• This topic has 1 voice and 0 replies.
Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)
  • Author
  • #342311
    Boris V.
    Boris V.


    Florin Curta
    University of Florida, USA

    Abstract: Despite recent emphasis on the impact of nationalism on archaeology, the discussion has
    centered more on the ideological framework of the culture-historical school of archaeology, particularly on the concept of archaeological culture. Comparatively little attention has been paid to how archaeologists contributed to the construction of the national past. This article examines Slavic
    archaeology, a discipline crisscrossing national divisions of archaeological schools, within the
    broader context of the `politics of culture' which characterizes all nation-states, as `imagined communities'(Anderson 1991). Indeed, the current academic discourse about the early Slavs in Ukraine,
    Russia, and Romania appears as strikingly tied to political, rather than intellectual, considerations.
    In eastern Europe, the concept of archaeological culture is still de®ned in monothetic terms on the
    basis of the presence or absence of a list of traits or types derived from typical sites or intuitively
    considered to be representative cultural attributes. Archaeologists thus regarded archaeological
    cultures as actors on the historical stage, playing the role individuals or groups have in documentary
    history. Archaeological cultures became ethnic groups, and were used to legitimize claims of modern
    nation-states to territory and influence.

    Keywords: Bulgaria, Czechoslovakia, `imagined communities', nationalism, Poland, Romania, Slavic
    archaeology, Soviet Union, Yugoslavia

    Despite so much recent emphasis on the impact of nationalism on archaeology, the
    discussion has centered upon either the `politics of archaeology' (Plumet 1984; Kohl
    and Fawcett 1995) or the ideological framework of culture history (Brachmann 1979;
    Shennan 1989; Hides 1996). The current focus is more on the history of archaeological
    thought and less on the contribution of archaeology to the construction of
    the national past. Most case studies are restricted to individual countries and the
    speci®c application of a general approach based on diffusion and migration. The
    assumption is that, from Nazi Germany to post-war Korea, archaeologists have
    tried to write (pre)histories of speci®c groups in similar ways (Veit 1989; Nelson
    1995). Commonality of methods and techniques is often viewed as suf®cient
    evidence for identical goals. As a consequence, macro-regional studies lump very
    different uses of archaeology under supposedly common denominators, such as
    `Balkan archaeology' (Kaiser 1995:108±109). In fact, the study of archaeologies,
    rather than of archaeology, can show that, far from copying from each other, archaeologists
    manipulated such concepts as migration, diffusion, and culture to reach very
    different, often con¯icting conclusions. Focusing on Slavic archaeologies, this paper
    will attempt to establish criteria for distinguishing readings of the past, which were
    appropriated by identity politics.


    The rise of Slavic archaeology is often associated with the name of Lubor Niederle
    (1865±1944), who believed that the nature of the original homeland of the Slavs
    in Polesie (Ukraine) forced them into a poor level of civilization, and that, like the
    ancient Germans and Celts, the Slavs were enfants de la nature. Only the contact
    with the more advanced Roman civilization made it possible for the Slavs to give
    up their original culture based entirely on wood and to start producing their own
    pottery (Niederle 1923:49; 1925:513; 1926:1±2, 5). Niederle's emphasis on material
    culture pointed to a new direction in the development of Slavic studies. Inspired
    by him, Vykentyi V. Khvoika (1850±1924) ascribed the fourth-century-AD
    Chernyakhov culture to the Slavs (Khvoika 1901, 1913:43±47; see also Lebedev
    1992:260±262; Shnirel'man 1996:225; Baran et al. 1990:33). Similarly, the Russian
    archaeologist Aleksei A. Spicyn (1928) ®rst attributed to the Antes hoards of silver
    and bronze from Ukraine. But the foundations of a mature Slavic archaeology
    were primarily the work of Czech archaeologists. It was a new type of pottery
    that caused the greatest shifts of emphasis in the early years of the twentieth century
    (Sklena rÏ 1983:95, 125). Ivan Borkovsky (1940) called it the `Prague type' ± a national,
    exclusively Slavic, kind of pottery. He de®ned this as a hand-made, mica-tempered
    pottery with no decoration. The Prague type was the earliest Slavic pottery, the
    forms and rims of which slowly changed under Roman in¯uence. In his book,
    Borkovsky boldly argued that the earliest Slavic pottery derived from local Iron
    Age traditions. Although he laid more emphasis on culture than on race,
    Borkovsky 's book coincided with the ®rst failure of the Nazis to pigeonhole the
    Czechs as racially inferior. Despite his caution and use of a rather technical vocabulary,
    Borkovsky 's work was denounced as anti-German and immediately withdrawn
    from bookshops (Preidel 1954:57; Mastny 1971:130±131; Sklena rÏ 1983:162±163;
    Chropovsky 1989:23).


    The association between Slavic archaeology and Nazi ideology is even stronger in
    the case of the Soviet Union. Until the mid-1930s, Slavic studies were viewed as
    anti-Marxist and the dominant discourse about the early Slavs was that inspired
    by N.I. Marr (Goriainov 1990). Marr's supporter in the discipline, N.S. Derzhavin
    (1877±1953), believed that the Slavs were native to the Balkans and that sources
    began to talk about them only after AD 500, because it was at that time that the
    Slavs revolted against Roman slavery (Derzhavin 1939). According to Derzhavin, the
    term `Slavs' was just a new name for the old population exploited by Roman landowners,
    not an ethnic label. Derzhavin's interpretation of early Slavic history was
    very popular in the early years of Soviet archaeology, because he interpreted cultural
    and linguistic changes as the direct results of socio-economic shifts.
    Another interpretation, however, was abruptly put forward in the late 1930s.
    The shift `from internationalism to nationalism' has been described by Viktor
    Shnirel'man (1993, 1995a) and its impact on Slavic archaeology is currently under
    study (Aksenova and Vasil'ev 1993; Curta in press). As Stalin set historians the
    task of active combat against fascist falsi®cations of history, the main focus of
    archaeological research shifted to the prehistory of the Slavs. Archaeologists
    involved in tackling this problem had been educated in the years of the cultural
    revolution and were still working within a Marrist paradigm. Mikhail I. Artamonov
    was the ®rst to attempt a combination of Marrism and Kossinnism, thus recognizing
    the ethnic appearance of some archaeological assemblages while, at the same time,
    rehabilitating the concept of `archaeological culture' (Artamonov 1971; Klejn
    1977:14; Ganzha 1987:142; Shnirel'man 1995a:132. For Kossinna see Klejn 1974).
    During the war, as the Soviet propaganda was searching for means to mobilize
    Soviet society against the Nazi aggressor, Slavic ethnogenesis, now the major, if
    not the only, research topic of Soviet archaeology, gradually turned into a symbol
    of national identity (Shnirel'man 1995b). As Marr's teachings were abandoned in
    favor of a culture-historical approach, the origins of the Slavs (i.e. Russians) were
    pushed even further into prehistory. The only apparent problem was that of the
    `missing link' between the Scythians and the Kievan Rus'. Boris Rybakov, a professor
    of history at the University of Moscow, offered an easy solution. He attributed to the
    Slavs both Spitsyn's `Antian antiquities' and the remains excavated by Khvoika at
    Chernyakhov (Rybakov 1943). Many embraced the idea of a Slavic Chernyakhov
    culture, even after this culture turned into a coalition of ethnic groups under the
    leadership of the Goths (Klejn 1955; Korzukhina 1955).
    The 1950s witnessed massive state investments in archaeology (see Fig. 1 for the
    main sites mentioned in this article). With the unearthing of the ®rst remains of
    sixth- and seventh-century settlements in Ukraine, the idea of the Chernyakhov
    culture as primarily Slavic simply died out. Iurii V. Kukharenko (1955) called the
    hand-made pottery found on these sites the `Zhitomir type' which he viewed as a
    local variant of the Prague type established by Borkovsky in 1940. Later, Kukharenko
    (1960) abandoned the idea of a variant in favor of a single Prague type for all Slavic
    cultures between the Elbe and the Dnieper. Others, however, argued that since the
    pottery found at Korchak, near Zhitomir, derived from the local pottery of the early
    Iron Age, the Zhitomir type antedated Borkovsky 's Prague type. As a consequence,
    the earliest Slavic pottery was that of Ukraine, not that of Czechoslovakia (Petrov
    1963:123). Irina P. Rusanova (1976, 1984±1987) ®rst applied statistical methods to
    the identi®cation of pottery types. Her conclusion was that vessels of certain proportions
    made up what she called the Prague-Korchak-type. To Rusanova (1978:148),
    this type was a sort of symbol, the main and only indicator of Slavic ethnicity in
    material culture terms. In contrast, Valentin V. Sedov (1970, 1979, 1987, 1988)
    spoke of two types of Slavic pottery with two separate distributions: the `Prague
    zone' and the `Pen'kovka zone,' fall-out curves neatly coinciding with the borders
    of the Soviet republics.


    Figure 1. Location map of principal sites mentioned in the text: 1. Chernyakhov; 2. Dzhedzhovi
    Lozia; 3. Jazbine; 4. Korchak; 5. MusÏicÂi; 6. Nova Cherna; 7. Pen'kovka; 8. Popina; 9. Prague;
    10. SaÏ rata Monteoru; 11. Suceava-Sipot.


    The establishment, between 1945 and 1948, of Communist-dominated governments
    under Moscow's protection profoundly altered the development of Slavic studies in
    eastern Europe. The interpretation favored by Soviet scholars became the norm even
    in countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia, where such studies had longer traditions
    than in Soviet Russia. In countries with less developed Slavic archaeologies,
    the Slavs were now given the most important role in the study of the early
    Middle Ages (Ba lint 1989:191; Curta 1994:238±239). In Czechoslovakia, Borkovsky 's
    ideas about Slavic origins were rejected in favor of an interpretation stressing the
    Slavic immigration from Ukraine (PoulõÂk 1948:15±19). Others argued that there
    were two migrations to Slovakia, one from the west (Moravia), the other from the
    south (ZaÂbojnõÂk 1988:401±402; CÏ ilinska 1989±1990; Jelinkova 1990; HabovsÏtiak
    1992±1993). Similar theories were advanced for Bohemia (Zeman 1968:673, 1984±
    1987). The Slavs were archaeologically identi®able by means of the Zhitomir-
    Korchak type, with its, now local, variant, known as the `Prague type.' But in the
    1960s, Borkovsky 's thesis that the Slavs were natives to the territory of Czechoslovakia
    resurfaced (Budinsky -KricÏka 1963; Bialekova 1968; Chropovsky and Ruttkay
    1988:19; Chropovsky 1989:33). The Polish linguist, Tadeusz Lehr-Sp/lawin ski
    (1946), ®rst attributed the Przeworsk culture to the Slavs, an idea developed in
    the Soviet Union by Rusanova and Sedov. Lehr-Sp/lawin ski's thesis was widely
    accepted by Polish archaeologists during the 1950s and 1960s, as well as later
    (e.g. Hensel 1988). By that time, Jozef Kostrzewski (1969) was still speaking of the
    Slavic character of the Lusatian culture of the Bronze Age. With the elaboration of
    the ®rst chronological system for the early medieval archaeology of central Europe
    (God/lowski 1970), it became evident, however, that no relation existed between
    the early Slavic culture and its predecessors. Moreover, like JirÏõÂ Zeman (1976,
    1979) in Czechoslovakia, KazÇ imierz God/lowski insisted that, besides pottery,
    sunken huts and cremation burials were equally important for the de®nition of
    Slavic culture. The speci®c combination of these cultural elements ®rst appeared
    at the end of the VoÈ lkerwanderungszeit in those areas of eastern and central
    Europe which had recently been abandoned by Germanic tribes. To God/lowski
    (1979, 1983), the Slavs did not exist before c. 500 as a cultural and ethnic group.
    God/lowski's student, Micha/l Parczewski (1988, 1991, 1993), dealt the ®nal blow to
    traditional views that the Slavs were native to the Polish territory through his argument
    that the early Slavic culture spread from Ukraine into southern Poland during
    the second half of the sixth century and the early seventh century.
    During the 1950s, many Yugoslav historians and linguists supported the concept
    of a Slavic homeland in Pannonia (e.g. Popovic 1959). Similarly, some archaeologists
    derived the Slavic Prague type from Dacian pottery (GarasÏanin 1950). Others, however,
    maintained that no Slavic settlement in the Balkans could have taken place
    before c. 500 (BarisÏic 1956; Ljubinkovic 1973:173). When the Croatian archaeologist
    Zdenko Vinski (1954) published a number of pots from the collections of the
    Archaeological Museum in Zagreb, interpreting them as Prague-type pottery,
    many replied that the earliest Slavic pottery in Croatia was not earlier than the
    eighth century and had nothing to do with the Prague type. Ljubo Karaman
    (1956:107±108) criticized Borkovsky for having made this pottery exclusively
    Slavic. Josip KorosÏec (1958:5, 1958±1959, 1967) further criticized Soviet archaeologists
    for their attempts to link the Slavs to the Scythians or to the Chernyakhov
    culture, an accusation well attuned to the Yugoslav-Soviet relations of the late
    1950s. He rightly pointed to the need of the Soviet archaeologists to create a pottery
    type that would both be earlier than Borkovsky 's Prague type and certify the
    presence of the Slavs in the Dnieper basin before the rise of Kievan Rus'. According
    to KorosÏec, however, there was no relation between the pottery found in Romania,
    Bulgaria and Yugoslavia and the Prague type. But KorosÏec's skepticism does not
    seem to have deterred historians from `discovering' the earliest Slavic settlement.
    Franjo BarisÏic (1969) posited a massive Slavic settlement in Bosnia-Herzegovina
    after the raids of 550 and 551. He argued that the ®rst Sklavinia to be established
    south of the rivers Danube and Save was that of Bosnia. In support of his contention,
    he cited the site excavated by Irma CÏ remosÏnik at MusÏic i, near Sarajevo
    (CÏ remosÏnik 1970±1971). The choice was well founded. CÏ remosÏnik had compared
    the pottery found there with that from the Romanian site at Suceava, thought to
    be of an early date. Although Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, Romanian, and Bulgarian
    archaeologists pointed to the rectangular sunken pit-house as typically Slavic,

    remosÏnik (1980) believed the yurt-like huts found at Jazbine (Bosnia) to be Slavic
    and traced their origin to Neolithic house forms. Others, in an attempt to legitimize
    the antiquity of the Slavs in Yugoslavia, believed that the materials found at MusÏic i
    were older than any other ®nd from Romania or Bulgaria (CÏ orovicÂ-LjubinkovicÂ
    1972:52). A recent attempt to legitimize Serbian claims to territory in the context
    of the war in Bosnia relied on the re-attribution of the ®nds from MusÏic i to the
    Serbs ( Jankovic 1998:111).
    The problem of the early Slavs was approached somewhat differently in Bulgaria.
    When V. Mikov (1945±1947) published the ®rst article on early Slavic history that
    took into consideration the archaeological evidence, he was forced to recognize
    that, unlike other countries, only few remains existed in Bulgaria that may have
    been associated with the sixth- to seventh-century Slavs. Shortly thereafter, a
    group of Soviet archaeologists and ethnographers arrived in So®a with the mission
    to teach Bulgarians how to organize the Slavic archaeology, thereafter the main task
    of the newly created department of the Institute of Archaeology. KraÆ stiu Miiatev, the
    director of the Institute, published the ®rst study on Slavic pottery, primarily based
    on museum collections (Miiatev 1948). Inspired by Derzhavin's theories, Miiatev
    believed that the Slavic pottery had local, Thracian origins. The main Bulgarian
    member of the Soviet-Bulgarian archaeological team was Zhivka VaÆ zharova, who
    had just returned from Leningrad and was closely associated with Soviet scholars,
    especially with Mikhail I. Artamonov. In an article published in the USSR,
    VaÆ zharova ®rst linked the ceramic material found at Popina, near Silistra, to the
    Prague type. She interpreted the neighboring site at Dzhedzhovi Lozia as the
    earliest Slavic settlement in the Balkans (VaÆ zharova 1954, 1956, 1971a:18).
    VaÆ zharova put forward a chronology of the Slavic culture in Bulgaria, which equated
    the earliest occupation phase at Dzhedzhovi Lozia with the Prague and Korchak-
    Zhitomir cultures (VaÆ zharova 1964, 1966). Her interpretation of the site, however,
    was criticized by Soviet archaeologists (Rusanova 1978:142). As a consequence,
    VaÆ zharova began entertaining ideas of a much later chronology, while acknowledging
    signi®cant differences between the pottery found at Dzhedzhovi Lozia and
    the Prague and Zhitomir-Korchak types (VaÆ zharova 1968:154, 1971b:268). She
    later argued that the early Slavic culture in Bulgaria was the result of two different
    migrations, one from the north, across the Danube, the other from the west,
    originating in Pannonia (VaÆ zharova 1973, 1974).
    But the need to push the antiquity of the Slavs back in time was too strong and
    the association between Slavs and Thracians too alluring. According to Atanas
    Milchev (1970:36; 1976:54; 1987), upon their arrival in the lower Danube basin,
    the Slavs were welcomed by the Thracian population of the Balkan provinces.

    To native Thracians, the Slavs were not invaders, but allies against a common enemy
    ± the Roman Empire. Against Rusanova's claims that the ®rst Slavic settlements in
    Bulgaria cannot be dated earlier than the seventh century, Milchev (1975:388)
    argued that the archaeological evidence from Nova Cherna, near Silistra, indicated
    the presence of Slavic federates in Roman service (see Angelova 1980:4). The evidence
    comes from a refuse pit inside an early Byzantine fort, in which Milchev
    and Angelova found sherds of hand-made pottery associated with wheel-made
    pottery and a late sixth-century bow ®bula. They promptly ascribed the handmade
    pottery to the Korchak-Zhitomir type, as de®ned by Rusanova (Milchev and
    Angelova 1970:29). Angelova also ascribed to the Pen'kovka type small fragments
    of pottery found in a sunken building and spoke of the Antes as the ®rst Slavs in
    Bulgaria (Angelova 1980:3). As a consequence, Zhivka VaÆ zharova returned to her
    ®rst thesis and maintained that the site's earliest phase was characterized by
    sixth-century Prague-Korchak and Pen'kovka pottery (VaÆ zharova 1986:70, n. 1;
    contra Koleva 1992).
    To many archaeologists, Romania is the key territory for understanding the spread
    and development of the Slavic culture (Kurnatowska 1974:55, 58; VaÂna 1983:25). On
    the other hand, there is clear evidence that, in post-war Romania, attempts to give
    Slavs the primary role in national history needed serious encouragement from the
    Romanian Communist leaders and their Soviet counselors (Georgescu 1991:27).
    Archaeologists and historians were urged to ®nd evidence for the earliest possible
    presence of the Slavs. During the 1950s, excavations began on many sites with
    allegedly Slavic remains, such as SaÆ rata Monteoru and Suceava. Kurt Horedt
    (1951), a German-born Romanian archaeologist, ®rst introduced the phrase `Slavic
    pottery' into the archaeological jargon of his country. He spoke of the Slavic expansion
    as the most important event in the early medieval history of the region. Maria
    Coms°a (1959:66), Artamonov's student at the University of Leningrad, argued that
    the stone oven associated with sixth- to seventh-century sunken buildings was a
    speci®c Slavic artifact. In 1943, Ion Nestor began excavations at SaÆ rata Monteoru,
    a large cemetery with cremation burials. He continued to work there after the war
    (Anonymous 1953). Nestor (1969:145) insisted that the Slavs were primarily recognizable
    by means of cremation burials, either in urns or in simple cremation pits.
    Moreover, he did not agree with Coms°a's chronology of the Slavic culture in
    Romania. According to Maria Coms°a, the Slavs had already occupied Wallachia
    during the reign of Justin I. Nestor (1959, 1965, 1973) maintained that an effective
    settlement could not have taken place before the second half of the sixth century.
    He accused Maria Coms°a of paying lip service to `Niederle's school' in order to
    demonstrate that the expansion of the Slavs had begun as early as the ®fth century.
    According to him, `there is only a slight chance that some Slavic groups settled in
    Moldavia and Wallachia as early as the ®rst half of the sixth century'. To Nestor,
    the expansion of the Slavs was inconceivable without the migration of the Avars.
    During the 1970s, the dating of the earliest Slavic artifacts on the territory of
    Romania began to move into the late sixth and early seventh century (Teodor
    1972b, 1978:40; Mitrea 1974±1976:87; P. Diaconu 1979:167). By 1980, the earliest
    date admitted for the Slavic migration to the lower Danube was either shortly before
    AD 600 or much later (Teodor 1984a:65).
    Nestor was well aware that the earliest information regarding the Slavs was
    securely dated to the early sixth century. In order to eliminate the apparent contradiction
    between historical sources and archaeological evidence, he suggested that
    the Slavic raids into the Balkan provinces originated not in Wallachia but in the
    regions between the Prut and the Dniester, i.e. outside the present-day territory
    of Romania (Nestor 1961:431; contra S°tefan 1965). In the years following
    Ceaus°escu's bold criticism of the Soviet intervention in Czechoslovakia (1968),
    Romanian archaeologists directly attacked the idea, shared by many in the Soviet
    Union, that the Chernyakhov culture represented the Slavs (Teodor 1969, 1972a).
    Coms°a (1974) and others (Daicoviciu 1968:89) had depicted the Slavs as peaceful
    and dedicated to agriculture. Nestor (1961:429) and Teodor (1969:191, 1980:78,
    1982:38) insisted that the Slavs were savage conquerors. In their enthusiasm for
    proving that the Slavs, like Russians, were aggressors, some researchers, such as
    Mitrea (1968:257), pointed to evidence of destruction by ®re on several sixth- to
    seventh-century sites in Romania. This, they contended, indicated the destruction
    of native (Romanian) settlements by the savage Slavs. The argument was rapidly
    dropped when it became evident that it would work against the cherished idea
    of Romanian continuity. However, during the 1980s, Romanian archaeologists
    made every possible effort to bring the Slavic presence north of the Danube close
    to AD 602 (the date traditionally accepted for the collapse of the Roman frontier
    on the Danube), in order to diminish as far as possible Slavic in¯uences upon the
    native, Romanian population. The tendency was thus to locate the homeland of
    the Slavs far from the territory of modern Romania, and to have them moving
    across Romania and crossing the Danube as quickly as possible. Any contact with
    the native Romanians could thus be avoided. A content analysis of the Romanian
    archaeological literature pertaining to the early Slavs has shown that this tendency
    coincides with the increasingly nationalistic discourse of the Communist government,
    in particular with Ceaus°escu's claims that the Great Migrations were responsible
    for Romania lagging behind the West (Curta 1994:266±270; see Verdery 1991).
    During the 1950s and 1960s, the Slavs were viewed as the political and military
    rulers of the local population and were given the status of the third component of
    Romanian ethnogenesis. By 1980 no reference had been made to their contribution
    to Romanian ethnogenesis. Romanian archaeologists now maintained that the Slavs
    `had neither the time, nor the force to change the components, the direction and the
    evolution of the Romanian ethnogenesis' (Teodor 1984b:135). Nestor (1970:104)
    spoke of a general regression of civilization caused by Slavs. The primitive handmade
    pottery brought by the Slavs replaced wheel-made ceramics of much better
    quality, while the formerly good Christian Romanians had now turned to cremation.
    Others blamed the Slavs for having caused a return to prehistory (Baà rzu and
    Brezeanu 1991:213). Permanently wandering, bearers of a rather primitive culture,
    always bent on crossing the Danube, the Slavs found their way to civilization only
    after getting into contact with the native population and the Roman Empire.

    During the 1960s, large-scale excavations took place in Romania, some of which
    remarkably resulted in the total excavation of sixth- to seventh-century villages
    (Dolinescu-Ferche 1974, 1979, 1986, 1992; Dolinescu-Ferche and Constantiniu
    1981; Teodor 1984a, 1984b; Mitrea 1974±1976, 1992, 1994). But the results of
    these excavations proved very dif®cult to accommodate to the new orientation of
    Romanian archaeology. In 1958, the Slavic remains found at Suceava-S°ipot were
    viewed as a perfect match for Slavic ®nds in the Soviet Union (Teodor 1958:527;
    see Nestor 1962:1435). Just 15 years later, Suceava-S°ipot was a site showing the
    adoption of the local, Romanian culture by `a few scattered Slavic elements'
    (Teodor 1971; Nestor 1973:31). Having decided that there were no genuine Slavic
    settlements to be found in Romania, Romanian archaeologists were now searching
    for the native settlements pre-dating the arrival of the barbarians. Nestor's student
    Victor Teodorescu (1964, 1971) put forward the in¯uential suggestion that archaeological
    assemblages of the ®fth, sixth, and seventh centuries constituted a new
    culture, which he called Ipotes°ti-CaÃndes°ti. Following his example, Dan Gh. Teodor
    `discovered' yet another culture, called Costis°a-Botos°ana (Teodor 1983). Initially,
    these new cultures were viewed as a combination of Slavic and native elements.
    Soon, however, the origins of the Ipotes°ti-CaÃndes°ti and Costis°a-Botos°ana assemblages
    were pushed back to the ®fth century, before the arrival of the Slavs, and
    thus identi®ed as the remains of the local Romanian population (G. Diaconu
    1978). At this point, most of the archaeological assemblages previously ascribed to
    the Slavs changed attribution. Romanians had taught Slavs how to produce
    wheel-made or better-tempered hand-made pottery, and persuaded them to give
    up their stone ovens and adopt local, presumably more advanced, ones made of
    clay. Once believed to be a relevant, if not the most important, archaeological
    index of the Slavic culture, cremation burials were now viewed as the sign of a
    sixth-century revival of ancient, Dacian traditions (Baà rzu 1979:85). The large
    cemetery at SaÆ rata Monteoru, labeled `Slavic' in the 1950s and 1960s (Matei
    1959), now turned into a site of the Ipotes°ti-CaÃndes°ti culture and was attributed
    to the Romanian population (Teodor 1985:60).


    This sweeping survey of developments in Slavic archaeologies suggests that the
    relationship between archaeology and nationalism is much more complex than
    envisaged by recent studies. Borkovsky 's Prague culture served a purpose very
    different from that of the Prague-Zhitomir-Korchak type favored by Soviet archaeologists.
    Issues of chronology and interpretation were given different weight in
    Poland, former Yugoslavia, and Romania. Moreover, `text-driven archaeology' was
    an approach more often associated with Yugoslav and Bulgarian archaeologists,
    but not with their Czechoslovak colleagues. In addition, in eastern and southeastern
    Europe, the political value of archaeology for the construction of historical
    narratives by far exceeds the signi®cance of its theoretical and methodological
    underpinnings. In order to understand `the archaeological machine', it is therefore
    necessary not only to assess the impact of the culture-historical approach, but
    also to examine the contribution of archaeology to the shaping of national
    consciousness. That Slavic archaeology was dominated by historicist approaches
    needs no further emphasis. It is not without interest, though, that different and
    often contrasting interpretations of the archaeological evidence coincided with,
    and took advantage from, the re-evaluation of nineteenth-century historiographical
    works of such in¯uential ®gures as Nicolae Iorga in Romania or Vassil Zlatarski in
    Bulgaria. The concept of the archaeological `culture' also carried many assumptions,
    which were central to nineteenth-century classi®cations of human groups ± in
    particular, an overriding concern with holism, homogeneity, and boundedness. In
    eastern Europe, the concept of the archaeological culture is still de®ned in monothetic
    terms on the basis of the presence or absence of a list of traits or types derived
    from assemblages or intuitively considered to be most appropriate attributes (`typefossils').
    Archaeological cultures are actors on the historical stage, playing the role
    individuals or groups have in documentary history. As shown by the history of
    Slavic archaeologies, the tendency was to treat archaeological cultures as ethnic
    groups, in order to legitimize claims of modern nation-states to territory and
    in¯uence. At the crucial intersection between archaeology and nationalism,
    archaeologists thus played a decisive role in the cultural construction of `imagined

    Different versions of this article were presented at the conference `Vocabularies of
    Identities in Russia and Eastern Europe' (University of Michigan, Ann Arbor,
    1998), the Mellon Seminar in Medieval Studies Program at Cornell University
    (1999), and in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Pittsburgh
    (1999). I wish to express my thanks to the organizers of and participants in
    all three events, as well as to my colleagues at the University of Florida, Maria
    Todorova, Thomas Gallant, and Frederick Corney, for their help, advice, and encouragement.
    I am also grateful for the comments and suggestions of Paul Barford
    (Warsaw), which have greatly enriched the article.

    European Journal of Archaeology Vol. 4(3): 367±384
    Copyright & 2001 Sage Publications (London, Thousand Oaks, CA and New Delhi) and
    the European Association of Archaeologists [1461±9571(200112)4:3;367±384;018046]

Viewing 1 post (of 1 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic.


10 User(s) Online Join Server
  • Tujev
  • Oliver (TW BLOCK)
  • kony97
  • GOGA
  • Nefario
  • Lucifer Morningstar