Nemzetépítés és régészet
The change of the concept of archaeological culture and the identifi cation of ethnic identity in prehistoric research
The concept of archaeological culture is fundamentally diff erent from the concept of culture used in everyday language or social sciences. Th is notion, initiated by Gordon Childe, became the fundamental analytical unit of traditional archaeology. Its meaning underwent considerable change during the history of theoretical archaeology, until its use seriously declined in recent years.
Th e basic question is how social groups can be defi ned by archaeological methods, which is closely connected with the research of ethnic and cultural identity. Traditional archaeology identifi ed archaeological culture with ethnic and language groups. New Archaeology later questioned this identifi cation and processualist archaeologists were sceptical about being able to defi ne the boundaries of self-identifying groups. Postprocessualist archaeology in recent decades yielded important results in the identifi cation of ethnic groups. Th e realization of complex use of material culture as well as the relative and situational nature of ethnic borders resulted in emphasis on individual interpretation of archaeological fi nds instead of generalization. In connection with this, the use of the concept of style is increasingly coming to the forefront instead of the use of archaeological culture.
Th e study of the archaeological fi ndings of the 10th century Carpathian Basin as national archaeology. An overview of the history of research
Th e study of the archaeological fi ndings of the 10th century Carpathian Basin as national archaeology.
Ethnogenesis had a defi nitive eff ect on the evolution of Hungarian historical consciousness, too. Th e assessment of the foundation of the state, the Magyar conquest and the events of the preceding period was often linked to matters of daily politics. Obviously, these links were bi-directional: ideological trends aff ected scientifi c theories while drawing on them as well. Th e paper reviews the issue from the point of view of archeology, presenting the main theories, the causes for their evolution and the eff ects of the main trend on subsequent archeological research. Retracing the process of archeology becoming a professional science, we review the history of research from the recognition of the remnants of the Magyar conquest. Th e fi nal chapter dwells upon the eff ects of modern and post-modern (post-processual) theories, the relationship between academic science and the nationalistic ideas of the late 20th century and the modern trends of research.
Th e norman-theory in Russia from the beginning until the recent events
Th e question concerning the origins of the stately structure of the eastern Slavs has remained intriguing since the very beginning of its scholarly investigations. Th ese were founded by the fi rst members of the Russian Academy of Science inthe fi rst half of the eighteenth century. Th e earliest scientifi c views, partly based on the previous traditions were formulated by two prominent historians of German origin: Gottlieb Siegfried Bayer and Gerhardt Friedrich Müller. Th ey can be regarded as the fathers of the so called norman-theory. Th eir opinion concerning the important (if not determining) role of the northern, namely Scandinavian, tribes in the formation of the early Russian state was almost immediately critisised by Mikhail Lomonosov, the well known Russian scientist. Th e discussion started just before the rise of the local nationalisms has been continuing until the present days having a strong infl uence fi rst on the historical and later also on the archaeological studies. Th e objective research of the Varangian’s real role in the early Russian history was very often obstructed by the current political circumstances, e.g. Napoleonic wars, rising Russian nationalism, the 1917-revolution, the marrism, the Soviet-Russian chauvinism etc. Th e main purpose of this article is to give a brief outline of the development of the normannism-antinormannism, and to show its connection with the contemporary political situation from the very beginning until the recent events.
Expectations of nation building. Research objectives in the medieval archaeology of the states of the Northern-Balkans
The paper intends to provide a brief overview of the objectives and expectations characteristic of the medieval archaeology of the states of the Northern-Balkans during the last hundred and fi fty years. According to our fi ndings, the following common traits may be discovered as regards our subject:
1. In all countries of the region, medieval archaeology evolved within the process of the acquisition of national independence, the process of “nation building”. It was a part of the intellectual struggle that was the motor of national independence. Th e circumstances of this evolutions explain why the archaeologists of the various states of the Northern-Balkans had to and have to fi nd preset answers to certain questions, answer, which coincide with the national-romanticist theories of historiography in the given country.
2. In the area under examination, medieval archaeology is distinct to the different states. This segmentation is so deep, that the various independent, “national” researches focus on the past of the given nation exclusively, along the lines of ad hoc territoriality, a concept formulated by László Szakra in another concept, but very fi tting to our subject as well.
3. Due to society expectations toward medieval archaeology, two questions have become prominent in research. Th ese two research topics are: the ethnogenesis of the given people – to provide the ground for the imaginary “rights of the fi rst settlers” – and the material culture of the given people during the middle- ages to illustrate the “glory of old”.
4. Th e communists’ rise to power in the Northern-Balkans after 1945 had only a partial and temporary eff ect on these priorities. Th e return to traditional, “national” questions within the archeological researches of the region had started as early as the 1950’s. In the case of the former Yugoslavia and Albania, the reformulation of the national aspect was strengthened by the fact that the communist nomenclatures of these two states wished to rid themselves from Moscow’s guardianship.
The question of ethnicity in German early-medieval archaeology after 1945
Certain representatives of the study of early German history (Frühgeschichte – cc. the fi rst Millennium AD) blame their predecessors for the fact that the substance and methodology of the defi nition of ethnicity has remained unchanged since 1945; essentially the question of ethnicity is still defi ned by the 19th century romantic ideas presupposing the unity of people, language, (archaeological) culture and race. While historians did undergo a change of paradigm and left behind the ideology of “völkisches Denken” to create a study of history that is modern as regards its methods, laws and theories, archaeological students of ancient and early history remained unaff ected by this. Archaeologists formally entrenched themselves behind the archaeological analysis of the fi ndings and seemingly only dealt with these fi ndings and the cultures, wholly ignoring or treating matters of history and ethnicity with unnecessary care. Th is approach had been maintained by the researchers and school founding university professors of the 50’s-70’s and their students. After 1945 it became possible for professionals to treat “ethnic identity” as a purely scientifi c question rather than a political one. Th e doubts regarding Gustaf Kossina’s theories could come to light; the approach equating “object” with “ethnicity” was left behind. At the time, however, archaeology lacked a unifi ed and modern concept of ethnos, that could have served as the basis for research. Th e possibility of change and renewal for the German archaeology of the early middle ages came from the field of history and, partly, from ethno-sociology. Th e authors most committed from the point of view of ethnic interpretation acquired their degrees under Joachim Werner at Munich University; their works are closely related to those of the Master both as regards their contents and their methodology, therefore the defi - nite ethnic program of Werner’s school has defi ned the German research of the early middle-ages for several decades.
How to defi ne the area of a town? Debates about the urban act of 1843/44
Th e starting point of the paper is the analysis of the changes of the concept of “town” in Hungary. Exploration of the discourse of the time shows that the concept of town had undergone signifi cant changes between the end of the 18th century and the middle of the 19th century. Besides the traditional legal-political concept, two new aspects came into play, as witnessed by the defi nition provided by Article 1. of the Urban Act drafted by the Parliament of 1843-1844: “Th e town consists of the town area and the town dwellers”. Th at is, while previous defi nitions had been primarily based on privilege, here the emphasis shifted to the demographic and spatial dimensions of the concept. Th e paper examines the part of the protracted debate of the Parliament of 1843-1844 about the draft Urban Act that focused on the problems related to the defi nition of the town area. According to the members of the Parliament, the area of the town is the area over which the town has jurisdiction. Th e main diffi culty arose from the fact that due to the various privileges, this area did not coincide with the geographical dimensions of the town. Th e proponents of liberal reforms strove to homogenize the legally fragmented dimensions of the town as far as possible and to extend the competency of the town authority over the entire geographical area of the town. As this also entailed the subordination of the town nobility under the town jurisdiction and thus had a direct eff ect on existing noble privileges, the debate on the defi nition of the town area involved signifi cant political and social stakes. Yet, the diff erences between the geographical dimensions and the area – the jurisdiction – of the town had only been eliminated by the laws of 1848.
At the gates of Vienna. Territorial diff erences in the development of the Southern part of the Kisalföld region in the beginning of the 20th century
In the present historico-geographical paper I have attempted to present the internal segmentation and developmental fault-lines of the early-20th century Western Trans-Danubian region using quantitative methods. On of the most important results of my researches is the discovery of a characteristic “North- Western/South-Eastern slope” in the diff erences among the development level of the areas of the Western Trans-Danubian region. Th is refl ects the developmental situation of the entire country. I was also able to ascertain that, rather than diff erences of religion, ethnicity or settlement structure, developmental differences are primarily defi ned by the distance from Vienna. Th e developmental map displays marked zonality: we only fi nd contiguous areas of relative underdevelopment on the Southern and Eastern peripheries, only disrupted by the developed ”islands” around the towns. Th e correlation between the developmental zones and Vienna also shows that at the beginning of the 20th century the center of this region was much rather Vienna than the capital of the country, Budapest.