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The Australian National University

Ms Sylvia Marshall

Position: PhD Candidate in Archaeology

School or Centre:

School of Archaeology & Anthropology


Thesis title: Magyar Origins: a case study in the history of archaeological thought on ethnogenesis
My field of research is Hungarian archaeology and the history of archaeological thought on the ethnogenesis of ancient Hungarian peoples.

My doctoral research seeks to understand the process by which the view was developed that the ancient Magyars originated as nomadic pastoralists in the Uralian steppes region c.3000-8000BC and migrated over a specific path before settling in the Carpathian basin c.896AD.

It will examine the work of Hungarian scholars in two key periods - 1848-68 and 1920-40 - but will also range more widely from the 17 th to the mid-20 th centuries. I am particularly interested in the work of scholars associated with the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and its various associations in the key periods; and how the periods in which they operated affected the work of those scholars and the interpretations they made of the archaeological material they found.

The research for my thesis is focussed on the archaeological evidence provided to support the ‘Uralian ethnogenesis' view and how that evidence was recorded and reported. I am looking to answer two key questions:

•  How did archaeologists demonstrate ethnogenesis of a people who are believed to have migrated over a long distance during several millennia? and

•  To what extent has debate about this idea been shaped by its origin in comparative linguistics?

Updated: 10 July 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head of School / Page Contact:  Web Publisher