Sunday, January 2, 2000

"The lost three centuries - second opinion" (2006, by Uwe Topper, in Berlin)

Computists and Chronology.
Medieval Christian monks who worked on calculating human history from Adam to the
Last Judgment were called "Computists". These monks created schematic chronological
tables, in which appeared packages of years whose numbers had deeper, symbolic
meanings (like 7, 14, 30, 420 and so on). The Old Testament is full of those packages.
For the time after the Resurrection they called their chronology ERA (i.e. turning round,
"year"). Their chronological scheme looked something like this:
ERA 666 is taken as the center of theological history (because of Revelation 13:18). This
number should be read "six-six-six"; it belongs with 369 (three-six-nine) and 963 (ninesix-
three) in a group of symmetric numbers, the last two of which form the second level.
The distance between them is, in each case, 297 years. A magical number, 297 is the
product of the important prime number 11 and three to the third power (27). For
computists, 297 was an expression of the Trinity.
Subtracting 297 from 369, we arrive at 72. Adding 297 to 963 we get 1260; these two
figures, 72 and 1260, belong to a third level, and they are again equivalent from a
symbolical point of view.
Used as historical "year dates", these figures appear absurd to us. To the computists,
however, this magical dating system made sense. Six-six-six (666) was chosen as the date
when the Antichrist appeared; 369 was taken for the beginning of the Church; 963 for the
beginning of the "Roman Empire of German Nation". Seven-two (72) indicated the
destruction of the Temple, later the Passion of the Savior, who described himself as the
Temple which was to be destroyed and rebuilt in three days. And 1260 equaled the final
destruction, the Last Judgment that was to be expected, as laid down in Revelation. For
the early computists, this last figure lay in the future.
Later, the Catholic Church created a new kind of chronology, the Incarnation Count,
which began with the Birth of Christ, a system called Anno Domini (AD) that we still
follow today. At a certain moment (difficult to recognize how long ago) the original start
of the ERA chronology must have been linked with the date assumed for the Julian
Calendar Reform, which, according to present-day notions, was fixed at 44 B.C.
From then on, therefore, all ERA dates had to be re-calculated: 666 ERA minus 44 BC
yields AD 622, which is the present date for the Hegira (the beginning of Islam, year of
the Antichrist) in our schoolbooks. According to the same rule, the first worldwide
Council (Beginning of the Church) moved from 369 ERA to AD 325 (Council of
Nicaea). The founding of the Germanic Empire moved from 963 ERA to AD 919 (first
Reichstag, Diet).
The year 72 ERA also received a new value by subtracting 44: It became AD 28, the date
for Christ's death according to Victorinus. Only 1260, the date of the Last Judgment that
still lay in the future, remained unchanged. When the Last Judgment failed to happen, its
date was postponed twice, once to 1290, then to 1335 (see Daniel 12: 11-12).
Another way of converting the numbers used the difference of 38 years between the
Gothic ERA and the Catholic Anno Domini count: 963 ERA is 38 years away from 1001;
this moved the Birth of Christ from a.u.c. 753 to 759 (i.e. 7 BC).
By using time packages of 297 years, a recognizable source of error was created. This
error leads to historical dates that are frequently nearly three centuries out of sync with
other dates believed nowadays. Taking a different path, the time reconstructor Heribert
Illig arrived at a result that described the 297 years as having been added to the AD yearcount
only once. Unfortunately he does not explain how he found this package of years.
His expression "according to the present state of my knowledge" (Illig 1994, p. 20; 1996,
p. 18) sounds mystical. There are various different ways based on both Christian and
Islamic computations that reveal this jump (see Topper 1999).
The determination of the beginning of the German Empire in AD 911 and of the two
battles against the "Hungarians" in 933 and 955 followed this pattern of symbolic
numbers - here above all the holy 11 - as did the fixing of Otto III to the years 999-1001,
combining this event with millennarism. The Christianization of many states, from
Iceland to Hungary, was attributed to those magical three years. Thus in the 15th century
the year AD 1000 was elevated to being a landmark of European history. The imperial
coronation of Charlemagne was also placed in a central position, in 800 or 801 AD.
(These movements were also described by Landes, 1988.)
On the same time line the Conquest of Jerusalem by the Persians - a historiographical
topos that by retro-projection in the Bible was attributed to Sanherib - was fixed at 614.
Illig's idea that the two events (the "loss" of Jerusalem and the foundation of the German
Empire 911) were in fact contemporary, (i.e. 614=911) is arbitrary; it fits the general
pattern of chronology creation, no more

* Illig, Heribert (1994): Hat Karl der Große je gelebt? (Gräfelfing) = (1996): Das erfundene Mittelalter (Düsseldorf, Germany)
* Landes, Richard (1988): "A study of apocalyptic expectations and the pattern of Western chronography 100-800 CE" in: The Use and Abuse of Eschatology in the Middle Ages. Eds. W.D.F. Verbeke et al. (Louvain, Belgium)
* Topper, Uwe (1999): Erfundene Geschichte (Munich, Germany)

"Refutation of Dr. Heribert Illig's thesis of 297 phantom years in the Middle Ages by Dr. Ulrich Voigt"

When Dr. Heribert Illig published his theory that 297 phantom years were inserted into
AD-reckoning between 31 August 614 and 1 Sept. 911, this was refuted by Dr. Ulrich
Voigt (Hamburg) on the ground that the proper succession of weekdays would have
been affected by such a manoeuvre.
At first I supported Illig by proving that weekdays did succeed in the regular fashion:
The last day before the interval was a Saturday; the first day of the "secure" AD daycount
was a Sunday. Thus no break can be detected.
Now, after roughly ten years of continuous discussion with various opponents I see my
error and admit that Voigt has the better argument. Voigt insists that Illig's 297 years
must not only be divided by 7 in order to maintain the normal sequence of weekdays
but by 4 as well, or rather by 7 times 4 = 28. If the total amount of phantom years is not
divisible by 28, there must sooner or later - in this case in the third year already - arise
discrepancies between weekdays after inserting the phantom years. This is
mathematically correct and disproves Illig's thesis of 297 phantom years.
Without diving into the whole discussion all over again I shall shortly explain my new
way of arguing and where my error came up.
It is well known that weekdays follow equal dates in a rhythm that might be called
"Jacobinic"; that is after every 11, 6, 5 and again 6 years. That is why the sequence is
not broken even if the total sum is not divisible by 28. The inserted amount of 297 years
corresponds to 10 times 28 (=280) plus 11 plus 6. "In this case", I wrote in 1996 in
Illig's review, "it still has to be ascertained whether the sequence (11-6-5-6) follows suit
after the inserted interval." Lacking possibilities and mathematical skill, I had to leave it
to others to verify the proposal
Now I followed the simple and clever argument of Voigt in his book (2003) and
thought it through all over again, understanding that the Jacobinic sequence before the
phantom period (614) had been 11-6-5-6 and after it (911) went on 5-6-11-6 thus
breaking up the correct order of the weekdays, although this did not appear as such at
first sight.
As far as computist manoeuvres are concerned, the break in the order of weekdays
might seem irrelevant. But other nations used the Julian Calendar with its strict
observance of weekdays and leap years, as well, and could not be forced by the emperor
or the pope into following any new rhythm. They in fact preserve the same system until
now and therefore the insertion of an odd number of years not divisible by 28 is an
Voigt further pertains that the sequence of Christian Easter is another equally important
factor to be regarded when judging the sum of phantom years. So the Metonic cycle (19
years) has to be another factor, bringing the whole sum up to 532 years (28 multiplied
by 19). This therefore would be the smallest possible amount of years that could be
artificially inserted.
Although this argument is equally valid in mathematical terms it has no backing from
"outside" as no Christian nations can prove an uninterrupted sequence of Easter
throughout medieval church history. Therefore this argument only holds within the
Catholic frame of historiography.
Basically I repeat what I have insisted on for many years (see 2001, p.151) that the
thesis of Illig concerning the insertion of 297 years is a mere game of computists and
has no chance of historical reality.
Moreover, Voigt's book (2003) gives strong indications that our whole AD counting is
based on Easter cycles and is not bound to historical events. Latest findings of Voigt
will be presented by him in speeches on Oct. 30 in Hamburg and on Dec. 4, 2006, in
Berlin. A book to that effect is planned by him for next year.
For anyone not totally informed on the theory of phantom time reckoning the following
postscript has to be added: The refutation of the sum of 297 years does not mean that
other parts of chronology criticism would have to be abandoned; missing archaeological
proof for several centuries - as well as the discovery that AD time reckoning is a late
and fragile restitution and not proven by historical records - are sustained with even
more vigour and on better grounds.

* Illig, Heribert (1996): "Das erfundene Mittelalter" (Econ, Düsseldorf)
* Topper, Uwe (1999): "Erfundene Geschichte" (Herbig, München); (2001): "Fälschungen der Geschichte" (Herbig, München)
* Voigt, Ulrich (2000): "Zeitensprünge und Kalenderrechnung" (in ZS 2/2000, S. 296-309); (2003): Das Jahr im Kopf (Likanas, Hamburg); (2005): "Über die christliche Jahreszählung" with comments by K.-H. Lewin, Andreas Birken and Heribert Illig (in ZS 2/2005, S. 420-481)

Saturday, January 1, 2000

Bulgaria's Early Medieval Cities of Pliska and Preslav: Were they really built to resemble 700-year older Roman cities? (2015-03, by Gunnar Heinsohn)

Original document: "Bulgaria's Early Medieval Cities of Pliska and Preslav: Were they really built to resemble 700-year older Roman cities?" (2015-03), intro ( [], article (.pdf) [].

- Page breaks are not included on this page, please refer to the original document for page numbers.
- Notes by the author are marked in parentheses with initials GH (Gunnar Heinsohn), as presented in the original document.
- Highlights in red and/or bold are as placed by the author Gunnar Heinsohn.


Gunnar Heinsohn (25 March 2015)
"The first inhabitants of the khan’s residence who lived in lightly-built wooden buildings and yurts, did not need any water installations. With the onset of the stone construction [in the 9th c.; GH] such need became apparent. Free-flowing water was brought by the way of an water-conduit from 7 km away, from the springs at the foot of the plateau at the village of Isbul. The water-catching there was pronounced to date to antique times (1st-3rd. c. CE; GH) on the basis of the antique building materials used in its construction. Such materials had also been (re-)used in the building of Pliska itself but this does not mean that Pliska is antique in age (because it was unquestionably built in the Middle Ages of the 9th c. CE; GH)", (Rashev/Dimitrov 1999, ch. 4).
I. Pliska p. 2
II Preslav p. 19
III Summary p. 27
Bibliography / Address p. 32

Thanks for editorial help go to Clark Whelton (New York).



European cities that were newly built during the early Middle Ages (8th-10th c. CE) are believed to have been very rare. Viking towns such as Kaupang (Norway), Birka (Sweden), Haithabu (Germany), or Truso (Poland) with 1,000 to 2,000 inhabitants present rather modest examples, though they are quite rich with Roman artifacts – millefiori glass, locks and keys, coins, square sails, ports, breakwaters etc. – that were already known or made some 700 years earlier (Heinsohn 2014c; 2014 d). The Carolingian villa at Ingelheim (built in the 8th/9th c. CE) is not a town but a palace. Still, it is an impressive complex because it is built in Roman styles and materials that definitely look 700 years older. It is "typified by a semicircular building and a royal hall built on the model of antique basilicas. […] A 7-kilometre-long water channel built in the Roman style served to supply the water. […] The architecture and architectural sculpture show the influence of antique predecessors" (Early Middle Ages 2009).

Bulgaria during its golden age, which was suddenly and violently interrupted at the end of the Early Middle Ages -
- Location of Early Medieval Bulgaria (ca 800 CE), map from ( []

- Empire under Simeon I (893-927; Tsar since 913; Bulgaria‘s CHARLEMAGNE) with the early medieval metropoles, Pliska and Preslav. Full map and key at ( []

Excavators are surprised that no instructions or orders by Charlemagne were ever found or even heard of that forced his architects to employ 700- year-older designs, forms and materials. Yet, they are thrilled that down to the hydraulic cement, as well as the chemical fingerprint of the wall colours, the Frankish builders were able to retrieve all the secrets of Roman craftsmen that had been lost for so many centuries. Ingelheim, therefore, is looked on as nothing short of a miracle (Heinsohn 2014b).

Ingelheim: Charlemagne‘s imperial villa (8th/9th c. CE) in Roman 2nd c. style and materials.
- Reconstruction of the villa. The hall (bottom of the illustration) contains the aula regia. Illustration from ( [].

- Interior of the villas’s audience hall (aula regia) in Roman colours. Illustration from ( []

PLISKA: Europe‘s largest newly built city (ca 22 km2) of the Early Middle Ages, information at ( [].
- Earthen rampart (12 m wide; 3 m high) around exterior city with villages and 26 churches (9th/10th c. CE).

- Pliska‘s interior city (48 ha) with stone walls (2,60 m x 10 m high), four gates (13-14 m high), and citadel (128 x 84 m) (9th/10th c. CE)

Still, Ingelheim was not a town but an emperor’s residence cum audience hall (aula regia). Bulgaria’s huge agglomerations, Pliska and Preslav, however, were urban jewels that "could match Constantinople, the global metropolis" (Kirilov 2006, 139).

- Comparison of urban spaces in Constantinople (Byzantium) and Bulgaria’s Pliska (Henning 2007, 211). Pliska’s outer earthen wall includes mostly villages. It was probably erected against onslaughts of Hungarians (GH: in the author’s view, Huns). Illustration from (Henning 2007, 231 f).

- Groundplans of selected churches (out of a total of 26) from Pliska’s outer city (9th/10th c. CE).
Illustration from ( [].

Bulgaria’s urban explosion during the Early Middle Ages, which matches the scope of city building in Rome’s imperial period some 700 years earlier, takes the excavators by surprise because even Constantinople cannot not show any new building between 600 and 800 CE. Actually "nothing is known about Byzantine cities from the 7th to the 9th c. CE" (Kirilov 2006, 181). Whilst the most powerful empire of the Early Middle Ages lacks any urban ambition, the Bulgarian newcomers do not limit themselves to copies of individual Roman villas à la Ingelheim. Boldly, they recreate huge Roman urban ensembles whilst the rest of Europe appears to haven fallen asleep in a dark age. It is this absolutely extraordinary, even ravenous, urban appetite of former steppe dwellers that makes the Bulgarians sensational and unique all over Europe. Without question, they add their own touches – like certain patterns on their ceramics. Yet, basically they return to Roman patterns whilst the new Rome, Constantinople, could not achieve anything in terms of city building during the same period.

- Pliska: excavated section of the interior city with foundations of Khan Omurtag‘s (814-831 CE) palace (right). Photo posted at Archeology forum ( [], including other photos.

- Reconstruction of Khan Omurtag‘s (814-831 CE) throne palace. Illustration from ( [].

Pliska‘s largest basilica (99 x 29,5 m; 2920 m2) may have been built above the burial ground of Bulgaria’s first and most prominent martyr, Khan Ormutag’s (814-831 CE) son Enravota (killed around 830 CE). The foundations of a cross shaped chapel under the basilica’s altar area may have belonged to Saint Enravota. Scholars believe that the period of Christian martyrs of the 1st/2nd c. CE has been repeated in very similar manner 700 years later by Bulgarians in the 8th/9th c. CE (cf. Heinsohn 2014a). Yet, for stratigraphical and architectural reasons, some Bulgarian archaeologists have identified the massive basilica "as a building from antiquity" (Kirilov 2006, 132). In that case, Pliska must have had a Roman style period some 700 years prior to its early medieval metropolitan period (8th/9th c. CE). Suddenly, one would have to deal with Bulgarians of Enravota’s entourage some 700 years prior to his suffering as a martyr. That would turn the Bulgarians into contemporaries of Romans from the time of Hadrian (117-138) or Marcus Aurelius (161-180). Such a placement would definitely explain Bulgaria’s 1st/2nd c. type of Roman architecture that is not only chracteristic for the basilica but for other buildings, too. Yet, it would stand in a bewildering contradiction to the early medieval date of the Bulgarian Empire. So far there is no reasonable solution to this strange chronological confusion.

Photos: Pliska‘s largest church basilica (99 x 29,5 m; 2920 m2) in the compound of the archbishop’s monastery (from 863 CE) -
- Situation after excavation, photo from ( []:

- Partial rebuilding onsite in Ziegeldurchschuss technique (walls of ashlars altering with bricks) already fashionable in the 1st c. BCE/CE. Photo posted at Archeology forum ( []

- Model of Pliska’s largest basilica (99 x 29,5 m; 2920 m2; 863 CE ff.) as a small copy of Rome’s Old St. Peter (4th c. CE). Photo from ( [].

Photo from ( [].

- Reconstruction of Rome’s Old St. Peter (4th c. CE) that may have served as inspiration for Pliska‘s 9th c. CE basilica. Photos from a video [].

Material details of the buildings at Pliska prove to be even more puzzling. The city "had served as Bulgaria’s production center up to the end of the 9th c. CE." The iron industry alone was firing up "a total of 62 furnaces" (Kirilov 2006, 137). One major glass company alone had been working "with 9 smelting ovens […] dated by the excavator to the end of the 9th or the beginning of the 10th c. CE" (Kirilov 2006, 137).
Even more impressing was the manufacturing of ceramics: "There were two independent branches – the mass production of household items, and the sector for architectural ceramics" (Kirilov 2006, 136). Yet, a closer look at pipes, bricks and roof tiles returned mind-boggling results because the early medieval builders had "used Roman period bricks and pan tiles" (Kirilov 2006, 137). This was explained as a re-use of spoliae from 1st-3rd c. settlements in Bulgaria. Yet, such a way out only aggravated the problem. Who in his right mind would re-use 700 year old pan tiles that must have been crumbling in the roofers‘ hands? Why not employ the solid products of Pliska‘s state of the art own 9th c. CE architectural ceramics? How could the local producers of the 9th c. earn any money if 700 year old spoliae could be plucked from the ground everywhere for free? Who would have put up the money to start all these firms?
Business people in Pliska appeared to act insanely. In spite of all their sophisticated workshops, time and again local builders of the 9th/10th c. recklessly bungled their demanding jobs by resorting to 2nd-3rd c. scrap:
"Besides the already mentioned antique columns and capitals, Pliska contains other, more ancient materials. Most common amongst them are the bricks. A small part of them are Roman, from the II-III c., sealed by the seals of the state or private persons. Predominate the bricks from the V-VII c. sealed by private persons, among whom the name ‘Dules’ being most frequent. These bricks were used in the earliest buildings in Pliska – the vaulted arches in the Throne Palace, the brick addition to the wall around the Small Palace, the floors of the secret underground passages" (Rashev/Dimitrov 1999, ch. 15; bold GH).

Pliska: early medieval tunnels in ancient Roman shapes and executions ( [] -
- Left and center: tunnel (1.3 km) under palace. / Right: passage under fortress walls.

Could it be that the Slavic master builders were not irresponsible, or even crazy? Rather, are modern historians mistaken about the chronology of the 1st millennium CE? Pliska’s thermal baths may provide another hint that the Bulgarian architects were fully up to their tasks:
"The baths are one of the most characteristic elements of the Pliska Palace. They are a real wonder in the middle of this dry plain, where the subterranean water level is nowadays at 10-12 m. depth. They were fed by an 7 km long aqueduct. Their small size distinguishes them from the large Roman baths, but their principal layout and the construction of the heating installation (hypocaust) links them with the Antique (1st-3rd c.; GH) and then the Byzantine traditions (4th-6th c.; GH)", (Rashev/Dimitrov 1999, ch. 2).
- Roman style hypocaust heating in Early Medieval Pliska ( [].

- Partial digital model of Pliska’s Early Medieval inner city in the outline of a Roman castrum of Antiquity ( [].

The Bulgarians appear to have created a miracle no less impressive than the nearly unbelievable performance of Frankish builders who had managed to recreate 700-year-old Roman architecture at Charlemagne’s Ingelheim. Bulgarian triumphal columns, as well as sculptural building decorations, also surprise by repeating Roman designs. Again, as with the pan tiles, the scholars are convinced that up to 700 year older materials had been bought from second hand dealers to be re-used:
"Its (the column’s; GH) diameter of 1 m would correspond to a height of 8-10 m. Its crudely polished surface has a shallow helical flute which makes it resemble the similarly decorated Roman-Byzantine triumphal columns. The poor quality of the marble used betrays a local origin, probably from the quarry in the district of Marcianopolis. / The types of decorations found in the pagan period buildings are facing plates of white marble, columns and re-used Byzantine capitals. During the Christian period the cornices under the roofs of some churches were made out of limestone segments with denticles. The altar barrier of the Palace Church was made of marble, decorated with the traditional geometrical and plant-like ornaments. A lion statue (from Roman times?) and a part of a relief of the Thracian heros was incorporated into the façade of the eastern gate" (Rashev/Dimitrov 1999, ch. 10; bold GH).
There exists, however, one type of building material at Pliska that has defied all efforts to chronologically neutralize it as spoliae. It concerns the famous Roman invention of water-proof cement (also known as pozzolana after the ground volcanic slag from Pozzuoli/Naples that was mixed with powdered lime):
"The water for the baths was stored in a large reservoir with a volume of around 500 m3. Its walls were plastered with special hydrophobic mortar. The excess waters were diverted by pipes to a collector" (Rashe/Dimitrov 1999, ch. 4; bold GH).
Water-proof cement cannot be picked from 700-year-old ruins to be re-liquidified and, then, employed a second time. It must be mixed on the spot. Yet, nobody claims that the Bulgarian builders re-invented that technique. Thus, Pliska’s hydraulic cement simply provides – like the supposedly 700 year older pan tiles – additional proof that Roman Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages with its material Roman culture are two aspects of the same Roman period that has been chronologically stretched over three periods – Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and Early Middle Ages.
However, contemporaneity does not mean ethnic identity. At Pliska there are undoubtedly non-Roman people (later called Bulgarians) employing Roman techniques. Their earliest buildings still show the form of the steppe yurt, indicating their realms of origin. The textile material is replaced by wood. Yet, the adoption of Roman outlines requires a further evolutionary step. It may well reflect the legal recognition of the newcomers as Roman foederati.

Yurt-shaped 8th c. CE palace in Pliska that had replaced the textiles used in the steppe with wooden panels.
- Excavated foundations ( [].

- Attempt at reconstruction.

No less puzzling than the Roman designs and building materials are the ca. 600 coins so far discovered at Pliska. Only 12 belong to its "period as capital" in the 8th/9th c. CE (Kirilov 2006, 137). Thirty-four belong to Antiquity and Late Antiquity "with the latest minted in the time of Justinus II (565-578)" (Kirilov 2006, 137). These coins cannot be easily told apart from pieces struck under Justinus I (518-527). Thus, not only in terms of styles and building materials (including hydraulic cement) but also in monetary aspects Pliska appears to belong to Antiquity and, at the same time, to the Early Middle Ages. That certainly must sound bizarre but it is borne out by hard evidence. After all, there are no sections at Pliska that exhibit an Antiquity strata-group that is super-imposed by a strata-group with Late Antiquity buildings on top of which new strata are found with early medieval buildings. There is just one strata group. The two expected addtional ones are simply not there:
"With the transfer and the re-use of such antique building materials must be linked the antique coins from the II to the VI c. found in Pliska, as well as other easily moved antique materials which cannot not contribute to the dating of any of Pliska’s buildings. The thesis about the antique age of some buildings, on the basis of such mobile materials alone, is undefendable. It can be discussed only if there existed the corresponding cultural layer, formed in the same way as in all other Roman-Byzantine towns. Such a layer is absent in Pliska. Its absence can only mean that no antique town existed there in the first place" (Rashev/Dimitrov 1999, ch. 15; bold GH).

- Remains of round tower ( [].

- Partial reconstruction of an interior city gate ( [].

Whilst Pliska has no building strata for Antiquity and Late Antiquity but only massively built up early medieval strata in the style of Antiquity, one of the city’s rulers, Khan Krum (803-814 CE), has succeeded (in 809 CE) in occupying Bulgaria’s [i.e., Moesia’s] Roman period capital, Ulpia Serdica (excavated beneath modern Sofia). Since Ulpia Serdica has rich building strata during Antiquity (1st-3rd c. CE) but none for early medieval 8th-10th c. CE, Krum appears to have combined a conquest with time travel 700 years back into the past.

Ulpia Serdica (Roman period Sofia) in the 1st-3rd c. CE (attempt at reconstruction). The city is conquered by Bulgaria’s Khan Krum (803-814 CE) at a time when there are no building strata at Sofia [].

[Chronological Table]:
- ROMAN CITIES: Ulpia Serdica (Sofia), Durostorum (Silistra)
- SLAVIC CITIES: Pliska, Preslav
Early Middle Ages (EMA)
- ROMAN CITIES: No New Building Strata but visited by Krum (Ulpia) and Simeon (Durostorum).
- SLAVIC CITIES: Rich Building Strata with internal evolution during 8th-10th c. with designs and materials like in Antiquity. Coins are dated by catalogue to A, LA, and EMA but not stratigraphically according to EMA stratum in which they are found.
Late Antiquity (LA)
- ROMAN CITIES: No New Building Strata after 3rd c. crisis. Coins are dated by catalogue but not according to Antiquity stratum in which they are found.
- SLAVIC CITIES: No Building Strata (but supposedly a First Bulgarian Empire).
Antiquity (A)
- ROMAN CITIES: Rich Building Strata with internal evolution during 1st-3rd. c. with designs and materials like in Early Middle Ages.
- SLAVIC CITIES: No Building Strata

[End Chronological Table]

Notwithstanding all its stone and brick massiveness in the 9th/10th c. CE, Pliska comes to a violent and sudden end. After that devastation only small and primitive peasant huts are carved into the debris: "A situation of fully developed and highly specialized artisan production was followed later by a process of broad ruralization" (Henning 2007, 216). "Between the 11th and 15th c. CE the Pliska basin was turned into a desert landscape“ (Kirilov 2006, 134). “A dark grey (most probably erosion) layer" (Henning 2007, 219; bold GH) had strangled that urban jewel for good: "After the production activities had stopped, for whatever reason, the whole production area was covered by considerable amounts of erosion material (colluvium). Coming from higher parts of the area near to the Inner Town’s fortification it traveled downhill and spread over the former craft-working zone (Pl. 24-b). The question as to why these erosion processes took place and exactly how long they lasted is difficult to answer. / Approximately at the end of these soil creep events cottage dwellings of the grubenhaus type were constructed in great numbers by digging them either into the erosion layer directly or into the older garbage layers of the abandoned craft-working quarter" (Henning 2007, 218; bold GH).
The "why" behind the dark grey layer clearly leads to something gigantic. At the same time Pliska is reduced to ruins, around the 930s CE, cities from Birka in Sweden to Samarra in Iraq disappear under mud, dark earth or sand. Strangely, like Pliska, many of these 700-930s sites contain 1-230s Roman artifacts (see the author’s articles in q-mag, 2013 ff.). The 930s-cataclysm is archaeologically well attested to in Eastern Europe. Slovakia suffered major "destructions" at the "beginning of the 10th century" (Chorvatova 2012, 249). No military opponents or other causes are known that may have been the culprit. Yet, simultaneously, in the Czech Republic, "castles of regional chieftains were destroyed. […] That phenomenon is not at all mentioned in the written sources" (Sommer 2012, 266/273). Poland was hit no less severely in the early 10th century: "There was a rapid, sometimes catastrophic, collapse of many of the pre-existing tribal centers. These events were accompanied by the permanent or temporary depopulation of former areas of settlement" (Buko 2011, 464). Parallel to these disastrous events the Baltic ports of the Slavs‘ North-European trading partners mysteriously but lethally "experienced discontinuity" (Kleingärtner 2014, 249).
What toppled their habitats also closed the minds of the survivors:
"The tenth century was the ‘age of Iron‘ (saeculum ferreum), the Dark Age (saeculum obscurum) – dark not merely in the sense of the cognitive possibilities available to historians, but also in the sense of more primitive relationships and the ‘lack of enlightenment‘ of our tenth century ancestors. When the Carolingian unity began to crumble and then collapse, when a period of renewed and universal anarchy in social relationships came […], when the light of the splendid but chronologically and geographically limited Carolingian Renaissance was extinguished, it would seem that the development of Latin Europe became retarded. A symptom of this regression maybe the situation that in the period from about 920-960 as far as we know, nothing of any great interest in the fields of intellectual development or literature appeared in Latin Europe" (Strzelczyk 2001, 42 f.; bold GH).
Thus, Pliska’s fate was shared all the way between the Black Sea and the Baltic Sea. It wasn’t until the 19th century that the rediscovery of Pliska began to gain traction: "Pliska (under the form of Plyuska) is mentioned for the last time in the Bulgarian Apocriphal Chronicle of the XI c. /The German traveller Karsten Nibur passed through these places in 1767 AD and heard that near the town of Novi Pazar there were ruins of a large town, but he could not visit the site and did not know its name. In 1878 AD the Hungarian Felix Kanic inspected the ruins, managed to read the name 'Burdizo' on a half-buried stone column and assumed that this was the name of the town. This uncertainty was due to the fact that Aboba — the name of the small Turko-Tatar village that was established at the site in the XVII c. had no connection with the name of the long abandoned and forgotten town. Only in 1884 AD, during his big tour of Bulgaria, the Czech historian Constantine Irechek realised that the ruins next to the village of Aboba were remains of the town of Pliskova, mentioned by Byzantine chroniclers of the X-XI c. AD" (Rashev/Dimitrov 1999, ch. I; bold GH).

II. Preslav -

Over a period of 27 years, Tsar Simeon (893-927 CE) expanded Preslav — already growing in the early 9th c. CE — into his splendid capital city. "After Constantinople Preslav was, in the 10th c. CE, the most important cultural center in all of Eastern Europe" (Kirilov 2006, 150). Simeon decided to abandon Pliska, where his brother and predecessor, Vladimir (889-893), had tried to force the Bulgarians back to paganism. By settling for a new metropolis, Simeon was in a better position to continue the heritage of his father, Boris I Michael (852-899; died 902), who had Christianized the Bulgarians in the 860s CE.
- Outlines of Preslav. Left: exterior and interior city (some 500 ha). Right: interior city with citadel.
(Kirilov 2006, 140/141.)

- Partially reconstructed palace compound in Preslavs interior city (9th/10th c. CE) with buildings imitating the style and technology of the 2nd/3rd c. Roman period ( [].

Simeon is often called Bulgaria‘s Charlemagne. And, indeed, like the Fankish ruler who had his Ingelheim villa built in a 700-year-older Roman style, Simeon, too, ordered his architects to please his eyes with basilicas built in a style typical of ancient Rome. Already his father, Boris I Michael (852-899), had insisted on "Latin inscriptions" (Kirilov 2006, 142) in the period of Preslav’s Christianization – a strange attitude in a Greek environment. It would have made more sense to follow such a cultural course during the 2nd c. CE when Ulpia Serdica (Sofia) was the definitely Latinized capital of Moesia. Simeon‘s seal signified the victory of his efforts at Re-Christianization by a Christos Pantokrator with a Theotekos (Saint Mary God-bearer) on the reverse. Mary could advance into the adoration of former pagans so easily because it was very common for their own deities to procreate with human females.
- Lead seal (25mm, 17.89 g) of Tsar Simeon (893-927 CE), ( Obverse: Christos Pantokrator / Reverse: Theotokos (Saint Mary God-bearer)

- Preslav: reconstruction of palace and main basilica of Bulgaria’s Christian Patriarch (late 9th c. CE)
( [].

- Partial onsite reconstruction of a Preslav gate in typical Roman design [].

- Detail of Preslav building colonnade (reconstruction) ( [].

Just as Khan Krum (803-814) appears to have traveled through time when, in the 9th c. CE, he conquered Ulpia Serdica/Sofia whose urban bulding strata end in the 3rd c. CE, Tsar Simeon undertakes a similar endeavour. When, in 895 CE, he was chased by Hungarians, he took refuge in a fortress at Durostorum (Silistra), whose building strata end in the 3rd c., too. A famous fortress was indeed built in Durostorum in 29 CE. Under Marcus Aurelius (161-180) Durostorum is already known as a major city in what would become Bulgaria. Already in the 6th c., Bulgars of a so-called First Bulgarian Empire are believed to have invaded Durostorum. Yet, there are no building strata for such a Late Antiquity city. In 865 CE, however, soon after their Christianization, the Bulgarians turned Durostorum – supposedly already in their hands for 300 years – into a Slavic diocese. Yet, the archaeologists find – as in the the city’s extensive baths – remains of antiquity only – plus, dated by coin catalogue, Diocletian period "4th" c. items:
"The remains of Roman Durostorum lie beneath the center of modern-day Silistra, making it difficult to carry out archaeological excavations at the site. Investigations led by P. Donevski from 1972 to 1981 succeeded in locating and partially revealing the layout of the ancient legionary camp, or castra. Six periods of construction are indicated between the 2nd and 4th centuries" (Athena 2003).
Bulgarian narratives are employed in modern textbooks at least two times to help fill a pre-conceived chronology of 1,000 years for the 1st millennium CE (whose urban stratigraphies show a maximum of only 300 years). So, too, have Pannonian narratives been used several times. This recycling of history has, to this very day, made it impossible to understand the origin of the Hungarians, the Bulgarians‘ most feared enemies. The following overview will help to solve the Hungarian enigma by showing that "four" different masters of Pannonia are actually just one: the Hungarians.

Iazyges (I), Huns (II), Chunni-Avars (III), and the rulers of the early Hungarians (IV) refer to the same group. The Iazyges, Huns, and Chunni-Avars did not disappear without any traces of their future whereabouts outside Pannonia because they never left Pannonia. The Hungarian items of Pannonia in the high High Middle Ages are the missing traces for the continuation of Iazyges=Huns=Chunni-Avars from the period prior to the High Middle Ages. There are still today Iazyges living in Hungary under the name of Jász (courtesy Zsolt Németh). Just one historical narrative of Pannonians invading Italy has substance in fact. That’s why remains of the 10th/11th c. Árpád dynasty immediately follow the Roman period which, therefore, must have accommodated, simultaneously, the Iazygian, Hunnic and Chunni-Avar "periods": "The most recent excavations on the Várhegy [castle Hill] in Esztergom have not revealed any settlement traces for the centuries between the Roman period and the early phase of the Árpád dynasty" (Nagy 1986, 199; cf. Németh 2014, 571).
The only narrative with hard substance has been employed four times to fill our textbook chronology that has a thousand years for a 1st millennium stratigraphy of only some 300 years. All four "periods" are actually just one that belongs to Roman Antiquity, whose stratigraphical date, however, is not 1st-3rd but 8th-10th c. CE (cf. already Heinsohn 2015).
- (I) Sarmatian Iazyges (also called Huns-Sarmatians) from Pannonia attack Northern Italy and threaten Rome (160s CE). Iazyges disappear from Pannonia without any traces.
- (II) Huns from Pannonia attack Northern Italy and threaten Rome (450s CE). Huns disappear from Pannonia without any traces.
- (III) Chunni-Avars (also called Hungarians) from Pannonia attack Northern Italy
(610s CE). Chunni-Avars disappear from Pannonia without any traces.
- (IV) Hungarians from Pannonia attack Northern Italy (899-904 CE). Hungarians live in Pannonia, attack Bulgaria in 895 CE.
- Hungarians of the High Middle Ages (11th c. CE) consider themselves as successors of Huns (no knowledge of Chunni-Avars). High Medieval Hungarians are the direct successors of earlier Hungarians known as Iazyges=Huns= Chunni-Avars.

Of all the sacral buildings of Preslav, the Round Church (also called the Golden Church; part of a monastery complex) is not the largest but by far the most extraordinary building. It is dated to the beginning of the 10th c. CE, and was most probably meant as a copy of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre.
- LEFT: Groundplan of Preslav’s Golden Church (early 10th c. CE) built during the reign of Tsar Simeon (893–927 CE) seen as a copy of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre ( [].

- RIGHT: Groundplan of Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre (4th c. CE; to the author late 1st c. CE=stratigraphically 8th c. CE) ( [].

- Model of Preslav’s Golden Church (early 10th c. CE) (

- Reconstruction of Jesus-Mausoleum in Jerusalem’s Church of the Holy Sepulchre s (4th=1st=8th c.) ( [], full image [], and [].

Notwithstanding Preslav’s triumphant eclipse of Pliska, it is condemned to share the latter‘s terrible fate. Its annihilation follows the same pattern: "After the 11th c. all that remained was a memory of a 'once great' city. Hardly anything of its magnificent urban substance was left by the end of the 12th c." (Kirilov 2006, 140/143). Although Pliska is given a few more decades in our texbook history, the expected accompanying "strata for the 11th c. are hardly recognizable in the area of the interior city" (Kirilov 2006, 142). On the contrary, burial grounds are all that was found dug into the soil layer burying the city: "At the end of the 11th c., at the latest, individual cemeteries began to develop. Yet, slowly the excavators began to understand that they all belonged to one huge burial ground, to a genuine city of the dead that, between the 11th and the 13th c., had covered the lion’s share of the ancient interior city" (Kirilov 2006, 143). Eastern Europe’s cultural center, that was second only to Constantinople, had turned into a dumping site for the deceased.

III. Summary -
"The thesis about the antique [1st-3rd c. CE; GH] origin of the monumental buildings in Pliska is not based on the antique materials found there alone. Its most impressive monuments are 'antique' in appearance. / It seems indeed unbelievable that at the beginning of the IX c. the culture of one recently founded pagan state could produce such constructions, served by running water which had to be brought from several kilometres away. It seems more natural to assume that they belong to an earlier epoch. But the archaeological evidence does not allow this [because it belongs to the Early Middle Ages, GH] and it is exactly what makes Pliska a real puzzle" (Rashev/Dimitrov 1999, ch. IV; bold GH).
- Digital reconstructions of two Early Medieval Pliska buildings in outline of Roman Antiquity ( [].

Sequence of Bulgarian rulers since the victory over Constantinople/Byzantium in 811 CE.
- 893-927: Simeon, Tsar of "Bulgaren and Romans, studied in Byzantium; turns Preslav into imperial capital; orders translation of major texts of Antiquity into Bulgarian employing Cyrillic; secures, after 893 CE, the blossoming of Bulgarian literature (Schools of Okhrid and Preslav) as well as Bulgarian theology with its own chruch fathers; therefore also called Bulgaria’s Charlemagne; escapes, in 895, from Hungarian attack to Durostorum (Silistra) where excavations have revealed building strata for Antiquity only (no Early Medieval strata, and no 6th/7th c. strata for a "First Bulgarian Empire"). Preslav ends under soil in which cemeteries are dug; Pliska is strangled by a dark grey layer. There are no urban strata for a continuation of Pliska or Preslav into the 11th century (as assumed by textbook chronology).
- 889-893: Vladimir; pagan regression (blinded by his father, Boris I Michael); in 892 alliance with Arnulf of Carinthia (896-899).
- 852-889: Boris I. Michael (883 abdicated; died 902); orders Christianization of the Bulgarians.
- 836-852: Presian I.; conquers Macedonia.
- 831-836: Malamir; executed his elder brother, Enravota (Bulgaria’s first martyr), for his conversion to Christianity.
- 814-831: Omurtag; major buildings in Pliska; Chatalar- and Tarnovo insciptions (Greek); martyrs his Christian son Enravota but has Arian church of Goths [annihilated in Late Antiquity] in his fortress Aul na Omurtag.
- 803-814: Krum; defeats, 811 CE, Nikephoros I Genik in the Battle of Pliska; creates law code; conquers Ulpia Serdica (Sofia) whose urban stratigraphy is rich for 2nd/3rd. c. Antiquity but zero for 9th c. Early Middle Ages.
- 681-803: Asparukh; Tervel; Kormesyi; Seva; Kormisosh; Vinekh; Telets; Sabin; Ulmor; Toktu; Pagan; Telerig; Kardam.

The eternal controversies between different Bulgarian schools of archaeology about whether Pliska and Preslav belong to Antiquity, Late Antiquity or the Early Middle Ages could never come to a conclusion because all of them are right. The two metropoles are indeed part of Roman Antiquity that, however, in tems of stratigraphy, belongs to the Early Medieval Period of the 8th to 10th century and not to the 1st-3rd century of our textbooks. Therefore, a "First Bulgarian Empire" beginning in Late Antiquity is without material basis, too.
Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and the Early Middle Ages are stratigraphically contemporary. They are simply different aspects of the same quarter millennium of Rome’s imperial period (now dated from 31 BCE to the 230s CE). Because Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and the Early Middle Ages run parallel, they all enter – where settlements continue at all – the High Middle Ages at the same time – the early 10th c. CE.
The High Middle Ages, in turn, experience such a dramatic collapse into primitivism because a global catastrophe caused the fall of Roman Civilization (archaeologically 8th-10th c. but textbook dated 1st-3rd c. CE). "Dark earth" blanketing, e.g., Roman Londinium (London; 2300 km to Pliska as the crow flies) in the 3rd c. CE (Schofield 1999), and the dark grey layer burying Early Medieval Pliska in the early 10th c. are, therefore, caused by the same natural catastrophe.

- Reconstruction of London’s largest Roman basilica (153,9 x 45,7 m; situation of the 2nd c. CE) that was covered by dark earth in the 3rd c. CE to be rediscovered only in 1881 ( [].

"Parts [of London] had been cleared of buildings and were already covered by a horizon of dark silts (often described as `dark earth') suggesting that land was converted to arable and pastoral use or abandoned entirely. The dark earth may have started forming in the 3rd century" (Schofield 1999; bold GH).

Whilst many historical narratives of Antiquity (1-230s) and Late Antiquity (290-520s) can be read as concurrant comments for the same events (see already Beaufort 2013), the stories attributed to the 700-930s block cannot be transplanted 1:1 upon the narratives of the 1-230s=290-520s-block. What we find in our textbooks for the 520-930s period does include repetitions of narratives from the 1-230s=290-520s-block, too. Yet, they are usually out of sync because the Early Medieval time block contains not 300 but 400 years.
For Bulgaria, however, the 700-930s-period does fit – cum grano salis – the 1-230s=290-520s-block quite neatly. Bulgaria’s Christianization since the 860s CE runs parallel with the great plague cum war period with invading tribes under Marcus Aurelus (161-180 CE). Its Late antiquity match is the migration period of the 450s. The demographically pummeled Roman Empire (160s=450s=860s) must defend itself against ruthless invaders but also has to invite foreign tribes as foederati to resettle depopulated territories laid waste by the plague that may have killed more than five million inhabitants. The migration period (160s=450s=860s), thus, does not take place after the fall of Rome but between its major crisis (known as the plague of Marcus Aurelius) and its true demise in the 230s (=520s=930s).
The transformation of the Bulgarian Slavs (with Asians in their leadership) into Christians appears to have led to an acceptable co-existence between indigenous (Latinized) suvivors and the newcomers. As Theoderic (493-526; stratigraphically 9/10th c.) ruled over Goths and Romans, so did Tsar Simeon (893-927) become ruler of "Bulgarians and Romans". As the Huns – occasional partners of Goths – were rejected as foederati (exactly like the Sarmato-Hunnic Iazyges under Marcus Aurelius), so were the Hungarians -- deadly enemies of the Simeon-Bulgarians – denied a chance to become legal citizens of the Empire. As the city of Rome continued to exist side by side with Goth-dominated Ravenna (exactly like Quadi-dominated Ravenna blossomed under Marcus Aurelius and Commodus), so Slav-dominated Preslav – still producing Latin inscriptions – co-existed with the Latin dominated Ulpia Serdica (Sofia; Rome’s capital of Moesia). Whilst Rome was afraid of Huns (or of Hunno-Sarmatian Iazyges under Marcus Aurelius), the Bulgarians – as well the Byzantines of their time – were afraid of Hungarians with the latter being none other than Hunno-Sarmatian Iazyges (2nd c.), Huns (5th c.), or Chunni-Vars (7th c.).
Though it is true that the urban designs, building materials and technologies, as well as aqueducts and hypocaust-heated baths of Pliska and Preslav are through and through Roman-inspired, the Bulgarians add their own cultural touches. This is not only visible in their ceramic decors but even more so in their secular as well as theological literature that, for the first time in the history of the Slavs, is written down (after an intermediate stage with Latin or Greek letters) in their own Cyrillic alphabet.
The plague-ridden Marcus Aurelius crisis (160s=450s=860s) not only triggers hostile invasions, as well as invited resettlements, it also stimulates the growth of Christianty. Ever more survivors convert to the young creed because its apocalyptic texts (that had "foreseen" the disaster) provided the appropriate ‘medicine‘ to come to terms with tormenting fears and terror-stricken people. The vast wave of new churches attributed to the late "5th c." is corroborated by Bulgaria’s churches of the late 9th century. Both groups of churches stratigraphically belong to the same Early Medieval period. After all, there are no urban building strata with 5th century churches that are superimposed by new building strata with 9th century churches. All Christian church periods – Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and the Early Middle Ages – build basilicas in the style of the 1st-3rd c. CE that stratigraphically all belong to the 8th-10th c. period.

[Chronological Table]:
- Same stratigraphical level beginning after 930 CE / High Middle Ages
- Global Cataclysm (Destruction; Dark Earth; Discontinuity; Dark Grey Layer etc.)
- Same stratigraphical level ending around 930 CE: Antiquity (230s=930s) ; Late Antiquity (520s=930s) ; Early Middle Ages (930s=930s)

[End Chronological Table]:

It may well be that ethnically diverse populations may have found it easier to live together within the same empire by resorting to a common denomination. This experience of social peace may have been the motivation to quickly doom forced regressions to paganism, as tried, e.g., by Khan Vladimir (889-893).
All the new churches, however, could not fend off the final catastrophe of the 930s (=230s=520s) that terminated the Roman universe. The cities listed under "Antiquity" (ending in the "230s" of the Third Century Crisis) or "Late Antiquity" (ending under Justinian’s Comet and Allah‘s Elephant Rocks of the "520s"), as well as the cities from the Black Sea to the Baltic Sea, including Pliska und Preslav, are all hit by the same cataclysm whose destructions the archaeologists of the Slavic and Scandinavian realm have tied to the 930s CE. Whatever we find in our textbooks as post-930s history for Pliska and Preslav is due to chronological misreadings of ruler’s names and/or coins. Strata tied to their dates were not found either in Preslav or in Pliska, above whose dark grey layer no urbanism ever materialized again.

Bibliography -
- Athena (2003) Athena Review Image Archive, "Lower Danube: Plan of the Baths at Durostorum", ( [].

- Beaufort, J. (2013), Einige Heerführer und Kaiser von Caesar bis Diocletian gemäß Heinsohn-These mit um 284 Jahre rückdatierten Soldatenkaisern, PDF-posting, May

- Bulgarian Genetics (2014); "Bulgarian Genetics: Abstracts and Summaries", ( [].

- Buko, A. (2011), Archeoligia Polski. Wczesnosredniowiecznej: Odkryccia – hiptezy – interpretacje, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo TRIO.

- Chorvátová, H. (2012), "Untergang und Neuanfang: Zur Christianisierung im Einflussbereich des frühmittelalterlichen mährischen Fürstentums auf dem Gebiet der heutigen Slowakei anhand archäologischer Quellen", in Heinrich-Tamáska, O., Krohn, N., Ristow, S., eds., Christianisierung Europas: Entstehung, Entwicklung und Konsolidierung im archäologischen Befund / Christanisation of Europe: Archaeological Evidence for it’s creation, development and consolidation. Internationale Tagung im Dezember 2010 in Bergisch Gladbach, Regensburg: Schell & Steiner, pp.239-260.

- Early Middle Ages (2009), "Kaiserpfalz Ingelheim: Early Middle Ages: Archaeological", ( [].

- Heinsohn, G. (2014a), " Why did Christianity spread so slowly across Europe in the First Millennium A.D.?", ( (.pdf) []

- Heinsohn, G. (2014b), "Charlemagne’s Correct Place in History", ( (.pdf) [].

- Heinsohn, G. (2014c), "Vikings for 700 Years without Sails, Ports, and Towns?", ( (.pdf) []

- Heinsohn, G. (2014d), "Winchester of Alfred the Great and the Haithabu of his Voyager, Wulfstan: are they separated by 700 years?", ( (.pdf) [].

- Heinsohn, G. (2015), "Sarmatians, Huns, and Khazars: were they one and the same confederation?", ( (.pdf)[]

- Henning, J. (2007), "The Metropolis of Pliska or, how large does an early medieval settlement have to be in order to be called a city?", in J. Henning, Hg., Post-Roman Towns, Trade and Settlement in Europe and Byzantium, Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, vol. 2, 209-40; (.pdf) []

- Kirilov, T. (2006), Die Stadt des Frühmittelalters in Ost und West: Archäologische Befunde Mitteleuropas im Vergleich zur östlichen Balkanhalbinsel, Bonn: Habelt Verlag.

- Kleingärtner, S. (2014), Die frühe Phase der Urbanisierung an der südlichen Ostseeküste im ersten nachchristlichen Jahrtausend, Neumünster: Wachholtz (Studien zur Siedlungsgeschichte und Archäologie der Ostseegebiete, vol. 13).

- Nagy, E. (1986), Az esztergomi királyi palota története (Régészeti kutatások 1934-1966 (History of the royal palace in Esztergom), Budapest: Dissertation.

- Németh, Z. (2014), "Die Theorie des erfundenen Mittelalters im Licht archäologischer Funde in Ungarn", in Zeitensprünge, vol. 26, no. 3, 567-596.

- Rashev, R., Dimitrov, Y. (1999), Pliska - 100 years of archaeological excavations, ( [].

- Schofield, J. (1999), "Saxon London in a tale of two cities", British Archaeology, 1999, No. 44 (May), ( [].

- Sommer, P. (2012), "Der frühe böhmische Staat und die Christianisierung seiner Gesellschaft", in Heinrich-Tamáska, O., Krohn, N., Ristow, S., eds., Christianisierung Europas: Entstehung, Entwicklung und Konsolidierung im archäologischen Befund / Christanisation of Europe: Archaeological Evidence for it’s creation, development and consolidation. Internationale Tagung im Dezember 2010 in Bergisch Gladbach, Regensburg: Schell & Steiner, pp.261-273.

- Strzelczyk, J. (2001), "The Church and Christianity about the Year 1000 (the Missionary Aspect)", in P. Urbanczyk, ed., Europe around the Year 1000, Warszawa: Wydawnictwo DIG, 41-68.

Prof. Dres. Gunnar Heinsohn ul. Piwna 66 / 6 PL-80-831 GDANSK POLAND 0048 58 3298112 / Mobile: 0048 506362 103

Gunnar Heinsohn: "On the antiquity of hominids"

Adapted from the original posting: "On the antiquity of hominids" (2008-07-02, via message board at [] [begin posting text]:

Lloyd has asked for a debate on the thoughts and writings of Professor Gunnar Heinsohn of the University of Bremen.
The following is from an email concerning the question of the antiquity of the Neanderthal:

[Begin text of email by Gunnar Heinsohn]:

Mueller-Karpe, the first name in continental paleoanthropology, wrote thirty years ago on the two strata of homo erectus at Swanscombe/England: "A difference between the tools in the upper and in the lower stratum is not recognizable. (From a geological point of view it is uncertain if between the two strata there passed decades, centuries or millennia.)" (Handbuch der Vorgeschichte, Vol I, Munich 1966, p. 293).

The outstanding scholar never returned to this hint that in reality there may have passed ten years where the textbooks enlist one thousand years. Yet, I tried to follow this thread. I went to the stratigraphies of the Old Stone Age which usually look as follows
- modern man (homo sapiens sapiens)
- Neanderthal man (homo sapiens neanderthalensis)
- Homo erectus (invents fire and is considered the first intelligent man).

In my book "Wie alt ist das Menschengeschlecht?" [How Ancient is Man?], 1996, 2nd edition, I focused for Neanderthal man on his best preserved stratigraphy: Combe Grenal in France. Within 4 m of debris it exhibited 55 strata dated conventionally between -90,000 and -30,000. Roughly one millennium was thus assigned to some 7 cm of debris per stratum. Close scrutiny had revealed that most strata were only used in the summer. Thus, ca. one thousand summers were assigned to each stratum. If, however, the site lay idle in winter and spring one would have expected substratification. Ideally, one would look for one thousand substrata for the one thousand summers. Yet, not even two substrata were discovered in any of the strata. They themselves were the substrata in the 4 m stratigraphy. They, thus, were not good for 60,000 but only for 55 years.

I tested this assumption with the tool count. According to the Binfords' research--done on North American Indians--each tribal adult has at least five tool kits with some eight tools in each of them. At every time 800 tools existed in a band of 20 adults. Assuming that each tool lasted an entire generation (15 female years), Combe Grenals 4,000 generations in 60,000 years should have produced some 3.2 million tools. By going closer to the actual life time of flint tools tens of millions of tools would have to be expected for Combe Grenal. Ony 19,000 (nineteen thousand) remains of tools, however, were found by the excavators.

There seems to be no way out but to cut down the age of Neanderthal man at Combe Grenal from some 60,000 to some 60 years.

I applied the stratigraphical approach to the best caves in Europe for the entire time from Erectus to the Iron Age and reached at the following tentative chronology for intelligent man:
- 600 onwards Iron Age
- 900 onwards Bronze Age
- 1400 beginning of modern man (homo sapiens sapiens)
- 1500 beginning of Neanderthal man
between -2000 and -1600 beginning of Erectus.

Since Erectus only left the two poor strata like at Swanscombe or El-Castillo/Spain, he should actually not have lasted longer than Neanderthal-may be one average life expectancy. I will now not go into the mechanism of mutation. All I want to remind you of is the undisputed sequence of interstratification and monostratification in the master stratigraphies. This allows for one solution only: Parents of the former developmental stage of man lived together with their own offspring in the same cave stratum until they died out. They were not massacred as textbooks have it:
- monostrat.: only modern man's tools
- interstrat.: Neanderthal man's and modern man's tools side by side
- monostrat.: only Neanderthal man's tools
- interstrat.: Neanderthal man's and Erectus' tools side by side
- monotstrat.: only Erectus tools (deepest stratum for intelligent man)

The year figures certainly sound bewildering. Yet, so far nobody came up with any stratigraphy justifiably demanding more time than I tentatively assigned to the age of intelligent man. I always remind my critiques that one millennium is an enormous time span--more than from William the Conqueror to today's Anglo-World. To add a millenium to human history should always go together with sufficient material remains to show for it. I will not even mention the easiness with which scholars add a million years to the history of man until they made Lucy 4 million years old. The time-span-madness is the last residue of Darwinism.

[End text of email by Gunnar Heinsohn]:

Heinsohn is not putting an exact age on the Neanderthal die-out; what he IS stating is that there is no legitimate interpretation of existing evidence which would indicate that they died out any more than four or five thousand years ago. The question is, what if anything might there be in the way of evidence which might tend to support or refute such a claim. I intend to offer what I can in the way of support. "Refutations" I've seen in the past have always looked more or less like

"Pooh Pooh, that's too ridiculous to argue over, everybody knows the last Neanderthals died out 30,000 years ago..." Perhaps Lloyd can do a bit better than that. To my knowledge, nobody else in the Kronia/Thunderbolts crowd ever has.

One thing I notice immediately is that Heinsohn is claiming a very late die-out for this last hominid (Neanderthal), i.e. something like 3500 years ago.
Assuming that were true, then you have to note that humans had attained artwork by that time and that you would guess that if you were to look around hard enough, you might find this last hominid in some area of prehistoric art.
Consider that artists used to portray the Neanderthal as a sort of a brutish lout:

but that more recent and serious depictions show him like this:

Jay Matternes' reconstructions of Neanderthals appeared in the Oct. 81 issue of "Science". Scientists had known for some time that the standard reconstructions were based entirely on early, arthritic skeletons, but nobody had really done a serious job of reconstructing an image of these people from more recent evidence.

The first time I ever saw that image I had an overwhelming sensation of deja-vu, i.e. I'd seen that face before:

Sir Mortimer Wheeler "Civilizations of the Indus Valley and Beyond notes that this physical type, which he calls a "priest/king type" appears in statues along with other images more easily recognizable as modern people, and assumes that the type shown is "non-representational art". The same physical type shows up in other statues as well but not quite as clearly, e.g.

[end posting text]

[comment at the message board thread]:
In Heinsohn's reconstruction the civilization of men (historic times) began around 1300 BC (tentatively dated). He is supported in this by Heribert Illig who published "Die veraltete Vorzeit" / "The aged prehistory" in 1988 in parallel with Heinsohn's book "Die Sumerer gab es nicht" / "The Sumerians never existed". In this book Illig did for Europe what Heinsohn did for Mesopotamia, without dependencies. Illig also avoided any dependencies on Egyptian chronology. The technical basis for the reconstruction of the Egyptian chronology was published in a joined book of both in 1990: "Wann lebten die Pharaonen?" / "When did the pharaohs live?". In "Die Veraltete Vorzeit" Illig started the neolithic age in the second mil. BC mainly for art historic reasons. In 1991 Heinsohn published "Wie alt ist das Menschengeschlecht?" / "How old is mankind?". This book went through at least two extensions in the following years as new material came in to support the argument. It is currently in it's sixth edition from 2009. Heinsohn is simply applying the same methods he used on historic times to earlier strata. It is the stratigraphic method. That's all there is to it.


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Felix Romuliana: Does the model city of Late Antiquity really belong to the 4th-6th centuries CE?

Original document: "Gunnar Heinsohn: Felix Romuliana Does the model city of Late Antiquity really belong to the 4th-6th cent. AD?" (via, synopsis []: Felix Romuliana is regarded as an ideal embodiment of a purely Late Antique (4th-6th c.) city in the Roman province of Moesia (today's Gamzigrad in Serbia), because in the earlier Imperial Antiquity of the 1st to early 3rd centuries there appears to be simply nothing at all in that splendid urban space erected around 305 CE for Emperor Galerius (293-311 CE). Go to the article (.pdf) []

- Page breaks are not included on this page, please refer to the original document for page numbers.
- Notes by the author are marked in parentheses with initials GH (Gunnar Heinsohn), as presented in the original document.
- Highlights in red and/or bold are as placed by the author Gunnar Heinsohn.
- Images are presented according to approximate sequence in-line with the text.
- Footnotes by the author are seamlessly embedded into the text.
- Images are cited in a modified form to accommodate for source details.


Felix Romuliana: Does the model city of Late Antiquity really belong to the 4th-6th centuries CE?

GDANSK, 15 March 2017

Felix Romuliana is regarded as an ideal embodiment of a purely Late Antique (4th-6th c.) city in the Roman province of Moesia (today's Gamzigrad in Serbia), because in the earlier Imperial Antiquity of the 1st to early 3rd centuries there appears to be simply nothing at all in that splendid urban space erected around 305 CE for Emperor Galerius (293-311 CE).

Painting (1864; by Felix Kanitz [1829-1904]) of the ruins of the palatial compound near Gamzigrad/Serbia. An inscription discovered in 1986 allowed its identification as Felix Romuliana, an imperial city dated to Late Antiquity (4th - 6 th c. CE).

Image via "Exhibition: With Felix Kanitz in Serbia" (2012, [], whose subject produced a detailed report for Germany about Serbia, published posthumously, 1909 [].

LEFT: Location of Felix Romuliana (Gamzigrad/Serbia). "Gamzigrad-Romuliana, palais de Galère" (image via []

RIGHT: Reconstruction of buildings inside the palatial compound (37,200m2; north is to the right). The smaller internal walls and towers, dated a few decades earlier, had been mostly left intact. The “Porticus” arrow points to the residential palace of Emperor Galerius (293-311 CE).
Image via "The late antique Imperial Palace Felix Romuliana at Gamzigrad / Serbia" (German Archaeological Institute, []:

The excavation of Felix Romuliana is regarded as an extraordinary gift to archaeologists because it is free of the complications that hamper so many other sites, such as precisely separating 1st-3rd c. urban substance from new building strata belonging to the 4th-6th c. period. Moreover––with the exception of primitive huts built in some towers once the city was ruined––it "was later never built over" ("nie modern überbaut worden") (DAIST 2013). At Felix Romuliana one can be sure that anything resembling antique substance at all will belong to Late Antiquity and not to the 1st-3rd c. period preceding it.

LEFT: Galerius (293-311 CE) on an Aureus coins from Nikomedia (image via coin dealer website) []:

CENTER: Monumental head of Galerius adorned with “civic crown” (found in Felix Romuliana) (image via []:

RIGHT: Galerius with radiate crown (in use since Hellenism) on Aes coin (image via []:

Partial visualization of the palace compound of Felix Romuliana with two pagan temples before later––5th c. ––changes by Christians. The palace of Galerius is located in the upper right. It may (to the right of the palace) have included an aula for audiences (image via []:

Palace compound of Felix Romuliana (lower sections) with the urban areas (in total some 30 buildings) discovered by magnometer since 2004. A three-nave basilica (100 m long) is located in the upper right corner of the “northern quarter”. A circular monument (35 m in diameter) can be seen in the lower left part. [Image via "Felix Romuliana: Ein archäologisches Denkmal von Weltrang", pg. 16, pub. 2011, by Römisch-Germanische Kommission]


Still, the absence of the 1st-3rd c. period also caused surprise because Felix Romuliana can boast a rich urban history up to the end of the 1st c. BCE, i.e., right up to the 1st-3rd c. CE hiatus: it has “a long settlement continuity from the Neolithic period over the Bronze Age and the Iron Age, the Late Antiquity into the Middle Ages” (“eine lange Besiedlungskontinuität von der neolithischen Zeit über die Bronze- und die Eisenzeit, die Spätantike bis ins Mittelalter hinein“) (DAIST 2013, see already Petkovic 2011a, 40).
Just between the 1st and 3rd c. CE the city’s evolution is totally and mysteriously stalled.

Only during the Late Antique period (3rd to 6th c.), which appears to emerge out of thin air, does evolution pick up again with “different construction and expansion phases” (“mit unterschiedlichen Bau- und Ausbauphasen“) (DAIST 2013). Since the German-Serbian excavations (2004 to 2012), one even knows “the localization of a necropolis belonging to the palace and its succession of settlements [up to the 6th c.], whose evidently dense occupation indicates a large population” (“die Lokalisierung einer zum Palast und seinen Nachfolgesiedlungen gehörenden Nekropole, deren offenbar dichte Belegung auf eine zahlenmäßig große Bevölkerung schließen lässt“) (DAIST 2013).

After its downfall, the urban, extremely stable city of Felix Romuliana would never be rebuilt. The end must have been violent, because additional urban areas, which significantly exceed the palace district in size, will be discovered under ground only after 2004. There may not have been many survivors; because only for a short time were the "interior spaces of the fortress towers [...] used as protected shelters" (“Innenräume der Festungstürme […] als geschützten Wohnraum“) (Felix 2011, 15).

The shelters turned these partially ruined towers into small city walls. These emergency shelters were not cleared until the 11th century: “After the abandonment of the provincial areas by the Romans /Byzantines in the early 7th century, an early medieval settlement was established here, which existed until the 11th century. Since then, the circa 230 x 190 m walled site remained uninhabited” (“Nach der Aufgabe der Provinzgebiete durch die Römer/ Byzantiner im frühen 7. Jh. n. Chr. etablierte sich hier eine frühmittelalterliche Siedlung, die bis ins 11. Jh. existierte. Seitdem blieb das ca. 230 x 190 m große ummauerte Areal unbewohnt“) (DAIST 2013).
For the more than 400 years between the late 6th and early 11th centuries, there was, however, no building evolution in the emergency accommodations. There are no archeological remains for some 400 years of use. There is substantial evidence for only a few decades, or even less. Those 400 years were written into the excavation report to meet a textbook chronology that is not understood but deeply venerated. If––keeping in mind the meagre evidence for the makeshift shelters––we count backwards from the final abandonment of Felix Romuliana in the eleventh century to the catastrophe in which it perished, we would arrive at a date in the 10th century. That is the time of the “Tenth Century Collapse” (Heinsohn 2017).
From there, however, there is gap back to the late 6th century that is as blank as the city’s 1st-3rd c. period. Thus, between 1 and 1,000 CE there are only some 300 years with building strata in Felix Romuliana.

Yet, we must remember that not only missing building strata from the 6th to the 10th century (when dating the shelters in the 10th / 11th century) create difficulties in Felix Romuliana. It is also incomprehensible why Imperial Antiquity did not leave any buildings between Augustus (31 BCE - 14 CE) and Severus Alexander (222-235 CE). Since Marcus Licinius Crassus (consul in 30 BCE) had already conquered Moesia in 29 BCE, it remains an enigma why suddenly the fertile area of Felix Romuliana, which had been in full use since the Neolithic period, was suddenly abandoned.

Galerius’s Late Antique palace complex in Felix Romuliana was built by Legio V Macedonica (the bull and eagle were its symbol), a Roman legion that had been set up in 43 BCE by Octavian and Consul Gaius Vibius Panza Caetronianus (who fell in 43 BCE against Mark Antony). We know nothing about the early decades of that legion ( 2015). Maybe it fights in 20 BCE under Tiberius (the later Emperor of 14-37 CE) against the Parthians. It is indisputable that in 6 CE the legion was in the province of Moesia, with sufficient time to build something. It is also known that right there, in 33/34 CE (now under Emperor Tiberius), the legion did road-construction along the Danube (Clauss EDCS, 1649). Tiberius, on the other hand, is famous for the splendid Ziegeldurchschuss walls (alternating layers of bricks and natural stones) at his Villa Iovis in Capri (completed in 27 CE). The Legio V Macedonica also participates in the construction of the gigantic Danube Bridge (1135 m; 103-105 CE) under Emperor Trajan (98-117). All this happens in close vicinity of Felix Romuliana, where the legion supposedly did not work before the 3rd/4th c. CE.

Also, for around a quarter of a millennium (1st-3rd c. CE), there are no Aeolian layers in Felix Romuliana with vegetation or small animal remains, etc., which are to be expected if a city lies fallow for such a long time. In addition, the construction of the 4th - 6th century is irritating because of its Imperial Antique (1st-3rd c.), and sometimes even late Hellenistic, appearance. Once again, the curse or the miracle of the archaeology of Late Antiquity (4th-6th c.) comes to the fore, depending on the point of view: “The Mediterranean region in the 3rd to 6th century looks very Roman. [...] Late Antiquity, whether in East or West, is essentially a part of the ancient world” (Lavan 2003, XI).

LEFT: Reconstruction of the palace of Galerius in Felix Romuliana (begun 298 or 305 CE) in the style of the early 1st c.
CE. The remains of architectural decor focus on the labyrinth and Dionysus [].

RIGHT: 3D-autocad model of the palace compound of Felix Romuliana. On a hill, called Magura, some 1,000 m away,
were found the foundations of two mausoleums (probably for Galerius and his mother

Felix Romuliana still amazes in the early 4th century CE by its absence of Christian traces, despite its cultural proximity to the Greek part of the empire where Christianity had been in full development since the 1st c. CE. During the governorship (111-113 CE) of Pliny the Younger (61/61-113 CE) in Pontus-Bithynia, Christianity was, e.g., no longer stoppable. It had “spread not only to the cities but also to the villages and farms” of Asia Minor (Pliny: Letters 10:96). Yet, as if they had lived in the early 1st rather than in the early 4th c. CE, Galerius and his entourage had not yet evolved from paganism.
“The palace decoration revolves round themes of labyrinth and Dionysus, realized in mosaics and sculptures. The small temple has a crypt which is atypical for Roman temples of the type of tetra style prostilos, associating of the double cult a––in the cella of the temple a Roman god was paid homage to while in the crypt a ritual devoted to local divinities was held. This is supported by historical sources testifying that Romula, who was a local of Dacia Ripensis, followed the cult of a wood divinity” (Institute 2005).

Ziegeldurchschuss walls around Felix Romuliana (3rd/4th c. CE) in the style of the 1st c. CE as found in Villa Iovis/Capri (27 CE) built for Emperor Tiberius. He had been commander of Legio V Macedonica that erected Felix Romuliana some 300 years later [Foto J. Sidorczak-Heinsohn]

Reconstruction of the Western Gate of Felix Romuliana in Ziegeldurchschuss (bricks altered with natural stones) technology with semi-circular arches typical some 300 years earlier at the end of Late Hellenism (late 1st c. BCE). The octagonal towers have a diameter of 23 m, and are 22 m high. [Canak-Medic/Stojkovic-Pavelka 2011, 72]

Also, the circular structure (16 columns, 35m in diameter) in the district found north of the palace compound would make more sense in Felix Romuliana’s missing Imperial Antiquity (1st-3rd c.) than in its lush urban context of Late Antiquity (4th-6th c.): “Archaeological examination of some structures in the northern district indicates several phases of occupation of which the earliest can be dated before the palatial complex. A temporal and functional classification of the conspicuous round structure has so far not been successful. It could have been a victory monument comparable to the Emperor Trajan’s Tropaeum Traiani near Adamclisi (Romania)” (“Durch die archäologische Sondierung einiger Strukturen auf dieser Fläche deutet sich an, dass hier außerdem mit mehreren Benutzungsphasen zu rechnen ist, wobei die ersten Phasen vorpalastzeitlich zu datieren sind. Eine zeitliche und funktionale Einordnung der auffallenden Rundstruktur ist bisher nicht gelungen; es könnte sich um ein dem trajanischen Tropaeum Traiani bei Adamklisi (Rumänien) vergleichbares Siegesmonument gehandelt haben“) (DAIST 2013).

Tropaeum Traiani (108/109 CE) with a massive central pillar and ca 40 m in diameter at Adamclisi (Romania; reconstruction) [ 4644-uniunea-europeana-finanteaza-reabilitarea-monumentului-triumfal-tropaeum-traiani.html]

Tropaeum with a massive central pillar (4th/5th c. CE) and, at least, 35 m in diameter at Felix Romuliana (reconstruction of basic structure) [Felix 2011, 19].

The Legio V Macedonica, responsible for building Felix Romuliana in Moesia after 300 CE, is also stationed in Moesia around 100 CE. It is there and then where Emperor Trajan provides his legions for his two Dacian Wars (101–102, 105–106). From that very location in Moesia Legio V (under her Sicilian commander, Quintus Pompeius Falco) goes, in 101 CE, to the first Dacian War to which the Tropaeum Traiani in Adamclisi is dedicated. The early 5th c. circular tropaeum north of Romuliana’s palace compound resembles, even to mainstream historians, Trajan’s Adamclisi structure of 300 years before. That does not necessarily mean that Legio V had contributed to Romuliana’s tropaeum. Yet, in the early 2nd century such a structure would make sense as another victory monument to the Dacian Wars. But what could it stand for in the early 5th century?

Felix Romuliana’s 4th/5th c. architecture is indistinguishable from 1st/2nd c. architecture. Its religious iconography, as well as its tropaeum, resemble 1st/2nd c. items, too. Moreover, small finds like fibulae indisputably date from the 2nd/3rd c. as well as from the 1st c. (Petkovic 2011b, 173; 186) when the city did not yet exist. There must have been people living in Felix Romuliana during the 1st-3rd c. wearing Roman dress of the same period. Where are their residential quarters, water pipes and latrines? Why does the current dating for Felix Romuliana begin around 250 CE and not at the beginning of the first century or immediately after the completion of the city’s pre-Roman Iron Age around 50 BCE? Why is Felix Romuliana––in spite of all the finds that fit the culture of Imperial Antiquity––not placed in the 1st and 2nd century? Neither architectural or cultural nor stratigraphic reasons are used for this.

The Late Antiquity dates for Romuliana’s residential quarters and temples were established quite differently. They were not derived from the archaeological context of the city but via coins that had been found in the estate of Galerius’s parents close to Gamzigrad. There, too, it was not stratigraphy that settled the dates of the coins but the years listed in modern coin catalogues: “Galerius was probably born on the estate of his father in Gamzigrad. Aurelian (270-275) and Probus (276-282) coin finds from the excavated oldest building of the excavation site suggest that this villa rustica was built and used in the middle of the 3rd century. Romula probably still lived in the villa rustica” (“Galerius wurde vermutlich auf dem Landgut (villa rustica) seines Vaters in Gamzigrad geboren. Münzfunde des Aurelian (270–275) und des Probus (276–282) aus dem freigelegten ältesten Gebäude der Ausgrabungsstätte lassen den Schluss zu, dass diese villa rustica Mitte des 3. Jahrhunderts erbaut und benutzt wurde. Romula lebte wohl auch weiterhin in der villa rustica“.) (Galerius Palast 2017).

Are there more scholarly ways than citing desk-conceived catalogue dates to find the chronological position of, e.g., Aurelian (270-275)? There are no reports about the stratigraphy below the villa rustica of the parents of Galerius where his coins were found. It appears as if Imperial Antiquity (1st-3rd c.) is missing there, too. Yet, the most prominent building project of Aurelian were Rome’s majestic walls built from 270 to 275 CE. Bricks found in situ carry stamps of emperors who commissioned repairs. One of these renovators was Emperor Hadrian (117-138 CE) as evidenced by bricks with "Hadrian’s brickstamps" (“hadrianische Ziegelstempel“) (Schade 2008, 63). Nobody understands how Aurelian’s wall could have undergone repairs 150 years before it was built. Moreover, Rome’s walls are built, like those built around Felix Romuliana, in the typical Ziegeldurchschuss technology (bricks altering with natural stone) in use since Late Hellenism and the time of Augustus (31 BCE to 14 CE). The walls must therefore have been erected long before Aurelian’s coin dates and even before Hadrian’s repairs because they also contain 1st c. bricks. With Aurelian’s evidence-based date (270-275 CE=14-9 BCE) the walls were built after the civil wars that had devastated Rome from 88 BCE [Gaius Marius against Sulla] to 31 CE [Octavian’s victory against Mark Antony] (see for the parallelization of Roman emperors with border emperors, now dated some 290 years apart, Beaufort 2013; Heinsohn 2014, 38 f.).

Stamped bricks found in situ are an important dating tool. Yet, they turn into a feared Nemesis of historiography if they wreak havoc on the neat division of the Roman Empire into Antiquity (1st-3rd c) and Late Antiquity (4th-6th c.). If brick-stamps run counter to conventional dating young archaeologists are sternly reminded not to follow reason, i.e., question chronological dogma but blindly obey it: “The caveats important in the use of evidence provided by brick stamps include […] the well-attested tendency, especially during the third century A.C. and later, for bricks from earlier construction to be re-used in later building projects where, of course, the dating attested by the stamps become meaningless even if found in situ (for instance, the Aurelianic walls surrounding Rome, built between A.D. 270 and 275, contain numerous bricks stamped during the two preceding centuries which have nothing to do with the date of actual construction of the walls” (Anderson 2002).

The walls built during the peace period of Augustus in the late 1st c. BCE were meant to forestall future internecine warfare inside the empire’s capital. Galerius (305-311 CE=21-27 CE) was––like all Tetrarchs––a border emperor (details in Heinsohn 2014, 38 f.). Therefore, he respects the inviolability of Rome, where Tiberius reigns. Galerius is on record for 28 travels and military campaigns. Yet, he did not enter Rome a single time (Barnes 1982, 49-87).

Thessaloniki was the capital of Galerius. Its 4th c. architecture is no less surprising than Romuliana’s because it strongly resembles 1st c. urbanism. That splendid city had been part of the Roman Empire since 146 BCE. It soon became the capital of the province of Macedonia, and for a short time, even the supreme administrative authority for the entire Greek eastern part of the Roman Empire. The Hellenistic cityscape up to the 1st c. BCE is archaeologically well established. The same applies to Late Antiquity from the late 3rd c. CE onwards. However, the expected massive urban evidence for the 1st - 3rd c. CE, known, e.g., from the epistles of Paul the Apostle (5-67 CE), is very difficult to see. The same is true for the 6th to 10th c. for which building strata are missing entirely.

LEFT: Thessaloniki during Late Hellenism (ending in the 1st c. BCE).

RIGHT: Thessaloniki during Late Antiquity (late 3rd c. CE onwards). There is no corresponding evidence for Imperial Antiquity (1st to 3rd c. CE) [].

Partial reconstruction of Thessaloniki, the capital city of Galerius in Late Antiquity (4th-6th c. CE) with a typical 1st c. cityscape and architecture. The direct access from palace to circus follows Rome’s 1st c. CE model []

Reconstruction of Circus Maximus (Rome; 1st c. CE) with direct imperial access after which the circus of Galerius in Thessaloniki had been modelled some 300 years later in the early 4th c. CE [].

Still, during the Late Antique flowering of Felix Romuliana, but before its final downfall, there are traces of a major upheaval in the palace compound in the 5th c. CE. Investigations since 2004 show that the strong pagan presence is suddenly replaced by Christians and their churches. They dominate the area until the final devastation of the city: “The three church buildings, similar in size and ground plan, west of the palace, which were unknown until now, indicate, together with the churches built in the enclosure [of the northern district], an intensive post-palatial settlement period” (“Die westlich des Palastes drei bislang unbekannten, nach Größe und Grundriss) (DAIST 2013).

Foundation of one of the churches built, in the 5th c. CE, at Felix Romuliana [Živić 2003;]

In the stratigraphic reconstruction of the author, the massive shift toward Christianity was brought about by the plague-crisis cum Antoninian Fires in the period of Marcus Aurelius (161-180 CE) when Quadi and Asiatic (proto-Hunnic) Iazyges invade Italy.

[begin table text]
Events in Pannonia and Italy during Imperial Antiquity (2nd c.) that are duplicated in Late Antiquity (5th c.), and triplicated in the Early Middle Ages (9th c.) [sources in Pohl 2002].

Antiquity (2nd c.)
Asiatic Horse-people. >IAZYGES under BACA (Sarmato-Huns; FEW MATERIAL TRACES in Pannonia) atttack Italy-Fri-ulia (Marcus Aurelius 170s). Persecution of Christians but triumph, too. >IAZYGES ENIGMA- TICALLY DISAPPEAR FROM PANNONIA WITHOUT FUTURE MATERIAL TRACES.
Germanic partners of Asians. >IAZYGES allied with Goth-like QUADI who are settled around RAVENNA in late 2nd c. CE.

Late Antiquity (5th c.)
Asiatic Horse-people. >HUNS WITH MATERIAL TRACES in Pannonia endanger Italy-Friulia.[Iazyges briefly ‘re-born‘ under BEUCA in 460s.] >Scull-trepanation. Persecution of Christians but triumph, too. >HUNS ENIGMATICALLY DISAPPEAR FROM PANNONIA WITHOUT FUTURE MATERIAL TRACES.
Germanic partners of Asians. >HUNS are allied with GOTHS who are settled around RAVENNA in late 5th c. CE.

Early Middle Ages (9th c.)
Asiatic Horse-people. > HUNGARIANS from Pannonia (NO MATERIAL TRACES) attack Italy-Friulia. >Scull-trepanation. Persecution of Christians but triumph, too. (Bulgaria etc.). >HUNGARIANS MENTIONED BY CAROLINGIANS BUT LEAVE NO REMAINS IN EARLY MEDIEVAL PANNONIA.
Germanic partners of Asians. >Hungarians parallel with GOTHIC VIKINGS.

High Middle Ages (10th/11th c.)
Asiatic Horse-people. >HUNGARIANS of 10th c. (MATERIAL TRACES IN PANNONIA) appear to have no origins. They regard the Huns (disappeared in the 6th c.) as direct predecessors with nothing to show for 300 years in between.
Germanic partners of Asians. GOTHIC VIKINGS.
[end table text]

That fateful event is duplicated as Late Antiquity’s plague some 290 years later when Goths and Asiatic Huns invade Italy in the 5th century. It is triplicated around the 860s when Hungarians invade Italy. In all three periods, there were triumphs but also persecutions of Christians. Their massive programs of church buildings provide the lasting witness of this revolution to the majority religion some 60/70 years before the fall of the empire. Only for a few years do survivors still seek protection in the remains of walled towers.

LEFT: Reconstruction of Trier/Treves whose Roman street system was intact and maintained in the 10th c. CE [].

RIGHT: Reconstruction of Trier/Treves in 1120 CE when the Roman street grid had suddenly disappeared under soil. The ruins of the amphitheatre were used as protection for primitive huts of survivors [Lucas Clemens;].

Counting backwards from the final abandonment of Felix Romuliana in the 11th c. CE, the fall of this architecturally Roman and, by now, spiritually Christian city must have taken place in the 10th century when a major conflagration hit all of the known world (Heinsohn 2017). As strange as such a late date may sound to the educated ear, it is now confirmed for the city of Trier/Treves that, as another capital of the border emperors of the Tetrarchy, had been a sister city of Thessaloniki. Its circus was stratigraphically dated to the 2nd c. but later assigned to Late Antiquity (4th c.) to obey chronological dogma (Jürgens 2014b). Its rectangular Roman street-grid was buried under soil. The ruins of the amphitheatre (tenth largest of the Roman Empire) were used––just like some towers still standing in Felix Romuliana––as a miniature city wall for protecting the simple huts of survivors (Jürgens 2014a): “During the 10th century Trier underwent a fundamental change of its topographical structure. Its antique street system was still used and even repaired when it belonged to a province of the Carolingians [8th-10th c; GH]. Now it was replaced by new paths that––comparable to the situation in many bombed German cities in the post-war period––developed out of trails beaten between the ruins“ (“Im Verlauf des 10. Jahrhunderts änderte Trier grundlegend sein topographisches Gefüge. Das noch bis in die karolingische Provinzzeit genutzte, teilweise sogar ausgebesserte antike Straßennetz wurde im nördlichen Stadtbereich zugunsten neuer Wegeführungen aufgegeben, die – durchaus vergleichbar der Situation in vielen zerbombten deutschen Städten der Nachkriegszeit – aus ‚Trampelpfaden‘ zwischen den Ruinen entstanden waren“.) (Clemens 2014, 335).

Yet, even after passing through many waves of carpet-bombing the people in Dresden, Berlin or Hamburg never lost track of their cities’ street systems. The survivors of Trier/Treves were neither so lucky nor so many. They suffered the same fate as Rome whose antique structures remained intact up to the 10th century, too: "The eleventh century marked another turning-point in Rome's urban history. Excavations have revealed that this period is characterized, in all strata, by a significant rise in paving levels, and the consequent obliteration of many structures and ancient ruins” (Santangeli Valenzani 2013, 133; in more detail Heinsohn 2017).

Let us not forget that Thessaloniki, too, has no building strata from the 6th-10th c. CE when it undergoes fundamental administrative changes. They must have affected by the situation of the 6th c. decline, which makes sense only if this demise actually occurred in the 10th century. As at Felix Romuliana, there are only some 300 years of urban substance for the 1st millennium CE at Thessaloniki.

This allows the following summary: Even in Felix Romuliana our textbook chronology is not checked against the archaeological evidence, but rather is unconditionally believed. This figure framework is superimposed on the uncovered findings without hesitation. The resulting bizarre conclusions will only be overcome when stratigraphy and stylistics will have their say in writing history. For the city, the stratigraphy-based sequence is juxtaposed with the chronology ideas of mainstream. Felix Romuliana is neither a material proof for Late Antiquity nor its model city. It is just another example of a city of Roman culture that has been artificially divided into three periods (Imperial Antiquity, Late Antiquity, and Early Middle Ages). Actually, Roman culture of the 1st millennium CE only has some 300 years of urban substance. Stratigraphically––whatever current textbook dates––that precious hard evidence occupies the 8th-10th c. period.

[begin table text]


11th century HIGH MIDDLE AGES
Permanently abandoned. The makeshift shelters are vacated, too.
930s catastrophe until final abandonment.

EARLY MIDDEL AGES 7th//8th – early 10th century
The makeshift shelters in preserved towers have no stratigraphy for 400 years (600-1000). They merely lasted a few decades after the 930s catastrophe.
Identical with Imperial Antiquity and Late Antiquity

6th century Devastation of Felix Romuliana (including 5th/6th c. churches).
Survivors built makeshift shelters in still utilizable towers.
10th Century Collapse (930s)

3rd/4th – 6th century LATE ANTIQUITY
Since the 2nd half of the 3rd c. the model city of Late Antiquity takes off. It undergoes several “different construction and expansion phases” (DAIST 2013) that all resemble 1st-3rd c. architecture and building decor. Legio V Macedonica builds (early 4th c.) Felix Romuliana in Roman province Moesia. Radical changes occur in the 5th c. when paganism is pushed aside by Christians (attested for by many new churches).
8th-10th century Identical with Imperial Antiquity and Early Middle Ages. Christian revolution due to plague and Antonine Fires of 170s=450s=860s.

1st- 3rd century IMPERIAL ANTIQUITY
Enigmatic hiatus but no windblown layers. 1st – 3rd c. CE Fibulae are witness of a Romanized population. Yet, not a single house or latrine was found. The expected architecture would have used Ziegeldurchschuss technology. It only arrives 300 years later. Legio V Macedonica builds (early 1st c.) in Roman province Moesia but reaches Felix Romuliana only 3000 years later.
Identical with Late Antiquity and Early Middle Ages.

“Long settlement continuity from the Neolithic period over the Bronze Age and the Iron Age” (DAIST 2013)
Up to the end of the 7th c. CE
[end table text]

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Thanks for editorial help go to Clark WHELTON (New York).

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