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Public lecture by Dr. Michal Holeščák, National Archaeological Institute with Museum, BAS on “Current understanding of the Medieval artefacts of the Late Nomads in Bulgaria (CUMAN)”

25.05.2023

On Tuesday, June 6, 2023 at 17:30, in the Board room of the National Archaeological Institute with Museum of BAS, Sofia, 1 Athanas Burov Sq. (opposite of the Presidency), Dr. Michal Holeščák, National Archaeological Institute with Museum, BAS will present a lecture on his ongoing project CUMAN.

Intrusions of nomadic tribes to the area of Central-Eastern Europe were a challenge for local settled populations since the Prehistoric Age. During the Late Medieval Period (13th – 15th centuries) Medieval Bulgaria experienced influx of Cuman refugees from the Pontic steppes, pushed by the Mongol Empire expansion which established itself in the Eastern Europe. The two forces influenced the Central-Eastern and Southeast European countries in various ways. Cuman refugees gained shelter mainly in the Hungarian Kingdom and the Second Bulgarian Tsardom that were long time neighbours with wide contacts in the time period before the Mongol invasion. Cumans were often hired as mercenaries that stayed in the hosting country after their contracts have expired. Mongols, in the western sources called “Tatars”, incorporated the Cumans that didn’t leave their home steppes into the Empires western branch called Ulus Jochi. Tatar territorial ambitions made them to interfere in the internal struggles of Christian states in political way leading often to direct military clashes. CUMAN project aims to identify the archaeological remains of these nomads, sorting out of the general Medieval Bulgarian culture specific material of eastern origin. Then, combined with the written historical sources, models of habitation will be created and tested, leading to comprehensible study of the Late Nomads in the south of the Lower Danube area.

Michal Holeščák graduated from the Constantine the Philosopher University in Nitra and got a PhD degree from the Archaeological Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences where he has worked on various research projects as a researcher and coordinator. He is currently holding a post-doctoral position at NAIM-BAS.

You can find more information about Dr. Holeščák here:

https://www.sav.sk/?lang=en&doc=user-org-user&user_no=9274