Taimyr museum workers search for ancient winter quarters

Taimyr museum workers search for ancient winter quarters

August 25, 2023

The expedition was made possible thanks to a grant from Nornickel.

#ARCTIC. #SIBERIA. THIS IS TAIMYR. As part of the grant program Art Seasons in Taimyr, the Taimyr Museum of Local Lore employees made a hiking expedition to the Dudinka river. The expedition was supported by a grant from the Nornickel company under the World of New Opportunities program.

The museum team’s tasks also include a multi-level expedition to find the location of the Dudinka yasak (tribute paid off in furs) winter hut, built in 1667 by the Mangazeya archers under the leadership of Ivan Sorokin.

According to museum workers, there are several versions where the winter hut could be located. One of them is based on the notes of the Finnish linguist M.A. Castrén, who visited Dudinka in the middle of the 19th century.

“The village of Dudinka consists of four small huts located five versts from the confluence of the Dudinka river with the Yenisey”, he wrote. “From the number of huts, I exclude, however, a stone church that does not belong to it, which was built on the banks of the Yenisey itself and now, due to the lack of a priest, stands without use…”.

Five versts is almost six kilometers. That is why the museum staff determined the site of the search on the northern coast of the Dudinka river, five to six kilometers from the place where the river flows into the Yenisey.

The researchers also had other goals, for example, the search and study of winter quarters of the beginning of the 20th century. Archaeologists call such remnants of habitation a mound with a flattened top, they usually stand out among the calm, even tundra landscape. Two structures made of beams, made right in the ground, were found with the help of metal detectors.

“Presumably, these are the buildings of the Polyarny collective farm. In the course of the work, we discovered many items related to the history of the Dudinka-Norilsk narrow-gauge railway, which existed from 1937 to 1952: rails, crutches, or railway nails, a fragment of a car frame”, said the expedition members.

Museum workers also visited the place where the monument-tombstone of Maria Uksusnikova, the wife of the Dudinka merchant Nikolay Uksusnikov, is located.

“The expedition to the Dudinka river was the final event of the archeology season. Autumn is ahead, and the next thematic season is dedicated to the acquaintance of the Taimyr inhabitants with the art of Russia”, the researchers noted.

Recall that last year Nornickel supported 114 socially significant projects.

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Text: Marina Horoshevskaya, Photo: Taimyr Museum of Local Lore

August 25, 2023

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