HORODNYTSIA TREASURE: VOLODYMYR SVIATOSLAVYCH'S SILVER COINS
The discovery of the Horodnytsia treasure took place in the following graduality. In the evening of 27rd of August 2020 near the village of Horodnytsia, Novohrad-Volynskyi district, Zhytomyr region the local resident Serhii Komar found the treasure of coins of Volodymyr Sviatoslavych (Volodymyr the Great, Volodymyr the Saint) and Sviatopolk Yaropolkovych (“Sviatopolk the Cursed”). The treasure find took place in the forest near the river Sluch while extraction of the sand for household needs. In the morning of 28rd of August the treasure was transferred to the local government authorities – the village council of Horodnytsia according to the Ukrainian law.
The expertise of the treasure was carried out at place of find by Dr. Oleksander Alf’orov – the researcher of the Institute of History of Ukraine of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The treasure consisted of 32 silver coins (sribnyks) inclusively 26 coins of Volodymyr Sviatoslavych and 6 coins of Sviatopolk Yaropolkovych. Next day the group of scientists with the chief of the Zhytomyr Archaeological Expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, Dr. Andrii Petrauskas and the representative of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy of Ukraine, the head of the Department of permitting and approval documentation in the branch of the cultural heritage protection – Dr. Bohdan Motsia and the head of the Early Iron Age Archeology department of the National Museum of Ukrainian History – Dr. Serhii Didenko and the research fellow of the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine – Dr. Oleksander Alf’orov and the director of the Novohrad-Volynskyi Local Lore Museum – Olena Zhovtyuk and the workmate of the Zhytomyr Archaeological Expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine – Oleksander Minaev. At that place after the professional archeological excavations was discovered the traces of the pit where the treasure was placed. Additionally one more coin and 5 fragments were discovered during the excavation using a metal detector.
Thus, on 29th of August 2020, the Horodnytsia treasure numbered 38 coins: 31 sribnyks of Volodymyr the Great (II-IV coin types according to Ivan Tolstoy’s the typological classification), and 7 sribnyks of Sviatopolk Yaropolkovych (all three known coin types). Since the discovery of the Kyiv treasure in 1876, the Horodnytsia treasure is the largest. Analyzing the complex we can suggest that its hoarding took place during the reign of Sviatopolk Yaropolkovych or possibly after his death.
Thus, all of the sribnyks of Volodymyr the Great are represent by three of the four types of prince’s issues. Generally speaking, the Type II numbered 6 pieces, Type III numbered 16 pieces and Type IV numbered 9 pieces. And the Type I is absent in the hoard. 10 coins are minted by previously unknown die pairs (in the treasure №№ 10, 11, 12, 14, 16, 20, 21, 32, 34, 38). Additionally interesting are 2 coins with the unknown die combination (in the treasure №№ 15, 22). Their obverses are already published but the reverses are being published for the first time.
Thus, 31 sribnyks were investigated and ten of them are minted by previously unknown die pairs and two by unknown die combinations. Since the discovery of the Kyiv treasure in 1876, the Horodnytsia treasure is the largest, as well as one that can be classified as authentic, which is additionally confirmed by the discovery of coins at the place of the treasury find. The unique feature of the Horodnytsia treasure can be considered that the place of its discovery was examined archaeologically: the peculiarities of its topography, conditions of occurrence, stratigraphy and location in the settlement system of the region were revealed. It should be underlined that the treasure was found in the region, where the sribnyks of Volodymyr and Sviatopolk were previously unknown among the coin finds.
Unlike the previous finds of sribnyks, the Horodnytsia treasure was not transferred to the private collections abroad, but replenished the museum fund of Ukraine. The further research of the treasure with the use of the newest modern technologies will increase the information potential of this treasure.
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