2008/03/06

Underwater excavations in Novgorod.

The Novgorodian Divers Federation and The Novgorodian Society of Amateurs of Antiquity have been running archaeological excavations at the bottom of river Volkhov for some years already. They have found some thousands of various artefacts of XII-XVII centuries. In the end of February, the new annual expedition began and in the first days of March three articles about the new finds appeared one after the other in Russian media.

On 1 March, the archaeologists found a XV century town stamp. The stamp featured the image of a bird and the inscription "Орел" (Eagle). It belonged to the Council of the Lords, the ancient Novgorod administration. It was the thirteenth town stamp found in the city.

Then, a cannonball was found. It weighed about 6 pounds. It was the standard weight of Russian cannonballs in XVII century. Probably, it fell into the river during the siege of Novgorod by the Swedish army in 1611 or 1615.

And, finally, on 4 March it was reported that two metal arrowheads were found. It's not clear why, but arrowheads are an unusual find in Volkhov. These are the first arrowheads found at the bottom of the river during the 2005-2008 expeditions.

The goal of this year's expedition is to find the earliest remains of the so called "Great bridge" and to establish where it was located in XI-XII centuries. The bridge connected the districts of Novgorod situated on the opposite banks of Volkhov.

2 comments:

Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

That is cool!

Wouldn't metal arrowheads be considered modern?

Kyle

Dmitri Minaev said...

I don't think so. Iron was known in Russia for quite a long time. In southern Russia, iron arrowheads were found dated by mid-II millennium BCE. Scythians in VII-II centuries BCE used iron to make knives, arrowheads, spearheads and even swords. Further to the North, along river Oka the Iron Age began in ca. VIII-VII centuries BCE.

Of course, in the II millennium BCE the iron was too expensive to make easily lost arrowheads. I am not sure about the dates, but in VI-VIII centuries CE iron arrowheads were already in wide use among Slavs.