Activities of the society of archaeology, history and ethnography on Bolgar hillfort site in the late XIX – early XIX centuries
Author(s)Persova Svetlana G.
the Upper and Middle Volga region
Northern Coniferous Zone of Europe
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AbstractOn the basis of published and archival sources, the article analyzes the activity of the Society for Archaeology, History and Ethnography (SAHE) with Kazan Imperial University devoted to the study and preservation of the Bolgar hillfort site. Initial excavations with SAHE participation were conducted here in 1887 at the ruins of the “White Chamber” by I.I. Vashchuk and V.V. Glinski, the trustees of Moscow 1st-guild merchant N.S. Rasteryaev. SAHE’s role was reduced to participation of V.A. Kazarinov, a researcher, as observer. Nevertheless, the Society laid the foundation for professional research of the Bolgar hillfort, collected exhibits displayed in SAHE museum, compiled plans of the settlement and individual buildings, performed measurements and topographic surveying, identified the destination of the majority of architectural monuments and provided partially accurate determination of their construction periods. In 1916, the last pre-revolutionary season on Bolgar hillfort site was held. The researcher V.F. Smolin studied the ruins of the “Hellenic Chamber”. In 1916, Archaeological prospecting was aimed at finding Christian burials in the vicinity of the edifice. Excavations by SAHE uncovered only a small part of the Bolgar hillfort area. The obstacles for the scientific activity of the Society were a lack of money, and then WWI. Despite all the shortcomings, during the pre-revolutionary period SAHE researchers accumulated a certain experience and offered a framework methodology for the study of this historical and archaeological medieval settlement.