The shifting contours of this debate have often reflected not only academic interest, but political ones. Today we discuss the very controversial topic of the Bulgarian origins.
A map of Europe in 650, just before the Proto-Bulgarians entered the territory of modern Bulgaria
A map showing the extent of the steppe lands
A map showing the major rivers of Bulgaria
You can also find a Bulgarian TV documentary with English subtitles here. It makes some claims I'd like to see more evidence for (like that Bulgarians came from ancient Bactria and that 10,000 Macedonian soldiers married locals there and that therefore the Proto-Bulgarians were simply returning to reclaim their lands). To be clear, there is some genetic evidence of Macedonians having settled in some isolated valley communities in this region, but this seems a stretch.