Horse and cart and boat by the Danube near Paks in the 1930s. Photo: János Kenedi. image no. 188287

Subject area

Mobility, Migration and Transformation

The spatial movements and encounters of persons, groups or objects yielded different ramifications for the societies they affected. Such processes can be continually observed and examined in East-Central Europa between Late Antiquity and the modern age. Influences from the Steppe, the Mediterranean region, the West and the North collided during the so-called Migration Period. Processes of both Slavic and Magyar ethnogenesis, overlaid by Christianisation, ultimately and lastingly shaped the development of medieval kingdoms in the region.

Finds from burials and hoards as well as specific settlement forms illuminate the new ways of elite representation that developed under these conditions. The slave trade and western immigration fundamentally transformed the material culture and language of the western Slavic region, particularly in the Germania Slavica. Medieval and Early Modern settlements, directed by sovereign guidance and home to new population groups (e.g. Cumans, »Saxons« or »Swabians«), had a lasting impact on the ethnic-confessional mosaic of East-Central and South-Eastern Europe, promoting the transfer of technology and knowledge as well as lively processes of cultural and linguistic exchange in much of Europe.

The settlement processes also influenced the physiographic conditions of myriad regions. Finally, the forced resettlements, expulsions and border revisions in the course and wake of the two world wars fundamentally changed the population make-up of East-Central Europe in the 20th century. This project diachronically examines these processes of transformation by making use of and evaluating archaeological, art-historical, (natural) scientific, numismatic and philological-historical sources with interdisciplinary methods.

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