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Unique open-air archaeological museum to be set up on Zamkovaya Mountain in Mstislavl

Amazing exhibition to take place in duke’s tower

Unique open-air archaeological museum to be set up on Zamkovaya Mountain in Mstislavl

New archaeological museum to appear on this site

The new museum will be built on the site of the archaeological excavations begun last year. Work on the museum project will start once the archaeological works are completed this spring. The centre will be based around the uncovered remains of the ancient settlement of Mstislavl where the streets were paved with wood. The remains of various buildings will be on view covering more than 120 square metres. Professor and Doctor of History, Igor Marzalyuk, who heads the Archaeology and Special Historical Disciplines Department at the Mogilev State University described how a group of restorers will be working to conserve the wooden structures and streets by coating them with special synthetic substances to preserve them for decades to come.

The archaeological site will be covered by a wooden structure, which will simulate the Duke’s Tower, to protect it from the weather. Inside there will be an exhibition dedicated to the life of the ancient Slavic inhabitants of the city. It will feature the archaeological findings unearthed during the excavations: items made of metal, glass, wood, clay, bone, fabrics and jewellery, alongside tableware and many other items. Mr Marzalyuk explained, “We have enough rare artefacts found during the excavations last year to fill the exhibition. We have collections of finds dating back to different centuries, which will allow us to see how the East Slavs lived in the 10th-17th centuries: from diet to education to weapons. For example, we have unearthed a 12th century birch bark manuscript (the third to be found in Belarus), which testifies to the level of education of our ancestors; a child has scratched a message on it. In addition, rich decorations from Byzantine, Syria, Caucasus and elsewhere are good evidence of the wealth of the residents of ancient Mstislavl.”

The rare discoveries also include a spindle whorl with an inscription in Cyrillic, a leather warrior’s belt, a Byzantine gold wine cup, a big Byzantine crystal bead and a cross-shaped pendant, as well as the remains of weapons, clothes and household items. “We’re confident that this collection will continue to expand with the archaeological finds we expect to unearth this year. The exhibition and museum are planned to be open by the knights’ fest due in late July this year.” concluded Mr. Marzalyuk.

By Mikhail Svetlov
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