Set of Agricultural Tools from Boyarka Suburbs

  • Ihor A. Gotun Archeology Institute of NASU
  • Serhii A. Gorbanenko Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine
Keywords: Boiar Museum of Local Lore, narlonik, motif, sickle, spit, complex of agricultural implements.


Agricultural inventory of the Slavs-Rus period in the display of Boyarka Local Lore Museum was represented till recently by two items which come from the town suburbs. They are a wide-bladed spigot ard tip without a visible asymmetry of shoulders and a massive heft coulter which were used in the structure of an ard with a horizontally fixed iron ploughshare, a coulter, and a mouldboard. In the current spring, the Museum’s collections were accomplished with a set of tools found by the searching group Korchahinets during the research at the battle-ground of the World War II period in the outskirts of the town. A set consists of tools for cultivation and harvest. Their structure with its number and assortment can reflect a typical set of agricultural inventory for small-scale farm, namely, for a family. A research at a place where the finding was recorded allowed the authors to exclude an existing of an ancient structure there, while a stratigraphic condition presupposes the further archaeological prospecting. Nevertheless, whatever data will be obtained, it can be stated that discovered is quite an extraordinary site.

The set includes a heavily processed ard tip which is different from the previous by its metrical indexes, although belongs to the same type. Such products appeared on the territory of modern Ukraine at the beginning of the 1st millennium and continued to be used till the second or third quarters of the 1st millennium, while the sort to which the finding belongs was widely spread at the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd millennia and is the most peculiar for archaeological cultures on the south of Eastern Europe of the last quarter of the 1st millennium. It was used also later in Ancient Rus period and till the 19th—20th centuries. An open spigot and wide shoulders evidence that the detail was used in the structure of ard strengthened with a wide-bladed ploughshare which is fixed horizontally to the ground. Also three spigot hoes were found, all having an open spigot and a work part rectangular in section. These tools are known since the second half of the 1st millennium, but they were widely used at the end of it. Two more items of this purpose have an eye design. Such tools appeared on the south of Eastern Europe in the last quarter of the 1st millennium, though the inventing of similar capeshaped projections-cheeks on butts in case of axes is recorded by the scholars for the 10th century. Seven sickles are of classic design, such tools are used till the present time, and the period of their wide usage is the end of the 1st millennium. One of sickles has more massive blade and was probably made by the other craftsman. Scythe-sickle is also represented by a typical sample having analogies dated from Cherniakhiv culture to the 19th century. The period of their wide usage is the last quarter of the 1st millennium and the Ancient Rus period. The tools in the assemblage are mostly processed; some are with the traces of repair. While the chronology of usage of sickles and a scythe is wide, the belonging of other items to the end of the 1st and the beginning of the 2nd millennia allow the authors to come to a conclusion that the whole set was used within the limits of Raikovetska culture of the Kyiv Rus period.

An analysis of information on the record of the agricultural inventory of the end of the 1st or the beginning of the 2nd millennia on the territory of south of Eastern Europe allow stating that this category of findings is not numerous both at the Slavs’ sites on the eve of Ancient Rus state creation, and in the Ancient Rus and the Mongol-Lithuanian periods. It concerns both separate specific sites, and the whole micro regions. Fewer are instances of discovery of not single findings, but of sets similar to the described one, though they are not single among the synchronous antiquities on the lands of the Western Slavs. Consequently, the recent findings from Boyarka suburbs can be considered by right to be a valuable source for the history of agriculture in the region.


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