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Field School on Khazar Archaeology in Divnogorye

Summer historical-archaeological field school in Divnogorye (Voronezh district, Russia) took place from 26th of June to 3rd of July. The school was organized by “Sefer” Center and the Institute of Slavic Studies (Russian Academy of Sciences), together with the Architectural-Archaeological Museum – Natural Reserve “Divnogorye” and Voronezh State University; the school was supported by Genesis Philanthropy Group, UJA Federation of NY and Rothschild Foundation Europe.

The territory of “Divnogorye” reserve has one of the most well-known monuments of Khazarian culture – Mayats archaeological complex. The research of this place started relatively early, but only 5-6% of its territory is studied until today.

The participants of this school had a task to distinguish the territory of spreading underground materials (ceramics basically) with definition of possible places of its concentration, that would be perspective for the future researches. Besides the important experience of archaeological works the participants had a chance to learn how to work with ceramics. Our expedition collaborated with another field school (organized by Lipetsk University, under the supervision of professor A. Bessudny).


The participants attended the lectures about the history and archaeology of Khazarian kaganate (by prof. A. Vinnikov, prof. V. Petrukhin, and B. Raskovskiy, PhD); lectures about the ethnogenesis of Khazars and Khazarian languages (prof. I. Peyros and dr. O. Mudrak); lectures about Saltovo-Mayaki culture (S. Vladimirov). Big attention was paid to the history of the archaeological research Divnogorye (dr. E. Zakharova) and its contemporary state, as well as to other important problems of Khazars studies.


One of the participants, Anna Yudkina, recorded several interviews with the local inhabitants. It is planned to make a research about memorialization of the execution place (13 Hungarian Jews were executed in Divnogorye in 1943).

Various walking tours in the caves and archeological sights became an important part of the school. The natural reserve Divnogorye is beautiful and unique place. Workshops on making ceramics and ancient weapon were an entertainment part.

The participants of this field school got new knowledge and skills, received a unique experience. Everybody just fell in love with this wonderful place! The decision of one of the new participants of our programs to call her dog Sefer became a nice surprise for us. Here it is:   

The full program of Divnogorye school is here (click on the image)