Findings of Drohychyn Type Seals in Kyiv

  • Hlib Ivakin DSc, Professor, Corresponding Member of the NAS of Ukraine, Institute of Archaeology of the NASU
  • Dmytro Bibikov PhD, Junior Research Fellow of the Department of Archaeology of Kyiv of the Institute of Archaeology of the NASU http://orcid.org/0000-0003-4288-2091
  • Vsevolod Ivakin PhD, Head of the Department of Archaeology of Kyiv of the Institute of Archaeology of the NASU http://orcid.org/0000-0002-0074-1963
  • Viacheslav Baranov Research Fellow of the Department of Archaeology of Kyiv of the Institute of Archaeology of the NASU http://orcid.org/0000-0001-6388-4091
Keywords: Old Rus, Kyiv, sphragistic, custom lead seals, attributing

Abstract

Drohychyn type lead seals remain poorly studied among Old Rus sphragistics. There is no consensus among researchers regarding both the functions they performed and the personal attribution of specific types of seals. On the territory of modern Kyiv 28 items of lead seals and blanks were discovered during 2016—2017 excavations of Architectural and Archaeological expedition of the Institute of Archaeology, the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. These include more than were discovered during all the previous years of excavations in the city. The finds come from three points: the northwestern part of Kyiv Podil, the newly discovered settlement Feofaniia 2 and the settlement of Kytaiv fortress. The vast majority of the excavated seals represent unknown types. However, despite relative complexity of the sphragistic types, they show close analogies among synchronous bullae. This allows not only classifying the images on the seals, but also making an attempt of their personal attribution. All studied items are dated by the second half of XI — early XII centuries. They belong to Kyivan Grand Princes Iziaslav Yaroslavych, Sviatoslav Yaroslavych, Vsevolod Yaroslavych, Sviatopolk Iziaslavych, Vsevolod Olhovych, as well as Iziaslav’s son, Yaropolk, prince of Volhynia and Turov. To our opinion, excavations discovered the earliest Drohychyn type lead seals. The most representative finds were excavated in Podil (Kyrylivska Street, 37), where probably customs of Great Prince in old times were located (at the northern entry to the city). Their topography confirms the point of view on lead seals, as on credentials associated with Old Rus “fur money”. The published collection should form the basis of a common catalogue of sphragistic finds from the territory of Kyiv and its environs.

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2020-06-22
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Antiquities of Kyiv