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Liozno District Executive Committee
Main / News / Region


26 August 2011

Unique archaeological finds unearthed in Vitebsk

VITEBSK, 26 August (BelTA) - Archaeologists have unearthed unique items in the territory of the ancient Zamkovy Ruchei (Castle Creek) in Vitebsk this archaeological season, BelTA learnt from the head of the center of the history of pre-industrial society of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Olga Levko. She has been in charge of the excavations in Vitebsk since 1976. In the course of archaeological monitoring over the construction of administrative buildings in this territory taht started in 2010, experts have unearthed a wooden structure at a depth of about 8 meters from the surface layer. The 2.15m x2m frame, according to preliminary estimates, was once a farm building. Inside the structure archeologists found a sword-hilt and several blades of swords. Blades were very tightly packed so archeologists hope to find something else when they clean them. Inside the building expert also discovered a cross made of ferrous metal, which can be dated to late 18th - early 19th century, and a button, according to preliminary estimates, from the military uniform of a French army man and a French coin (although in very poor condition). “These are all very preliminary data, and further studies are needed,” Olga Levko said. In the meantime, experts associate these findings with the events of 1812, considering the traces of soot on the elements of the wooden structure and in the surrounding layer, which was typical for the fire. Archeological excavations are held at the depth of up to 11 meters down from the surface layer. Rare and interesting items are found in the mixed layers. This year, for instance, archeologists have found rarely encountered insignia of the military from the end of the Russian Empire and the early period of the Soviet Union. Among other finds were an Old Russian cruciform encolpion, a wire bracelet and a ring dating back to the 12th-13th centuries. A lapel button of the Yuri infantry regiment in honor of the 100th of the military unit (1763-1863) was found in the Vitebsk downtown during the construction of a fountain. The find was discovered not far from the place where the then Vitebsk Nobility Assembly was situated. It may be assumed that one of the members of the assembly lost the insignia. Tracking his identity in the archive records will be not very difficult as there were not many veterans of the Yuri regiment in the Assembly, Olga Levko said. Archeological finds help understand what Vitebsk was like centuries and decades ago. “History has a wide spectrum, with each its milestone having its own rarities,” Olga Levko noted. The discoveries are of great value for the city. The archeological season will be summarized at a scientific conference, Vitebsk Anciestry, in October.