Trace of Cossack sabre

In Pinsk’s Belov Street, archaeologists Piotr Lysenko and Natalia Dubitskaya have found the remains of a 15th-16th century church and a synagogue from the 17th century

By Olga Potvorova

In Pinsk’s Belov Street, archaeologists Piotr Lysenko and Natalia Dubitskaya have found the remains of a 15th-16th century church and a synagogue from the 17th century

Site-of-the-find.pngBelov Street leads from the city centre to the river Pina. The foundations of the Orthodox Church were found near the fencing of the former Jesuitical collegium. It was a wooden construction. Scientists found the corner of the blockhouse and at once sent it for tree-ring analysis. Examination showed: it was wood from the 16th century. At a depth of 2.5 metres, scientists found duckboards of the Church of St. Simeon. Natalia Dubitskaya, comparing the find with well-known facts of the past, asserts that the church was destroyed, together with another two more churches, in the middle of 17th century, during construction of the Jesuit Collegium.

Possibly, this event is somehow connected with the offensive of Catholicism against Orthodoxy at that time, which in general was a troubled time for Pinsk. In 1648, Dubitskaya refers to written sources that the city was burnt down by a punitive expedition of the hetman of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, Janusz Radziwiłł: 5,000 homesteads were burnt down and about 14,000 inhabitants died. The reason — Pinsk residents supported the Ukrainian hetman, Bohdan Khmelnytsky who protected the interests of the Orthodoxy of Belarus and Ukraine. Since then, archaeologists assume that the Cossack sabre appeared on our territory. It was picked up during examination of the foundations of a synagogue which was the largest stone Judaic church in Belarus. This monument of architecture was destroyed in 1960 and in 1970 a recreation centre was constructed on its place.

Structures of the ancient city were found thanks to the regional Dazhynki which will be held in Pinsk. The improvement of the territory is being carried out, while archaeologists from the Institute of History of the NAS were invited to observe the laying of new utility lines in the historical centre, as is required by law.
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