One of Ukraine’s most important burial mounds, it contained the bodies of two Norse warriors dated back to the 10th century when Vladimir ruled.
In 1867 workers building the Orel-Vitebsk railroad found a cache of silver jewelry, in what turned into a major discovery of a settlement from 10th-century Rus. Of particular interest to archeologists is material about Scandanavian burial customs. Sizov raised controversies when he presented on the kleima – or seals on a number of the clay implements, suggesting a developed cultural identity. Systematic excavations have been conducted since; when the Germans occupied Smolensk during World War II, they sent artefacts back to Berlin.
Excavations began here in 1872 by A. A. Ivanovskii, to the northwest of St. Petersburg; he discovered an ancient settlement where Slavic had mixed with Finnish tribes. Nikolai Roerich, an artist with a deep affection for archeological digs of Slavic settlements, also worked here. In 1907, students at the Petersburg Archeological Institute conducted excavations, but nothing remains of their field notes.
Digging the Ladoga Canal in 1866, animal bones and weapons turned up. The area was turned over to Inostrantsev and other natural scientists.