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Stratum plus. 1999. № 1

Klejn L. S. (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

Migration: Archaeological hallmarks

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Pages: 52-71

Since the time of Kossinna and early works of Breuil the revealing of ancient migrations by archaeological means proceeds largely. However the simplified method of revealing advanced by Kossinna and his pupils (on the basis of a single type of artifacts) is recently refused. After the works of Wahle, Eggers and Hachmann archaeologists have to give up the complex principle (the template criterion of the relocation of culture) either. Still there is no new system of methods how to reveal migrations on the basis of archaeological material. Some students (Willey, Chang) came to a conclusion that for the elaboration of such methods one needed to build theory of migrations on the basis of the ethnographical material. Yet the attempt of Gjessing to build such theory was rejected by his colleagues, and Hachmann holds such theory for impossible because of the variability of migrations. He suggests to take absolutely evident archaeological situations for initial points and to hang in each case upon sound reason and archaeological analogies. In many cases, he concludes, one must simply admit the solution is impossible. To me another way seems more prospective. A classification of real migrations fixed in history and ethnography should be put as the basis of the elaboration, and the question of archaeological hallmarks must be considered for each class of migrations separately. It should be made on the basis of analysing the structure of migration (considered as a set of typical events, typical components). The establishment of hallmarks common to a few or even to many classes cannot be excluded either. Not always the hallmarks seem clear and unambiguous, not always one can reveal a migration by its archaeological traces, but in order to separate reliable migrations from dubious, one must formulate the validity criteria of migration. However if the material does not suffice these criteria, still it does not mean that the autochthoneity is present. To state it one needs its own criteria of validity.

Information about author:

Leo Klejn (St.-Petersburg, Russia). Professor. European University at Saint-Petersburg.
Е-mail: [email protected] 

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