Archeology 2017


Excavations of ancient stilt-house settlements in North-West Russia (ca. 3000 BC)

The research is led by:

•​ The State Hermitage Museum;

•​ Université de Paris 1-CNRS;

University of Lodz (Poland).


Smolensk region, Velizh district. We will live in a tent camp surrounded by a beautiful pine forest near the Western Dvina river.


July 5th – August 18th 2017.

Object of research:

The mid 3rd millennium BC stilt-house settlement Serteya II in the northern Smolensk region. Please find more information about the excavations at

Volunteers needed for:

•​ excavation of peat layers,

•​ underwater exploration (CMAS* or PADI diving certification needed),

•​ work with artefacts (including conservation, labelling, archaeological illustration).

Please direct any questions regarding participation in the excavations to:

•​ Head of Expeditions Andrei Nikolaevich Mazurchevich:

•​ Deputy Head Ekaterina Dolbunova:


Archaeological workshop and field school:

Research of Neolithic stilt-house settlements in North-East Russia – structure, chronology and economics.

The school is organised and led by:

•​ The State Hermitage Museum (Russia);

•​ MAE Trajectoires. De la sédentarisation à l’État. UMR 8215. Université de Paris 1-CNRS (France);

•​ University of Lodz (Poland);

•​ Saint Petersburg State University, Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics (Russia).


Andrei Mazurkevich, Yolaine Maigrot, Peter Kittel and Ekaterina Dolbunova.


Russia, Smolensk region, Velizh district.


July 5th to August 18th 2017.

The field school will be held in the archaeological sites of the Serteya river and of Lake Sennitsa and Lake Usvyaty. Participants will be able to familiarise themselves with the paleogeography and archaeology of this area. The archaeological field school classes will proceed at the same time as excavations of peat bogs and of the underwater part of the Serteya II settlement (3rd millennium BC). Previous underwater excavations have uncovered the remains of stilt-house dwellings. The interesting findings made helped us gain a better understanding of the life of the settlements’ ancient inhabitants. More detailed information can be found HERE.


•​ further excavation of the area;

•​ defining the geographical and chronological location of settlements in the region;

•​ uncovering new information about the daily life of different dwellings;

•​ collecting new data about the peculiarities of the structure of stilt-house dwellings;

•​ researching materials about the construction of stilt-house dwellings in the region of the basin of the Western Dvina.

Activities programme:

•​ topographic surveying in cooperation with the Department of Cartography and Geoinformatics of Saint Petersburg State University.

•​ practical geological and paleogeographical research in cooperation with P. Kittel from the University of Lodz.

•​ organisation of the excavation sites.

•​ further excavation of the peat cultural layer.

•​ underwater excavations (diving certifications needed).

•​ use of archaeological materials.

•​ conservation and restoration of archaeological finds.

•​ initial processing of materials (study of artefacts, spatial analysis and so forth).

Lectures and excursions

•​ Paleography and geology of the basin of river Lovat-Dvina and of the Serteya micro-region (excavations with P. Kittel);

•​ Archaeology of Neolithic North-West Russia;

•​ Early pottery of the hunter-gatherers communities of Eastern Europe;

•​ Archaeology at the State Hermitage Museum;

•​ Conservation of organic artefacts and ceramics;

•​ Tour of the Serteya micro-region and of the Sennitsa and Usvyaty areas.

The series of archaeological lectures will be organised by specialists in the field of Scandinavian archaeology (a list of documents is currently in preparation).

Terms and conditions:

Participants will live in tents in the camp that will be set up by the expedition in the forest. The nearest town is 40km away. There is a small river by the camp. Unfortunately we cannot cover travel expenses, which will be paid for by the participants themselves. Tents and meals will be provided by the expedition for the duration of the field school.

If you would like to take part in the field school, please send your curriculum to:

•​ Head of Expedition Andrei Nikolaevich Mazurkevich:

•​ Deputy Head Ekaterina Dolbunova:


Archeological digs of the ancient settlement of Rakusechniy Iar (7th – 5th millennium BC)

The research is lead by:

•​ The State Hermitage Museum;

•​ The Archaeological Society of the Don (A. V. Tsybrii).


Rostov region.

Tentative dates:

June 1st to July 10th 2017.

Object of research:

Rakushechniy Iar, a unique multi-layered site with exceptionally well preserved remains of ancient structures and early artefacts. The area is one of the earliest settlements in Eastern Europe.

Volunteers are needed for:

•​ archeological excavations of the site;

•​ work with artefacts (conservation, labelling, archaeological illustration)

Please direct any questions regarding participation in the excavations to:

Dolbunova Ekaterina Vladimirovna: