Stone giant ‘brought’ by ice glacier

Stone weighing 97 tonnes, found during road works near Mozyr, could be oldest in country

By Andrey Novikov

A geological wonder has been discovered near the village of Drozdy, as subsoil was removed during road works. At first, the stone sticking out from the earth didn’t appear particularly special and certainly wasn’t impressive in its size. However, it was buried to a depth of 4m, requiring 15 powerful machines to unearth it, including a crane with a 500 tonne lifting capacity and a platform able to transport 120 tonnes. The procedure to lift and transport the boulder was the first of its kind in our country.

Recently, the boulder was installed in Mozyr’s Yunost Boulevard. Meanwhile, the District Executive Committee is yet to decide exactly how to present the final monument. It may become the centrepiece of a rock garden, bearing key dates from the history of the district.

Where did the boulder come from? Local historians believe that it arrived around 15,000 years ago. However, the Scandinavian glacier rock is considerably older, as Mozyr was only its final destination. Strangely, the stone was found not on the flat left bank of the River Pripyat, but on the hilly right bank, some 4km above the river bed.

Valery Vinokurov, a leading engineer with the Belarusian Scientific Research Geological Institute, tells us, “Size? Form? Colour? Of course, more detailed investigations are needed for a definite answer. Relying on the preliminary description, we can say that the stone was brought by the ‘Dnieper’ ice glacier 320-350 thousand years ago. It’s likely to be of Scandinavian origin or hails from near the current Baltic Sea. It has travelled perhaps 1,500km, being polished along the way. Undoubtedly, it is a unique find.”

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