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Stratum plus. 2003-2004. №5

K. V. Pavlova (St.-Petersburg, Russia)

Towards the Issue of the Debris of a Wooden Church of 12th - 13th Century on the Fortified Settlement Osovik

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Pages: 271-275

Archaeological publications pay much attention to stone churches of 12th – 13th centuries found on the territory of the early Russia. However, among numerous contributions on religious constructions of stone of the mentioned period, there are very few descriptions of the contemporary old Russian wooden churches. There had been few stone temples in Russia before the Mongol invasion, while wooden churches were much more common. The article contains analysis of archaeological and written evidence pointing to existence of a wooden church on the fortified settlement Osovik (the territory of the former Smolensk principality) in 12th – 13th centuries. Archaeological evidence includes some objects of cult:  small personal bronze crosses, bronze encolpion crosses, etc. Yet, the most important evidence supporting the existence of a church on this settlement in 12th – 13th cc. are numerous bits of oxidized sheet bronze with traces of rivets in some places, and what is still more important, fragments of bronze bells. To substantiate the fact that there could have been a wooden church built in Osovik, the author recurs to some facts of Smolensk principality’s history in 12th – 13th cc.


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