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CNAA / Theses / 2021 / June /

Natives and Nomads in the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions during the 8th-9th centuries

Author: Musteață Sergiu
Degree:doctor habilitat of history
Speciality: 07.00.02 - History of Romanians (with specification of time period)
Institution: Chisinau Pedagogical State University "Ion Creanga"


The thesis was presented on the 11 June, 2021
Approved by NCAA on the 4 October, 2021


Adobe PDF document1.95 Mb / in romanian


Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions, the 8th-9th centuries, sedentary, migratory, habitat, economy, spiritual life, populations, archaeological cultures, ethnic groups


The structure of the work reflects the content of the scientific papers published in the years 1999-2019 and consists of XI compartments: I. Conceptual framework (chronological and spatial limits, the actuality and degree of study, the goal and objectives of the research, the research methodology, the scientific novelty, the theoretical importance and the applicative value of the research, the approval of the research results); II. Sources of research and historiography; III. Habitat; IV. Economy; V. Spiritual life; VI. Society; VII. Conclusions and recommednations; VIII. Bibliography (selective list); IX. List of the author's publications on the topic of the habilitation thesis; X. Summary (Romanian, English, Russian); XI. Curriculum Vitae. The work includes 4 tables, 4 diagrams and 4 maps.

The research aim is to develop an overview of the history of the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions in the 8th – 9th centuries and to establish the ethnocultural characteristics of the populations of this area.

Research objectives:

The scientific novelty of the obtained results. The scientific innovation of the works consists in the fact that they address both narrow problems and the overall history of the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic space in the 8th-9th centuries. For example, the monograph on the Byzantine currency in the eastern Carpathian regions in the 5th-10th c. includes all monetary discoveries in this region, which are analyzed from both a numismatic and historical perspectives for the first time in historiography28. The work answers a series of questions, such as the number and typology of coins, the area of concentration of discoveries and their ways of spreading, the historical context of unique discoveries and treasures, etc. The monograph published in 2018 is a reconstruction of the socio-economic, ethnic, cultural situation and, finally, of the political history of the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions in the 8th-9th centuries based on the analysis of the narrative and archaeological sources known so far. In the work, for the first time in historiography, the archaeological remains from the north of the Lower Danube (Banat, Maramures, Transylvania, Wallachia, Oltenia, Moldova, Bukovina, Bessarabia) are presented in an organic unit, although they represent inherent parts of a geographical space, well defined, for several decades they were treated separately, without generalizations at the macro-region level (Map 1). Thus, this work completes a substantial gap in historiography and exposes the problems of history and archaeology regarding the 8th-9th centuries in a new light29.

Theoretical importance and applicative value of research. The importance of the subject arises in the attempt to elucidate significant and current scientific problems, researched until now insufficiently and incompletely. Different aspects of the material and spiritual life of the inhabitants of the whole territory from the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions in the 8th-9th centuries, as well as their relations with the neighbouring peoples, were analyzed successively and in a complex way.

For the first time, archaeological discoveries from the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic area, which includes the territories between the Tisza and the Dniester, the Danube and the north of Bukovina, are now analyzed as parts of the Republic of Moldova, Romania, Ukraine, Serbia and Hungary (Map 1). Respectively, for the first time, an integral Register of archaeological discoveries is made and maps are made that represent the areas of habitation of the populations of the 8th-9th c. from the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions. Thus, based on the statistical, cartographic, typological data we could analyze and describe the particularities of the human habitat, the geographical distribution of the settlements, the economic occupations, the funeral rites and rituals, the particularities of the religious beliefs, the chronological, cultural and ethnic framing of the archaeological discoveries, the relations between natives and neighbours, description of the history of the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions in 8th-9th c. Also, I have formulated a series of conclusions and suggestions for further research in this area.

I hope that the results of my research, especially the monographic ones, will become a working tool in the historical knowledge of the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic region. The obtained results can be used in subsequent research on the historical development of the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions or the elaboration of synthesis studies on the Early Middle Ages in Europe, etc.

Approval of research results. During the last 20 years, after defending the PhD thesis in 1999, we have published three monographs in the field of early medieval history and archaeology, including a monograph based on numismatic sources, over 30 scientific articles, 10 summaries of scientific communications at various conferences (The list of publications is attached).

Topics regarding the history/archaeology of the Carpathian-Danubian-Pontic regions in the 8th-9th c. were presented at a series of national and international conferences and public lessons, both in the country and abroad, and some communications were subsequently published in the conference proceedings, collective studies and internationally recognized reviews.

The monograph „The population of the Pruto-Dniester area in the 8th-9th centuries” published in 2005 was awarded the "V. Pârvan ”of the Romanian Academy in 2007, and for my research results I obtained in 2014 the National Award in the field of science.

The results of the research were discussed and approved in the meeting of the Department of History and Geography of the State Pedagogical University "Ion Creangă" on 19.11.2020, at the meeting of the ad-hoc scientific seminar within the "Ion Creangă" State Pedagogical University held on 09.03.2021.