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Eurasian Avars

From Academic Kids

The Caucasian Avars are a modern people of Caucasus, mainly of Dagestan, in which they are the predominant group.

The Eurasian Avars were a nomadic people of Eurasia who were driven westward from their orginial homelands in western Asia by the growing power of Turkish hordes. They entered Europe and established a state in the Danube River area in the early 6th century. Their attacks forced the Lombards, a Germanic tribe, into northern Italy, which the Lombards conquered and settled.

With the Persians, the Avars besieged but failed to capture Constantinople in 626, after turning against the Eastern Emperor Justinian, who had employed Avar mercenaries to combat attacks from other steppe tribes. Following their defeat at Constantinople the Avars retreated to Hungary, where their state was finally liquidated during the late 8th century by the Franks under Charlemagne.

Their Language

A connection between the European Avars and the Caucasian Avars and Kabard is severely questioned, but evidence is mounting in favour of the theory that the Avars who settled in Transylvania were only a "pseudo" (Kabar?) portion of other "true" Avars, who remained in the Caucasus region under Khazar control. The faction supposed to have remained in the Caucasus formed a powerful Khanate in the 10th century, contributing to the collapse of Khazaria from within that kingdom.

Anthropological Origins

There are three popular points of origin suggested for the Avar peoples. One is in the Caucasus as a branch of the Proto-Iberians; another is in the Hindu Kush around present day Kabul; and another, associating them with the Parni, is the region beyond the Jaxartes (Transiaxartesia) around Lake Balkhash in north-east Kazakhstan. Perhaps a suitable synthesis of these ideas may be that they were originally inhabitants of Khwarezmia, and had thus influence in all three areas.

The skeletons found in European Avar graves are mostly Mongolian [Istvan Erdelyi's "Kabari (Kavari) v Karpatskom Basseyne" specifically page 179 from Sovietskaya Archeologiya 4 (1983)], but many items usually associated with Hebrews have been found with them [A. Scheiber "Jewish inscriptions in Hungary from the 3rd Century to 1686" (1983); V.L.Vikhnovich "From the Jordan to the Dneiper" from Jewish Studies 31 (1991)]. Whether they had some kind of Hebraic origin connected to the quasi-"Jewish" tribes discovered in China and were a major influence in Khazaria, or were simply influenced by the alleged Khazar conversion, is a question demanding further investigation. Others have described them as "Armenoid", loosely described as 'similar to a Mongolian type with prominent noses'.

Literature to Archaeology

E. Breuer, Chronological Studies to Early-Medieval findings at Danube Region. An Introduction to Byzantine Art at Barbaric Cemeteries. (Tettnang 2005)it:Avari

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