Great Moravian Central Places and their Practical Function, Social Significance and Symbolic Meaning

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Year of publication 2013
Type Article in Proceedings
Conference Zentrale Orte und Zentrale Räume des Frühmittelalters in Süddeutschland
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Field Archaeology, anthropology, ethnology
Keywords archeology; Great Moravia; central places; Early Middle Ages
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Description This paper focuses on practical function, social significance and symbolic meaning of early medieval central places from the East-Central Europe, in particular from the area of so-called Great Moravia, which was a important (pre-)state formation on the eastern periphery of the Frankish Empire. It is argued that the vast local agglomerations were not mere military forts, but very complex centres – genuine civitates or urbs of Moravian Slavs as they are mentioned in Royal Frankish Annals. Only rarely can we identify the settlements known from Carolingian written sources with specific places. Although the majority eludes localization, we assume that the place names given in the written sources refer to some of the rich archaeological sites explored by archaeologists over the last 50 years in the Czech Republic. The most important ones are Mikulčice, Staré Město and Pohansko near Břeclav.
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