Chernyakhiv Culture and the Huns (Based on Archaeological Resources of Ukraine)

Keywords: Cherniakhiv culture, Huns, Great Migration period

Abstract

The article deals with the problem of relations between the Cherniakhiv culture and the Huns based on the analysis of archaeological materials and written sources. These sources indicate that the disappearance of the Cherniakhiv culture occurs at a later time than the appearance of the Huns in the Northern Black Sea Region.

Basic information about the Huns is set out in the writings of Ammianus Marcelinus and Jordan. The appearance of the Huns in the Black Sea Region falls on the end of the reign of Germanarich (between 369—375/376). This synchronizes with the end of the C3 level of the relative chronology of Eastern European barbarian antiquities. Events in the history of the Ostrogoths after their defeat and as part of the Hunnic tribal union are practically not tied to absolute dates and specific geography. Jordan writes that the Ostrogoths, after being subjugated by the Huns, remained in the places of their former residence. The Cherniakhiv culture resourses indicate that there is a large group of items that are synchronized with the levels D1 and D2 (about 370—450). It is important that items come from closed complexes, different types of sites and cultural regions.

A correct explanation of the disappearance of a culture is possible only taking into account the multiethnic composition of this culture. According to written sources, the migration of the Ostrogoths, one of the components of the Cherniakhiv culture, to the Roman provinces stretched for at least half a century. The fate of other components of the culture can be reconstructed from the data of archaeological sources. There is a number of items that come from the latest Cherniakhiv culture. Glass beakers, buckles, combs, antique imports, can be dated by the end of 4th — first half of 5th centuries. The territory of distribution of the latest settlements and cemeteries of the Cherniakhiv culture and their ethnocultural specificity may be associated with the Scythian-Sarmatian and the Early Slavic components. It is possible that the beginning of the migration of the East German population from the Forest-Steppe Ukraine could really be associated with the conflict between the Goths and the Huns. The decline of the culture is a complex and multifactorial process in which socio-economic factors played a leading role.

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