26 thousand years ago

In Yurovichi, on the place of a primitive men site a unique museum complex will be built
In Yurovichi, on the place of a primitive men site a unique museum complex will be built.

It seems that time stopped here and is not in a hurry for routine. Wild nature. Landscapes with pre-historic grandeur. Silence, giving birth to illusion of complete absence of sounds… You don’t have to possess rich fantasy to imagine how ancient hunters saw these places. Yurovichi. A high bank of Pripyat. A famous digging on the mountain, where archeologists discovered the most ancient site of primitive men in Belarus. So, welcome to higher paleolith! 

…In the end of the XIXth century local inhabitants knew that this was a funny mountain. People found here giant bones or suspiciously sharp stones of weird forms. An expedition of 1929 set the record straight: archeologists of the Academy of science of BSSR dug out a site at the age of more than 26000 years. The next expeditions found remains of 20 mammoths, a wild horse and a primeval bull on the slope of a dene. Nearby an ancient roundish dwelling site (consisting of bones, coats and massive stones in its basement) segmented blades were discovered, as well as cutters, gravettians, scrapers, cores and a 13-centimeter long dagger made of silicium. There were no doubts: a primeval ancestral community lived here — 15–20 relatives of one mother. 

— These were Cro-Magnon men — “new people” of contemporary appearance, but bigger and stronger, born hunters. Their take matched them: mammoths reached 4 meters high and their weight amounted to 2 tons. Apart from them, there were herds of reindeer, herds of wild horses and woolly rhinoceroses, bulls and wolves in the prairie of a periglacial zone, — said the employees of Kalinkovichi regional museum. — However, fire smoke haven’t curled over Yurovichi site for long. Approximately 18–16 thousand years ago it became intolerably cold: the last Valdai glacier moved further to the south and blocked the whole Belarusian Poozerje with a giant shield two-kilometer high. People went away from here for long millennia.

A hill near the river, dug throughout by archeologists, still surprises and tempts Big Science. In summer of 2006 the expedition of the Institute of History of the Academy of Science of Belarus headed by Elena Kalechits stumbled upon two mammoth skulls with amazing tusks! One of them preserved excellently: the finding became a sensation of the republican scale — a skull of a woolly elephant in such an ideal state hasn’t been found for a long time… The President’s assistant, a chief inspector in and for Vitebsk region Viktor Pilipets prompted an idea: it is necessary to make a museum under the open sky and to include a tourist object into the Golden ring of Gomel area.

— This year in Gomel a project of the museum with a pavilion and an arbor was worked out and approved by the Ministry of Culture. This will be a unique object for the republic: any person will be able to plunge into the world of primeval people, — Dmitry Gaykevich says, the director of capital construction administration of Kalinkovichi district.

…Within a few kilometers from the site a local entrepreneur began construction of the first neolithic resort in Belarus with figures of primeval hunters, animals and design solutions a la “How do you do, stone age”. In a year the first tourists are awaited here from Ukraine, Russia and Lithuania. Demand is outgrowing supply. 

Vladimir Matiushin
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