Riddles and secrets at every step, more precisely, even on every centimeter of the earth. Large-scale archaeological excavations are underway at the walls of the Transfiguration Church in Polotsk. The territory near the 12th century temple is to be explored. And the first find is already there, someone will say - a treasure.
These mountains are handmade. Every centimeter of soil has to be sifted slowly: after all, it is the land of the 12th century. Even the smallest item found here is a piece of ancient history. A sensation can easily get lost among the lumps, like a needle in a haystack.
This year, archaeologists have appeared at the walls of the Transfiguration Church in May. The largest excavations in the history of the Savior Euphrosyne Monastery are underway. It is already known that initially the temple was almost twice as large.
40 square meters near the walls of the temple were dug up and down last year. This explores twice as much. While scientists are working from the east and west sides. The land will remain at the northern facade, but this is already next year. Until then, attention to detail. Colleagues from the best museums in Russia - artists from Moscow and archaeologists from the St. Petersburg Hermitage - are helping Belarusian scientists. They spend their fifth summer in Polotsk. A vivid example of ancient architecture in Eastern Europe has survived to this day in Belarus. Thousands of kilometers around on the site of other ancient buildings it is good if the ruins, or even elevations are overgrown with grass, but here it is enough to remove 20 centimeters of land, and here it is - a rich cultural layer that has accommodated nine centuries.
After the archaeologists, restorers start to work, artists have to lay masonry, special work - restoring a fragment of the lost foundation. Almost according to the original technology. The mysteries are not only deep underground. Under a layer of plaster on old bricks - messages and painted crosses. Last year, after the first excavations, it was already reported about a “sensation from Polotsk”. Then, at a depth of three meters, the remains of the room were dug up, where, presumably, the father of Euphrosyne of Polotsk could have been buried. There are no fewer discoveries this year. Ceramics, glass, pieces of fused lead, tiles. Various objects are found near the walls of the Transfiguration Church. But this find surprised many (see video). It was covered with mortar right in the wall. United States of America, one troy ounce of fine silver. It was produced 100 years ago. What is it? Someone's temple donation, atonement for sins? Or was someone just hiding this coin? Another riddle.
While the work is in full swing outside, the restoration of the frescoes is almost complete inside. More than 90% of paintings from the times of Euphrosyne of Polotsk have been discovered. Here scientists have applied a special technology. The temple was painted several times in its history, and scientists were able to exfoliate the paints of different years. Now 200 square meters of murals are exhibited in the Polotsk Art Gallery.
Every year thousands of tourists and pilgrims go to Polotsk to venerate the relics of the Venerable and the restored cross of Euphrosyne. The unique temple of the 12th century is still waiting for five years of restoration, because scientists work only in the warm season. It will appear renewed in 2025. Polotsk will celebrate 900 years since the founding of the Euphrosyne Monastery of the Savior.