Unorozh: A Journey through the Ages

From July 28 to August 25 the Interregional archaeological scientific expedition "Unorozh: A Journey through the Ages" will take place in the Kostroma region In 2018, the expedition is supported by a grant from the Russian Geographical Society.

The purpose of the 2018 expedition is conducting complex archaeological research and preserving the historical, cultural and natural landscape heritage of the unique multi-layered archaeological sites of Unorozh Castle and Lake Galichskoye.

The ancient fortress Unorozh has unique historical information, it has records of some artifacts from the Mesolithic Age (the Middle Stone Age - VII thousand BC), finds of the Early Iron Age (1st millennium BC), evidences of international trade X-XI c. Its cultural layers keep traces of settlements in the era of the formation of the Old Russian state and monastic land ownership in the period of the Moscow kingdom and the Russian Empire.

Unorozh has attracted the attention of researchers since the XIX century. In 1988-1991 the monument was explored by A.E. Ryabinin.

Since 2013, the Kostroma archaeological expedition has explored the settlement site. Archaeologists have collected interesting archaeological materials. The scientists specified the stratigraphic scale of the ancient settlement, found an ancient Russian necropolis of the 12th-13th centuries on the territory of the monument, a layer of the Finno-Ugric settlement, in which objects proving that its inhabitants participated in the international fur trade were found. In addition, the archaeologists discovered several objects related to the Mesolithic and Early Iron Age in Unorozh.

At the same time, the archaeologists still have to clarify the planning and dating issues of some parts of the monument, its fortification, and peculiarities of its surroundings, to study the material and spiritual cultures, methods of farming, production, and the everyday life of Unorozh’s ancient inhabitants.

The Kostroma regional branch of the Russian Geographical Society invites volunteers to take part in the expedition.

Requirements for volunteers: age 18-45 years, the desire to participate in excavations, good health. The minimum number of days in the expedition is five. Organizers provide accommodation, food, paid travel from Kostroma and Galich to the site of the excavations.

The volunteers will not only conduct archaeological work, but will also take part in lectures, seminars, master classes on making ancient dishes as a part of the program of the School of Young Scientists.

A prepared mobile exhibition "Cultural heritage of the Galich land", a thematic exposition of the rural museum center in the village of Unorozh with new up-to-date materials will be as one of the results of the expedition, as well as a conference dedicated to the results of the expedition. In addition, a popular scientific article on the expedition of 2018 is planned to be published. 

Partners and organizers of this research are the Kostroma regional branch of the Society, the authorities of the Kostroma region, of the Galich municipal district and the Orekhovo rural settlement, the Khalikov Institute of Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Tatarstan, the Center for Physical Anthropology of the. Miklukho-Maklay Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology, the Kostroma State Historical, Architectural and Art Museum-Reserve, Kostroma media, employees of the Nizhny Novgorod State University Museum, the Nizhny Novgorod Archaeological Expedition, BEST LLC (Kostroma) and others.

It is assumed that students and schoolchildren interested in archeology and unique history of the Kostroma land, including students of the Orekhovskaya and Rossolovskaya schools of the Galich municipal district of the Kostroma region, students of Orekhovo-Zuevo State Humanitarian Technological University (Moscow Region), and members of regional branches of the Russian Geographical Society will take part in the expedition.