Hello from the 12th century

Third birch bark letter has been found by archaeologist, Igor Marzalyuk in Mstislavl

Third  birch bark letter has been found by archaeologist, Igor Marzalyuk in Mstislavl
By Victor Korbut

Until now, only two birch bark letters have been found in Belarus — one in Mstislavl and the second in Vitebsk. Both of these letters, rare findings indeed, were discovered by Moscow archaeologist, Leonid Alexeev. But now, a third, again discovered in Mstislavl, has been found by archaeologist, Igor Marzalyuk when several days ago, he lifted it from the bottom of the 3 metre excavation that’s being carried out at Zamkovaya Mountain.

Hello-from-the-12th-century.jpgThe scientist explained how he dealt with the tightly rolled letter. “I laid it in warm water and, when it was soaked, unfolded it. I have seen an inscription. It appears that it may be the exercises of a child. There are letters and some signs, all of them drawn 800 years before our time.”

Besides the letter, there have been a lot of other surprises at the excavation: a fragment of a golden painted Byzantium wineglass, a soldier’s leather belt, a cross-encolpion with relics, and plinth shaped bricks — everything dating back to the 12th century.

The researcher supposes that he has found the remains of a jeweller’s workshop or of a prince’s palace. “Judging by the findings, a rich man has lived here.”

The plinthiform bricks could possibly indicate the remains of a stone temple, but it is not known if there has been such a temple in ancient Mstislavl. Excavations are continuing.
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