1. What is archeology and how do archaeological excavations take place?
Most of all secrets hide the most ancient times in the history of mankind. After all, there is too little evidence of them. Only the traces of human activity damaged by time – fragments of tools, ruins of ancient settlements, cemeteries, etc. However, such attractions are not revealed to everyone. To understand and explain them by force only to researchers who are called Archaeologists. And science, which studies the past by material historical sources, is called Archeology.
It is clear that the study of material monuments requires special knowledge. Archaeologists have developed rules for finding ancient sights and their digging. The excavation itself is preceded by archaeological exploration. First carefully study the written sources, examine the place of future search. Then they lay a test excavation – a narrow trench, which should reveal whether there are objects of human activity interesting for the archeologist in the soil. If they find something, they are preparing a large dig.
Working, archaeologists do not hurry. In order not to damage monuments of antiquity, they use mostly light shovels, knives, brushes. The whole surface of the excavation is divided into squares with a side of 10 meters. The same squares, only in centimeters, are drawn on paper. This, as well as special diaries allow you to accurately capture all the finds.
The items found are sent to the laboratory. They find out their age and purpose, collect and glue from small pieces. So the finds give a new life.
2. Where are the historical monuments and what are museums?
Items found by archeologists are kept in different museums. The museum is an institution where the sights of past times are stored from different branches of culture, art, science, technology. There are museums of historical, technical, natural science, local history, art criticism; museums dedicated to individual events, historical figures; museums of toys, books and book publishing, furniture and porcelain; museums of the same street, etc.
One of the most famous and oldest museum institutions of our state is the National Museum of Ukrainian History in the city of Kiev. It contains unique archaeological, coin collections, samples of clothes, dishes, household utensils, as well as weapons, old books, icons, paintings and products of folk artists – altogether more than 600 thousand exhibits.
All of them reflect the history of Ukraine from the most ancient times to the present.
3. How do archaeological sites tell about people’s lives?
The exhibits of the Museum of Historical Treasures of Ukraine in Kiev are of extraordinary value. Among them, perhaps the most famous is the Scythian pectoral. The Scythians are an ancient people who came to the land of Ukraine more than two and a half thousand years ago and settled for several centuries in the Northern Black Sea Coast.
The riches of the Scythian leaders are evidenced by archaeological sites discovered during the excavations of the Kurgan – the burials of the rich Scythians. Especially luxurious was the burial of the family of one of the Scythian kings in the burial mound Tolstaya Tomb in the Dnipropetrovsk region. Here on June 21, 1971 was found the golden royal decoration – pectoral. The find has glorified the name of Ukrainian archaeologist Boris Mozilevsky.
4. Archaeological finds on the site of the Berestechsky battle
Berestechsky battle is one of the largest battles of the National Liberation War under the leadership of Hetman Bogdan Khmelnitsky.
In the summer of 1970, on the site of the Berestech battle, archaeological excavations began, the results of which made it possible to recreate the picture of the retreat of the Cossack troops through the marshy river. During the excavations, the remains of the dam constructed for the retreat were built by order of Colonel Ivan Bohun. The skeletons of the dead on the crossing of the Cossacks and their horses were found, a unique collection of Cossack belongings was collected, which were preserved in peat soil and have an exact dating on June 30, 1651. Studying the skeletons of the dead soldiers, the scientists established that they all died with weapons in a fierce battle.
Among the finds are many such that have never been seen before. I was lucky to find, for example, Cossack gunpowder. The preserving properties of peat have been preserved for us by Cossack things made of wood and leather. Particularly interesting is the collection of wooden spoons. The handles of some of them are decorated with carvings. Contrary to popular belief that the Cossack allegedly held a spoon at the boot top, as a result of the excavations it turned out that he wore it on his belt in a leather case. In place of the Berestech battle, the first pair of Cossack boots of the 17th century was found in Ukraine. In subsequent years, they dug up more than 200. Many boots even retained the smell of tar, which they lubricated.