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Stratum plus 2015. No5

G. Fusek (Nitra, Slovakia)

Earliest Slavic Population on the Territory of Slovakia

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Pages: 151-162

This article deals with settlement evolution in the third phase of Migration period, from the last quarter of the 5th to first half of the 6th century in the area of today’s Slovakia. Major part of the western Carpathian basin was in this time politically dominated by Langobards, and its Eastern part, by Gepids. The territory of modern Slovakia was under their rule only marginally. In the west, small enclaves of Suebes survived, while in the east, the German finds are rare. We know from historical sources that no Germanic kingdom was created in the north of the Carpathian basin after 470, and in the first half of the 6th century this area was already inhabited by the Slavic tribe of Sclaveni.
The earliest Slavic archaeological finds in central Europe are represented by Prague culture. Its cultural expression (settlement type, buildings, funeral rite and economic model) in Slovakia is the same as in the larger area of Eastern and Central Europe.
Absolute dating of the oldest Slavic finds by archaeological methods is very problematic. Nowadays we have two radiocarbon analyses from two settlements, which confirms, that the Slavic population already inhabited this area around the middle of the 6th century. In 568, a new hegemon settles in the central part of Carpathian basin, the Avars, who became the main political figure in the region for more than two hundred years. They started to expand northwards, to the lands inhabited by the Slavs, around middle 7th century, at the same time when the Prague culture started fading and transformed itself into a new cultural phenomenon connected with the early Slavic inhabitants.

Keywords: Slovakia, Migration period, 6th century, Germans, Slavs, Prague culture.

Information about author:

Gabriel Fusek
(Nitra, Slovakia). PhDr., CSc. Archaeological Institute, Slovak Academy of Sciences. Akademická ul., 2, Nitra, SK-94921, Slovakia
E-mail: [email protected]

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