MIGRATION PERIOD IN SOUTH-EASTERN
EUROPE AND THE LATE ROMAN EMPIRE1
This article is divided into two parts: The first section deals with basic methodological questions of archaeological research; the second one presents a selection of early migration period gold hoards from south-eastern Europe. These complexes should be analysed under the following aspects, which will now be discussed.
When starting to work with archaeological material several questions have to be asked. Most of these questions are in general common for all archaeological research, but this is by no means a guarantee, that they were asked in every case. There are six basic questions, which should be asked:
1. What are the circumstances of the find? 2. How was the find buried in the ground? 3. Which structure does the find have 4. What is the date of the find? (To solve this problem a widespread span of methods like typology, relative and absolute chronology or natural scientific methods must be used.) 5. What provenance did the finds have? (To answer this question the finds have to be compared with other objects. Technical observations or even scientific research upon the used material may be necessary.) 6. One had to clarify, whether the find is a grave, a burial sacrifice, a hoard or treasure. This
1 The article deals with some of the aspects, which were discussed in my dis-
sertation: M. Schmauder, Oberschichtgräber und Verwahrjunde in Sudosteuropa im 4. und
5. Jahrhundert (forthcoming); Preliminary: id., “Oberschichtgräber und Verwahrfunde
in Sudosteuropa im 4. und 5. Jahrhundert. Zum Verhältnis zwischen spätantik-
fruhbyzantinischem Reich und barbarischer Oberschicht aufgrund der archäolog-
ischen Quellen”, Ethnographisch-archäologische Zeitschrift 38 (1997) pp. 205–213; id.,
“Imperial Representation or Barbaric Imitation? The imperial Brooches (Kaiserfibeln)”,
Strategies of Distinction. The Construction of Ethnic Communities, 300–800, ed. W. Pohl
with H. Reimitz, The Transformation of the Roman World 2 (Leiden, Boston and
Köln 1998) pp. 281–296; id., “Die Onyxfibel aus Szilágysomlyó und die Gruppe
der sogenannten Kaiserfibeln”, Barbarenschmuck und Romergold. Der Schatz von Szildgysomylo.
ed. W. Seipel (Wien 1999) pp. 121–137. I would like to thank Mr. A. Brown for
his important help during the work on the English version of this article.