Zolotiye Gorki (Golden Hills) - 2002

In 2002 an international expedition (headed by V.V.Klyutchnikov) began the investigation of the Zolotiye Gorki (Golden Hills) Khazar time fortress. The expedition included professionals and amateurs from Russia, the USA and Great Britain.
The Zolotiye Gorki (Golden Hills) site is located on a high terrace of the right bank of the Don river, in a 25 km distance to the east of the city of Novocherkassk, Rostov Region. The site was discovered in 1986 by an expedition of Novocherkassk Museum of Don Cossacks’ History. First excavations were carried out in 1986-1987.
The territory of the site is a naturally fortified ground which is embraced by banks from practically every side. The expedition of 2002 cleared up an area within stone wall foundations in the central part of the site. The stone wall remains probably belonged to dwelling houses. Three burials were found and investigated in the same area. Geomagnetic prospecting was carried out in the south-western section of the site. The expedition noted numerous robbery craters on the site territory. In one of such craters the expedition found and cleared up remains of a pottery baking furnace with a large number of fragments of scrap vessels.
The 2002 work resulted in a large pottery collection: fragments of wheelmade and handmade, mainly grey-clay vessels, light-clay and red-clay amphorae. In addition, found were several fragments of cauldrons with inside ears.
Notwithstanding rather a poor condition of the site, which is due to modern digs, its further study seems to be promising. The results of the works enable to assume the availability of significant parts of an undamaged culture layer, stone construction foundations (which is witnessed by the results of the geomagnetic prospecting).
On the excavations in 2003 see>>

The governing body of the expedition express their thanks
to Kevin Brook who is heading The Khazaria Info Center (US)
for his help in the organization and financing of works.

Pictures of the “Golden Hills - 2002”

General views
Walks and excursions
In the camp


Notes of Todd Morrison, doctoral student of Eurasian Archaeology at Queen's University of Belfast, Northern Ireland.

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