faculty of Biology and later specialized in Iaşi as an anthropologist.
Both, my sister and me had prepared and graduated as PhD candidates, my sister in economical
sciences and myself in physical anthropology. Some family friends said that is rarely possible to have four
doctors in one single family, but we had.
And here it starts the bad part of the story. In 1991, my parents were notified that they had to retire.
Everything happened very fast, without any prior notice. After working for about 30 years on the same
professional position, more appropriate for a young and newly trained specialist, they retired and went to
pension. Still, considering the results and prestige of their work, they were allowed to continue their work at
the Institute and they did it, being happy to return as volunteers to their usual activities. But this was just the
first and simplest trouble. The pleasant atmosphere of our family got shadowed when my mother had
unexpectedly died, after a heart attack, in 2002 and it completely disappeared in 2003 when my sister
passed away by a breast cancer, living behind her daughter and husband, not to mention myself and my
father. Ever since, both me and my father got somehow detached from the surrounding world and we
could hardly concentrate upon our daily activities. We were fortunate enough to have beside us not only our
remained family, but also people who were supportive and helped us to get recovered.
Now, when my father also passed away, I would not say that my wounds can heal soon, although my
family memory and the colleagues’ friendship encourage the meaning of my life as a physical
Archaeologists as people
|Maria, the wife of Eugen
Symposium in Bucharest (Romania) to celebrate the 85th Birth
Anniversary of Eugen Comşa (Internal link)
Short Biography of Eugen Comşa
Date of Birth: October 20th, 1923.
Place of Birth: Chişinau, the Capital of Republic of Moldova.
He was a citizen of Romania where he lived since his birth. After the elementary school, he attended the High School “Alexandru Dionici” in
Chişinau. In 1940 he moved with his family to Bucharest as a refugee and graduated from the High School “Cantemir Vodâ”.
In 1944-1945 Eugen Comşa participated in the Second World War, as a student at the Military School for Reserve Officers (Slînic Prahova),
then, he was a war veteran.
In 1945 he applied at the Faculty of History at the University of Bucharest, where he had the chance to have attended the courses of the
prominent Professors like I. Nestor, C. Giurescu, C. Marinescu and Gh. Stefan.
In 1946 Comºa became a librarian at the Prehistory Seminar of the Faculty. He graduated in 1948 with specialization in Prehistory. The next
year he was appointed an Assistant at the Chair of History coordinated by Professor I. Nestor, where he worked until 1952. Meanwhile, in
1950, Comşa also began working at the National Museum of Antiquities, which later became the current Institute of Archaeology „Vasile
Pârvan” of the Romanian Academy of Sciences. Since 1960 he had continued to have worked as a researcher in the Institute. He obtained the
title Doctor of Historical Sciences, with the thesis entitled „The Boian Culture”, under the supervision of Professor I. Nestor. In 1974 he
received the Prize „Vasile Pârvan” of the Romanian Academy of Sciences for the monograph „History of the Communities of the Boian
Eugen Comşa worked in the Prehistory Division of the Institute until I retired in 1991. He continued to publish actively until his death.