How to go on excavations – Expedition to the ancient city of Olvia

Valery – Archaeologist and Historian, Member of many expeditions. In this article, he tells about archeology as a way to travel, as well as how to go on excavations, the details and details of the process on the example of the ancient city of Olvia. Archaeological expeditions are available to everyone, you can go to yourself or send to the excavations of children.

My name is Valery Skiba. I am from Lugansk. I consider the archeology of one of the most romantic professions. I understood it when another eighth grader visited the archaeological expedition. Since then, fell in love with archeology, and she became a matter of my life.

I participated in the excavations of Paleolithic parking on the territory of Ukraine and Russia, Kurgans and settlements of various eras on the Luhansk region, in the excavations in Kyiv, he worked as a volunteer in archaeological expeditions to the Crimea and on the Taman Peninsula. I have more than 40 expeditions behind my back. Since 1997, I manage the expeditionary detachment of students and schoolchildren. In this article, I will tell you how to participate in real excavations or see an ancient city.

At one time I created Historical and Archaeological Club "Skif", Which sometimes independently, and sometimes as part of large expeditions participated in the study of archaeological monuments of different eras. In the off-day period, we study the story, the method of excavation. All over the world she is about the same.

Sometimes the found artifacts prove or refute the scientific hypotheses extended earlier.

Let’s look at the archaeology as one of the types of travel, in which you can touch the gray antiquity, find an interesting artifact, learn a lot of new things, and also purchase certain skills and skills.

Antique city of Olvia – Here we are often a corop

Since 2000, our club participates in the archaeological expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine for the study of the ancient city-state Olbia, What on the shore of the Dnieper-Buzhsky Limana. Translated from the ancient Greek city name translated "Happy".

All archaeological monuments are divided into two large groups – settlements and burials.

Settlements are divided into:

  • Parking – So usually refer to the place of stay of the people of the Stone Age,
  • Skinding – have defensive structures,
  • Selishche – unreasted lateral settlements.

Olbia, as a monument of archeology, belongs to the settlement, which is written on the tablet at the entrance. At one time there were stone walls around the polis.

Olbia was founded by immigrants from the city of Millet in the first half of the VI century to our era.

Ancient Greek Milestone standing on the west coast of Malaya Asia in the historical area of ‚Äč‚ÄčKarii. There are not one colony on the shores of the Black Sea.

In the history of Olvia there were moments of heyday and decline. Her residents survived the raids of Alexander Macedonian, militant geths, were not easy to relationship with Scythians. At the moment of decline, Olvia became part of the Roman Empire, and in the 70s IV century died under the Nachis Gunnov.

In 2003, Olbia received the status of the National Historical and Archaeological Reserve. We will back to this wonderful antique city, I will talk about the archaeological studies of Olvia and its modern state.

Expedition organization

Now I will talk about the archaeological expedition itself. We say that six months we remember the last expedition, and the remaining six months are preparing for a new.

Excavation financing

The main question is the financing of excavations. There may be different options.

  • First – these are planned excavations under the auspices of the institutes of archeology or museums, when funds are laid in the annual budget.
  • Second – These are security excavations when there are monuments archaeologists during the construction of residential, production facilities and roads on their territory. Then money can allocate an organization that conducts construction work. So it was, for example, in the construction of the Crimean bridge and submissions to it.
  • Third – This is sponsorship.

I usually used the first and third options. When we organize the expedition of schoolchildren, the money is laid in the budget within the framework of summer improvement. Parents are partially paid for the road.

When I organized the Scyth club as a youth public organization, began to use the third way of financing. When managing the family and young people, contests were held on the organization of summer recovery of students of young people. I filed an application, and the excavation financing occurred under this program.

It was in my practice and participation in security excavations, when one company lasted the cable and damaged Kurgan. To cost without trial, the company allocated funds on the excavation of this Kurgan. It was extremely, the expedition turned out in November, when the first snow fell.

For clarity Photo from this expedition / Photo by

Selection of participants

Archeology is a specific science, and there should be professional professionals. On research of any monument need official permission. This document is called "Open List". In Russia, he is issued by the Institute of Archeology of the our Academy of Sciences.

Institute of Archeology and its regional offices lead the general process of conducting excavations. Separately, there are historical local lore museums in which the archaeological department adopts a specific plan for archaeological excavations of the region.

In an expedition, except the scientific officer of the excavation, there must be a photographer, artist, drawer, restorer and diggers. Each, even without special training, can get to the archaeological expedition, although most managers prefer professionals. For example, for the excavations of the necropolis of Kyz-Aul and the ancient city of the Chinese in the Crimea, volunteers are gaining even without experience.

How to run excavations

The task of archaeologist as fully explore the archaeological monument.

Kurgan usually have time to explore in one season, ground grains, like settlements, are investigated for many years.

Applied excavation methods depend on the type of monument and tasks facing the archaeologist. In exploration uses shurs and trenches. In the study of settlements and ground grain grains, the excavation split into squares. Mounds dig in testers or split into 4 sectors, and are examined by sectors.

As for Olvia, it is digging from the beginning of the twentieth century.

Olbia. Study basement at home / Photo by

During the excavations, different artifacts come across.

Our guys found small clay figures – terracotes, whole amphoras, fish dishes and other dishes. Were among the finding tools of labor, architectural elements, coins.

There are monuments of archeology on which excavations are held over the years. Kurgans are now investigating less frequently, mainly when they threaten the destruction.

In the excavations of each monument, its features, but there is also a common method for all archaeological research techniques.

Until a certain point in the couch shovel, but when they reached the cultural layer, the painstaking work of knives, brushes and bugs.

It’s hard to dig parking the stone century.

The tools of labor is very small, so the layers are removed by special tools literally on a centimeter. All finds remain in their places, while archaeologists continue to dig and columns with artifacts grow in the excavation. Only after fixing the finds can be removed.

All finds need to take a picture and assign them the code. Fix stains, soil differences, wooden remains. If possible, restoration work is in place, but the main part of scientific work is carried out already in laboratories upon return.

For finding it is necessary to determine the time of their "life" – dating.

In the case of Olvia dating easier. Historians already know the period of the existence of an ancient Greek policy, so the dating of finds takes place within the framework of this period. The task is to determine the specific period in the history of Olvia, to which the artifact belongs, it was made directly in Olvia or brought from Greece or other regions Okumen.

Finds then replenish the expositions of museums, and most of the storage are sent to the repository. When writing scientific papers, articles, books of historians use the reports of archaeological expeditions, found artifacts.

How to go on excavations - Expedition to the ancient city of Olvia

Expedition and life in an archaeological camp

I started everything from a simple school mug "Young archaeologist".

I worked then a simple history teacher. In the circle we went to the guys who were enthusiastic, and on the excavation we began to ride under the wing of the regional local history museum. I believe that the archaeological camp is one of the effective forms of the organization of the summer holiday, and a number of scientific articles in Russia and Ukraine were written about the educational potential of the archaeological expedition of schoolchildren. The guys in the expedition learn a lot of new things, the experience of tourist hiking is gaining.

On the territory of Olvia’s reserve, a place for tent camps of detachments right on the shores of Liman. Near the tents of groups from Moscow, Kyiv, St. Petersburg. There is a place for our squad "Scythian".

The camp lives on complete self-service.

We prepare themselves, we harvest firewood, we provide a detachment with water. In the evening we are going by the fire, where songs born in expeditions sound, tell interesting stories from past expeditions.

Work on the excavation takes place from 6 am to 12 pm.

If necessary, the working day can be extended if you need to finish the study of a specific object. In severe heat, this time is reduced. Drafts and draftsmen usually work in the evenings, when the southern sun is not so palette. In general, each expedition is installed on its mode.

On the study of Kurgans, we worked a light day with a four-hour break for lunch and rest. The time of work on the excavation still depends on the deadlines. You can come and rains will not allow working for several days, and then a week will have to explore a huge area.

In addition to scientific, the archaeological expedition has a huge educational potential. You can read about Olvia in the school textbook on history, and here it is possible to touch the ancient ruins of the ancient city. As they say, shovel wrote books.

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Foods from different cities are arranged between football matches. On the territory of Olvia in September is held Festival of author’s song. In addition to interesting work on the excavation, there is something to do.

An important point in the expedition is the acquisition of tourist skills. Someone for the first time himself puts the tent, burning the fire, preparing dinner not for 1-2 people, but for a whole detachment.

Archaeological expedition becomes a kind of traveling in the past, immersion in the era. Stepped through the gate of Olvia, and here you are from the XXI century in the ancient period.

Opening archaeological camp

I have already said that archeology is one of the most romantic sciences. Awareness of public utility for youth is also an important point. They are perfectly expressing through participation in the excavations.

Every season in front of our squad "SKIF" The management of the expedition puts specific tasks. We work mainly in the residential areas of the ancient city, open and explore the remains of houses, ancient bridges, grain basements.

Once on the site of the Nizhny city of North for our detachment set the task to find a city wall. And we found it. It was a real discovery.

When they found the North City Wall in Olvia, the faces of my guys overwhelmed joy and pride. She was looking for for 25 years.

According to Olvia’s plans, it must be in the northern beam, but we assumed that the Turks disassembled it completely during the construction of the Fortith of Ochakov. Yes, some disassembled, but we found the foundation – this is a scientific discovery. It is inscribed in archaeological reports and books on history.

Two skulls were discovered on both sides of the wall. Immediately before my eyes got a picture, like the warriors of Zopyrion, the commander of Alexander Macedonsky, besieged by Olbia. Olviopolitis then, in 331 BC, defended their city.

Preserved photo where I’m in the circle of my squad "Scyth

How to see Olbia and get on the excavation

If you decided to visit the historical and archaeological reserve of Olvia, then it is better to do it from May to September.

In May, the steppe blooms with bright colors, and from June to September there is an archaeological expedition, so it appears the opportunity to see the work of archaeologists.

You can get through Nikolaev and Ochakov. By bus or car, get to the bus station village of Sidenino, and there any resident will show where Olbia.

On the territory of Olvia there is a museum where the finds are collected. There is a playground with architectural elements. Restored Central part of the city – Agora. There is an ancient altar, the outlines of the temple of Apollo Dolphin and Zeus, the treasury, the city standing, where they were going and uttered their speeches nearby.

Address: Ukraine, Nikolaev region, Ochakovsky district, Sailiets, ul. Olvian, 47-A.

Working hours: from 9:00 to 17:00.

Next to the reserve of the shop-cafe, where you can eat inexpensively, and at the entrance to Olbia a souvenir shop. In the central part of the ancient city there are collapse of ceramics, which can be taken on souvenir and take a piece of antiquity from traveling.

Where to seek to go on the excavation yourself or send children there

Previously, enthusiasts were more, and clubs acted on the entire post-Soviet space.

Now I know that there is a youth archaeological club "Legend" in Volgograd, there is an archaeological association of schoolchildren in Obninsk. Our club "SKIF" operates in Ukraine and in Berdyansk there is a circle at the university.

Here are links to some clubs to which you can join (write, call):

If you have questions, leave a comment, be sure to answer.

How to go on excavations - Expedition to the ancient city of Olvia

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