MEDIEVAL ROUTES IN UKRAINIAN CARPATHIANS (status and perspectives of researsh)



Historiographical analysis of existence and development of roadways in medieval
period in the Ukrainian Carpathians is carried out at the article. Changes at approaches and
techniques of solving of this issue during the period from ending of XIX century till beginning
of XXI century are shown. Priority directions for further research are determined.
At the ending of XIX – beginning of XX century historians solved this problem at the
base of the Slavic and Hungarian medieval written sources. I. Sharanevych, for example,
distinguished seven routes through the Carpathian Mountains, which joined Galician land (at
the broadest sense) with Hungary. M. Grushevs’kyi clarified localization of some places,
which were mentioned at the written sources and used during reconstruction of the routes.
In the middle of XX century scientific works, written by Polish scholars T. Lewicki and
F. Kupfer where published. They contain a detailed analysis of description of the Carpathians
at the Arabian and Jewish written sources, and analysis of findings of Arabian coins. It allowed
them to refine the information about some areas and to distinguish new segments of the routes.
A new approach for solving of the issue of localization of the routes in the Ukrainian
Carpathians was offered by M. Rozhko, who carried out archaeological research of defensive
structures in this region during many years. A lot of information about existing hill-forts was
collected and their cartography was made. On this base, the scholar concluded that powerful
defense system with a number of levels, existed in the mountains. Its tasks were protection of
the border and also protection of communications. The researcher shows the possibility of
detailed localization of routes, known from written sources, by imposing them on the map of
hill-forts of the region.
Historiographical review, presented above, shows a possibility of existence of system of
routes in Ukrainian Carpathians during middle Ages. However, the current state of research
does not allow us to clear localization. In resolving of this question, the most promising
method, probably, was proposed by M. Rozhko. Detailed mapping of synchronous
archaeological sites and comparing them with routes, known from written sources, will allow
us to determine their geographical and chronological position more precisely. It should be
noted that during mapping of sites their chronological division must be as detailed as possible.
The scientists noticed repeatedly that the same route in different periods can have a completely 

different value. It can be related to different aspects: the system of settlement, economic,
political relations, etc.
Basing on the written above, we can specify directions for further research: 1) a detailed
inventory of known sites, making of their classification according to degree of confidence; 2)
conducting of systematic archaeological survey of the region to update information about
known sites and search for new objects; 3) using of experimental methods for reconstruct and
verifying of the results.
Key words: routes, Carpathians, hillfort, treasures.

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