To burn or not to burn: LBA/EIA Balkan case

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Some material:

In the first period of the Iron Age212, Hallstatt213, the identity of the
Northern-Pontical tribes was crystallized; now, the proto-Thracians separated in
North-Danubian Geto-Dacian (what is specific to them is the ceramic culture
decorated with cannelures) and South-Danubian Thracians (recognized for their
cultures with printed ceramics, in the Thracian meridional group). New features
are added to the old aspects of Bronze spirituality: the perpetuation of the solar
cult, the diminishing of the number of necropoleis, the simultaneous practice of
inhumation and incineration, but in the Late Hallstatt, incineration will be step
by step extended (and later, in Latène, this ritual became fundamental)214.

In the biggest part of the territory of Romania, the great cultural synthesis
was developed: the cultural complex Basarabi (named after the eponym place
from Dolj County), extended also in the North of Bulgaria and in the North of
the former Jugoslavia218, appeared on the local Hallstattian basis (the
resemblance with the cultures of Bronze Age: Tei, Gârla Mare, Wietenberg are
not a mere coincidence); it was found in Banat, Vojvodina, Serbia, Oltenia,
Câmpia Română, the South of Moldavia (up to the Dnestr), Mureș basin, the
shore of the Danube, from Novi Sad up to Dobrogea and between the Balcans
and the Danube. This cultural complex already represents the individualization
of the Geto-Dacians in the Thracian branch219.



 
Some material:
The issue with some of those compromises, which lumped different groups together as Thracian already in the MBA, is that we now know this won't hold up. Take Garla Mare as an example, they being now known to come largely from Pannonian Encrusted Ware people which had a lasting cultural influence on later Thracians, but were genetically and in their patrilineages clearly a different people.

How much Wietenberg contributed to Noua-Coslogeni, Babadag and Suciu de Sus-Lapus-Gáva is completely unknown, but its possible they played a bigger role. Its possible because the data is so scarce that we can't say much about these groups as of yet.
 
Alternatively, the story is as proposed by Sorin in his paper about Stamped-Ware, if we associate E-V13 exclusively with this culture then we can make assumptions that E-V13 was a Chalcolithic lineage from Haemus-Rhodope mountains who during LBA came down from highlands to conquer the region and spread wide-open in a large territory.
800px-Balkangebirge_Balkan_topo_de.jpg


300px-Rhodopen_Balkan_topo_de.jpg




The recent publication of the 14C from Thrace indicates quite clearly an earlier chronological interval,from the end of the 12th century BC, for the appearance of the stamped pottery in the Eastern Rhodopes(Nekhrizov and Tzvetkova 2018). Based on archaeological research in this area, a certain model of theappearance of the stamped pottery in South-Eastern Thrace can be proposed, based on the decorativemotifs specific to the Late Bronze Age (Nikov 2016; Nekhrizov and Tzvetkova 2018). Starting from thesenew arguments, at present we can sketch a spreading model from south to north, along the Black Sea coastline or through the Balkan mountain passes, towards the Danube and then the Prut and the Dniestr,the imports being registered in the archaeological record as far as the Dniepr and even beyond (Гершкович2016).

As could be noticed, in less than a century this pottery decoration fashion spread all over the area studied, this situation showing the speed with which this ceramic tradition covered a vast territory. If at Troy the coarse ware is associated with the arrival of a new population of Balkan origin, a fact attested toby chemical analyses (Guzowska et al. 2002; Pintér 2005; Aslan and Hnila 2015; Hnila 2012), in the Carpathian-Balkan space this style seems to have spread quite rapidly through several communication routes, following the Black Sea coast or the passes of the Balkan Mountains – Danube – Prut – Dniestr –Dniepr, as the mapping of the finds indicates (Fig. 1).The existence of this horizon with incised and stamped pottery contrasts to a certain degree with the horizon with channelled pottery, with which it co-exists and interferes during the 10th-9th centuries BC.The interesting fact is that this contrast is preserved also in many other domains of material and spiritual manifestation, in the funerary rites and rituals, settlement types, metallurgy, clay objects, metal deposition etc.

These observations make us believe that the choices of those communities were not random, butbased on a series of shared values and beliefs facilitating an increased interaction. In our opinion, thisincreased interaction contributed to the creation of such homogenous pottery styles (Plog 1980) over suchvast areas, as well as to the circulation of ideas, techniques and objects in the entire Carpathian-Balkanspace. Proof of this are the numerous existing contacts both with the Aegean and Western Anatolia, andthe intra-Carpathian and North-Pontic areas. This tendency to adopting and level a ceramic style over sucha large space is preserved and even amplified later, with the appearance of the Basarabi phenomenon, whichcoincides both with the creation of a new symbolism and the generalisation of iron metallurgy in theCarpathian-Balkan area.


This might go in hand with this paper: https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10963-021-09155-7

Early Balkan Metallurgy: Origins, Evolution and Society, 6200–3700 BC​

10963_2021_9155_Fig3_HTML.png

The hole-in-the-ground smelting installations identified earlier in the Vinča culture sites find parallels at the site of Akladi Cheiri, near Sozopol in Bulgaria (Fig. 3). Here, an exceptional discovery of 300 ceramic sherds with traces of firing and slag adhering to them testifies to intensive metal production activities in the foothills of the Medni Rid (that is, close to known copper deposits). This evidence dates to later phases of the KGK VI complex of the late 5th millennium BC (Rehren et al. 2016) and consists of a metallurgical workshop containing fragmented slagged sherds that possibly lined a hole in the ground; these are associated with slags and the melting crucible mentioned above, which is similar to those hypothesised at the Vinča culture sites of Belovode and Gornja Tuzla (Radivojević & Rehren, 2016). Analysis of slag from Akladi Cheiri revealed features already observed for early copper smelting elsewhere, such as high degree of variability in the slag matrix, ranging from glassy to micro-crystalline with the formation of inclusions. Redox conditions were equally varied. The presence of fayalite, clusters of magnetite with matte and copper metal, copper sulphides, olivine crystals, delafossite and cuprite across the studied assemblage speaks of unstable firing conditions during the smelt and different levels of exposure of the slagged sherds during the smelting events (Rehren et al. 2021), all of which are known features of the earlier examples from the Vinča culture. More slagged sherds from the mid-to-late 5th millennium BC come from the site of Kmpije in Bor in eastern Serbia (Fig. 3), where a slagged sherd was discovered in association with copper metal artefacts. Analytical work is underway in collaboration with one of the authors (MR) and I. Jovanović from the Mining Museum in Bor.

In addition, this might explain the similarity between Thracians and Mycenaneans with the lack of Minoan-CHG-like in the former.

Therefore the chains from the south Rhodopes - Stara Planina aka Balkan Mountains aka Haemus Mountains up North to Southern Carpathians is a viable option for the E-V13 origins for me.

3-IV-1-1200.jpg
 
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Here the problem is that the later successful styles of Stamped Pottery were practically Knobbed Ware with stamps. The distinction is more chronological than genetic. Also Stamped Pottery didn't come into existence before the Fluted/Channelled Ware horizon, but the E-V13 expansion started earlier, when much of Bulgaria was still inhabited by different people and the Rhodopes had a strong Mycenean influence.
What was left was hardly a sufficient demographic or cultural base and it would mean that this small Rhodope group of MBA survivors did outlast all the conquerors and while Channelled Ware left nothing behind, they soaked everything up, yet repeatedly started over and over again with the Channelled Ware customs and traditions. Like the main Daco-Thracian constant was the preference for cremation - unless they were under strong foreign influence.

But I have to confess that the Rhodope situation is more complicated. Yet e.g. Psenichevo, and the so far tested E-V13 carriers of Thracian background are post-Psenichevo, is mostly derived from Knobbed Ware and closer related to groups like those from Babadag, than the MBA-LBA locals in the Rhodopes.
 
I am not trying to discret the more Carpathian/Eastern Urnfield theory, just the other option which works out. They could have had the high ground all around in Rhodope, Haemus up to Southern Carpathian region like a safe highway of movement. It's not a surprise the Lower Danube Neolithic people on the high ground completely opposed Yamnaya incursions, archaeologically they were the last Neolithic people to put a decent fight and resist.

Let's say that the moment they acquired the Urnfield ways and traditions they came with a full package during LBA-EIA chaos and the Balkan-Carpathian complex was created.
 
I am not trying to discret the more Carpathian/Eastern Urnfield theory, just the other option which works out. They could have had the high ground all around in Rhodope, Haemus up to Southern Carpathian region like a safe highway of movement. It's not a surprise the Lower Danube Neolithic people on the high ground completely opposed Yamnaya incursions, archaeologically they were the last Neolithic people to put a decent fight and resist.

Let's say that the moment they acquired the Urnfield ways and traditions they came with a full package during LBA-EIA chaos and the Balkan-Carpathian complex was created.

Which exact cultural group should that have been? The ones I read about were all influenced by the various groups of the macro-regions, rather than being independent. In fact, Carpatho-Balkan cremating groups made it there too.

That's why I'm asking which exact cultural formation you have in mind? I seriously don't know a good, independent regional candidate which survived into the EIA, when Stamped Pottery became a thing. But probably I'm just not educated enough on the region and time in question. All I read about is at best a "substrate level" local population, and that's no enough or a good candidate for a massive demographic expansion which started for E-V13 latest in the MBA.
 
Which exact cultural group should that have been? The ones I read about were all influenced by the various groups of the macro-regions, rather than being independent. In fact, Carpatho-Balkan cremating groups made it there too.

That's why I'm asking which exact cultural formation you have in mind? I seriously don't know a good, independent regional candidate which survived into the EIA, when Stamped Pottery became a thing. But probably I'm just not educated enough on the region and time in question. All I read about is at best a "substrate level" local population, and that's no enough or a good candidate for a massive demographic expansion which started for E-V13 latest in the MBA.

They don't mention one, not that i know in details either. Like i said, this is my second best bet, my first bet is more or less, what you already mentioned in this thread for dozens of time. ;)
 
Just a hint for the Rhodopes:
This contribution discusses the Late Bronze Age site of Dragojna, which is situated at the northern fringe of the Rhodope Mountains in Bulgaria. The local ceramic find material is presented in representative quantity, classified according to its regional and transregional context, and evaluated in terms of its significance for the dating of the settlement site and the relative dating of Late Bronze Age cultural groups in the central Balkan region. In addition to handmade local pottery, fragments of Mycenaean ceramics were also found at Dragojna. The latter are classified typologically and chronologically and their provenance - a coastal area of Thessaly - is determined by means of chemical analysis (neutron activation analysis). Finally, Mycenaean contacts with the Thracian regions in the middle Mycenaean period are summarized and discussed against the background of the new finds from Dragojna and taking account of the Aegean-type bronze weapons known from Bulgaria.


I expect an Aegean-type population there, but I consider it to be a substrate for incoming Thracians, which caused the Aegean shift noticeable in the post-Psenichevo samples.

How the fusion took place, when Carpatho-Balkan groups entered the Rhodope area:

To the Transitional Period belong also bowls B2 found at Ada Tepe, which can be
considered as a prototype of some EIA amphora shapes (Nekhrizov 2006). In relation to
the pottery from the Transitional Period, the stratigraphic layer ‘ATIa’ from Ada Tepe
contains the most comprehensive sample.16 The majority of the pottery has the
characteristics of finer plain ware with well-polished black and greyish-black surfaces.
The most important characteristic of that material is the contemporary existence of
roughly executed channelled (fluted) decoration, which would become common in the
EIA (Nekhrizov 2006), along with furchenstich and incised motifs typical of the LBA.

There is also evidence for the co-existence of kantharos type K3 and some EIA kantharos
shapes with channelled decoration. The examples of K3 are mostly undecorated and
only rarely decorated with furchenstich and encrusted with white paste.17 In addition,
some of the main decoration types during this period are plain plastic bands on
fineware, small lugs and small ‘proto-knobs’

furchenstich decoration. We do not know with certainty where and when this type
of technique appeared, but it seems clear that it survived until the very end of the
Bronze Age and declined throughout the Transitional Period at least in the Eastern
Rhodopes.
Ada Tepe is as far South and as isolated from the Danubian Fluted Ware groups as possible, yet we can clearly see that they became fully integrated into the Channelled Ware koine.

And the Western Rhodopes were fully part of the Carpatho-Balkan sphere even before Channelled Ware, because Brnjica expanded there:
First, there is a new ritual introduced to the area during this period – cremation. The ritual of burying
the remains in an amphora-shaped urn, covered with a bowl or a kylix, under a small
255
earthen mound, is typical for the tumulus culture, but more closely related to the group
Donja Brnjica–Gornja Stražava
. The latter is associated with the late phase of the LBA
and traditionally dated between 1300 and 1100 BC (Garašanin 1983: 727–735; 1999:
51), which corresponds with the date given to most Rhodopean burials (see Kissyov
2009; Leshtakov 2008). If the ritual spread from the area of distribution of Donja Brnjica–
Gornja Stražava, which is generally the Morava valley in Serbia
, then the terminus post
quem for the appearance of the tradition in the Western Rhodopes must be around
1300 BC. Thus, the corresponding end of LHIIIB and the beginning of LHIIIC associated
with the southernmost examples, such as Faia Petra, should be an accepta

Then there is a minority element which clearly outside of the Thracian repertoire (even by the lumped up, bloated definition the author uses):

One of the LBA cemeteries from the Western Rhodopes distribution shows slightly
different characteristics. The pottery from the burial at Turlata is different from those
around it. Close parallels can be found with the cist graves from Elaphotopos and
Mazaraki in Epirus (see Wardle 1977: 185, 186, Figure12). One of the vessels from
Mazaraki has a distinct neck with offset shoulder and a vertical handle placed on the
side, which is also similar to a cup from Borino (Kissyov 1993: 4, Figure5, e). Wardle does
not engage with a more precise date, but assumes that these types of vessels must be
contemporary with “later Mycenaean pottery”. He also suggests that the same material
must have been in use “prior to the arrival of the first Mycenaean imports” (Wardle
1977: 182). The ladle-cup from Progled must be considered as possessing a similar origin
(Kissyov 1993: 3, Figure3), since these types of shapes are not common among the
Thracian ceramic repertoire and must belong to a different ceramic tradition.

Any strong local tradition was largely gone even before the regular Channelled Ware expansion:

The appearance of ‘knobbed ware’ at Troy can be interpreted as a chronological marker
for the end of the Thracian Bronze Age (Aslan and Hnila 2015: 189; Blegen et al. 1958:
158; Hnila 2012; Hänsel 2008: 60, 1; Koppenhöfer 1997: 337–47; 2002; Pieniążek−Sikora
2002; 2003: 33). The surface of this new class of handmade pottery, that appears in Troy
for the first time in phase VIIb2, is almost always carefully polished and lustrous, actually
more often decorated with channelling (also known as ‘fluted ware’) and incisions than
with knobs.

At the peak of the E-V13 expansion (not its start nor end, just its peak), Bulgaria was covered by Channelled Ware:

Since it is accepted that knobbed ware in Thrace is associated with the early phase of
the EIA, one can conclude that the main phenomena we refer to as LBA in Thrace must
have ended before Troy VIIb2 or before the end of the 12th century BC.


I wouldn't wonder if earlier groups from the Carpatho-Danubian region which brought cremation and pre-Channelled Ware Carpathian elements to Bulgaria already helped spreading E-V13. But I highly doubt a centre of E-V13 South of the Danube, yet alone South of the Stara planina mountain range.
What we also see is that some of the earlier expansions were probably distantly related tribes to the Pre-Gáva groups, which were pushed South before plus completely different people, like Encrusted Pottery, which were pushed as well.
 
The new E-V13 samples plotted with the old, all using Davidski's new values. There is an obvious cline, the Illyrian cline runs almost 60 degrees differently, not the same people.

H5IXozn.png


For the Himera's I used the old values, I do not know where Davidski has posted the new ones.
 
That's a LBA/EIA sibling clade of Albanian Berisha-Sopi, interesting to find.

I15504; 200-300 AD; Rit necropolis, Viminacium, Serbia; E-V13>Z1057>CTS1273>BY3880>Z5018>S2979>FGC33614>BY6162>BY6170


FGC33614 level: FGC33614+ T>C (4C)

BY6162 level: BY56349+ A>C (1C)

BY6170 level: FT249858+ C>T (1T)

BY6163 level: *no calls*

PRX51 level: *no calls*


Target: Serbia_ViminaciumRit:I15504
Distance: 2.4390% / 0.02439044
89.8East-BalkansIA
5.0Western_BalkansIA
4.2CentralBalkansIA
1.0AnatolianIA


Distance to:Serbia_ViminaciumRit:I15504
0.02834554Bulgaria_EIA:I20186
0.03176739Hungary_Conqueror_Commoner:SZOD-376.SG
0.03192914Greece_BA_Mycenaean:I16709
0.03227506Bulgaria_EIA:I20184
0.03423081Bulgaria_EIA:I20180
0.03468287Hungary_Langobard_o1:SZ19
0.03823413Bulgaria_LIA:I19500
0.03843547Hungary_MidAvar:ALT-224.SG
0.03854371Bulgaria_EIA:I20185
0.03927686Italy_Sicily_LBA:I3876
0.03963047Bulgaria_IA:I5769
0.03973962Greece_BA_Mycenaean:I13514
0.04133522Serbia_Viminacium_Roman_elite_3.SG:R6756.SG
0.04163435Greece_BA_Mycenaean:I15571
0.04199009Macedonia_IA:I7233
0.04263604Slovakia_IA_Vekerzug:I12097
0.04324986Bulgaria_EIA:I19481
0.04377099Slovakia_IA_Vekerzug:I11722
0.04389835Serbia_Sirmium_Roman.SG:R6730.SG
0.04410947Greece_BA_Mycenaean:I19366
0.04475913Croatia_Zadar_Roman.SG:R3743.SG
0.04509313Spain_Hellenistic_oAegean:I8208
0.04526859Greece_Delphi_BA_Mycenaean:I13579
0.04531180Hungary_Tiszaregion_EAvar:I18185
0.04531433Spain_Greek_oAegean:I8215
0.04575722Montenegro_Doclea_Roman_oAegean.SG:R3481.SG
0.04578089Albania_Medieval:I13839
0.04623084Greece_BA_Mycenaean:I13518
0.04706664Greece_Delphi_BA_Mycenaean:I13577
0.04780912Germany_EarlyMedieval_o1.SG:STR300b_noUDG.SG
0.04875646Italy_Sicily_LBA:I10372
0.04922076Hungary_LateAvar:KK1-251.SG
0.04952763Italy_Tuscany_Siena_EarlyMedieval:ETR013
0.04984387Croatia_Zadar_Roman.SG:R3746.SG
0.04996285Romania_C_Bodrogkeresztur_o1:I15623
0.05019460Italy_IsolaSacra_RomanImperial.SG:R11109.SG
0.05087817Macedonia_Classical_Hellenistic:I10391
0.05094749Hungary_Transtisza_Maros_EAvar:I16750
0.05102052Greece_BA_Mycenaean_in.preparation:I19364_in.preparation
0.05177325Tunisia_Punic.SG:R11780.SG
0.05180095Italy_LA.SG:R122.SG
0.05203168Croatia_MirineFulfinum_Roman.SG:R2051.SG
0.05279531Italy_Imperial.SG:R113.SG
0.05307546Hungary_IA_Scythian_oAegean.SG:DA198_noUDG.SG
0.05322238Italy_Lazio_Viterbo_Imperial:TAQ021
0.05323257Greece_BA_Mycenaean:I9041
0.05328110Hungary_MidAvar:SSD-198.SG
0.05331761Greece_Koufonisi_Cycladic_EBA.SG:Kou01.SG
0.05351676Italy_IA_Republic_oEasternMediterranean.SG:R437.SG
0.05365400Bulgaria_EIA:I20183
 
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We now have 2 sample sites for that branch, both along the Danube, one from Szeged and one from Viminacium.
 
I was wondering about Proto-Albanian population, definitely there is something about it, old legends talking about coming from Bosnia for some of the tribes, probably some E-V13, J2b2-L283 and maybe few R1b-Z2103 mixed up somewhere between Serbia-Bosnia and moved in Albania.

Some other J2b2-L283 and R1b-Z2103 might be native, even some E-V13 like for example Berisha-Sopi might have been Byzantine mercenaries residing in coastal Albania who took shelter on the mountains after Slavic invasion. IDK.

It might not be an easy explanation, but more dynamic.

Post-Roman Balkans was probably a totally different world from Iron Age Balkans.
 
I was wondering about Proto-Albanian population, definitely there is something about it, old legends talking about coming from Bosnia for some of the tribes, probably some E-V13, J2b2-L283 and maybe few R1b-Z2103 mixed up somewhere between Serbia-Bosnia and moved in Albania.

Some other J2b2-L283 and R1b-Z2103 might be native, even some E-V13 like for example Berisha-Sopi might have been Byzantine mercenaries residing in coastal Albania who took shelter on the mountains after Slavic invasion. IDK.

It might not be an easy explanation, but more dynamic.
Indeed, otherwise some Slavic and even Germanic branches wouldn't appear.

I recently looked up some I-M253 branches with East Germanic connections and even among the Slavs, which did such a huge replacement and eliminated many other branches they encountered, took up a lot of it. Its amazing how far many lineages came, apparently in just two to three centuries. Like from Central Asia to Spain.
People were so mobile in certain stages of history, I see it in my own branch too, that single founders could practically be from very far away.

Of course, there is much more to the E-V13 Albanian story, since its NOT a single founder, but a whole bunch, more like a tribe which entered the Proto-Albanian stage. Yet that doesn't tell us for sure whether they came in all together, or some came earlier, some later.

But my personal opinion is that especially most of the branches under E-S2979 lived further North (along the Danube and North to it) for most of the time - or better had their centre there.
 
I was wondering about Proto-Albanian population, definitely there is something about it, old legends talking about coming from Bosnia for some of the tribes, probably some E-V13, J2b2-L283 and maybe few R1b-Z2103 mixed up somewhere between Serbia-Bosnia and moved in Albania.

Some other J2b2-L283 and R1b-Z2103 might be native, even some E-V13 like for example Berisha-Sopi might have been Byzantine mercenaries residing in coastal Albania who took shelter on the mountains after Slavic invasion. IDK.

It might not be an easy explanation, but more dynamic.

Post-Roman Balkans was probably a totally different world from Iron Age Balkans.
I think it is a lot more complex. And as I have said on another occasion, you have a pretty big merging area for the main Paleo-Balkan spheres.

Hotjanët me sa di unë e kan atë traditë me prëjardhje nga veri perëndimi mos gabofsha. Wether that is something very ancient passed on over generations or something more recent I am not sure. Z1297>Y21878>CTS11100 sibling branch of Y166564 has already been found in Iron Age Northern Albania. For PH4679+ with all that Albania, Dardania (Kosovë) diversity, I really cannot see any other origin other than that. During LBA/EIA,IA presumably southeast Glasinac-Mati origin. Now where they merged with other Paleo-Balkan pops in situ or elsewhere and how that process would have looked like, we'll see eventually.
 
Post-Roman Balkans was probably a totally different world from Iron Age Balkans.
All of the destructive processes post-IA, male recruitment, plagues, urbanization, cosmpolitanism induced MENA migration and what have you not, have made them easier to conquer. BA-IA Balkans vs Medieval Slavic Boratian migrants would have been a totally different story lol with all the capacities in their homeland and not having their men being busy defending the borders of Rome anë e mbanë they would have crushed them to dust.
 
All of the destructive processes post-IA, male recruitment, plagues, urbanization, cosmpolitanism induced MENA migration and what have you not, have made them easier to conquer. BA-IA Balkans vs Medieval Slavic Boratian migrants would have been a totally different story lol with all the capacities in their homeland and not having their men being busy defending the borders of Rome anë e mbanë they would have crushed them to dust.

This makes no sense, Balkans was destroyed by the Romans pretty easily (except for Dacians) and they brought in "mena" people. If it wasn't for the Boratian migrants Albanian women would be less pretty and less blue eyes - they would all look alike
 
This makes no sense, Balkans was destroyed by the Romans pretty easily (except for Dacians) and they brought in "mena" people. If it wasn't for the Boratian migrants Albanian women would be less pretty and less blue eyes - they would all look alike
You could argue that without the migration period, there would be no Albanians to begin with. Because the Proto-Albanian formation and Albanian survival is due to the larger Empire breaking down. On the very long run, what remained of the Pre-Albanians, would have surely been assimilated and Romanised if the Roman Empire wouldn't have collapsed. And indeed, the influx from other provinces would have continued as well, to the point of very little regional survival possibly.

But that's not due to the Slavs, because the Empire was already breaking down before the Slavs, since the Germanic migration period. Both the Slavs and the Proto-Albanians, to some degree the Vlachs as well, kind of exploited that situation largely at the expense of the more settled down and urbanised Roman population elements.
 
@mount123 Those Slavs were Elves, nevertheless eternal self victimization even in the faces of victory and lots of successe seem to be a Balkanian trait.
 
The way some people cannot grasp the simple nature of a what-if alternative scenario is truly comedic.
 
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