The key questions:
- What was the cause of the rapid depopulation in the region in 5th and 6th century? Did external political factors trigger processes which led to this major demographic transition? Or was it the drive to take over attractive regions of southern and western Europe?
- How did these phenomena evolve over space and time? New source evidence from fieldwork, evidence from older investigations verified using the modern research apparatus, should help in refining the chronology, attribution to a specific culture-historical context, e.g. integrating this evidence with information in the written sources.
- To what extent and for how long was the area uninhabited? Is our present understanding the result of an unsatisfactory status of research, imperfect recording of archaeological finds hidden in the topsoil? Did pockets of earlier population, carriers of the late antique tradition. survive and if so, in what areas? This last question may be elucidated best by palaeobotanical studies.