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Geography of Journal Authors

Stratum plus. 2014. No.5

M. Rudnicki (Łódź, Poland)

Contacts Between the Western Balts and the Slavs in the 6th—7th Centuries: Archaeological Data




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Pages: 91-117


In the 6th and 7th centuries the Slavic settlement expanded considerably, which was a reflection of so-called Great Slavs’ Migration, known from many written sources. In that period the West-Balts and Slavs were not neighbours. The earliest contacts between the West-Balt and Slavic people could have taken place already in the 6th—7th cc. as an effect of the Slavs’ penetration into the Narew River basin. The archaeological sources also suggest that the contacts of the Olsztyn Group with the early Slavic cultures in the 6th and 7th cc. may have taken place not only in the borderland. It is not, however, possible to determine one zone from which these artefacts came. Likewise, it is not possible to determine the character of these contacts univocally. It is possible that the finds of the Slavic character are the outcome of the contacts maintained along the trade routes, which were earlier used for contacts with the Germanic cultures. After the arrival of the Avars and Slavs in the post-Germanic lands, the earlier trade routes did not necessarily have to be discontinued. It is also possible that the artefacts of the Avar and Slavic provenance arrived simultaneously to the Carpathian Basin in the late 6th and early 7th c. The Avar finds are known among other finds. This hypothesis can also be confirmed by chronological proximity between the materials connected with the Avars and the Slavs and the ones found in Masuria. However, it can not be excluded that the finds, especially those characteristic of the Ants, reached the discussed area also from the Dnieper region and the areas between the lower Dnieper and lower Danube.


Keywords: West Balts, Slavs, Olsztyn Group, Migration Period


Information about author:

Mirosław Rudnicki
(Łódź, Poland). Doctor of Sciences. University of Łódź. Uniwersytecka St., 3, Łódź, 90-137, Poland
E-mail: [email protected]

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