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Destinations, Dreams and Dogs - International adventure with a fast-track family (& dogs) of Old World values, adopting the Russian-Italian-American good life on the go…!

Very Interesting Veliky Novgorod Finds

JPNOVGOROD-1-articleLargeA friend sent me the New York Times article sharing some interesting news from Veliky Novgorod. At first, my mind traveled the snow-covered path to Nizhniy Novgorod, which I’ve written about before (http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/love-that-lasts/, http://www.destinationsdreamsanddogs.com/russian-adoption-delays-and-detours/). It was here my plane was diverted once for six long hours on Valentine’s Day afernoon as I tried my NOVGOROD-master675-v3hardest to return to Moscow and kind strangers had mercy on me.

Nonetheless, the two cities are about 12 hours by car from each other. Veliky Novgorod (Great Newtown) is closer to St. Petersburg, bb200south of it on the way to Tver and Moscow, while Nizhniy Novgorod (Lower Newtown) is the fifth largest city in Russia, east of Moscow and Vladimir. Veliky Novgorod holds our attention today.

Over the summer, archaeological excavations revealed dozens of medieval birch-bark documents perfectly preserved in the cold mud of Veliky Novgorod. Written in Old Novgorod language, the bb199birch scrolls contain writings and drawings by children and adults and now number over 1,000. Deputy Director of the Russian Academy of Sciences Institute of Archaeology, Pyotr Gaidukov, likens the city to Italy’s Pompeii in terms of the richness of the finds. They include coins, official seals, kitchenware, jewelry and clothing preserved on top of a sublayer of hard clay and once log-covered roads, now covered in mud.

Founded in the mid-800s, Veliky Novgorod boasts of many firsts: a leading city of Kievan Rus and becoming the Russian capital in the 15th century long before Moscow gained ascendancy, the place where the ruble was introduced, and public education started by Novgorod prince, Yaroslav the Wise, in 1030. Women were also encouraged throughout the city’s history to participate in business and public life.

I’m liking this place. Maybe my plane could be diverted here one day.

To read more about Sergei Yazikov and this past summer’s dig:




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2 Comments : Leave a Reply

  1. avatar abby says:

    Fascinating article, Alexandra! Any idea if you, your son, or husband would ever get to excavate in Russia?

    • avatar admin says:

      Volunteer opportunities exist worldwide, Abby. There are some in Kazakhstan or Mongolia that welcome Russian speakers. Probably as our son progresses in the field, as a dual citizen he may have possibilities in Russia as a dual citizen. Kinda exciting, thanks for asking!

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