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Knives, sickles and hryvnia of IX-X centuries: MSU archaeologists have completed excavations in Slovakia

Archaeological expedition of Mariupol State University, led by Vyacheslav Zabavin, professor of the historical studies department, completed excavations at the territory of an early medieval archeological complex near Bojna village (Slovakia).

The excavations were attended by the teachers, students and graduates of the Faculty of History of MSU, as well as the archaeologists from Slovakia, Germany and Poland.

Participants explored a plot of 50 m2 with a depth of about 40-50 cm, and on the territory of a semi-dugout - 1.2 m. Many fragments of table and kitchen utensils of the IX-X century have been found, ceramic spindle whorls, iron knives, sickles, nails, spears, arrowheads, sword guards and etc. The archaeologists also found a treasure chest, containing 40 iron objects, including a hryvnia and a plow.

During their free time, the participants of the expedition introduced to the cities and national cultural monuments of Slovakia. They visited Bratislava Castle, visited the ruins of Topolchansky Castle, as well as they walked through parks, quays, narrow streets of Slovak cities.

During one of the weekend, MSU archaeologists went to Vienna to visit the Belvedere Palace and the excavations near Hofburg, the residence of the Austrian emperors. According to Vyacheslav Zabavin, such excavations are a great example of the preservation of archaeological sites in terms of urban development.


For the first time, the archaeologists from Mariupol were given the opportunity to work outside Ukraine together with their foreign colleagues. The participants learned the methods of research of settlement archeological sites, acquired skills in working with modern high-tech equipment, got acquainted with the unique natural monuments of Slovakia and its rich cultural and historical heritage. Besides, they were able to get acquainted with the local culture and customs of the Slovak people, to practice communication in Slovak, Polish and English,

– Vyacheslav Zabavin.


It was important for me to gain an experience in its various manifestations. First of all, I was able to learn about new methods of archaeological research from Slovak colleagues, because the landscape at the excavation sites may be different. Usually we work in the field, and here we have the opportunity to do research in the mountains and forests. We also learned about the history of both the Bojna village and Slovakia in general. I had an opportunity to visit other cities in Slovakia and Austria,

– Anastasia Morgun, a 4th-year- student of the major "History".

The internship was held within the frameworks of an agreement on scientific cooperation between MSU and the Institute of Archeology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, signed in May 2019. The MSU expedition was invited to Slovakia next year to continue their cooperation, but now it is not unknown yet what historical site they will be exploring. Vyacheslav Zabavin plans to involve his Slovak colleagues in the Pryazovia excavations.

The artifacts found by an international team of archeologists near Bojna will replenish the funds of the Institute of Archeology of the Slovak Academy of Sciences, and some of them will be donated to the Museum of Great Moravia. In memory of the excavations in Slovakia, the Museum of History and Archeology of MSU will store photographs of the expedition and souvenirs of the Institute of Archeology with images of outstanding finds obtained during research in the territory of the Archeological Complex of Bojna.

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