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This book brings together articles based on papers given at the 'Scandinavia and the Balkans: Cultural Interactions with Byzantium and Eastern Europe in the First Millennium' conference, held on 25 and 26 September 2012 at the New Bulgarian University, Sofia. The conference was designed to pave the way for studies on the connections between the Balkans and Scandinavia to develop within a broader context, to promote the successes of the researchers who have dedicated their efforts to this scholarly field, and to articulate the importance of this topic to scholarly investigations, education and society. The topic of this book is one that has rarely been discussed in academic studies, while it is almost unknown in social and cultural contexts. While it may seem to deal with a rather narrow historical frame, remote from today's reality - the relationship between two distant geographical and cultural areas in the past - in fact, the focus, or rather multiple foci on this topic offered here explore a number of aspects of the transition from Antiquity to the Middle Ages in the Balkans and Scandinavia.
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Oksana Minaeva is Associate Professor at the New Bulgarian University in Sofia. Her publications include the book From Paganism to Christianity: Formation of Medieval Bulgarian Art (681-972). Lena Holmquist is Associate Professor at Stockholm University, where she is enrolled in the teaching, research and excavating activities of the Archaeological Research Laboratory. Her books Aspects on Birka: Investigations and Surveys 1976-1989 and The Oriental Mounts from Birka's Garrison: An Expression of Warrior Rank and Status contribute to the knowledge on the Viking cultural milieu.
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