12.09.2014 change 12.09.2014

Opole archaeologists returned from Russia

One of the oldest economic centres in medieval Rus\' in the region of Novgorod in western Russia was the subject of research carried out together with Russian partners by students from the Department of Archaeology, Institute of History at the University of Opole.

Poles joined the archaeological expedition on the archaeological site in Staraya Russa, headed by Elena Vladimirowna Toropova and the research team from Yaroslav the Wise State University of Novgorod. Staraya Russa, until the 16th century also known as "Rusa", was the largest medieval centre of trade and business in the southern region of Lake Ilmen.

"Archaeological research conducted in the historic centre of the city, in the trench, where the depth of cultural layers reached about 6 m. Archaeological monuments acquired in the course of research from the Novgorod land represent a unique source of knowledge about the region\'s past" - told PAP Dr. Magdalena Przysiężna - Pizarska, head of the Polish group.

Students of the Institute of History, University of Opole, worked in mixed groups with Russian students from Novgorod and Smolensk. During excavations they uncovered many ceramic and wooded objects made in the Middle Ages. They also found everyday objects made of bone, including a comb, knife handles, and fabrics: felt, wool and silk. Among the metal objects, coins were the largest group.

"For many students this was a unique opportunity to see incredibly well preserved fragments of objects made of leather, including hand-sewn, openwork, cut footwear. Unusual event was the discovery of silver objects: a beautifully decorated ring and silver framing, probably of a box, which housed an icon" - said Dr. Przysiężna - Pizarska.

This year, between 14 and 28 July, the archaeologists reached the layers from the 14th, 15th and 19th centuries. Scientists are hoping that next season they will explore the layers formed in the 11th century, thus shedding light on the origins of this important urban centre.

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