Culture of Chernyakhov

The culture of Chernyakhov is a pre-Slavic culture that developed from Belarus to Moldova through Ukraine. The eponymous site is the village of Chernyakhov in Kiev Oblast in Ukraine, excavated in the early years of the. Around the year 300, this civilization spread to Romania where it is found as the Sânta-Ana culture of Mureş. Its existence is attested by a thousand archaeological sites.

This culture appears at. Born from a variety of ethnic backgrounds, it quickly presents homogenous traits throughout its entire expanse, namely the territories of today’s Ukraine, Moldova, Romania and southern Poland. Researchers are still debating the reality of an “inextricable union” of the different peoples who were involved in it. In the first half of the century, the researchers devoted themselves mainly to identifying this archaeological culture with that of one of the peoples known by history. Soviet archaeologists, such as Boris Rybakov, saw archaeological remains of the Proto-Slavs, while Western European historians, and especially the Germans, attributed the culture to the Goths. The “cultural-historical hypothesis” formulated by the German archaeologist Gustaf Kossinna is based on the idea that “archaeological areas defined precisely correspond without possible discussion with the nation of peoples or particular tribes. However, the link between the archaeological remains and the material culture of an ethnic group no longer seems so clear. Researchers are today more inclined to see material cultures as economic-cultural systems incorporating several different peoples. Basically, researchers are reluctant to assign an ethnic origin to archaeological remains, although they admit that some objects may have been reworked to suggest a form of collective identity, especially in conflicts between ethnic groups. Today, it is accepted that the Chernyakhov sites testify to a strong cultural interaction between various peoples, but essentially peoples that pre-existed in the region before the expansion of the Slavs, be it the Sarmatians or the Dacians. The British historian Peter Heather, while recognizing the mixed culture of Chernyakhov, believes that it ultimately results from the expansion of the Goths north of the Cimmerian Bosphorus. He relies on literary sources that testify that it was the Goths who, politically, held the attention of contemporary Roman authorities. In particular, the development of this culture coincides quite precisely with Jordanès’ account of the migration of the Goths from the Nordic country of Gothiscandza to the mysterious Oium under the leadership of their leader Filimer. Moreover, he points out that the pressures that have catalyzed the genesis of the Chernyakhov culture are rooted in the Wielbark culture. This one, born in Pomerania in the middle of the, spread along the Vistula during the years. Several features of Wielbark’s culture can be found throughout the Cherniakhov area: typically German ceramics, gold fibulae and women’s tunics, and, most importantly, dual-rite burials (burial / cremation) without weapons. Finally, although the cultures can expand without implying large population movements, Heather notes that the number of villages in the original space of the culture of Wielbark (Pomerania) decreases correlatively with the development of the culture from Chernyakhov, and sees evidence of mass migration. Putting this data in tune with Jordan’s stories, Heather concludes that an invasion of the Goths (and other Oriental Germans such as Heruli and Gepids) “played a leading role in the birth of the Chernyakhov culture. He said that this expansion was not a single migration, led by a prince, but that it was the work of small tribes, sometimes enemies between them. But Guy Halsall challenges many of Heather’s conclusions. He sees no chronological continuity in the development of Wielbark’s Culture to that of Chernyakhov, since the final phase of Wielbark’s culture is contemporary with Chernyakhov, and furthermore the two regions have only one tenuous territorial link: “Although Cherniakhov metalwork is often said to derive from Wielbark types, careful examination reveals that there are only a small number of objects with general similarities to artifacts from Wielbark. The American historian Michael Kulikowski also challenges the filiation of the Wielbark culture: he emphasizes that the main argument in favor of this thesis is a “negative characteristic” (the absence of weapons in the burials), argumentation always more lowonly positive proof. He argues that the culture of Chernyakhov was born from the evolution of native cultures (Pontics, Carps or other Dacians), or a mutual fertilization of the culture of Przeworsk and peoples of the steppes. In addition, he refutes the presence of Goths in this space before. Kulikowsky shows that no Gotha tribe, not even a kernall of warriors, has emigrated from Scandinavia or the Baltic: he believes that the “Goths” were formed in situ. Like the Alamans or the Franks, the Goths would have been, according to him, only an answer to the “institution of Roman Limes.” Other features, such as the existence of a minority of tombs containing weapons, refer to the culture of Przeworsk and Tsaroubinets. The latter is generally associated with the Protoslavs. From a linguistic point of view, the period and extent of this culture coincide with those in which Proto-Slavonic and Iranian have been enriched by mutual lexical borrowing, and where Proto-Slavic has borrowed a large number of terms from Germanic languages ​​(but Gothic itself has some borrowing proto-Slavic) .The following elements are derived from .The houses were aligned in parallel streets, and there are two dominant types: mostly, they are huts semi-buried, called Grubenhäuser by German-speaking scientists. Their size is usually modest, from 5 to 5; the other predominant type are single-storey farms where stables are in the extension of the living room (called Wohnstallhaus by the German speakers). They vary in size, but the living space is generally larger than in a hut. Some villages have both types of houses, although the Romanian sites only include huts. Although the existence of these two types of houses can be attributed to ethnic differences coexisting on the same space, they also reflect socio-economic factors: Wohnstallhaus-type farms are typical of the central European villages, and they are absent from the ancient cultures of Balkan Europe. On the contrary, semi-buried huts (bordeï) have been found in both the ancient Carpathian Dacians and the wooded steppe farmers in Ukraine, and they persist until much later (they will spread throughout the world). Eastern Europe). Whatever the origin of these habitats, they became widespread throughout the Chernyakhov culture area.

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