In January this year, in the planned activities of PSU named after T.G. Shevchenko according to the archaeological excavations for 2019 was included the Bendery Fortress - one of the most unique monuments of the medieval fortification of the Northern Black Sea region. The first attempt to conduct archaeological excavations on the territory of the fortress was undertaken by the Moldavian archaeologist of the Academy of Sciences of the MSSR I. Khincu in 1969. The excavations were carried out by him in the northern part of the fortress near the citadel. But, soon the command of the Odessa Military District, to which the entire territory of the object belonged, suspended the excavations without any explanations. All the results of the excavations (reports, measurements, photos, etc.) were taken away from the scientific department. Part of his reports Hincu published as an interview in one of the local newspapers, from which we know that he found remains of wooden and earthworks, possibly of a Moldavian fortress, as well as fragments of Moldavian and Turkish ceramics, as well as household items belonged to Chernyakhov culture (IV-VII century AD).
The first archaeological survey on the territory of the Bendery Fortress was conducted in 2009 by the head of the research laboratory “Archeology of Transnistria” of PSU. T.G. Shevchenko, Telnov N.P. Together with the students and the staff of the laboratory, the Lower Fortress was studied, in particular, the corner lower tower, as well as the middle terrace adjacent to the crownwork. Unfortunately, the clogging of the specified area with foreign objects, up to the remnants of metal structures, at that time did not allow to conduct the full excavations.
After the restoration of most of the citadel towers, clearing its territory from foreign garbage, wild green plants, heaps of construction garbage and other foreign objects allowed archaeologists to at least roughly assess the front of future excavations. The citadel was taken as a basis, as the oldest part of the entire fortress, which, according to written sources, existed even before the Ottoman Empire arrived in our region. Re-exploration in 2018 showed that at a depth of about 2 meters, even in the citadel, the integrity of the cultural layer was significantly disrupted by the so-called shifted soil, this is when Turkish cores and modern soldiers buttons simultaneously come across at a specified depth. This feature of the upper soil significantly complicated the work of Transnistrian archeologists.
In the end, the specialists of the laboratory "Archeology of Transnistria" PSU named after T.G. Shevchenko, on February 11 of this year, began the excavations in the southeast tower of the citadel (tower No. 7). First of all, because, unlike other towers, this one did not have the lower tier and the ground with which the tower was covered was the least shifted.
The excavation is headed by the chief of the Research Laboratory “Archeology of Transnistria” S. Fidelsky and his colleagues: S. Razumov, I. Chetverikov, S. Simonenko.
Approximately at a depth of 1.50 m., ground-up stones (stones under the lags), located in a strict radial order, were found. Exactly from this surface an intact cultural layer began, which is a dense continental clay, in which cannonballs were found, in caliber related to a light field gun, a falconet, horse ammunition items, part of ceramics, etc. As it turned out, in the course of further excavations, the above-mentioned pitched stones are only three stones high, rest on solid clay, i.e. masonry does not extend over the entire depth of the structure. The stones themselves are not related to the laying of the tower itself, i.e. were built after the construction of the tower. At a depth of 3.30 m a semblance of a floor consisting of stone chips and lime was found, which is as strong as modern concrete. The distance from the level of the found floor to the overlap of the next floor was 6.30 m. Excavations continue.
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