Kitezh was a place of prayer Cheremis pagan — Archaeologists

Vetluzhsky archaeological expedition Museum of Nizhny Novgorod State University named. NI Lobachevsky found near Lake Svetloyar remains of the medieval Russian settlement, dating back to pre-XIV — early XV centuries.

In addition to numerous pottery shards Russian ceramics found fragments of medieval knives, flint and kresalnoe fragment of a millstone for grinding grain.

This discovery was not expecting anyone.

The fact is that being in the Nizhny Novgorod region Lake Svetloyar known throughout Russia. To visit its shores cherished dream of many Orthodox pilgrims. And of course, it investigated scientists. Back in the late 60's visited the place a scientific expedition led by archaeologist Tatiana Makarova, organized by the "Literary newspaper." Then the scientists agreed that on the banks of the legendary lake up to the XVII century, no one has lived.

Russian people come here just to celebrate Orthodox holidays and prayers, and Cheremysi (Mari) to pagan rites, and even then not before XVII-XVIII centuries. After completing studies in "Literary" was, in particular, says: "As a result of intelligence found that Kitezh never stood on the shore Svetloyar."

Some scholars believe that the legend of the vanished city of Kitezh could arise on the basis of people's historical memory of the once stood on the shore Svetloyar settlement or fort, chapel or shrine, destroyed by a landslide. In this regard, Nizhny Novgorod archaeologists discovered a medieval settlement, it is likely, it could serve as a prototype of the legendary city, lost in the Volga forests. But without a full archaeological excavation of the unique Villages draw any far-reaching conclusions too early.

It should be noted that the expedition was carried out, in fact, the means of the participants themselves. And this, scientists, students and journalists, and just enthusiasts.

Dmitry Karabelnikov,
Nizhny Novgorod

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