On the territory of St. Sophia found an ancient seal of the official of the Byzantine Emperor (photo)

На территории Софии Киевской нашли древнюю печать чиновника византийского императора (фото)

Thursday, September 19, in the National reserve “Sophia” exhibition of archaeological findings on site during the field season this year. The most valuable of artifacts, lead seal late eleventh early twelfth centuries, scientists have discovered a couple of weeks ago in 27 metres from Saint Sophia Cathedral. The print is clean, so that it became possible to read the inscriptions on its surface. It follows from the text that the seal belonged to vestiario Basil. Bestiary is the official Byzantine Emperor who was responsible for the wardrobe and the special Treasury of the suzerain. .

The print was probably attached to the official letter, which he sent to Kievan Rus’, says the archaeologist Vladimir Savitsky. — This seal found at the site are extremely rare and valuable object — the remnants of a stone building, which, according to our estimates, was built in the late XII early XIII centuries. About its existence, scientists were not even aware, because information about the building is not in any of the extant historical sources.

Have discovered the ruins by accident: builders laid the cables and we were archaeological supervision of their work. Opposite the Cathedral, they stumbled upon something made of stone. It turned out to be the remains of the ancient building. Find, without exaggeration, of national importance, because Kyiv in princely times were mostly made of wood. So the detection of even the Foundation of the walls of stone buildings from that era is a priceless gift of Fortune. Not every archaeologist is fortunate enough to participate in studies of this kind of ancient object.

На территории Софии Киевской нашли древнюю печать чиновника византийского императора (фото)

So far, we have unearthed only a small part of the stone structure, so I can’t say what it was and why it was used. But it is already clear: anything like this before archeologists found the building unique. Somehow it is connected with St. Sophia Cathedral.

Interestingly, some of the bricks (the bricks), of which this place was built, there is a print made them masters — princely sign two-pronged, Cyrillic alphabet letters, five-pointed star.

I should say that we found earlier cultural layer of the end XI-beginning of XII century. It and found a lead stamp of vestiaria. In this layer also found a large number of fragments of frescoes of St. Sophia Cathedral. Probably, in the repair of the temple or otherwise a part of the frescoes crumbled. They were carried out of the Cathedral and laid down near him. We have already collected five boxes of fragments of frescoes. And that’s not all. Excavations continue. Then restorers will be able to build out of fragments of a previously unknown fresco of the composition of the XI century. Let me remind you that a significant part of the fresco in the St. Sophia Cathedral survived.

На территории Софии Киевской нашли древнюю печать чиновника византийского императора (фото)

We also found smalt and preparations for its production. Of the glazes on the walls is laid out mosaics that can be seen on the walls of the Cathedral. Did smalt glass using a variety of natural dyes.

But that’s not all. During the excavations we also found the wreckage of the building materials from which were made the ceiling of the galleries of St. Sophia Cathedral.

На территории Софии Киевской нашли древнюю печать чиновника византийского императора (фото)

— How they got there?

— During the reign of Hetman Ivan Mazepa (end of XVII beginning of XVIII century) of St. Sophia Cathedral was partially rebuilt: removed the ceiling of the gallery and built on the second floor. When removing the old slab-formed debris — plinfa, soloniki (mounted in the walls of ceramic vessels), fragments of frescoes…

By the way, there is reason to believe that during the time of Hetman Mazepa remains of buildings of the end of the XII beginning of the XIII century, excavations of which we are now, some were on the surface. We found them near the tiny silver coin of Tsar Peter I, who was a contemporary of the famous Hetman. The coin is shaped like fish scales. This finding can be called the second value after the lead seal of vestiaria Basil.

By the way, to the same time period as the stamp refers, we found a small but heavy piece of lead with hole in the middle. It could be part of the melee weapons — bludgeon. One or more of these Swinton strung on cord or worn on the arm and turned the bludgeon. In a fight or in battle such weapons inflicted blows to the head, face and other parts of the body.

На территории Софии Киевской нашли древнюю печать чиновника византийского императора (фото)

Read also: In Egypt, the pyramid of Djoser found “the path to the afterlife”

— I know that on the territory of St. Sophia Cathedral undergoing renovation near the South gate. Are there any findings?

Yeah, the detected objects from different eras: how princely times, and the XVII, XVIII centuries. Some of them were presented on this show: ceramic mug, Cossack cradle, tools… the Exhibition is dedicated to the X International scientific and practical conference “Sofistik citanna”, which opened on September 19.

On the island of Khortytsya archaeologist on a walk with his son accidentally discovered an ancient structure, which archaeologists estimate four to five thousand years.

Photo by Sergei TUSHINO, “FACTS”

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