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Contact of civilisations

Basic Info


The project comprises the studying of cultural heritage of select prehistoric communities in the area of today’s Slovenia between the 5th century BC and mid- first century AD. Culturally this refers to the end of Early Iron Age, the entire Late Iron Age and the whole period of Romanization. The project will focus on the material culture from the area (objects), the interpretation of the way material culture was handled (burial rituals, depositions and sacrifices) and the settlement patterns, as well as the spiritual culture that can be reconstructed (the way rituals were reflected, epigraphic monuments, mythological scripts) and the contemporal historical sources that refer to the area. Material objects, rituals and epigraphic as well as historical sources will be used for the studying of contacts with the neighbouring cultures and civilizations – and as evidence of cultural development in three distinct time periods – between the 5th and the 3rd century BC; between the 3rd and the 1st century BC; and between the 2nd century BC and the 1st century AD.

Research includes archaeological discoveries in the area of South-western Slovenia (the Primorska region and the Karst), central and South-eastern Slovenia (the Dolenjska region) and the area of the Eastern Slovenia (Štajerska and Prekmurje). The selection of research areas was dictated by the contents of the project, i.e. the plan of observing the dynamics of cultural and economic contacts between Mediterranean civilizations and prehistoric European cultures, that is, their Alpine, Pannonian and Balkan influences.

Apart from influences of the Mediterranean civilizations in the area of Northern Adriatic where there were no cultural interruptions or influences from the Alpine or Balkan area, the earliest period of the Late Iron Age settlement of the area of Slovenia exhibits dominant influences of Eastern Celtic civilization in the East, triggering the most significant cultural change or interruption of the regional cultural development.

In the mid-phase of the Late Iron Age settlement of the Slovenian area the most dominant cultural influences – apart from the ever increasing influences of the Roman republic which eventually resulted in the occupation of the area – come from the Alpine region; however, contacts with Eastern Celts were continually maintained. The continued cultural development and the established Mokronog cultural group means the peak of local production and the expansion of its influences towards the west, north, south and east.

In the final period the coastal area has consolidated within the Roman state, whereas the central and eastern Slovenian area remained a part of the Noricum kingdom, where the cultural contacts with both the Alpine and the Balkan areas of Eastern Celts intensified. Both regions eventually ended up as a part of the Roman state with no significant changes implemented.