Category Archives: UKRAINE

A cave complex with hieroglyphs and Varangian symbols discovered in center of Ukraine

A cave complex with hieroglyphs and Varangian symbols discovered in center of Ukraine

An ancient cave complex thought to date from Kievan Rus’ has been discovered in central Kyiv at Voznesensky Uzvoz.

Dmytro Perov, a conservationist at Kyiv’s Center for Urban Development, told Radio Kultura that the caves were discovered next to a demolished house that Kyiv housing authorities had deemed unsafe for habitation.

Actually, Dmytro Perov followed his grandmother’s clues.  Perov’s grandmother used to talk about a large stone house next to an old cave, but no one knew its location of it.

According to Perov, who had previously examined the area several times, only the front facia of the house remained, concealed by bushes.

The conservationist told reporters that he and his friends decided to go to the old house “on a small expedition to look for caves,” and they discovered an entrance.

The first archaeological explorations in the Voznesensky Caves were carried out by Perov and a group of researchers from the Institute of Archaeology last Saturday.

Timur Bobrovskyi, an archaeology professor at the Sofia Kyivska reserve, said he was “amazed that such a treasure was found in the center of Kyiv” after spending three hours exploring the cave.

A unique discovery in the center of Kyiv.

The team discovered pottery fragments from the Late Kyivan Rus’ era, an Eastern and Northern European state that existed from the late ninth to the middle of the thirteenth century, in the cave’s northern section.

Perov wrote on Facebook that the team scoured around 40 meters (131 feet) of caves, including the lower cave complex, which he claims is twice as long as the upper passage and has a series of “radial branches.”

The most significant discovery, according to Petrov, was “a set of Kyivan Rus hieroglyphs and Varangian symbols from the Early Rus period,” when the region was under the control of Varangian rulers.

While more investigation is required to confirm it, according to Dmytro Perov, they think that some of the carved symbols may date all the way back to the fifth or sixth centuries BC. He says that “animistic images of animals and graffiti” from the Varyaz period, including the rune Algiz (“chicken’s foot”), were also discovered on the walls. This was an ancient Varangian charm, a symbol of safety and longevity.

Several Hellenic Greek colonies were established on the northern coast of the Black Sea, on the Crimean Peninsula, and along the Sea of Azov between the 7th and 6th centuries BC.

The steppe hinterland was occupied by the Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians who traded with the Greek/Roman colonies after a period of control by the Roman empire during the first millennium BC.

Rurik, a Varangian or Viking prince, established the Kyivan state in the latter part of the ninth century.

Up until the 13th century, his descendants established and controlled a global trade route to the west. However, the Kyivan state was made up of East Slavic, Norse, and Finnic peoples, making it difficult to determine who left the carved symbols on the cave walls.

A cave complex with hieroglyphs and Varangian symbols was discovered in centre of Ukraine

A cave complex with hieroglyphs and Varangian symbols was discovered in the centre of Ukraine

An ancient cave complex thought to date from Kievan Rus’ has been discovered in central Kyiv at Voznesensky Uzvoz.

Dmytro Perov, a conservationist at Kyiv’s Center for Urban Development, told Radio Kultura that the caves were discovered next to a demolished house that Kyiv housing authorities had deemed unsafe for habitation.

Actually, Dmytro Perov followed his grandmother’s clues.  Perov’s grandmother used to talk about a large stone house next to an old cave, but no one knew its location. According to Perov, who had previously examined the area several times, only the front facia of the house remained, concealed by bushes.

The conservationist told reporters that he and his friends decided to go to the old house “on a small expedition to look for caves,” and they discovered an entrance. The first archaeological explorations in the Voznesensky Caves were carried out by Perov and a group of researchers from the Institute of Archaeology last Saturday.

Timur Bobrovskyi, an archaeology professor at the Sofia Kyivska reserve, said he was “amazed that such a treasure was found in the centre of Kyiv” after spending three hours exploring the cave.

A cave complex with hieroglyphs and Varangian symbols was discovered in the centre of Ukraine
A unique discovery in the centre of Kyiv.

The team discovered pottery fragments from the Late Kyivan Rus’ era, an Eastern and Northern European state that existed from the late ninth to the middle of the thirteenth century, in the cave’s northern section.

Perov wrote on Facebook that the team scoured around 40 meters (131 feet) of caves, including the lower cave complex, which he claims is twice as long as the upper passage and has a series of “radial branches.” The most significant discovery, according to Petrov, was “a set of Kyivan Rus hieroglyphs and Varangian symbols from the Early Rus period,” when the region was under the control of Varangian rulers.

While more investigation is required to confirm it, according to Dmytro Perov, they think that some of the carved symbols may date all the way back to the fifth or sixth centuries BC. He says that “animistic images of animals and graffiti” from the Varyaz period, including the rune Algiz (“chicken’s foot”), were also discovered on the walls. This was an ancient Varangian charm, a symbol of safety and longevity.

Several Hellenic Greek colonies were established on the northern coast of the Black Sea, on the Crimean Peninsula, and along the Sea of Azov between the 7th and 6th centuries BC.

The steppe hinterland was occupied by the Cimmerians, Scythians, and Sarmatians. They traded with the Greek/Roman colonies after a period of control by the Roman empire during the first millennium BC.

Rurik, a Varangian or Viking prince, established the Kyivan state in the latter part of the ninth century.

Up until the 13th century, his descendants established and controlled a global trade route to the west.

However, the Kyivan state comprised East Slavic, Norse, and Finnic peoples, making it difficult to determine who left the carved symbols on the cave walls.

Golden Sword Found in Young Scythian Warrior’s Grave in Ukraine

Golden Sword Found in Young Scythian Warrior’s Grave in Ukraine

An early grave of a Scythian warrior buried with a golden sword has been unearthed in the Mount Mamai cemetery near the village Velyka Znamyanka in Zaporizhia Oblast, central Ukraine.

Archaeologists exploring a small tumulus found a trench with animal bones and fragments of clay amphorae.

There are characteristic Scythian funerary offerings. They then unearthed two graves within the mound: a large central one and a smaller one on the periphery.

Excavation of the warrior’s grave where the sword was found.

The central burial had been thoroughly looted in antiquity and archaeologists were only able to recover one arrowhead and some bone fragments. The remains suggest the occupant of this grave was an elderly male.

The accompanying grave had also interfered with it, but it still contained the skeletal remains of a young man about 18-20 years old.

He was interred with a rare large grey clay amphorae, fittings from a horse’s bridle, an iron battle axe, bronze and bone arrows and the star of the funerary show: an akinakes (a Scythian dagger or short sword) with a gold plated scabbard, a grip with a leaf motif and a cross-guard with granulation details.

Ornaments and amphora were found at the site where the sword was found.

Not only had the young warrior been buried together with his weapons, but also with some ornaments; the archaeological team found beads made of glass paste, a red deer tooth necklace, a gold earring and a gold pendant with chalk inlay.

The Mount Mamai burial grounds, the largest barrow cemetery in the region and one of the largest in Europe, have been excavated for 32 years, a long-term salvage operation to recover as much archaeological material as possible before the site is destroyed by erosion from the construction of the Khakhovka Reservoir.

Already a quarter mile of the shore has fallen into the lake in just three decades, so archaeologists are fighting a battle against time.

Artefacts and remains dating as far back as the Neolithic era through the Middle Ages have been unearthed there. Of the 700 burials thus far excavated, around 400 are Scythian.

The leaf-ribbed grip, cross-guard of the Scythian short sword.

The discoveries made this season are so exceptional the 32nd dig has been dubbed the most successful yet. The very fine grave goods would be more than significant on their own, but the burial is even more notable because it dates to the 6th century B.C., making it the earliest Scythian burial found at Mount Mamai and extending the window of the cemetery’s usage during the Scythian period.

The other Scythian tombs that have been excavated there are at least two centuries older.

The objects have been cleaned and will be conserved at the Museum of Local History in Kamianets-Dniprovsky.

The Crimean Pyramids — Built Before Dinosaurs Roamed The Earth?

The Crimean Pyramids — Built Before Dinosaurs Roamed The Earth?

Ukrainian researchers have come across one of the most important discoveries in recent years as they accidentally discovered a set of megalithic constructions and pyramids in the peninsula of Crimea, well-known in ancient history for archaeological and historical treasures from different cultures and ancient civilizations ranging from the Greeks and Romans to the Genoese and Ottoman Turks.

Crimea is an autonomous republic of Ukraine, it is located on the northern coast of the Black Sea.

The series of formations was discovered for the first time in 1999 by Vitalij Gokh who worked for the Soviet military for over thirty years.

After his long career in the Soviet military, Gokh decided to become a researcher which led him to the discovery of the Pyramids. 

Gokh claimed that just like there were submerged towns in the region, there were buried pyramids and other megalithic structures in the Crimean peninsula.

Gokh was a former engineer thus he had very good knowledge with magnetic resonance instruments. Gokh even built a device to search for subterranean deposits of water since the area of Sevastopol had very poor water supplies.

According to Gokh’s website, the devices, invented by Vitaly A. Gokh (Method of geoholography and geo hydro diagnostics) enable the detection of elements of the Mendeleev Periodic Table; oil and gas deposits, mechanisms and devices of various kinds, material objects both in the Earth and in the areas of remote Space.

The devices use analogs or models in order to record structural fields or the snapshots of the planets, stars, constellations, and areas of Space, executed by means of satellites or telescopes.

Thanks to these instruments, Gokh was able to discover several limestone blocks which had regular dimensions, ca. 2.5 by 1.5 meters and Goks and his team “assumed” these were of artificial origin.

Interestingly, the instrument invented by Gokh also revealed that from the top of one of the structures, three beams of energy emanated, at frequencies 900×109 Hz, 700×109 Hz and 500×109 Hz.

Around the pyramid, a field of 10×109 Hz was found. Gokh and his team state that the surrounding layers of one of the structures reveal that the “underground pyramid” was originally above the surface in “open-air” but due to flooding, the whole area sank together with the structures.

According to ICTV and the Crimean News agency; Ukrainian scientist Vitalij Gokh discovered an underground unknown object, which proved to be a giant pyramid of 45 meters in height and a length of about 72 meters. Goh said that the pyramid was built during the time of the dinosaurs.

“Crimean pyramid” has a truncated top, like a Mayan pyramid, but its appearance is more like an Egyptian. It is hollow inside, and a mummy of an unknown creature is buried under the foundation.

So far the information regarding the veracity and existence of the pyramids has not been proven nor accepted by archaeologists.

In an interview with ICTV, researcher Vitaliy Gokh stated that he doesn’t know who built the megalithic structures in the Crimean peninsula, but the pyramids could prove to be the oldest structures on the planet to date.

So far around 7 pyramids have been registered forming a straight line which travelled from Sarych to Baia Kamyshovaia, and which runs northwest-southeast, one of these “pyramids” is located underwater in the vicinity of the city of Foros.

In total, Gokh believes that there are around 39 pyramidal structures and monolithic buildings in the entire Crimean peninsula.

Ukrainian Soldiers Discover Archaeological Treasures While Digging Defenses in Port City Odessa

Ukrainian Soldiers Discover Archaeological Treasures While Digging Defenses in Port City Odessa

Trench warfare is a way of life in Ukraine: In an unsettling echo of past wars, the hand-dug ditches provide defensive cover for troops as Russia’s invasion stretches on.

Ukrainian Soldiers Discover Archaeological Treasures While Digging Defenses in Port City Odessa
Soldiers transported the amphorae, which were in excellent condition, to a local museum for safekeeping.

Now, reports the Kyiv Independent, a Ukrainian defence unit discovered something unexpected while digging a trench in Odessa: ancient amphorae.

Soldiers with the Ukrainian 126th Territorial Defense found the tall, bottle-necked jars along with some ceramic shards earlier this month, taking to Facebook to document the find.

According to the defense troops, the amphorae have been dated to the fourth or fifth centuries C.E., a time when Odessa was a Roman settlement called Odessus.

The third-most populous city in Ukraine and an important shipping hub on the southwestern coast, Odessa is currently under Russian siege. The Times’ Tom Ball reports Russia has been targeting the city with missile strikes and a naval blockade to choke the port’s exports of Ukrainian grain and wheat.

The amphorae, which are in excellent condition, have been transferred to the Odessa Archaeological Museum.

“We are not Russians, we preserve our history,” journalist Yana Suporovska tells Heritage Daily.

Amphorae were first used in the Bronze Age more than 3,000 years ago and became the dominant means of storing and transporting goods in civilizations across the Mediterranean.

The urns had different shapes depending on what was they were designed to hold. Tall and slim ones were used for wine; broader ones transported dried fish and cereals; miniature ones stored perfume; and a special souvenir amphora would be filled with olives and given to the winners of the Panathenaic Games—the ancient ancestor of the modern Olympics.

Similar vessels were used by numerous ancient civilizations.

Used by the Egyptians, Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines, amphorae were storage solutions that could double as works of art. Decorative Greek vessels, for example, depicted moments from Greek mythology, the triumphs of great athletes, and even erotic scenes.

Given their ubiquity in the ancient world, amphorae still turn up today. Researchers found 6,000 of them in a Roman shipwreck off the Greek island of Kefallinia in 2019. And Russian President Vladimir Putin thought he had discovered two of the ancient urns during a scuba-diving expedition in the Black Sea in 2011, according to the Guardian’s David Batty. Putin’s chief spokesperson, Dmitry Peskov, later fessed up and admitted archaeologists had planted the jars for Putin to find.

Russian forces have not shown the same interest in preserving cultural heritage in Ukraine. Earlier this month, Artnet’s Taylor Dafoe reports, Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky accused Russia of destroying nearly 200 cultural heritage sites in its ongoing invasion.

Unesco’s figures differ slightly; as of May 16, the agency had verified damage to 133 cultural sites, including museums, religious sites, libraries, monuments and more. Shortly after the invasion began, Unesco Director-General Audrey Azoulay said in a statement that cultural heritage “must be safeguarded as a testimony of the past, but also as a catalyst for peace and cohesion for the future, which the international community has a duty to protect and preserve.”

Among the destroyed sites, the Jerusalem Post reports were ancient Scythian tombs that were over 1,000 years old. Ukraine’s Foreign Affairs Ministry accused Russian forces of specifically targeting the cultural site.

Though war helped uncover the trench amphorae, it presents a very real threat to Ukraine’s cultural treasures—even the ones that have yet to be discovered. In a sign of the times, Heritage Daily reports, the ongoing conflict has made it impossible for archaeologists to document the site where the amphorae were found.

Stalin-Era Mass Graves Discovered in Ukraine

Stalin-Era Mass Graves Discovered in Ukraine

The remains of up to 20,000 people have been found in Ukraine’s southern city of Odessa as excavations continue at a site believed to be a mass grave of victims of Stalin’s Terror, historians said Monday.

People work on the site of mass graves site unearthed near Odessa airport in Ukraine

According to various estimates, the bones of between 5,000 and 20,000 people lie in the ground, making it one of the largest mass graves unearthed in Ukraine so far.

They were discovered this month close to Odessa airport after exploratory works started as part of expansion plans.

“As of today, 29 graves have been discovered. The bodies lie in several layers,” local historian Oleksandr Babych told journalists at the site which until recently was a garbage dump.

The bones of between 5,000 and 20,000 people lie in the ground, making it one of the largest mass graves unearthed in Ukraine

“Already we can clearly see at least five layers”, he said.

Historians believe that these people were executed in the 1930s, the time is known as Stalin’s Great Terror.

Archaeologist Tetyana Samoylova, a chief consultant at the site, highlighted the “cynicism” with which the sentences were carried out.

“They dug out pits in the garbage and threw these people in or shot them dead as they were standing there,” Samoylova said.

“And then they covered them with the same garbage,” she added, standing next to the dozens of graves marked by red tape.

It took 400 trucks to remove the top layer of garbage, according to a search group.

“When we carry out the exhumation, we will decide what to do here. And, of course, we plan to make a memorial,” Odessa mayor Gennady Trukhanov said.

Stalin-Era Mass Graves Discovered in Ukraine
Historians believe the people were executed in the 1930s, the time known as Stalin’s Great Terror

Some mass graves had already been unearthed in this area in previous years.

The prisoners’ nationalities and the crimes for which they were sentenced to die to remain unknown.

According to estimates made by historians, hundreds of thousands of Ukrainians were imprisoned or executed in Gulag camps during the Stalinist repressions.

One of the best-known execution sites is the forest near the village of Bykivnia on the outskirts of the capital Kiev, where tens of thousands of victims were buried in 1937-1941.

Millions of Ukrainians also died in the great famine of 1932-1933, which Kiev regards as a genocide orchestrated by Stalin.

Oldest Circular Structure Discovered – and It’s Made of Mammoth Bones

Oldest Circular Structure Discovered – and It’s Made of Mammoth Bones

Huts built from mammoth bones found along the Dniepr river valley of Ukraine (and also at locations in Moravia, Czech Republic, and in southern Poland) may be the earliest structures built by prehistoric man, and thus the earliest examples of architecture.

Perhaps the earliest example of domed architecture, the mammoth huts found in Mezhyrich, Ukraine, could be up to 25,000 years old. “Mammoth House” as shown at the “Frozen Woolly Mammoth Yuka Exhibit” in Yokoyama, Japan in Summer 2013.
Perhaps the earliest example of domed architecture, the mammoth huts found in Mezhyrich, Ukraine, could be up to 25,000 years old. “Mammoth House” is shown at the “Frozen Woolly Mammoth Yuka Exhibit” in Yokoyama, Japan in Summer 2013.

Some of the most notable of these mammoth bone huts were found in Mezhyrich, a village in central Ukraine, where in 1965, a farmer dug up the lower jawbone of a mammoth while in the process of expanding his cellar.

Further excavations revealed the presence of 4 prehistoric huts, made up of a total of 149 mammoth bones.

These shelters date between 23,000 BCE and 12,000 BCE, and are thought to be some of the oldest dwellings known to have been constructed by prehistoric man, usually attributed to Cro-Magnons.

“They are composed of several hundred bones and tusks arranged in a rough circle, between 6 and 10 m (20 and 33 ft) in diameter.

A hearth typically lies near the centre of the former dwelling, and stone tools and other debris are scattered within and outside the structure. Large pits filled with stone tools, bone fragments and ash have been found near the houses.

Artist rendition of dwelling in Mezhirich, Ukraine, made of mammoth bones. Source: Dolní Věstonice Museum

“Considerable effort must have been required to assemble these structures. Even in a dry state, large mammoth bones weigh hundreds of pounds. It has been suggested that the bones and tusks were recovered from hunting episodes in which entire herds of adult mammoths and their young were slaughtered.

A more likely explanation is that they were gathered from natural accumulations of bones perhaps at the mouths of streams and gullies near the sites.

The primary purpose of the mammoth-bone dwellings which were presumably covered with animal skins was probably sheltered from extreme cold and high winds.

Some archaeologists, impressed with the size and appearance of the structures, have argued that they also possess religious or social significance.

They have been described as the earliest examples of ‘monumental architecture as evidence of increased social complexity and status differentiation during the final phase of the Ice Age.” (Paul G. Bahn (ed) 100 Great Archaeological Discoveries [1995] 54-55)

Mammoth bone dwelling. Reconstruction is based on the example of Mezhirich. Exhibit in the National Museum of Nature and Science, Tokyo, Japan.

Other interesting objects have also been found on the site, including a map inscribed onto a bone, presumably showing the area around the settlement.

The remains of a “drum”, made of a mammoth skull painted with a pattern of red ochre dots and lines, were also discovered, along with amber ornaments and fossil shells.

Ukraine discovers a 5,000-year-old megalithic Stonehenge like monument!

Ukraine discovers a 5,000-year-old megalithic Stonehenge like monument!

Archaeological digs still reveal historical aspects that remain puzzling to some. Such is the case with these archaeologists who are on a mission in Ukraine in the village of Novooleksandrivka, about ten kilometres south of the city of Dnipro.

According to them, they discovered a place where blocks of stone several meters high form a circle. In archaeology, this is known as the Cromlech (megalithic monument made of menhirs in a circle) or Stonehenge, based on the one in the United Kingdom: The Stonehenge in Amesbury, which attracts millions of visitors every year. An original discovery for Ukraine!

The Stone Hill by Novooleksandrivka

The 5-channel television station reports that a 4,500 to 5,000-year-old burial mound has been discovered. “In the middle of the tumulus (Kurgan in Ukraine), archaeologists found a gigantic cromlech – stone blocks several meters high that form a circle.”

Ukrainian Burial Mound Dig Reveals 5,500-Year-Old Stonehenge-like Structure

According to the journalistic report, each block of stone weighs about a ton. The blocks are carefully cut into a circle. Compared to the pyramids of Egypt, this side would be even older than 500 years.

Novooleksandrivka would not be the first Stonehenge discovered in Ukraine, but it is the youngest. And most importantly, it seems to be the largest ever discovered.

The stone circle discovered within the Ukrainian burial mound.

Oleksandr Kolomiytsev, the spokesman for the regional road service, explains: “The construction involved moving a huge volume of earth and a considerable workforce.

It is possible that the person buried and protected by the Cromlech was highly regarded in society. This is the only way to explain the monumental character of this construction. “”

In fact, the various StoneHenge that has been discovered in the world all function as funerary memorials.

The Novooleksandrivka site was to become an open-air museum. A stroke of luck for Ukraine, which believes that this ancient monument can attract millions of tourists every year!

The secret of the British StoneHenge!

The StoneHenge in Amesbury, UK, was not built where it is now, according to a study in Cambridge University’s Antiquity magazine.

This observation follows the discovery of a place where large stones were excavated … But no trace of these stones nearby. They conclude that these stones were brought to the location of the current StoneHenge.

The circle was dismantled by Merlin and shipped by 15,000 men to Amesbury in the Salisbury Plain. Merlin wanted the Giants Dance Stones for their magical and healing properties. 

Indeed, if the UK location is already a major tourist hit, Ukraine could attract many historic tourists too! Ukraine is a beautiful country that bears the historical mark of Chernobyl! But there are so many other things to discover there: Kiev, for example, is a jewel!