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07.10.2021 - 09.10.2021 | Halle (Saale)

Crossing boundaries. Mounted nomads in Central Europe, their eastern roots and connections

At least since the Bronze Age, mounted peoples from the Eurasian steps have repeatedly entered Central Europe. In doing so, they brought their social structures and cultural patterns with them, and had a considerable impact on local societies. In many cases, their incursions determined the course of European history. From 7 to 9 October, the 14th Archaeological Conference of Central Germany in Halle (Saale) will be dedicated to this topic.

The Archaeological Conference of Central Germany is hosted annually by the State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology Saxony-Anhalt. Based on finds or findings from Central Germany, the international conference addresses selected archaeological topics in order to contribute new insights into the interdisciplinary discussion.

At least since the Bronze Age, mounted peoples from the Eurasian steps have repeatedly entered Central Europe. In doing so, they brought their social structures and cultural patterns with them, and had a considerable impact on local societies. In many cases, their incursions determined the course of European history. ›Crossing boundaries. Mounted nomads in Central Europe, their eastern roots and connections‹ will be the title of this year's 14th Archaeological Conference of Central Germany which will be dedicated to this topic. It will take place from 7 to 9 October in Halle (Saale). We plan to present and discuss the newest evidence from historical, archaeological and archeogenetic research on migration and acculturation processes. Moreover, this interdisciplinary and international conference will be linked to the exhibition ›Equestrian nomads in early Medieval Europe‹, which will be on view from March 2022 in the Schallaburg International Exhibition Centre in Lower Austria. It will be subsequently shown from November 2022 onwards in the State Museum of Prehistory in Halle.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Registration opens from 9.00.

10.00 to 10.30
Prof. Dr. Harald Meller (Halle [Saale]/DE), Prof. Dr. Falko Daim (Wien/AT; Halle [Saale]/DE): Opening and introduction.

Mounted nomads and their neighbours

10.30 to 11.00
Mag. Dr. Johannes Preiser-Kapeller (Wien/AT): Mounted agents of underdevelopment? Steppe empires in current debates of world history between the Tatar yoke, the Great Divergence, and early globalisation.

11.00 to 11.30
Prof. em. Csanád Bálint (Budapest/HU): Die Seiten eines imaginären Vierecks: Byzanz, China und die Steppenvölker im Frühmittelalter. Einiges über die Kulturkontakte.

11.30 to 12.00
Dr. Gergely Csiky (Budapest/HU): Innovations in the weaponry of early medieval mounted nomads.

12.00 to 13.30 – lunch break.

13.30 to 14.00
Prof. Dr. Ewald Kislinger (Wien/AT): Unangenehme Nachbarn. Byzanz und die Hunnen, Awaren sowie Petschenegen im Spiegel ihrer diplomatischen Beziehungen.

Central and Eastern Asia

14.00 to 14.30
Prof. Dr. Nicola di Cosmo (New Jersery/US): The evolution of early nomadic elites on China’s northern frontier: insights from history and archaeology.

14.30 to 15.00
Prof. Dr. Sören Stark (New York/US): Heartland of empires? Some observations on the so-called ›Orkhon Tradition‹ among the Türks and other inner Asian polities.

15.00 to 15.30 – coffee break.

15.30 to 16.00
Sandra Wabnitz (Wien/AT): Soziale Hierarchie bei den zentralasiatischen Tuoba (4. bis 6. Jahrhundert) – Ein Modell für andere Steppenvölker?

16.00 to 16.30
Britta Stein (Halle [Saale]/DE): Krieger und Reiter im kofunzeitlichen Japan.

Black Sea region / North Caucasus

16.30 to 17.00
Dr. Sergej Bezuglov (Rostov am Don/RU): The Khazars and Byzantium in the late 7th to early 8th century (on the materials of the Don barrows).

17.00 to 17.30
Bence Gulyás (Budapest/HU), Anton Strokov (Moskau/RU): Nomads and Bosporan cities in the late antiquity (4th to 6th century).

19.00 – keynote lecture
Prof. Dr. Walter Pohl (Wien/AT): Forms of interaction and patterns of identification in the early medieval Eurasian steppes.

Afterwards welcome reception.

Friday, 8 October 2021


9.30 to 10.00
Prof. Dr. Carola Metzner-Nebelsick (München/DE): The first evidence of mounted nomads between the Caucasus and Central Europe in the early first millennium BC.

10.00 to 10.30
Prof. Dr. Louis D. Nebelsick (Halle [Saale]/DE; Warschau/PL): Raiders, slavers, invaders, and empire builders: the late 7th to early 5th century Scythian presence in Central Europe as a reflex of Lydian, Milesian, and Persian attempts to forge a European empire.

Huns (4th to 5th century)

10.30 to 11.00
Dr. Eszter Istvánovits (Nyíregyháza/HU), Dr. Valéria Kulcsár (Szeged/HU): Sarmatians and Huns.

11.00 to 11.30 – coffee break.

11.30 to 12.00
Dr. Zsófia Masek (Budapest/HU): The formation of ceramics for display and consumption in the European Hun Empire.

12.00 to 12.30
Dr. Zsófia Rácz (Budapest/HU): Changes in lifestyle and subsistence strategies in the 5th-century Carpathian Basin.

12.30 to 14.00 – lunch break.

Avars (6th to 9th century)

14.00 to 14.30
Dr. Arnold Muhl (Halle [Saale]/DE): Boten aus der Steppe in Mitteldeutschland. Archäologische Spuren der Einflüsse von Hunnen und Awaren.

14.30 to 15.00
Prof. Dr. Johannes Krause (Leipzig/DE): Die Herkunft und genetische Geschichte der Awaren.

15.00 to 15.30
Prof. Dr. Tivadar Vida (Budapest/HU): Archäologische und archäogenetische Forschungen zur awarischen Elite des 7. Jahrhunderts.

15.30 to 16.00
Dr. Grigori Simeonov (Wien/AT): Die slawische Flotte des awarischen Khagans und das Byzantinische Reich.

16.00 to 16.30 – coffee break.

16.30 to 17.00
Dr. Adrienn Blay (Budapest/HU), Dr. Levente Samu (Budapest/HU): Frühawarenzeitliche Netzwerke in Europa.

17.00 to 17.30
Tamara Hága (Debrecen/HU): The armoured horseman from the 7th century, Derecske-Bikás-dűl site.

17.30 to 18.00
Dr. Oleksii Komar (Kiew/UA): Between Avars and China: sources of the 7th to early 8th century cultural bridge (on the basis of military and horse equipment).

18.00 to 18.30
Dr. Gergely Szenthe (Budapest/HU), Dr. Erwin Gáll (Bukarest/RO): Awarische Pferdegräber im 8. Jahrhundert.

Saturday, 9 October 2021

Bulgarians (7th to 10th century)

9.30 to 10.00
Prof. Dr. Daniel Ziemann (Wien/AT): Zwischen Karpaten und Kaukasus. Bulgaren vor dem Bulgarenreich.

10.00 to 10.30
Prof. Dr. Andrey Aladzhov (Sofia/BG): Palaces, temples, and baths. The appearance of stone buildings in the first capital of medieval Bulgaria (7th to 9th century).

10.30 to 11.00
Prof. Dr. Stanislav Stanilov (Sofia/BG), Petar Parvanov (Budapest/HU): (Dis-)continuities in the Bulgar culture on the Lower Danube between the 7th and 11th century.

11.00 to 11.30 – coffee break.

11.30 to 12.00
Dr. Evgenija Troeva-Grigorova (Sofia/BG): Vorfahren und Nachkommen: historische Rekonstruktionen und Reenactments der Protobulgaren.

Hungarians (9th to 11th century)

12.00 to 12.30
PD Dr. habil. Donat Wehner (Halle [Saale]/DE), Dr. Gerrit Deutschländer (Halle [Saale]/DE): A sagittis Hungarorum libera nos, Domine! Mentale und materielle Spuren der Ungarneinfälle in das Ostfrankenreich.

Afterwards final discussion.

Hinweise zur Teilnahme:
Unfortunately, the Archaeological Conference of Central Germany cannot take place with an audience this year. The available venues and the current distance and hygiene regulations only allow for a greatly reduced number of participants. However, in order to allow access to all interested parties, we will film the lectures and make them available on a video platform on a daily basis (a few hours later). If you would like to follow the lectures, please register by 30 September 2021 via e-mail at:

Poster contributions:

As in previous years, poster contributions for this year's conference are particulary welcome. Unfortunately, due to the situtation related to the coronavirus pandemic and the unpredictable nature of the pandemic developments in October, on-site participation in the conference cannot be guaranteed.

Committed to this approach, the 14th Archeological Conference of Central Germany 2021 will be devoted to various types of ›border crossings‹ between cultural entities or societies with equestrian nomadic roots in Central Europe and the Eurasian steppe. The posters we will invite should focus, for example, on:

The cultural entanglements of equestrian nomadic peoples with neighboring entities and their means of communication.

Their cultural convergences with neighboring societies.

Political and cultural change in nomadic equestrian societies as a reaction to changing political frameworks or to concentrations of power

The question of whether their far-reaching connections within Eastern Europe and Central Asia reflect a situation of »communicating vessels« or were merely the result of sporadic contacts.

If you would like to register posters, please send a short synopsis (maximum half a page) to We will check all entries and get back to you afterwards. The deadline for registration is 19 September 2021.


07.10.2021 ab 09:00 - 09.10.2021 14:00


Landesamt für Denkmalpflege und Archäologie Sachsen-Anhalt – Landesmuseum für Vorgeschichte
Halle (Saale)


Studierende, Wissenschaftler




Geschichte / Archäologie, Gesellschaft, Kulturwissenschaften


Konferenz / Symposion / (Jahres-)Tagung




Alfred Reichenberger



Veranstaltung ist kostenlos:




URL dieser Veranstaltung:

attachment icon Conference programme


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