National Historical Museum of the Republic of Belarus

Prehistoric Archaeology

The collection unites materials dating back to the Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages and numbers 44,916 units. Priority is given to materials from burial sites and incidental findings as to the most expressive and attractive.

The interwar period can be considered as the beginning of the collection formation. At this time, the Belarusian State Museum received rich collections excavated during the explorations of Aliaksandr Liaudanski, Kanstancin Palikarpovich, Isak Serbau, et al. However, the major part of the collection was lost during the Second World War. In the post-war period it increased both quantitatively and qualitatively. The first entry in the acquisition log of the main holding of the museum, which deals with the collection, belongs to the Neolithic to early Bronze Age stone axe that was found in September, 1957 during the laying of drainage channel near the village of Dublin, Brahin district, Homieĺ region.

Especially intensive replenishment occurred in 1970-1980s. The collection was replenished mainly due to the transfer of research materials of the Institute of History of the Academy of Sciences of the Byelorussian SSR. Since the late 1990s National Historical Museum has annually conducted its own expeditions.

The collection is presented by monuments of the Stone Age (late Palaeolithic monuments: late Palaeolithic settlements, incidental findings, osteological findings), Final Palaeolithic and Mesolithic monuments, Neolithic monuments (Neman culture, the Dnieper-Donets and Upper Dnieper cultures, Krasnasielski mines, accidental findings), Iron and Bronze century monuments (Scratched Ware culture, the Dnieper-Dvina culture, Milahrad and Zarubintsy culture, Pomeranian and Wielbark culture, and Kiev culture).

Among the most interesting museum objects from the collection, we can call artworks made of bone from Palaeolithic period (materials from the excavation of the man site of Yudinovo, Bryansk region), Neolithic (archaeological materials from the peat swamp settlement of Kryvina, Viciebsk region, and from settlement near the village of Asaviec, Biešankovičy district, Viciebsk region), bronze Mälar-type socketed axe (8th-7th centuries. BC), excavation materials of Wielbark and Zarubintsy cultures.

It is no exaggeration to say about the leading role of the collection in the expositional, cultural and educational activities of the museum. Only with their help it is possible to tell a story about those distant times, which are not recorded in written sources.