In the 1989-90 session, the Rhind Lectures of the Society of Antiquaries of Scotland were delivered by Dr Martin Gojda, of the Archaeological Institute of the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences, Prague. The lectures themselves had been instituted in 1876, through the benefaction of Alexander Henry Rhind of Wick, who wished to establish, through the Society, an annual course 'of not less than six lectures on some branch of archaeology, ethnology, ethnography, or allied topic'. Predominantly the lectures have been delivered by Insular, and especially by Scottish scholars. Rhind's own interests, however, had ranged widely over Europe and the Mediterranean; and appropriately, therefore, in several sessions the lectures have dealt with European archaeology.
So far as I can establish, however, none have been devoted to that major population group which stretches from the shores of the Black Sea to the Baltic region: namely, the Slavs. Even Professor Stuart Piggott's magisterial Rhind studies, Ancient Europe ( Edinburgh University Press 1965), gives but a single line to the antecedents of the Slavs. Dr Gojda's lectures, on the settlement process of the ancient Slavs, therefore represent a major innovation. It may be of interest to explain the circumstances in which they came to be given.
I first met Martin Gojda at the World Archaeological Conference in Southampton in 1986. He was there as one of a group of Slav archaeologists, ranging in origin from Poland to the lower Danube, who were reading papers to the medieval sessions of the Congress. It was immediately apparent to a British medievalist