Moscow — Smolensk
August 20—24, 2012


From Landscape Archaeology to Archaeotourism


Ex-0: August 20, State Historical Museum. Guided excursion over the exposition on Early Russian history (Varangian times), demonstration of archaeological finds from the Smolensk-Gnezdovo site.

Ex-1: August 22, Smolensk city tour with English-speaking guide.

Ex-2: August 23 morning, Gnezdovo archaeological site (54.7787 N, 31.8713 E). The Viking Age scandinavian/slavish settlement active in late 9th — early 11th century is known as one of the largest archaeological sites of the period of State formation in Eastern Europe. It was a river port on the Early Medieval trade route "from the Varyangians to the Greeks" linking the Barbarian peoples of Northern Europe (Scandinavians, Slavs) with the Byzantine Empire. Ancient settlement and mound burials (Europe's largest mound location — 3000 mounds divided in seven groups) were located on the Dnieper River Late Pleistocene terrace and Holocene floodplain. The Dnieper River valley is interesting by its probable blocking by the Late Valdai (Late Vistulian) ice sheet in the vicinity of the site during LGM, which raised the popular hypothesis of glacial dammed lake formation that overflowed into the Caspian Sea causing its Hvalynian transgression. At the archaeological site unusual floodplain topography was produced by powerful flood events at 2.5 ka BP. Main issues under discussion: the site overview and project of an open-air archaeological museum; examination of fresh archaeological trenches, spatial organization of the ancient settlement and problem of harbor location; the Dnieper River history since LGM, geomorphological, sedimentological, pedological evidences of the river Holocene palaeohydrology and channel dynamics and their influence on human occupation.

Ex-3: August 23 afternoon, bus excursion to the Katyn memorial complex dedicated to Polish officers massacre (1940) and victims of the Soviet Great Purges of the 1930's.

Ex-4a: August 24 full day, remote field trip (2.5 hrs one way) to the Serteyka River archaeological site (Western Dvina River basin) including archaeological monuments from 9th millennium B.C. to A.D. 1st millennium (55.6402 N, 31.5342 E). Visiting Neolithic sites, pileworks of the Bronze Age, Iron Age settlements, discussing their geomorphic position and environmental history, economical strategies. Overview of post-glacial landscape evolution (ice-covered area during LGM), geological history of lake depressions in the valley bottom and the Holocene lake history. Demonstrating techniques and results of underwater archaeological surveying of Neolithic sites.

Ex-4b: August 24 morning to afternoon, bus excursions over cultural places in the Smolensk city and suburbs: Talashkino historical and art preserve, a notable cultural center in 1890th-1910th (artists N.Roerich, M.Vrubel', A.Benois, M.Nesterov, KKorovin, I.Repin; sculptor P.Trubetskoi; composers A.Andreev and I.Stravinsky); museum of the sculptor S.Konenkov.


In field trips (Ex-2, 4a) maximum walking distance will be 3 km, one may require water resistant covered shoes and waterproof jacket. No special equipment and physical abilities will be required at other excursions.

Хостинг от uCoz