Cumania, pp.55-74, 2016 (Non-Refreed Journal)
The present article discusses the settlement of the Avars in the Danube-Tisza Interfluve Region on the basis of the analysis of 8.039 graves. Six chronological phases were identified in the archaeological material of the Avar Period in the research area. No find horizon was recognized from the sixth century period. The growth of the Avar settlement area along the Tisza River, and also north from Kecskemét is clearly visible in the second phase (620/625–650/660), when a series of new cemeteries were opened. In this period the upper part of the Danube-Tisza Interfluve Region had a special historic importance as the residence of the Khagan was located there. The distinctive role and the privileged position of the communities residing here can be demonstrated until the end of the Avar Age. Though the material culture of the Avars in the third chronological phase (650/660-670/675) resembles the features of the Early Avar Period, the beginning of a slow transformation is observable, especially in the fashion of jewelry. The changes became explicit in the fourth phase (670/675-700/710), by that time the material culture of the Early Avar Period disappeared. The Avar settlement area spread to the whole territory of the Danube-Tisza Interfluve Region in the fifth phase (710/720-730/750), when smaller communities appeared in the south eastern, before that time uninhabited parts of the region. In the sixth chronological phase (730/750-826) new cemeteries were opened in the northwestern part of the region, containing graves with weapons, besides, significant Byzantine find concentration appears in the area of Szeged-Szabadka/Subotica–Topolya/Bačka Topola, as well as southern borderland of the Bácska Region. Obviously, the chronological phases defined by the present paper must be interpreted as a flexible framework, which might be modified by the further analysis of the find material, discovery of new finds, and the study of Avar settlement patterns.