By Tatiana Ponomareva
Numerous sensational artefacts from the New Stone Age have been found in Mogilev’s Sozh River area during archaeological digs near Lake Chernoe. The dig was conducted by students from the Mogilev University’s History Department under the leadership of Alexander Kolosov, who has a PhD in historical sciences. The associate professor of the Department of Archaeology and Special Historical Sciences discovered the settlement back in 2008.
“We’ve found fragments from a New Stone Age pot, covered with black sand and small pieces of coal,” explains the dig manager. “These might be from an ancient fireplace, showing that the dish was used to cook food. Next to it, we discovered flint tools. Apparently, our remote forefathers from the New Stone Age were making household appliances, cleaning animals procured during hunting close to their fireplace. These are very rare finds for Eastern Belarus. After final examination of the pot fragments, we’ll begin reconstruction. This will allow us to find the original appearance of the tableware of these first ‘potters’, revealing how they were made and defining the precise age of the ancient settlement. We’ll radiocarbon date the earth which covered the pot, which should give us an exact calendar date for the first time; finally, we’ll be able to speak more confidently about when the craft of pottery began in the Upper Dnieper and Sozh River regions.”
Arrowheads have also been unearthed. “We’ll be able to say where the hunting and gathering culture in this region began. Were these traditions imported from somewhere or were they locally-born? If the latter is true, we are speaking of a new, presently unknown, archaeological culture,” Mr. Kolosov emphasises with joy.