The system of defense of Slavs settlements in Plisneskо, Galich and Stilsko

The system of defense of Slavs settlements in Plisneskо, Galich and Stilsko

Система фортифікацій слов’янських поселень у Пліснеську, Галичі і Стільську


Аuthor – N.-M. Rybchynskyi, 5-th year student of the historical faculty, Ivan Franko University


Стаття опублікована у збірнику Current issues in research conservation and restoration of historic fortifications collection of scientific articles Number 9 Chelm-Lviv, 2017


Summary: The article deals with the research of the Slavs defensive lines. The systems of defense of Plisnesko, Stilsko and Galich have been analyzed. It has been established that for all settlements there is a complicated system of defense with a large number of bulwarks and trench. The structural features of separate areas of defense also are analyzed. 

Key words: archeology, fortifications, Slavs, settlements, bulwark


Introduction

In the article are disclosed features and character of the placement of defensive lines of reference monuments of the Slavs settlements of the Carpathian region: Plisnesko, Stilsko and Galich.

The defining feature of each settlement is the defensive bulwark. It was defended the most important parts of the settlements. Exploration of the bulwark allows you to learn more about the structural features of the defensive structures of that time, the development of early Slavs military architecture, also the building of the fortifications of part of the settelement. All of this gives a more information of the early Slavs urban development in the Carpathian region.

Most publications devoted to defensive constructions are based on the research of the Plisnesko settlement. Here it is worth mentioning the works of Mykhailo Filipchuk, who explore Plisnesko in 26 years and investigate all defensive lines [15. S. 15-19]. In addition, preliminary results of the research of the defensive lines of the Stilsko settlement are covered by Orest Korchinsky [2; 3. Tom CCLIII. – S. 490; S. 267]. On the basis of his own research, the defensive lines Galich described by Bogdan Tomenchuk [8]. In addition, explores of early Slavs defensive lines were: Boris Tymoshchuk; Iryna Rusanova; Alexander Ovchinnikov, Volodymyr Baran and Andriy Filipchuk.

The aim of the article

Identify and characterize the constructive features of the early Slavs defensive lines of the fortified settlements of Plisnesko, Stilsko and Galich.

The Research Context

The period of the last quarter of the 1st millennium BC is characterized by the appearance of a significant number of settlements in the territory of Galicia. They are located on high peaks. They are characterized by: large area, a large number of defensive lines, the presence of a central fortified site (the nucleus of the settlement). For these fortified settlements, there is also a clear social and functional zoning. Among the large masses of settlements the greatest attention is attracted by Plisnesko, Halych and Stylsko, as they have been mostly studied for the last two decades.

Plisnesko settlement

Particular attention deserves the Plisnesko settlement (Fig. №1), as among all others it is investigated the best. It arises at a high cape elevation likely in the end. VII – beg. VIII on the site of ur. Olenyn Park, which later begins to play the role of a cult place [11]. The so-called sacrificial belt is poured from the south side. Its composition includes numerous remnants of human sacrifices. In IX – X centuries. in ur Olenine Park appears a pagan temple [12]. Then on the floor of the “sacrificial belt” the defensive shaft is poured. With relatively primitive walls of foot construction which adjoined long home-continents [10].

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Fig. 1. Plisnesko settlement. Map by Mykhailo Fylypchuk [13. Map 6]

The sanctuary that lasted for about 50 years and was destroyed in connection with the campaign of Volodymyr Svyatoslavovich on White Croats in 992. The sacred center was in the most important place of the settlement [10]. It was best protected (6 internal protection lines and a system of foreign frontiers). The reason for considering the pagan religious center as the most important part of the settlement is the fact that researchers have not yet find other remains of the palaces of the military elite or centers of public authority.

From the north side, the defensive line was created from much more powerful structures [14; 15]. This is due to the fact that this side did not have natural protection in the form of a fast and high slope.

Particular attention deserves the defensive bulwark №5. It did not conduct any archaeological research, although experts considered it the last line of protection of Rus’ times. The main purpose of the search work was to determine the time of operation and the nature of the construction of this defensive structure.

In the course of the study, was found six asynchronous objects were found at different depths: three defensive (objects number 1-3), one residential (numbered 4) and two religious (number 5-6) destination [17 . S. 26-29]. In 2008, the excavation was laid next to the 2007 trench. The main purpose of the search work in this place was to clarify the design features, to determine the time and possible stages of the functioning of the fortification. The area of ​​this excavation was 98 m2. After removing the sod layer of soil and conducting several strips of the plot at depths of 0, 4 m from the level of the modern surface, the apricots of objects №1 and №2 began to appear, between which a strip of light-palm forests was visible. In addition, massive stones were discovered on the top of the shaft in front of the specified strip, the top of which appeared almost at the level of the modern surface. In the study of filling, which was to the right of the strip, is related to the object №1, and found on the left – with the object № 2. During the research, not only the configuration and parameters of these structures changed, but also some asynchronous оbjects [18; 19]. Defensive line №5 was one of the most powerful at Plisnesko settlement. It consisted of: the earth’s foundation of the bulwark, the battle chambers in the bulwarks, the wooden wall. It is worth noting that the defense line of such a design is unique, analogues, at the moment, not found. On the basis of this it is possible to put forward the hypothesis that this defensive line defended the richer inhabitants of the Plisnesko settlement (?).

The study of the defensive line number 2 in 2016 (head of the expedition – Andriy Filippchuk) provided information on the fact that the external (originally natural) slope of the local bulwark in the end. IX – at the beginning X centuries Several furnaces for the ceramics rolled up (perhaps there was a production ceramic complex here). The defensive line appeared later. The main time of its existence is on the other floor. X centuries Subsequently, on the inside of the shaft in the XI century. laid a deepened dwelling with a stove-stove. During the XII-XIII centuries. this territory was used for the Christian necropolis [1].

Interesting are the results of the research of the defense line №1. The information obtained during the research indicates that the fortification consisted of a shaft-shaped mound of soil, wooden structures and a ground-level extension to the bulwark. She stopped to exist in the end of X centuries This is indicated by two dwelling houses that were located on the inside of the shaft on the ground floor. The first of them ceased to exist at about pp. X century, and the second – pp XI century [5]. Based on the data obtained, we can assume that this defensive line served as an auxiliary function. The time of its construction can be linked with the period of the campaign of  Volodymyr Svyatoslavovich to the Croats (992-993).

The results of research on the outer line of defense of the Plisneskо settlement were interesting. To the earth’s embankment of bulwark adjoins the remnants of a log building ground. For her, they are characterized by «Fracture» every 12-14 m and relatively low embankment shafts. The walls were constructed in the form of a palisade [16]. Based on this, it can be assumed that these defensive lines defended the poorest and least privileged population.

The structure of entrances to the settlement still remains unexplored. However, it can be assumed that it was similar to found in Stilsko.

Thus, the defensive lines of Plisnesko create a complex system of fortifications, aimed at the long-term resistance of the enemy. It is worth noting that the construction of the shafts №1 and №2 coincides with the time of Volodymyr Sviatoslavovich’s campaign to the Croats in 992. This suggests that these lines served as ancillary function in the defense of the settlement from the troops of Rus’.

Stilsko settlement

Separate attention deserves Stilsko settlement (Fig. №2). The first written mention of it refers to the fourteenth century. It refers to the headquarters of the Galician Metropolitanate in the town of «Stlos’ko» on the Dniester River. The first exploration of the settlement was carried out in the late 70’s of the twentieth century. From the beginning of the 80’s and before 2000 the monument is studied by Orest Korchinsky [2; 3. Tom SLIIII. – S. 490; S. S. 268]. During this time we have information about the topography of the monument, the nature of the structures of defensive fortifications, the development of fortified parts of the city.

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Fig. 2. Stilsko settlement. Map by Mykhailo Fyliypchuk [13. Map 4]

The fortified «nucleus» was placed in the central part of the ancient city – more than 100 m above the mirror of the Kolodnytsia River. In the plan, the central area of the settlement is in the form close to a rectangle (300 × 500m) with rounded corners. The highest height on the dytyntsi surface is fixed in its eastern part, on the crest of the shaft. It is 394.5 m, and the smallest – in the southwest – 365 m [3. Tom SSLІІI. – S. 490; S. S. 268].

The preserved height of the bulwark is 2.0-2.6 and the width of the base is 11-12 m. A length of 1.5-2.5 m and a width of 6 m is traced along the outside of the shaft. An important element of the defense is an artificial terrace (width 6 m) [4. S. 270].

Found remnants of the defensive line indicate that on the surface of the bulwarks was the wall of a log construction, in which periodically there were defensive towers. The location of the towers is indicated by rounded depressions 2.5 m in diameter and 0.3 to 4 m deep, located on the crest of the shaft [4. S. 271].

The shafts trace past tracks. They are indicated by breaks in the shafts and ditches that reach 3.5-4.5 m in length. It was found that they were from the north, east and west by one and two from the south. In places of travel from the eastern and southern sides, studies were carried out, during which traces of wooden towers and wooden structures were observed [3. Tom SSLІІI. – S. 490].

Along the fortified territory there is a shaft dividing it into two parts: eastern (smaller) and western (bigger). Orestz Korchinsky notes that the shaft is quite late – it was tucked up at the end of the Rus’ period. By this time, the complex of economic structures, found by Mikhail Filipchuk in 1989 [3. Tom SSLІІI. – S. 491].

However, traces of buildings are found on the central square. These are small areas with a horizontal surface rectangular in the form of 4.0 × 7.0 m, which protrude above the environment to a height of 0.2-0.3 m. One of them revealed fragments of dishes that Orest Korchinsky dates from the IX-X centuries [4. S. 275].

Traces of wooden building are also found along the inner foot of the shaft. They have the form of coal-bearing layers in the thickness of 0.10-0.15 m; Some of them contain remnants of charred wooden constructions, fragments of circular ware of the IX-X centuries. and fragments of weapons [3. Tom SSLІІI. – S. 495]. This suggests that such structures were not residential spaces, but were used to protect the shaft.

On all sides, the baby was surrounded by a large fortified suburb. The system of defense left the remains of two parallel horseshoe shaped shafts. From the outside, they are surrounded by terraces and moats [3. Tom SSLІІI. – S. 496].

The greatest attention was paid to the northern and northeastern parts. The excavated area revealed the remains of 30 housing and economic objects of the IX-X centuries, including the iron-smelting complex. An external defensive line was also explored.

It is represented by an earth bulwark that survived to a height of 1.8 m and had a width at the foot of 11-12 m. Outside, the defensive line was reinforced by a moat that reached 1.2-1.5 m in depth and 6-7 m in width. Along the inner slope of the shaft, visually traceable remains of wooden structures, presumably for military purposes [4. S. 276].

During the research, it was found that on the surface of the shaft there was a wooden wall of a log construction. Near the walls were built “cameras-premises”, used for economic and military purposes, and their roof – for the movement of soldiers [3. Tom SSLІІI. – S. 499].

Thus, the study of Stilsko settlement will only allow preliminary conclusions about the structural features of the defensive lines. On the basis of visual research the most powerful is the line of defense surrounding the central site of the settlement. According to Orestes Korchinsky, for each (except for the external) defensive line, there was a peculiar structure of walls that was located on powerful shafts-platforms. The outer defensive line in its design is identical with the similar shafts in Plisnesko, Hanachivka and other fortifications of the Ukrainian Carpathian region.

Krylos settlement (near sity Galych)

Galich (fig. №3) was one of the largest cities in the Slavs, as well as in the Rus’ period. The ancient Slavs fortress was located on the present territory of Krylos (a high cape, located near the city of Galich). This locality is associated with the dytyna prince Galich – the capital of the Galician principality, and later Galicia-Volyn kingdom. However, in general, in the territory of the settlement there are numerous antiquities of Copper, Bronze, Early Iron, Late Roman and Old Slavs times [6].

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Fig. 3. Krylos settlement. Map by B. Tomenchyk

Recent archaeological research has provided the basis for distinguishing three stages in the history of the functioning of Galich: ancient; chronicle and late medieval [6].

The ancient period of the functioning of Galich is practically not recorded and least studied. This, first of all, is due to the fact that during the development of the settlement the material remains of this period were actually destroyed. Bogdan Tomenchuk believes that on these lands there could be an ancient tribal center, which later became the capital of one of the tribal principalities of White Croatia [7. S. 217].

In support of this hypothesis can be witnessed by the Krylos treasure of silver items of VI-VIII centuries. Byzantine origin, found in ur. Metropolitan Pole. However, the materials of the IX – the beginning of the tenth century. actually no. By this time the Kryloske fortress and the rich prince’s burial place are the Kenotaf in Galychyna mogyla (a large mound in the center of the settlement) [9. S. 254].

Ancient Galich had strong multi-row defensive systems (internal – 50 hectares and the outer – Lukva – Dniester – Limnitsa). Although the planning system of the Dolitopysnogo Galich has not yet been sufficiently studied, however, it is possible to draw preliminary conclusions. In particular, the settlement consisted of five large fortified parts. Each of them had its own functional purpose. The most important elements of settlement are residential buildings in the city. Zolotyi Tik, Vicheva (assembly area) and the trading area in Ur. Kuchki near Galychyna Mogyla, sanctuary, necropolis, housing and economic and craft parts. Defensive lines of the Krylos mound have a wooden-earthen structure [8. S. 335].

Тhe outer defensive line had the most powerful fortifications on the eastern side of the settlement for 300-500 m from the Krylos. The total length of the eastern shaft reached 3 km. His research showed the presence of two horizons: X-XI and XII-XIII centuries. The width of the wooden-earthen structures of the shaft is 5.5 m, the height is 1-1.5 m. Trench is narrow (2.5 m) and shallow (up to 1.5 m). This forced to pour another, outer, bulwark into ur. In the distance, Prokaliiv Sad, Gedzanka. The length of the additional shaft reached 1000 m. It is obvious that such additional lines covered the entrances to the domicile Galich in ur. Prokaiiiv Sad. [8. S. 336]. Thus, the defensive structures and the nature of the building allow the castle of the IXth – Xth centuries to be erected in Kryloske. according to the typology of Mykhailo Filipchuk, to IV type of building of ancient settlements.


Conclusions

Consequently, the defensive lines of the ancient Slavs period require a more detailed study. Currently, the most well-investigated are the castles of the settlement Plisnesko. It was found that they create a complex system of fortifications, aimed at the long-term resistance of the enemy. According to the design features, they are quite different. The defense line №5 deserves special attention, since similar structures are not yet found. Yes, it is worth emphasizing that the construction of the bulwarks №1 and №2 coincides with the time of the campaign of  Volodymyr Svyatoslavovich to the Croats in 992. This suggests that these lines served as ancillary function in the defense of the settlement from the troops of Rus’. In addition, during researches it was possible to establish that the external defense line is similar to the other external shafts of the settlements of the Ukrainian Carpathian region.

Research of Stilsko settlement can only draw preliminary conclusions about the design features of defensive lines. On the basis of visual research the most powerful is the line of defense surrounding the central site of the settlement. According to Orestes Korchinsky, for each (except for the external) defensive line, there was a peculiar structure of walls that was located on powerful bulwarks-platforms. The outer defensive line in its design is identical with the similar shafts in Plisnesko, Hanachivka and other fortifications of the Carpathian region.

Defensive structures of Krylos mound of the IX-X centuries are the worst investigated, since they are severely ruined in the subsequent times of the functioning of the settlement. However, in the opinion of Bohdan Tomenchuk, during the Slavs period there were five fortified sites that had different purposes, as well as an outer line of defense extending about 3 km. These data only allow us to draw general conclusions about the system and the design features of the defensive lines of the ancient Galich.

Thus, at the moment, the best investigated are the defensive lines of the Plisnesko fortress, which creates only general ideas about the defensive architecture of the Slavs and for further results further research is needed.


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Із зауваженнями, пропозиціямии чи запитаннями просимо звертатись до – Владислав Кіорсак

e-mail – Vlad.kiorsak@gmail.com

Редактор – Ірина Гіщинська

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