Zooming in: Archaeogenetic investigation of Early Middle Age cemeteries in Moravia to study formation of Early Mediaeval societies



Year of publication 2022
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Absence of historical documents in East Central Europe and limited archaeological finds are cited among the main reasons why many of long asked questions regarding migration and mobility in Early Middle Ages are still debated. One of such questions is the impact of migrations in the period predating the formation of the first Slavic states in the region. Traditionally accepted consensus is that Slavs migrated from their homeland into the rest of Europe in 5th or 6th century AD. There are however voices that question this narrative and suggest that the Slavic languages arrived in the region without a large migratory event. Even in the presence of a demographic shift in the population, the process itself is unknown and the social structure of the presumed incomers might have played a strong role (e.g. elite migration versus slow impact distributed over generations). An additional source of information about these events can be considered today. Archaeogenetics is still a relatively novel field of molecular biology and genetics that holds a lot of promise to shed light on these questions when thoroughly integrated into an interdisciplinary discourse. That is especially true when demographic events are concerned. In our research we are using these tools to study biological kinship in Early Slavic cemeteries and gene flow between so-called Early Slavs and other Early Medieval populations. The obtained archaeogenetic information will help describe the social changes that took place in Moravian territory, determine the importance of biological kinship and will provide an insight into connection of health and social status.
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