The Avars, Byzantium and Italy: A Study in Chronology and Cultural History [Hardback]

Dr Csanád Bálint(Author)

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ISBN: 9786155766237 | Published by: Archaeolingua | Series: Varia Archaeologica Hungarica | Volume: 31 | Year of Publication: 2020 | Language: English 372p, H11.4 x W7.87,
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The Avars, Byzantium and Italy

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The present volume offers a sweeping overview of the Avar-period archaeological record with a focus on the many diverse cultural impacts stimulating cultural development. In doing so, it addresses mst of the controversial issues in the period's scholarship and thus provides a snapshot of the current state of Avar studies. The main approach is drawn from chronology: a study of the frequencies or lack of certain artefact types, goldsmithing techniques and burial customs shed light on specific regional and cultural traits, and also highlights possible connections spanning broader regions. The detailed coverage of regional distributions provides novel insights about the major cultural influences that moulded the material culture of the Avar Khaganate. One of the study's main findings is that the eastern and central Mediterranean cultural elements in the Avar-period material, generally lumped together under the umbrella term "Byzantine", should be treated differently because only a small portion can be derived from the central provinces of Byzantium, while their majority originates from Italy and the Byzantine provinces. The differences between the Avar-period material culture of Transdanubia and the Hungarian Plain can be explained by the millenium-long divergence in the cultural orientation of these two regions. The issue of "What is Byzantine?" among the Avars is examined from many different angles: through its wide scope and synthetic approach, the book provides a wealth of novel findings and inspiring insights for students of the early medieval history and archaeology of Central, Eastern and South-East Europe, alongside new theoretical considerations regarding the material culture of early medieval Byzantium and its irradiation to the empire's fringe regions.

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