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Frontier Turf Settlement Excavation – Belarus

November 19, 2007

Lake RegionCarving

Due to its unique location in the proximity of the Lake Region in Northern Belarus, the family of Asaviec settlements formed a micro-region with its own unique history and archaeological landscape. From the Early Neolithic and to the Bronze Age, it has been the area of interaction between various distinct cultures and populations, of both migratory and sedentary nature.

Previous excavations (led by Prof. Andre Gonciar, ArchaeoTek – Canada and Dr. Mihail Czarniauski, Belarusian State University) of the settlements, exposed remains of wooden structures with hearths built on sandy platforms. Large amount of crushed human bone remains found in the occupation layers suggest the existence of cannibalism, possibly ritual in nature.

Many exceptionally well preserved objects of horn and bone were unearthed: arrows and spearheads, knives, needles, axes, adzes, chisels, shovels, paddles, harpoons, and miniature fish hooks. Numerous stone tools, such as flint arrowheads, blades, and polished perforated axes were also found.

Several objects of prehistoric art were discovered, including rare artifacts with carved representations of water-birds and people, ceramic vessels decorated with intricate motifs and complex ornaments, anthropomorphic and zoomorphic wooden and bone figurines, as well as amber and bone jewelry.

In the 2008 season, they plan to continue excavating the settlements in order to understand their proto-urban structure. They will continue constructing the complex stratigraphy of the site and establish a detailed ceramic sequence.

VOLUNTEER (July 2008)

You will be staying in a small camping site, about 15 min walk from the excavation site, a few kilometers from the nearest village. Volunteers are required to bring their own camping equipment.


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