Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
History of the Balkans
The Balkans is an area of southeastern Europe situated at a major crossroads between mainland Europe and the Near East. The distinct identity and fragmentation of the Balkans owes much to its common and often violent history and to its very mountainous geography. The history of the Balkans is dominated by wars, rebellions, invasions, the fluidity of ethnic groups, the inability of different groups to cooperate as well as interference by and clashes between great empires.
4.1 1804 First Serbian Uprising and 1815 Second Serbian Uprising
- Main article: Prehistoric Balkans
Early cultures of the Balkans were predominantly agricultural. Archaeologists have identified several early culture-complexes, including the Cucuteni culture (4500 BC - 3500 BC), Vinča culture (5000 BC-3000 BC) and the Linearbandkeramic culture. A notable set of artifacts is the Tărtăria tablets, which appear to be inscribed with an early form of writing. Also deserving mention is the Butmir Culture, found on the outskirts of present day Sarajevo. Likely overrun by the Illyrians in the bronze age, the Butmir Culture developed unique ceramics. The discovery caused enough of a buzz in the archeological world that the International Congress of Archeology and Antrophology was held in Sarajevo in 1894.
6th - 5th BC
- Main article: Indo-European invasion of Europe
Myceneans also arrive in about 1600 BC and they were one of the earliest Indo-European civilizations in the Balkans, only to decline with the arrival of the Dorian Greeks around 1100 BC (see: Greek Dark Ages).
There exist two theories on the origin of the Illyrian tribes. One associates them with the Hallstatt culture an Iron Age people coming into the Western Balkans after 2000 BC and the other considers the Illyrians autochthonous.
Around 1500 BC Thracians settle in the Balkans. The Thracians were an Indo-European people, inhabitants of Thrace and adjacent lands (present-day Romania, Bulgaria, northeastern Greece, European Turkey, eastern Serbia and Macedonia). They spoke the Thracian language.
The "Kurgan hypothesis" of Proto-Indo-European (PIE) origins assumes gradual expansion of the "Kurgan culture" until it encompasses the entire pontic steppe , Kurgan IV being identified with the Yamna culture of around 3000 BC.
Colin Renfrew is the main propagator for a newer theory dating from 1987 according to which the Indo-Europeans were farmers in Asia Minor who expanded peacefully in South East Europe from around 7000 BC (wave of advance).
Continuity in Balkans
Despite the multiethnic nature of the Balkans, it seems that most inhabitants of the peninsula share common ancestors. Scientists feel that we will have a better picture of these ethnic trajectories within the next several years. The genetic marker M170 appears to have come from the Middle East to the Balkan region roughly 20,000 years ago. It seems today that this marker is unique to the Bakans area, though research suggests that about 80% of European genetic stock goes back to Paleolithic period.
- Main article: Odrysian empire
- Main article: Dacia
A kingdom of Dacia was in existence at least as early as the beginning of the 2nd century BC under King Oroles .
Greek city-states and their colonies
- Main article: Colonies in antiquity
The Greeks were among the first to establish a system of trade routes in the Balkans, and in order to facilitate trade with the natives, between 700 BC and 300 BC they founded several colonies on the Black Sea (Pontus Euxinus) coast and on the Danube.
Empire of Macedon
The Illyrian Kingdoms, including Ardians , Dardans , Dalmats , were situated in present-day Albania.
- 03-10-2013 05:06:04
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