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Detectives of history
Albazintsev will show what their ancestors looked like
- Andrei Nikolayevich, recently information appeared in the media that a gold ingot was found in the Albazin prison as part of your expedition, dating back to the time of the first Amur settlement of the Cossacks in the XNUMXth century ...
- Found not an ingot, but a metal object with gold elements. Its discovery was a complete surprise for us, especially since it was made much later than the end of the field season. It happened like this. I gave the restorer, with whom we cooperate (he is from the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts), for cleaning, restoration and conservation a number of objects that, as we thought, were not of particular value, so - fragments of metal things, they decided to process to clear the conscience. A little later, the restorer reported that in the process of cleaning one of the items - an iron plate - gold foil was found on it. Now the artifact is still in work and we cannot accurately interpret it; most likely, it is an element of decoration or clothing of a prisoner.
- Albazinskaya expedition for three years has turned into a project aimed at the development of the region. How did you do it?
To change this situation, it is necessary to popularize the history of the Far East, to tell people (not only those who live here) about this region occupying a significant part of the country. The task is serious, ambitious - but "the road will be mastered by the going". We decided to start small - we organized an archaeological expedition to explore the Albazinsky prison. One of the most important archaeological sites of the Amur region is Albazinsky Ostrog, whose history is associated with the most important events in the Far East in the 17th century - the march of Yerofey Khabarov, the construction of the prison by Nikifor Chernigov, the foundation of the first Orthodox monastery on the Amur by Hieromonk Germogen, the military confrontation with the Manchu China, Which became an example of the military prowess of Russian soldiers.
Archaeological expedition is a very interesting format - it allows solving not only scientific and research tasks, but also by attracting young people to perform a pedagogical mission, to draw attention to this topic to the general public.
REFERENCE: Albazinsky Ostrog is the largest settlement of Russian pioneers on the Amur River in the second half of the 17th century.
For the first time Albazin is mentioned in 1650 year, when the detachment of Erofey Khabarova occupied the town of Daursky prince Albazy on the upper Amur. In 1651, Khabarov, having left the prison, burned it.
In 1665-1666, a group of 84 Cossacks and peasants headed by Nikifor Chernigovsky settled on the territory of the prison. These people killed on Lena in the mouth of the Kirengi river of the Ilimsk governor L. A. Obukhov. Tsar Alexei Mikhailovich in absentia sentenced Chernigov to death. The fugitives placed a "thief prison" on the Albazinsky fort, which became the only Russian fortified point in Siberia built without royal permission. In 1672, Chernigovsky and his comrades were forgiven and turned up for service in the Albazinsky prison. So the only "thieves'" prison in the history of Siberia became state.
In addition, Albazin appears in history in connection with the events of the Manchu aggression in 1685-1689 years, which culminated in the signing of the Nerchinsk Peace Treaty.
- What are the objectives of the expedition?
- Initially, we had two tasks. The first is the study of Albazinsky prison. First we turned to the geophysicists of Petropavlovsk for help. With their help, we conducted geomagnetic scanning of the jail, which allowed us to determine where the most interesting objects are located on its territory, and choose the site of excavation.
The Albazinskaya Expedition project was initiated and organized by the Petropavlovsk Foundation together with the Center for the Preservation of Historical and Cultural Heritage of the Amur Region in 2011. The main tasks of the Albazin Expedition:
- explore the history of the Russian Amur and the Far East;
- draw the attention of the general public to the history of the Amur and the Russian Far East;
- to promote cultural and historical education of the region's inhabitants;
- to increase the interest of the young generation of the Far East to the history of the small homeland - the Amur Region;
- to involve modern technologies in the study of the historical and cultural heritage of the Amur Region;
- to modernize museum sites in the region;
- to promote the development of tourism in the region.
- What is the unique nature of Albazin for the Amur region? Why there was founded a prison?
- I think the convenience of location and favorable local conditions. On the Upper Amur the territory of the Albazinskaya land is quite convenient for farming, it is a fairly even fertile plot of land among hills and ridges. And since ancient times it was a convenient place for life, that's why there is such a saturation with monuments of ancient epochs.
- Please tell us about the most striking findings ...
- Find a lot. These are mostly household items - ceramics, metal objects, elements of clothing and shoes, birchbark tuyec. A lot of military equipment - bullets, cores, arrows, knives, found two powder flasks from the horn. There are decorations - beads made of pastel glass, silver and bronze buttons, pendants. We found several silver coins of the XVII century.
Unexpectedly for us, we have formed an interesting collection of fragments of Chinese porcelain and silodon ceramics found on the prison and its environs. Perhaps this will make it possible to clarify much of the history of Russian-Chinese relations. You can also recall the object with a gold foil, which we talked about at the beginning of the conversation.
"Last year you were so lucky ..."
- When we broke and began to dig the excavation using geophysical data - we immediately discovered a wooden structure. We were puzzled - not quite clear what it is. We clean, go vertically dug logs - paling. What kind of fence did the Russian people put in the center of the prison? Ostrog - fortress, shaft - everything, as it should be, only for some reason logs are far from each other. No, it does not look like a palisade. Began to think. Then they understood - this is not a palisade, but the foundation of the building - piles. Next, we saw that we hooked only the outer part, and the structure is actually more. We assume that we have found the foundation of the burnt church. Above was a powerful layer of fire - burnt logs, coal, wood. And these piles are not just dug into the ground, as we thought, but even lower - a system of horizontal beams, so that the structure itself does not float due to the permafrost processes. Very interesting from an engineering point of view design. I know that no one has yet found such things in the Far East. The only problem arises with the dating. Of course, I would like it to be the XVII century - that it refers to the moment of the appearance of the Albazinsky fortress. But most likely it is the 19th century, when the Cossacks came and in memory of the defenders of Albazin built a church, which later burned down. This is evidenced by the written evidence of one of the inhabitants of the Amur region. This year we plan to dig the foundation.
- One of your projects is the anthropological reconstruction of a resident of Albazino. Is this also your discovery?
- We have several relatively well-preserved skulls from the burials of the inhabitants of the prison. We did not dig them out. In 70-s of the last century, our colleagues from Novosibirsk and Blagoveshchensk digged the prison for several years and made unique finds. For example, they found a well in which the Cossacks, when they left in 1685 year, left all unnecessary things. The well was flooded with water, the water froze - a lens of permafrost was obtained, and things in the ice were preserved. For archeology, the big problem is finding items from organic materials: wood, bone, leather, fabrics are destroyed, and more often than not, what we find is either metal or ceramics. At the same time, archaeologists managed to find many things in very good condition - mittens, shoes, clothes, crafts made of wood.
There were also unique things - for example, a bronze ring. Our restorer has brushed it. It showed an inarticulate picture, where the picture of a bird is guessed. Perhaps an eagle. If the eagle is two-headed, then we can assume that this is the ring of some official person who uses it as a signet. Obviously, the buried was a very important person.
Anthropological project allows us to turn history to our contemporaries in the literal sense of the word a human face. That they saw that this is not just a remote story, but the people who lived here, plowed the land, fought for it. In general, the thought is far-reaching. We want the Priamurye to be associated not only with rich resources and beautiful nature, but also with people who live here. And our anthropological project is one of the steps in this direction. This project has a scientific dimension - there is a problem of the formation of the Russian ethnos, and it is important for us to show how the Russian population was formed, especially in the Far East.
- All the findings you send to the Amur regional museum of local lore. G.S. Novikov-Daursky?
- We are obliged by law to hand over the finds to the museum, but so far they have not passed this, since we are processing the collection. From the very beginning we cooperate with the Blagoveshchensk museum. They gave him money for the restoration of the icon of the XVIII century. Recently, the museum allocated money from the federal budget for the development of a museum renovation project, in which we also took part.
- The traditional museum is already obsolete concept. What will be the new exposure?
- A new museum project was developed using the latest media technologies. If the project comes to life, then, I do not exclude, it will be the most interesting museum in the Far East, and perhaps in Russia.
Here we will have an anthropological reconstruction. The sculpture of the albazin, of whom I spoke, is the face of a real person who died, and we brought him back to life, and everyone can look into his eyes. He will be dressed like an Albanian - we still have shoes, clothes, tools, weapons - we have all reconstructed it. Already now in Blagoveshchensk there is an interactive book. Click on the artifact - there is a story about its history.
- It turns out, the expedition contributes to the cultural education of the inhabitants of the region?