Kiev (Ukraine): Palace of Prince Volodymyr the Great unearthed

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385462061Photo courtesy - A. Yaremchuk

The object is the oldest stone-made building of the Kyivan Rus period in Eastern Europe

A new sensational archaeological discovery was made in Ukraine's capital. While repairing the stairs near the Church of the Tithes (central Kyiv), construction workers unearthed what turned out to be a fragment of the palace of Kyiv's Prince Volodymyr the Great.

"The workers removed the retaining wall and discovered a part of groundwork of the southern palace, built in the late tenth century! The palace was erected at the same time as the Church of the Tithes - under Kyiv's Prince Volodymyr the Great*. Most likely, it was a two-storeyed building, made out of stone. We can't say for what purpose exactly it was used. Presumably it was designed for receiving guests and holding high-level receptions, because odds are good that Prince Volodymyr repeatedly visited the palace",Vitaly Kozyub, Archaeology Institute researcher.

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According to him, the palace groundwork is very valuable for Kyiv's history, because the object is the oldest stone-made building of the Kyivan Rus period in Eastern Europe, open for the public. 

The total area of the palace was about 500 square metres. Five metres of walls are open for the public. The groundwork is about one meter deep. 

385462040Photo courtesy - A. Yaremchuk

"Kyiv's City Hall and the Ministry of Culture are aware of the find, now they consider a possibility to get it converted to a museum. For example, to preserve it we may treat it with the necessary substances and put it under glass. It could be a very interesting object for tourists…" continued Kozyuba.

The construction workers also found human bones on the site.

"They found 15 separate bone fragments. It is natural, because there was a huge cemetery around the Church of the Tithes in 12th-13th centuries. During excavations prior to the 1917 October revolution, about 500 graves were discovered here, and more than 100 graves were found in 2005-2011. It is the bones from the destroyed graves in the three-storeyed cemetery", said the archaeologist

385462052Photo courtesy - A. Yaremchuk

Ukrainian officials maintain the initiative of turning the object into a museum. "Specialists of the Museum of History of the Tithe Church developed a ‘museum' concept, but still they need expert advice from archaeologists and other specialists."

*Kyiv's Prince Volodymyr the Great is an outstanding statesman and politician who ruled Kyivan Rus from the year 980 to 1015 and converted people to Christianity.