The Kulikovo field mystery – the lack of burial grounds – has generated many incredible hypotheses: starting with denial of the very fact of this historical battle and ending with suggestion that the battle took place near the walls of Moscow Kremlin. Recent survey by means of a ground-penetrating radar, as well as reconnaissance archeological diggings of the discovered underground heterogeneity, reveals a new approach to the problem.
The ground-penetrating radar survey of the site of the 1380’s famous battle was performed by the joint think-tank from the Foundation of Underwater Archeological Research, the Institute for Earth’s Magnetism, Ionosphere and Radio-Wave Propagation (IEMIRP), the All-Russian Science and Research Institute of Mechanical Hand Tools (ASRIMHT) and the State Reserve Museum “The Kulikovo Field”.
Scientists made several failure attempts to use geo-radars for burial grounds search on the Kulikovo field. Five years ago designers from IEMIRP and ASRIMHT developed a new generation of devices for underground sounding – geo-radar “LOZA”, which allowed scientists to expect success from the next search. Eastern part of the Kulikovo field was used for agricultural needs till spring 2006, thus scientists were unable to perform any surveys. Nowadays the mentioned part of the field belongs to the museum and is no more in agricultural use. The profiling of the territory helped to reveal six objects, located from the west to the east direction with the interval of 100-120 m.
The researchers suggest the objects, discovered by means of the “LOZA” geo-radar, to be the burial grounds of people killed in the Kulikovo battle. Bodies of the deceased were buried in the shallow graves – as deep as the black soil layer was, which is now undoubtedly clear because this layer is followed by dense continent clay, which is difficult to dig with a wooden shovel with a metal edge common for those times. Black soil, which is very chemically active compared to other soils, has decomposed all body parts including bones, which were not protected by the waterproof clay, with the help of precipitation.
This hypothesis needed to be proved – thus archeologists have asked medical assessors for help. Medical experts have performed the analysis of soil samples, collected from the underground object of the Kulikovo field, detected during the geo-radar survey. They came to the following conclusion: the underground object contained ashes, similar to those, found in the burial grounds with fully decomposed flesh and bones. Infrared spectrophotometery showed credible differences between soil samples of the object and control soil samples, collected outside the object site. Medics claim identifying of the ashes (whether they have belonged to human beings or animals), as well as finding out the time of burial and correspondence to the battle of 1380, is impossible. Data correction and detailed studies will be possible only after discovery of bone material, fragments of which are usually found together with ashes.
The studies, performed by the scientists, allowed making the conclusion that the discovered objects are burial grounds, containing ashes, which were almost totally decomposed by the soil activity and precipitation, making their identification impossible. Shallow burial – less than 1 meter – speaks against possible cattle mortuary. However, the hypothesis needs further studies – planned archeological diggings with compulsory physical and chemical soil analysis.