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Top 10 Russian Archaeological Discoveries of 2019
January 14, 2020 14:21

The sanctuary of the Paleolithic era near Bryansk was included in the top 10 archaeological discoveries of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

The Institute of Archeology RAS announced the top 10 discoveries of 2019. It includes the sanctuary of the Paleolithic site of Khotylevo-2 in the vicinity of Bryansk. Since 2005, at the site of the tribes that lived here 23 thousand years ago, artifacts were found that were laid on ocher dusted ground, and sometimes were covered with fragmented bones of a mammoth.

“During the excavations of 2019, it became clear that the pits, the mammoth’s bones and special finds form an oval with a bonfire in the center. One of these unusual finds was an artifact that had never been seen before in any of the Paleolithic sites of gravette: an object with a long narrow body and an asymmetrical pommel, decorated with an ornament of sticks and oblique crosses," the Institute’s website reported.

Scientists believe that the artifact was used for ritual and magical purposes.

Khotylevo-2 is a large Upper Paleolithic site in the Bryansk region, which is usually referred to as the cultural and historical community of East Gravett. The site is located on a high cape near the Desna River near the village of Khotylevo, 25 km from Bryansk. It was discovered by the Bryansk scientist Fedor Zavernyaev in 1968.

In 1969-1981 he studied 554 m² of the monument. After a long break, work was resumed in 1993 by the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences under the leadership of Konstantin Gavrilov. Since that time, excavations continue uninterruptedly. Currently, a total of more than 700 m² of the area has been uncovered. The molar of a modern type of man from Khotylevo-2 is the oldest find of a neoanthropus in the Desna basin. During excavations, archaeologists found household items, silicon tools and ivory figurines.

Apart from the Khotylevo-2 sanctuary, the top 10 of last year of the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences included the burial of four Scythian "Amazons", finds discovered during excavations in the  Kremlin Square, Christian antiquities in Fanagoria, boyar sarcophagus near the St. George Cathedral of the St. George Monastery, and a lion figurine from Denisova cave in Siberia, the site of the alleged burial of Napoleon’s closest comrade-in-arms, French General Guden on the Royal Bastion of Smolensk, 16th-century brick outdoor furnaces on the territory of the Trinity-Sergius Lavra, a treasure of rare Byzantine coins of the X century in Taman, as well as the completion of a study of the citadel fortress Bactrian Uzundara.

Author: Anna Dorozhkina

Tags: Bryansk Smolensk Russian regions   

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