by Dmitry VASILYEV, head of the archeological laboratory of Astrakhan State University, Emma ZILIVINSKAYA, Cand. Sc. (Hist.), RAS Institute of Ethnology and Anthropology named after N.N. Miklukho-Maklay (Moscow)
The Lower Volga is a surprising region in the archeological respect. Here all waves of migration of people and invasions of fighting tribes from East to West left their traces, the capitals of the two greatest medieval nomadic empires Khazar khaganat (7th - 10th centuries) and Golden Horde (13th - 15th centuries) were located.
Meanwhile, such a unique region has not been sufficiently explored as yet. The thing is that the local archeological school in Astrakhan is just being shaped, while metropolitan scientists from the Institute of Archeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences and Moscow State University named after M. V. Lomonosov have mainly concentrated their efforts on the study of Selitrenny site of ancient settlement for many years where in 1254 - 1395 there was the capital of Golden Horde Sarai Batu (Stary Sarai). Now that there are extensive excavation along both banks of the Volga River, each field season brings new sensations.
According to written sources, the fact that the Upper Volga region was one of the centers of Khazar khaganat is well-known. Recently, it has been confirmed when studying Samosdelsky site of ancient settlement located in the Volga delta, 43 km from Astrakhan. Its "core" is a low hilly upland located on the island in the middle of the river, cre-
ated by stratified occupation layers. Also, they have been found out in the coastal lowland, a "younger" part of the settlement. Its total area which is currently known was rather significant for the Middle Ages, about 2 km2.
This object had been reckoned among the ones of Golden Horde and there are a lot of them in the Upper Volga, until in 1990 a teacher of the secondary school in the village of Samosdelka A ... Читать далее