14 June 2024 The Future is the Product of the Past

Archaeologists find rare treasure in Suzdal of Russia

The twentieth season of fieldwork brought an unexpected discovery to the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

During the continuous research of one of the previously unexplored areas of Suzdal Opolye, a woman’s jewelry treasures dating to the middle of the 1st millennium AD were discovered.

The treasure was found in Russia‘s Suzdal Opolye region, near the Nerl-Klyazminskaya river. This is the first treasury of Volga-Finnish women’s jewelry of the era of the Great Nations Migration, located on the territory of Suzdal Opolye. Previously, such items have never been found in this region.

The treasure consists of ornaments for a traditional female costume, typical of the Volga-Finnish culture, and an imported metal bowl. The Volga Finns (sometimes referred to as the East Finns) are a historic group of Russian indigenous peoples living near the Volga River.

Artifacts include objects made of non-ferrous metal, made in the style of Volga-Finnish cultures of the 1st millennium AD. and are distinguished by high artistic qualities.

The find lifts the veil on the “Finnish prehistory” of Suzdal Opolye, which today is mainly known as one of the ancient Russian centers of culture and settlement.

The history and nature of Suzdal Opolye’s development in the first millennium are yet unknown. Traditionally, it is thought that the ancestors of the Slavic people in the area of North-Eastern Russia were one of the Volga-Finnish tribes, known in Russian chronicles as “Merya.”

suzdal treasure
Photo: Russian Academy of Sciences.

It includes a fragmented headpiece, three bracelets, and more than 300 small beads, possibly embroidered on a rotten garment, consisting of many elements such as spiral beads, lamellar rings, overlays, and various inserts.

Six casts hollow “duck” pendants hanging on a leather string with threaded metal beads, typical of Finno-Ugric civilizations occupying the area between the Volga and the Urals, as well as a circular openwork fastening plate, were also unearthed by the researchers.

The image of a waterfowl was also common in the Volga-Ural region at the end of the 1st century – the beginning of the 2nd millennium AD, however, the early pendant-duck species are represented by several examples. They were previously unknown in Suzdal Opolye. Similar pendant forms are known in the ancient artifacts in the Kama region, especially in the Azelin culture, belonging to the second quarter of the 1st millennium AD.

According to manager Nikolai Makarov of the Russian Academy of Sciences‘ Institute of Archaeology, “These are not just collected items: they are elements of a woman’s costume. The find lifts the veil over the “Finnish prehistory” of the Suzdal Opolye, which is known today to historians and archaeologists mainly as one of the centers of ancient Russian culture. Further research of the objects of the treasure and the settlement will make it possible to understand how Opolye was developed in the period preceding the Slavic colonization.”

Archaeologists believe the ornaments were hidden in a box made of birch bark near the settlement’s center, but the motive for hiding the treasure remains unknown.

Related Articles

Extremely well-preserved 2000-year-old child’s leather Shoe Discovered During Archaeological Mine Excavations

1 September 2023

1 September 2023

An “extremely well-preserved” Iron Age child’s shoe was discovered in Austria during excavations at Dürrnberg, near the historic town of...

‘Lost’ 4,000-year-old wedge tomb rediscovered in Ireland

22 January 2024

22 January 2024

A “lost” 4,000-year-old wedge tomb has been rediscovered in County Kerry, in the peninsular southwest region of Ireland. The megalithic...

The Headless Corpses of Somersham was Victims of Roman Executions

30 May 2021

30 May 2021

Excavations at Knobb’s Farm in Somersham, Cambridgeshire, unearthed three small late Roman graves on the outskirts of an agricultural village....

Israeli researchers uncover earliest evidence silver used as currency in Levant

9 January 2023

9 January 2023

On Sunday, Israeli archaeologists revealed that they had found the earliest proof of silver being used as money in the...

Earliest evidence of forest management discovered at the La Draga Neolithic site in Spain

19 July 2023

19 July 2023

Archaeologists have discovered the earliest evidence of forest management at the La Draga Neolithic site in northeastern Spain. A scientific...

Rare bronze hand discovered in Roman Vindolanda, England

11 July 2023

11 July 2023

One of Europe’s most important Roman archeological sites is the Fort of Vindolanda, one of the earliest Roman garrisons built...

Bronze Age burial chamber discovered on Dartmoor, England

14 May 2024

14 May 2024

Excitement has been felt among archaeologists over the discovery of a Bronze Age burial chamber on Dartmoor, which may provide...

The World’s Oldest Smiling Water Flask with Emoji will be on display

4 July 2021

4 July 2021

After the collapse of the Hittite Empire, the Late Hittite States was established in Anatolia and Syria. One of these...

The impressive Statue of young Hercules unearthed in Philippi, Northern Greece

24 September 2022

24 September 2022

A larger-than-life youthful Hercules statue dating to the 2nd century A.D. have been found in the ancient city of Philippi...

1,800-year-old Bronze military medal with Medusa head found in southeastern Turkey

5 October 2022

5 October 2022

A military medal believed to be almost 1,800 years old has been found by archaeologists in Turkey. The discovery was...

2000-year-old ancient Roman Road, described as the most important in Scottish history, has been discovered

3 November 2023

3 November 2023

A 2000-year-old ancient Roman road was unearthed in Old Inn Cottage’s garden near Stirling, Scotland. The site is located a...

The exciting discovery of a 4000-year-old stone box grave in western Norway

10 November 2023

10 November 2023

Archaeologists report an extremely important 4,000-year-old stone box grave has been unearthed in Western Norway, describing it as the most...

Neanderthals used glue to make stone tools 40,000 years ago, a new study suggests “Earliest evidence of a multi-component adhesive in Europe”

22 February 2024

22 February 2024

More than 40,000 years ago, Neanderthals in what is now France used a multi-component adhesive to make handles for stone...

An 8,200-year-old temple structure found in Çatalhöyük

6 September 2022

6 September 2022

An 8,200-year-old temple structure was found during the 30th excavation season of the excavations at Çatalhöyük, one of the first...

Archaeologists discover innovative 40,000-year-old culture in China

2 March 2022

2 March 2022

Ancient hunter-gatherers living in what is now China may have been the first people in East Asia to process mustard...