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Where did Great Moravians go after the collapse of Great Moravia?

Discussion in 'World History' started by Domen, Jun 14, 2015.

  1. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    "Ancestors of Mieszko I - were they vikings, or did they come from Great Moravia? Piast DNA will show":

    http://poznan.gazeta.pl/poznan/1,36...i_wikingami_czy_przybyli_z.html#ixzz3d1ll1Iqt

    "Were the Piasts a local or a foreign dynasty? If foreign, then did ancestors of Mieszko I come from the north, from Great Moravia, or from elsewhere? These and other questions will be answered by specialists in early history of Poland. And specialists in DNA research from Poznan will help them.

    This Wednesday [17.06.2015] in the Institute of Organic Chemistry of PAN (Polish Academy of Sciences) - Wieniawskiego street 17/19 in Poznań - an international scientific conference will begin, presenting the most recent findings of historians, archaeologists, biochemists and geneticists, concerning the beginnings of the Medieval Polish realm. Since Wednesday until Friday scholars will discuss the creation of Poland and the origins of the Piast Dynasty, compared to similar realms of Central Europe. They will especially discuss the question which new things to our knowledge of the past come from interdisciplinary studies, including research by specialists in population genetics.

    Where did Mieszko I come from?


    The choice of place where the conference will be held, is not random: for the last two years, the Institute of Organic Chemistry of PAN in Poznan has been involved in the research project, the goal of which is to finally solve the mysterious origins of Mieszko and of his Piast dynasty. A renowned historian - late Kazimierz Jasiński - identified 340 burials of various members of the Piast dynasty. If we manage to identify paternal lineage of Y-DNA originating from Mieszko I and Boleslav Chrobry, we will discover what was the Y chromosome of Mieszko - prof. Marek Figlerowicz, director of of the Institute of Organic Biochemistry of PAN explains - "If we then compare this genetic data with DNA of modern people, we will be able to say whether Mieszko's genome was a Slavic genome, or whether it was a Scandinavian genome. And whether genetic material of simple commoners was identical with DNA material of the ruling dynasty, or not? Because if it was, then it means that ancestors of the Piasts were descendants of 'ours'. And if not, then it means that early Poland's ruling elite had a foreign origin."

    The origin of the Piasts is one of the great mysteries of history. Not only historians try to figure out, how and from where did suddenly, in the middle of Greater Poland's forests, a clan emerge, which soon dominated its neighbours, constructing a system of powerful fortified towns, such as those in Giecz, Grzybowo, Poznań, Gniezno and Ostrów Lednicki island in the southern portion of Lake Lednica. And then they conquered neighbouring territories and created a strong realm. Until some point a hypothesis of northern, Norman origins of the Piast was popular. Its followers maintained that the Piasts were vikings, who created statehood from scratch at the Warta River. But there is lack of evidence to support this hypothesis.

    Mieszko's ancestors from Great Moravia?

    More recently, another hypothesis has gained in popularity. A hypothesis about southern, Moravian origin of ancestors of Mieszko, first proposed by scholars of the Poznan department of PAN, late prof. Zofia Kurnatowska and prof. Michał Kara. Scholars pointed out to close chronological proximity of the collapse of Great Moravia and the beginnings of Poland - both of which date back to the early 10th century. It cannot be ruled out, that ancestors of Mieszko were descendants of Great Moravian elites, who escaped to the Warta River basin following the defeat inflicted upon them by Magyar invaders.

    Was that the case? Maybe we shall hear new arguments supporting this hypothesis. The conference is organized by the Institute of History and the Institute of Prehistory of PAN, with cooperation of the Institute of Biochemistry of PAN in Poznan. Free entry."
     
  2. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    I don't think Moravia is necessary to explain Poland. It also would seem unlikely that the dynasty of Greater Poland originated among Scandinavians. In the Rus, the first known names they use are Scandinavian and then become Slavicised, but this is not so with the Polish dynasty.

    I have recently been wondering if slavery might be key to understanding both the rise of Rus and Poland. Like in Africa in the early modern period, the economic impetus for rising states was the need for larger scale organization to collect slaves and sell them to Westerners and Arabs for prestige goods. The one thing we know about the Slavs in the era is that they were a source of slaves.

    But does the archaeology support such a theory? I.e. what did Scandinavian, Frisian and Frankish traders give the proto-Piasts and their allies? Swords? Frankish and Arab bullion and coins? Wine?

    Wine? Is there lots of foreign pottery in Poland in the tenth century? Pottery that held wine would have to come from the supply zones in Greater Włochy.
     
  3. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    ^ Capturing people from neighbouring tribes by "early Poles" was certainly the case and those captives could indeed be one of main export goods of early Poland, but it seems that - rather than being exported abroad - most of them were actually brought in and settled in Piast lands (Greater Poland, Wielkopolska), in order to increase their population density.

    1) Estimated population density in Wielkopolska during the 600s-700s:



    2) Estimated population density in Wielkopolska around year 1000 AD:




    Between map 1) and map 2) there was:

    1. Population increase due to natural growth. But this doesn't explain the shift of settlement (see the map below - this 1991 map dates the shift to the 9th - early 10th c., but in 2001 previous dating was corrected, to only 10th c.):



    2. Wars against neighbouring clans / tribes waged by ancestors of Mieszko (920 - 960) resulted in capturing their population (plus there is archaeological evidence that many tribal strongholds in lands surrounding the early Piast realm were burned in that period, and new ones replaced them), and later a large part of that population was settled in Wielkopolska. Those were mainly captives from the west and the south-east, who were being settled in the Land of Gniezno and in Cuiavia.

    3. Wars of Mieszko I and early wars of Boleslav (960 - 1000) in this period we observe further import of captives; but the Land of Gniezno was already densely populated by 960, so Mieszko settled new captives in other territories - southern Wielkopolska. In this period the origin of settlers were: Pomerania, Silesia, and areas to the west of the Oder River (Sorbs).

    4. In western Wielkopolska, along the middle course of the Oder River, there was only slight population increase in that period, indicating that there was no import of settlers there, but that it was only due to natural growth. Mieszko wanted to have a densely forested buffer zone along his western border, as defence against the Germans and / or the Pagan Slavs.

    So it seems that the Piasts were more interested in importing people, than in exporting them. Those captives did not have a status of slaves once settled in new homeland, rather free or half-free commoners subject to their new rulers.

    Of course this does not rule out the possibility that they exported some of their captives as well.

    For example "OK, let's export 10% of our booty and the remaining 90% we will use to strengthen our manpower".

    In Southern Poland - but that was beyond the reach of the early Piast realm - there existed huge strongholds which were apparently almost empty inside (i.e. they were not densely populated towns, but just huge areas encircled by fortifications). For example Tushemla, Demidovka, Zimne, Niewiadoma, Hacki, Szeligi, Polupin, Radzikowo and maybe Chotomel.

    Some authors (Marek Jankowiak, "Dirhams for slaves. Investigating the Slavic slave trade in the tenth century"), have suggested that those huge walled areas existed as "prisons", to gather slaves inside before selling them:

    http://www.academia.edu/1764468/Dir...g_the_Slavic_slave_trade_in_the_tenth_century

    But this does not really seem to be a good explanation, especially that Muslim author Al Gardhizi in the 10th century actually described what was the purpose of those strongholds - he wrote that those were "refugial strongholds", in which Slavic families from nearby countryside took refuge together with their very numerous cattle and pigs in times of wars.

    Those strongholds did have a permanent population as well, but it was much smaller than size of strongholds would indicate. Those "refugial strongholds" in times of peace served as religious centres and centres of metallurgy.

    Check Zbigniew Kobylinski "Early medieval hillforts in Polish lands in the 6th to the 8th centuries: Problem of orgin, function, and spatial organization" - http://www.academia.edu/1460344/Ear..._of_origins_function_and_spatial_organization .

    Moreover those huge strongholds existed mostly in the earlier period, not as late as the 10th century.

    Later most strongholds became smaller, but were used as permanently inhabited towns. That reflected the shift towards more sedentary lifestyle (in early times many Slavic groups were frequently moving from place to place, practicing slash-and-burn agriculture in forests, and they had a lot of cattle, pigs, perhaps horses, and other livestock with them).

    ==========================

    Edit:

    I will investigate this and tell you.

    Exactly, they have Slavic names since the start - but this doesn't rule out Great Moravians, as they also had Slavic names. Another possibility apart from Moravians, are eastern Polans - those who lived in the realm of Kuyavia with the capital in Kiev:

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=13831680#post13831680

    http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?p=13832616#post13832616

    Muslim writers Al-Gaihani and Ibn Haukal described East Slavic realms existing in the 700s, before any Scandinavian influence in the region - those were Kuyavia (with the capital in Kiev), Slavinia (with the capital in Novgorod), and Artania (probably with the capital in Ryazan). Later, but it isn't certain when exactly (from the 800s to the late 900s) also Haqaniyya by the Azov Sea (which controlled Tmutarakan) formed. There are two possible reasons why would those eastern Polans (or at least their elite) emigrate westward, to Poland - either Khazar incursions / influences, or Varangian incursions / influences (Askold and Dir, who apparently captured Kiev in the 870s) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Askold_and_Dir#Biography :

    The East Slavic realm of Kuyavia (Kujawia), with its capital in Kiev, inhabited by eastern Polans - was mentioned by Muslim writers. There exists also Kujawy in Poland, and it was probably within the early realm of the Polans:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kujawy
     
  4. Pangur Bán

    Pangur Bán Deconstructed

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    Well, one point worth stressing, is that people very rarely keep slaves taken from their own society. You can't very well have slaves with local family and friends to be helped by and escaped to, never mind wider ideological limitations that this would impose. It's perfectly feasible that the Piasts built up political and economic resources capturing slaves and selling most for bullion and wine, but continued to retain some from places like Pomerania, Mazovia, Lesser Poland, Bohemia, Silesia, etc.

    Do you have any info on pottery from Francia and the Mediterranean found in Greater Poland, and how that compares to distributions is neighbouring regions?
     
  5. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    IIRC many of those captured people from neighbouring lands did not retain the status of slaves, but instead were settled as free or relatively free subjects in either new or already before existing settlements, known as osady służebne. Osada służebna (singular) translates to English roughly as "settlement providing services".

    It was an interesting organizational system, because each such osada służebna was inhabited by people providing a specific kind of services, or producing a specific kind of goods. And names of those settlements originated from their role - villages which have their origins from osady służebne, have names such as: Koniuchy / Kobylniki / Koniary (horse breeders), Kowale / Kowary (blacksmiths), Grotniki (producers of arrowheads), Szczytniki (producers of shields), Szłomniki (producers of helmets), Tokary (turners), Cieśle (carpenters), Rudniki (extractors of iron ore), Zduny (people handling metallurgical production), Sokolniki ("villa falconarium" - people breeding falcons for the royal family), Jastrzębniki (the same as Sokolniki, but hawks), Garbary / Garbarze (leather tanners), Korabniki / Korabie (poducers of boats), Kołodzieje (producers of wagons and wheels), Sanniki (produces of sledges), Łękno (producers of saddle pommels), Szewce (shoemakers), Świniary (breeders of pigs), Żerniki / Żerdniki / Żyrdniki (producers of tents for the army), Lazy / Łazy / Łazęgi (scouts and / or lumberjacks), Owczary (sheep breeders).

    There were about 50 different types of such settlements, which existed next to "normal" agricultural villages. The identified number of such settlements was at least 600. Of course "normal" villages numbered many thousands. So 600 is not such a huge number. All in all - it seems that those of the captives who were settled by the Piasts in their realm was mostly skilled workforce, while most of the unskilled guys were probably sold abroad into slavery.

    Reconstruction of such production centres located at the outskirts of Ostrów Lednicki, is in this video:

    Metallurgy: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4uHrqZJuTg#t=1933

    Other crafts: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4uHrqZJuTg#t=1490

    Many osady służebne were also inhabited by breeders of animals (not just of horses) and farmers:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4uHrqZJuTg#t=1795

    Even those inhabited by farmers were perhaps involved in more or less specialized production.

    Animal breeders: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v4uHrqZJuTg#t=1875

    Early Medieval cows from Poland were much smaller than modern ones, even smaller than Neolithic cows.

    I will check this.

    =============================

    Already in 1039 the centre of power shifted to the south when Casimir I moved the capital of Poland to Cracow:

    "Wawel castle 1000 years ago, virtual reconstruction":


    Link to video.
     
  6. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    Pangur,

    I will check the issue of foreign pottery with wine and other foreign objects that could be sold to the locals in exchange for slaves. But for now, I have found such a simple scheme (it was made back in 2013 when it started) explaining what the genetic part of the project "Dynasty and society of the Piasts" (see the OP) is all about:

    http://ncn.gov.pl/finansowanie-nauki/przyklady-projektow/figlerowicz



    Looks like a HUGE project, but I wonder what has actually been done, and what is still to be done.

    I wonder if they already have some ancient DNA results.
     
  7. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    What on Earth are 'Great Moravians'? And what the blazes has it to do with what you are discussing?
     
  8. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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  9. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    I'm not ignorant on Great Moravia, just wondering what that has to do with 'Great Moravians' (whatever that is supposed to mean) and the discussion going on so far, as I don't see any connection.
     
  10. Domen

    Domen Misico dux Vandalorum

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    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moravians

    The connection is this theory about Moravian refugees going north.

    =================

    Pangur, check this text "Central places and the problem of the oldest patrimony of the Piast dynasty":

    https://www.academia.edu/7021278/Oś...of_the_oldest_patrimony_of_the_Piast_dynasty_

    The whole thing is in Polish but maps have English descriptions and there is a long English summary.
     
  11. Agent327

    Agent327 Observer

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    None of this 'discussion' is about 'Great Moravians'. 'Great Moravians' aren't Moravians. They would, in fact, be the inhabitants of Great Moravia. So the answer to your question is very simple: they disappeared together with Great Moravia. They certainly didn't migrate to Poland.
     

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