The development and mobility of protohistoric communities in continental Croatia

During the protohistoric period, in the last millennium before Christ, the territory of continental Croatia was marked by the material and spiritual culture of the communities documented in the ancient historical sources that described the events in the South-East Alpine and South Pannonian areas in the period of the 2nd-1st centuries BC. However, the material culture of indigenous protohistoric communities living in continental Croatia, such as the Colapiani, Jasi, or the Pannonian Breuci and the Andizetes, exhibits their continuous evolution from as early as the Late Bronze Age in the 2nd millennium BC. The migration and settlement of Celtic tribes towards the end of the 4th century, whose symbiosis with indigenous populations gave rise to the Taurisci and the Scordisci, had eventually shaped the protohistoric ethnic map of continental Croatia. The objectives and assumptions of the project relate to the questions of ethnogenesis, that is, the creation, evolutionary phases, continuity and loss of the political independence of protohistoric communities, based on the study of their material and spiritual culture by means of fieldwork and interdisciplinary research. This approach leads to the understanding of settlement organization and infrastructure, together with its palaeoenvironment, religious concepts and the social stratification of communities, individual mobility, and the exchange of ideas and knowledge that facilitated their civilizational progress. Special attention is given to the study of the transitional periods from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age, from the Early to the Late Iron Age, and the early Romanization, as the basic civilizational changes in the evolution of all protohistoric communities. This way, by studying the material culture of the indigenous populations of the Colapiani, Jasi, Breuci and Andizetes, we can define the beginnings of their ethnogenesis, at the same time identifying the sources of influences that affected their formation and evolution. The material legacy of the La Tène culture of the Taurisci and Scordisci, if showing the general Central European roots from which they stemmed, due to the action of different indigenous substrates spawned a culture that most clearly exhibits the geographical and human particularities of continental Croatia during the protohistoric period. In the end, by distinguishing the characteristic items of costume as an external manifestation of ethnic identity, we define the distribution areas and evolutionary phases of indigenous and immigrant Celtic protohistoric communities in continental Croatia, as well as their position on the protohistoric ethnic map of Europe.

Marko Dizdar

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