The archaeology of medieval nomadism in Eastern Europe (10th-13th centuries): the current state of research
Author(s): Florin Curta
The vast steppe corridor that begins in north-central China and ends on the Middle and Lower Danube has been the habitat of many communities of nomads, and the object of intensive archaeological research. Ever since Svetlana Pletneva, research on the late nomads in the steppe lands now within Russia and Ukraine has focused on burial assemblages, especially on burial mounds. However, new lines of research have opened in the last few decades, which highlight new categories of evidence: stone statues (so-called “kamennye baby”), the influence of Christianity, weapons and horse gear, and camp sites. A Bulgarian scholar has even invented a new word to describe this explosion of research that has focused particularly on the Cumans (11th to 13th centuries): “Cumanology.” In the Republic of Moldova and in Romania, the emphasis shifted from ethnicity to the long-term study of relations between nomadic and settled communities. An even more interesting line of research has focused on those nomads who have moved into the neighboring Byzantine Empire or into Hungary between the 11th and the 13th centuries. Pioneering research in bioarchaeology has only begun to enrich the already complex picture of the archaeology of medieval nomadism in Eastern Europe.
Cite this Record
The archaeology of medieval nomadism in Eastern Europe (10th-13th centuries): the current state of research. Florin Curta. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Orlando, Florida. 2016 ( tDAR id: 404424)
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min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;