The group of scientists from Vilnius University, supervised by prof. Albinas Kuncevičius, on the first of April, 2011, started implementing the project under the title The Beginning of the State of Lithuania according to the Data of Dubingiai Micro-region. The project is funded by the European Union Funds according to the programme for the development of human resources (started in 2007, will end 2013), priority 3 Enchantment of researchers’ skills VP1.3.1-ŠMM-07-K, according to the measure Maintaining scientific research (global grant) project No VP1-3.1-ŠMM-07-K-01-037.
The aim of the research is to analyze the formation process of the state of Lithuania, as a political and territorial unit, invoking the example of Dubingiai micro-region and the data from natural sciences, history and archaeology from the 1st to 15th centuries. The process of the establishment of the state of Lithuania and feudal society formation was a unique case in the medieval Europe, as it became a crossroad to the eastern and western Christian cultures; the Islamic influence is also felt, and still, the Lithuanian society was pagan until the very end of the 16th century. The research of the micro-region, which is close to Vilnius – the historic capital, exhibits how the Baltic society, which was pagan and tribal, transformed into the territorial – administrational unit. It is obvious that during centuries the society had to outlive many changes, which are recognisable while researching old living and burial places. Thus, the established scientific goals are these:
1. To theoretically justify the definitions of geographical space in the micro-regional concept, to adjust methodology of micro-regional research.
2. To collect, analyze and systemize the scientific information about the situation of the period researched, to diagnose its evolutional process, which would be chronologically reasonable.
3. To execute research and comparative analysis of the monuments in the micro-region, society social structure as well as organisation;
4. To compile models on social organization of separate micro-region, as well as cultural multilayered evolutional models.
The scientific research is being carried out by six scientists: prof. dr. Albinas Kuncevičius (the supervisor of scientific research), prof. dr. Rimantas Jankauskas, doc. dr. Rimvydas Laužikas, Renaldas Augustinavičius, Ramūnas Šmigelskas and Indrė Rutkauskaitė.
The scientific project will be carried out within four years. In summer of 2011 the ground around the old Dubingiai churches was excavated. Yet, the scientists continue working with historical documents and old maps till present. Their goal is to reconstruct the history of Dubingiai living-places as well as its evolution; it is important to know how the Dubingiai parish and the duchy of Radvila developed. The specific feature of the scientific project is the application of innovative technologies. The archive data is being connected to the geographical coordinates, after that it is processed with special GIS computer programmes. Furthermore, the non-interventional computer technologies are applied to the research of burial monuments and mounds.
The methodology chosen is superior to the traditional one, as the older excavation methods cause discomfiture of heritage, they are not efficient, expensive and the knowledge extracted is never sufficient. The project The Beginning of the State of Lithuania according to the Data of Dubingiai Micro-region aims at applying new, modern methods, which would not destroy archaeological heritage, would allow collecting more scientific data saving money and time.
This scientific research is a fundamental one that is why the awaited result is knowledge, which will be shared with the academic and general public as well as for the international audience. The results of the research will be delivered in monograph, scientific articles, and presentations in national and international conferences. What is more, during the research the methodology of the interdisciplinary, micro-regional research in the domain of the last prehistoric era – early Middle Ages, and the three-dimensional analytic model will be established, and will be appropriate for the application of other micro-regional research.