Years of debate on Slav ethnogenesis were concluded with the 'Archaeology on Slav Origins' conference held in Kraków in 2001 but, instead of opening new perspectives, it revealed a certain crisis in research. A broader discussion of the actual questionnaire concerning Slav ethnogenesis appears now to be in order. The question is the interpretation of archaeological data on the localization of the zone where Slav culture actually developed at the earliest. Many archaeologists have argued in favor of the Slavs' allochthonous origins in Polish territory, while the autochthonous concept has been defended by some linguists. Ancient sources on the living conditions of the inhabitants of Barbaricum are in need of reinterpretation. Recently, demographic studies have allowed anthropology to contribute important proof of the Slavs' longtime residence in the region of Central and Eastern Europe. The discussion should also address the socio-cultural structure of the Slavs, the agrarian character of which was distinctive in Europe, indicating a more likely origin in the agriculturally favorable forest-field and forest-steppe environment of the Oder and middle Dnieper interfluve, rather than in the forest zone of Eastern Europe.
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