Metal Detecting & Treasure Hunting in Ukraine
The First Identifiable Tribes, Chalcolithic People, Inhabited the Area in 3,300 B.C. During the "Copper Age" Period
My Metal Detecting Stories:
These pages have metal detecting stories and pictures from my treasure hunting experiences in Kiev region, Ukraine. You will see and read about the oldest and unique items I found, some of them are dated 600 B.C., and the techniques I used to locate them.
Story 3 - Metal Detecting the Medieval Sites
Ukraine Brief Historical Facts:
Ukraine (formerly the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic) is bordered by Russia to the east, Russia and Belarus to the north, Poland, Slovakia, and Hungry to the west, Romania and Moldova to the southwest and in the south by the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov. It has an area of 233,088 sq. mi. (603,700 sq. km.) and a population of 52 million. Capital: Kiev.
The territory of Ukraine has been inhabited for over 3000 years. As the result of its location, Ukraine has served as the gateway to Europe for millennia and its early history has been recorded by Arabic, Greek, Roman, as well as Ukrainian historians. Ukraine, which was known as Rus' until the sixteenth century (and from which the name Russia was derived in the 17th century), became the major and cultural center of Eastern Europe and the powerful Slavic state of Kievan Rus, in the 9th century.
At its apex Rus' Kingdom stretched from the Baltic to the Black Sea and from the upper Volga River in the east, almost to the Vistula River in the west. In 988 King Volodymyr adopted Christianity from Byzantium. With it came church books written in the Cyrillic alphabet, which originated in Bulgaria. The Mongol invasion in 1240 brought an end to the might of the Rus' Kingdom.
In 1648, after almost four hundred years of Mongol, Lithuanian, Polish, and Turkish domination, the Cossack State under Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky regained Ukrainian independence. The Hetman State lasted until the mid-18th century and was followed by a period of foreign rule. Eastern Ukraine was controlled by Russia, which enforced russification through introduction of the Russian language and prohibiting the use of the Ukrainian language in schools, books, and public life. However, many Ukrainians accepted their fate in the Russian Empire and some were to achieve a great success there. Many Russian writers, composers, painters and architects of the 19th century were of Ukrainian descent. Probably, the most notable was Nikolai Gogol, one of the greatest writers in the Russian literature. Western Ukraine came under Austro-Hungarian rule.
Bohdan Khmelnytsky Monument in Kiev
With the disintegration of the Russian and Austro-Hungarian Empires in 1917 and 1918, Ukraine declared its independence in 1918. In 1919, the state had to defend itself on three fronts: from the "Red Bolsheviks" and their puppet Ukrainian Soviet Republic, from the "White" czarist forces, and from Poland. Ukraine lost the war. In 1920 Eastern Ukraine was occupied by the Bolsheviks and in 1922 was incorporated into the Soviet Union. During the Stalin's artificial famine-genocide of 1932-33, 7-10 million Ukrainians were killed. Western Ukraine was partitioned between Poland, Romania, Hungry and Czechoslovakia.
When Nazi Germany with its allies invaded the Soviet Union in 1941, many Ukrainians, particularly in the west where they had experienced only two years of the harsh Soviets rule, initially regarded the Nazis as "liberators", and some hoped to establish an autonomous Ukrainian state. Most Ukrainians, however, utterly resisted the Nazi onslaught from its start and a partisan movement immediately spread over the occupied territory. Also some elements of the Ukrainian nationalist underground formed a Ukrainian Insurgent Army that fought both Soviet and Nazi forces along with being involved in driving out or murdering much of the Polish and Jewish population in the Western regions.
Cobbled Road in the Ghost Town
Over the next decades the Ukrainian republic not only surpassed pre-war levels of industry and production but also was the spearhead of Soviet power. Ukraine became the center of Soviet arms industry and high-tech research. The republic was also turned into a Soviet military outpost in the cold war, a territory crowded by military bases packed with the most up-to-date weapons systems. Such an important role resulted in a major influence of the local elite. Many members of the Soviet leadership came from Ukraine, most notably Leonid Brezhnev a Soviet leader from 1962 to 1984, as well as many prominent Soviet sportsmen, scientists and artists.
However, the relatively underdeveloped industrial branches such as coal- and iron ore mining, metallurgy, chemical and energy industry dominated the republic's economy. Once a Cossack steppe, the southern regions were turned into a highly industrialized area with rapidly increasing impact on environment and public health. A pursuit to energy production sufficient for growing industry led to the gigantic nature-remastering: turning the Dnieper River into a regulated system of large reservoirs. The products of the rapidly developed high-tech industry in Ukraine were largely directed for military consumption, similarly to the much of the Soviet economy, and the supply and quality of consumer goods remained low compared even to the neighboring countries of the Eastern block.
The town of Pripyat, Ukraine was the site of the Chernobyl accident, which occurred in April 26, 1986 when a nuclear plant exploded. The fallout contaminated large areas of northern Ukraine and even parts of Belarus. This spurred on a local independence movement called the Rukh that helped expedite the break-up of the Soviet Union during the late 1980s. Ukraine declared itself an independent state on August 24, 1991, following the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and was a founding member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. On December 1, 1991 Ukrainian voters overwhelmingly approved a referendum formalizing independence from the Soviet Union. The Union formally ceased to exist in December 25, 1991, and with this Ukraine's independence was officially recognized by the international community.
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