* A drawing of Novgorod around 1700
Project Co-ordinator: Mark Brisbane, Bournemouth University
This joint research project investigated the archaeological evidence for the palaeo-environment of the remains of the medieval town of Novgorod and its hinterland from the 8th to 14th centuries AD. These sites have been used to set up an integrated study of the environmental evidence, predominantly the evidence from the faunal and plant remains. The collaborating participants are the Department of Applied Sciencess, Bournemouth University, UK, the Department of Archaeology, University College, Cork, Ireland, the Institute of the History of Material Culture, St Petersburg, the Department of Archaeology, Moscow State (Lomonosov) University, Novgorod State Museum, and the Centre for the Organisation of Archaeology in Novgorod, Russia.
The work concentrated on implementing sampling strategies and methodologies for both faunal remains and plant material and continued to examine in detail the evidence itself. This work is producing clear differences between sites which may be partly due to bias in present collection methods, and these recovery methods have been altered in an appropriate manner in order to respond to these findings. A programme of sieving archaeological deposits specifically for environmental data has been instigated on sites in Novgorod and its hinterland, with notable results at Nosov's excavations at Gorodishche.A number of specific results included:
The project helped to underpin the research base for the study of the origin and development of early urbanism in NW Russia. Novgorod is a crucial site in this study due to its unique preservation and closely dated contexts. Together with the evidence from its hinterland, it demonstrates an increasing complexity of settlement type that eventually leads to the formation of an urban trading centre of paramount importance to the study of European urbanism. This project is contributing to that study by using environmental archaeology to examine how human's exploited the plants and animals available to them during the medieval period. The project has received support from other institutions who have helped with expertise notably the University of Kiel, the British Museum and the Institute of Archaeology, London.The Centre for Archaeology, Anthropology and Heritage has a long-standing link to projects concerned with the archaeology of medieval Novgorod and its Hinterland.