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Stratum Plus. 2000. № 4

O. M. Prihodniuk (Kiev, Ukraine)

On Cultural and Historical Essence of Archaeological Societies (Towards Interpretation of Cherniakhov Culture)

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Pages: 288-290

The article provides cultural and historical interpretation of Cherniakhov antiquities. The author believes that the essence of Cherniakhov archaeological society does not correspond to an archaeological culture. The latter one is seen as a cultural manifestation of a related primitive ethnic group, which manifests its unity in its own material features dominating all over the territory on which this archaeological culture is spread. Multi-ethnic Cherniakhov formation, with Goths playing leading role, is united into a single society by super-ethnic features generated by highly standardised potter’s and jeweler’s crafts influenced by provincial Roman culture and bearing no ethnic properties. The Cherniakhov society, far from a primitive one, was building its statehood. Cultural legacies of class societies being usually determined as civilisations /in the narrow sense of this word/, such archaeological formations as Cherniakhov should rather be called proto-civilisations. This interpretation can better reflect their higher hierarchy compared to archaeological culture. Archaeological proto-civilisation is understood as really existing material remains of several cultural and ethnic formations of pre-state period, united into one society /cultural system/ by super-ethnic features, usually the brightest ones, generated by highly standardised craft industry.

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