Desiatinnaia Church

The first stone church in Rus, the Chronicles date its origins to 989. Prince Vladimir, the Baptizer, allocated a tenth of his income (desiat) to the maintenance of the church, a tithe, from whence came its name. Lying essentially in ruins in the 1820s, Kiev amateur-archeologist K. N. Lokhvitskii became embroiled in the fight to resurrect it rather than, as had been happening, simply removing the rubble and building a new church on the spot. Excavations at this site continued throughout the century, uncovering other parts of Old Kiev.

Dvina Stones

Sometimes called the “Dvina Stones,” from the location of the first major finds, in the basin of the western Dvina River, these massive boulders are also known as the “Borisov Stones,” from the inscription that characterized them: “Lord, help your slave Boris, a reference to Polotsk Prince Boris Vseslavich these massive boulders date back to 1171. Noted first in the 2nd half of the 16th century, the seven stones remain enigmatic testaments to the coming together of religion and politics in medieval Belarus.

Chora Church

The Chora Church was part of a monastery complex in Constantinople, an exemplar of the 14th-century Palaeologian Renaissance. After the Ottoman conquest, it was transformed into the Kakhrie-dzhami mosque.

Tmutarakan Stone

In 1792 the “Tmutarakan’ Stone,” mentioned in the Lay of the Igor Campaign, was discovered on the Taman Peninsula. The inscription, credited to Prince Gleb made it the first source of an epigraphical history of Russia. President of the Academy of Arts A. I. Musin-Pushkin published the inscription in 1794, and its authenticity still remains a source of controversy. Tmutarakan was the capital of a 9th-century kaganate, Russian-Varangian, that controlled a trade route in defiance of Khazar dominance in the region that would become New Russia.


Site of both an ancient Greek colony and the place where Vladimir I was baptized. It remains an active archeological dig-site, with a museum in situ.