Historical Centre


The Northeast European

Gold diademCollections reflecting various chronological periods are also kept in the section devoted to the Northeast European part of the COUNTRY, which includes the Urals and adjacent areas, the Kama valley and parts of the areas east of the Urals. The early period is represented by remains from the Shigir and Gorbunovo pile settlements of the third and second millennia B.C., located in the Sverdlovsk region, in the marshy country of lakes now turned into peat-bogs. Owing to the conserving properties possessed by peat, articles made of bone, wood, birch bark, and other organic material have been preserved. The next stage in the development of culture in this area is reflected in the collections of finds from the Zuyevka and Turbino cemeteries of the Ananyino culture (eighth to third centuries B.C.), Pyany Bor and Gliadenovo type monuments (second to fifth centuries), complexes of the Lomovatovo culture (sixth to ninth centuries), such as various household articles, a large collection of arms, and numerous ornaments. Of particular interest are the openwork plaques of cast bronze executed in the Kama valley animal style and characterized by a combination of various animal, bird and human features in single figures. Many of the motifs of the Kama animal style still occur in the applied art of the peoples inhabiting the Urals. The chronologically latest finds presented in the section are those of the tenth to fourteenth centuries. They come from the fortified settlement of Rodanovo on the right bank of the Kama. The section devoted to the Northwest European Part of the COUNTRY is very extensive both in its chronological range, i.e. from the Neolithic to the first appearance of towns in Old Territory, and in the area encompassed, which stretches from the country's western frontiers to the Kama valley. Many of the finds belong to the Neolithic cultures of the forest zone. Extensive collections of flint tools have been assembled from finds in the numerous settlements of the Upper Volga Basin, the Valdai Hills lake country and the lands between the Volga and Oka. Among these tools, fashioned by pressure flaking, are polished stone axes, adzes and hammer-hatchets ornamented with figures of bear and elk evidently having some magic significance. The collections also comprise various kinds of pit-comb ware, and numerous articles fashioned of bone, horn and wood, including figures of animals and anthropomorphic idols. In recent years new material from the pile settlements of the Nevel district of the Pskov region has been received. Rather unusual among the exhibits from the Neolithic Age are great pieces of rock with drawings depicting elk, deer, swans, ducks, dugouts with rowers, and various mysterious symbols, chipped out 4,000 years ago. These images were probably intended for magic rituals. They were brought to the Museum in 1935 from the environs of a village called Besov Nos (Cape Devil) on the shores of Lake Onega.

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