Archaeologists, the Vikings came to Russia earlier than we thought

Archaeologists, the Vikings came to Russia earlier than we thought

Excavations of ancient settlements in the Smolensk region will make adjustments to established views on the formation of the ancient Russian nationality and the state.

“The tale of bygone years” and all subsequent historians still linked the appearance of the Vikings on Russia with the vocation of Rurik to Novgorod in 862: “our Land is great and rich, but there is no order; come and possess it.” New archaeological discoveries and modern methods of research can adjust preconceived opinions.

In the Central settlement of the archaeological complex “Gnezdovo” in the upper reaches of the Dnieper river, 12 kilometers West of Smolensk, the scientists found two of the female skull.

Excavations in Gnezdovo underway since 1867. It is the largest in Russia and the well known monument of the Viking age. Traditionally, the existence of an ancient settlement historians have reacted to the X — beginning of XI centuries.

However, at least one of the two skulls are about 100 years older.

Data analysis of the ratio of strontium isotopes 87Sr and 86Sr in bone tissue with a high probability that the woman died between 807 and 894 years, and originally came from Central Sweden, possibly from the Tag, an important center of the Vikings.

Isotope analysis is a powerful tool to study the mobility of ancient people. The data obtained in the study of the enamel of the teeth, talking about location, where they passed the early childhood of the individual. If he later moved and was buried in the area with a different geological context, the indicators will differ from the local, and, thus, the issue of foreign origin.

In recent years in the Cluster by radiocarbon Dating of fossil bones and wooden objects already received the data, allowing to raise the question of its earlier existence. Now there was new strong evidence.

This is a very interesting and important result. These Chronicles compiled centuries later, are not always reliable. The study of archaeological materials of natural-scientific methods — the only way to build a correct timeline for a monument to the era of the formation of the old Russian state and the development of transcontinental trade route “from the Varangians to the Greeks”Vasily Novikov, candidate of historical Sciences, head of the archaeological unit of the Museum-reserve “Gnezdovo”

Of particular importance is the membership of the skull of the woman, which in those days could not be a warrior, a merchant or casual traveler.

Who was she? Probably a permanent resident nesting of the first waves of Scandinavian settlers. It turns out, those appeared not only in Northwest Russia but also South much earlier than we thought.