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Archaeologists find evidence of Vikings’ presence in Belarus

MINSK, 27 October (BelTA) - Archaeologists have found the remains of an ancient Viking settlement in Vitebsk Oblast, which proves that the Vikings lived on the territory of Belarus, BelTA learnt from Doctor of Historical Sciences Olga Levko, the chief of the center for the history of pre-industrial society of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus. She did not specify where exactly the remains of the settlement were found saying that “black diggers” may interfere with further study of this area. During the excavations the archeologists found the elements of weapons and household things indicating that the presence of the Vikings in the territory of Belarus was not episodic or transit, but rather permanent. The main precious finds were ingots of nonferrous metals, a silver point of a sword scabbard, the matrix for casting tips and other things. In addition, archeologists found a burial place of one of the Vikings along with its weaponry and a horse. “This discovery is very important to us as it proves that the Vikings lived in the territory of Belarus,” Olga Levko said. There was practically no research on the Vikings in Belarus, Olga Levko said. In coming years the scientists will pay special attention to this subject and conduct research into the main features of the life of the Vikings in Belarus. The fact that is already known, for example, is that their settlements were small and were located near the settlements of local residents. The Vikings were Scandinavian seamen who traveled from Vinland to Bjarmaland, from the Caspian Sea to North Africa in the 8th-9th centuries. It was mainly free peasants of the Danish, Norwegian and Swedish descent. The Vikings were mostly pagans. The NASB Institute of History conducts research in history and archeology, archeological excavations, provides expert analysis of the most important scientific programs and projects in culture and history.