In 1998, during the archaeological excavations in the Kremlin of Kazan (Tatarstan) a harness mount was found in a mixed layer of the 16th century. It was made of silver, ornamented with a rosette and gilt background. This type of mounts frequently occurs in ancient Hungarian graves of the Carpathian Basin from the first part of the 10th century. The author tries to prove that the Kazan piece must also have been made in Hungary and transported by merchants to Volga Bulgaria. The trade between mediaeval Hungary and Volga Bulgaria is often mentioned in written sources and well documented also by the presence of archaeological finds of Hungarian origin in former Volga Bulgaria and 10th-century Muslim coins of Bulgarian provenance in ancient Hungarian graves of the Carpatian Basin.
Az utóbbi időben
szakirodalmunkban felmerült a régészettudomány új meghatározásának igénye.
Olyan nézet is felmerült egy nemrég megjelent kézikönyvben, hogy a régészet nem
történeti tudomány, hanem állítólag valamiféle meghatározhatatlan jelenségek
összegyűjtésére és ezek időrendi meghatározására lenne csupán alkalmas, és a
régészeti adatok semmiképpen nem lennének felhasználhatóak a néptörténeti
kutatásokban. A szerző ezzel szemben meggyőződéssel állítja, hogy e diszciplína
igenis történeti jellegű, és körültekintő alkalmazás esetén a néptörténeti
vizsgálatokba is egyenrangú félként kapcsolódhat be a társtudományok mellett. A
lokalizáció és az időrend kérdésében pedig szava jóval perdöntőbb, mint például
a nyelvészeté vagy esetenként a nehezen értelmezhető írott forrásoké. A
dolgozat több, a magyar őstörténettel kapcsolatos problémát vesz sorra, ahol
megalapozatlan történeti téveszmék terjedtek el, amelyek a régészeti adatokkal
egyértelműen cáfolhatók. (A magyarság megjelenése a Kárpát-medencében és
folyamatos továbbélése, az avar továbbélés kérdése, nagy tömegű onogur-bolgár
beköltözés az Avar Birodalomba, a magyarság őshazája és kelet-európai
vándorútja, a magyarság nomadizmusa, a kabarok beköltözése, Morávia
From June to September 2013 I was organizing an exhibition entitled “Ancient Death Masks” in the Hungarian National Museum. The most important goal of the exhibition was to display for visitors an idea supported by scholarly research. According to this conclusion, silver and gold death masks observed in the graves of the 10th century Hungarians who settled in the Carpathian Basin originated from Magna Hungaria, the Uralian territory of the Hungarians. We displayed death masks found in three large regions of Eurasia: that of Tashtyk Culture in the Yenisei Valley (1st–5th cc.), 6th–11th century masks of the Ural Region, and 10th century masks from the Carpathian Basin (Fig. 1). Although the religious background of the masks in the three territories is similar, the forms of manifestation are different. From the shape of the masks we can clearly conclude that the 10th century Hungarians brought this burial custom from the Ural Region, Magna Hungaria. This can be cited among the few pieces of archaeological evidence (compeer to the historical evidence) attesting to the migration of the Hungarians from the east to the west.
The Hungarians coming from the east settled in the Carpathian basin in A.D. 896, and established their Christian kingdom in 1000. They kept their ancestral religion for a century which was preserved in fragments in Hungarian popular beliefs and folklore. On the basis of these fragments, the researchers defined the religion before Christianity to be Shamanism. Shamanism however has different variations depending on the degree of development of the society in question. Recently, a segment of the Arabic al-Bakri's writings from the 11th century has been published from among the very few written sources. It reports that Hungarians worship the Lord of the Heaven. Consequently, the Hungarian Shamanism was different from that of primitive Siberian peoples; it was rather similar to Tengrism which was common in eastern nomadic empires. The archeological findings from the 10th century confirm the information found in the written source since ancient art preserved several elements of the beliefs (tree of life, the assisting spirits of the shaman, animal spirits).
László Kovács has recently proposed a classification of the 10th–12th-century cemeteries of Hungary and he associated one group of burial grounds with the nomadic campsites of the ancient Hungarians. The present author challenges this view, pointing out that the greater part of the ancient Hungarian population did not pursue a nomadic life-style at the time of the Conquest (895) and that hydrological conditions in the Carpathian Basin made any eastern-type nomadism impossible. Thus, the still nomadic groups of the ancient Hungarian population too became sedentary during the 10th century, meaning that the name given to the cemeteries in question is erroneous.
Juha Janhunen has recently presented his new theory on the formation and spread of the Uralian language family, according to which Proto-Uralic emerged in eastern Siberia in the vicinity of Proto-Altaic. The Uralic languages later spread from this region as far as Scandinavia and Central Europe. However, this theory is essentially no more than hypothetical linguistic speculation since it does not take into account the evidence of the history of various peoples, principally the fact that there is nothing in the archaeological record to indicate that there was a large-scale migration from eastern Siberia to eastern Europe during the Stone Age.
A female burial of the Conquest period came to light on the outskirts of Tiszapüspöki, a settlement lying north of Szolnok, during the salvage excavations preceding the construction of the M4 Motorway. The west to east oriented burial was disturbed by a ditch and during the mechanical humus removal. Lying beside the skeletal remains were a pair of tinned bronze braid ornaments, a bracelet of sheet bronze, beads, the fragment of an iron awl and a bone bead. The burial and its finds can be dated to the 10th century.