Researchers explore historical facts

Archaeologists find remains of ancient Viking settlement in Vitebsk region

By Darya Levitina



Olga Levko, Doctor of Historical Sciences, who heads the Pre-Industrial History Centre at Belarus’ NAS History Institute, tells us that fragments of weapons and household utensils have been unearthed during digs. These prove that Vikings lived permanently on Belarusian territory rather than being transient. The most precious finds include non-ferrous metal bullions, a silver scabbard head and a casting mould for the belt head of Viking guards. Moreover, archaeologists have discovered the burial place of a Viking guard, with his armour and horse. “The last discovery is very important to us,” notes Ms. Levko. “It proves that Vikings lived on our territory.”

Ms. Levko stresses that almost no research has been achieved in Belarus dedicated to the Vikings but, soon, scientists plan to investigate, determining how the Vikings lived on Belarusian territory. It’s already known that their settlements were small and were located near those of local residents.

The Vikings were early medieval Scandinavian sailors who raided along the coast from Vinland to Bjarmia and from the Caspian Sea region to North Africa, in the 8th-11th century. There were primarily peasants of Dutch, Norwegian and Swedish origin, who travelled beyond the borders of their native lands in search of profit.

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