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Birch-bark letters, tseras (wax tablets marked with a writing instruments - sharp sticks) and writing instruments The archaeological collection of the museum contains materials from archaeological monuments of the Novgorod region beginning from the late Stone Age up until the late Middle Ages (140,000 items). But the essence of the collection are the materials gathered during archaeological studies of the Novgorod sites. They have been carried out here on a regular basis since 1932.

Wooden toy: a wheeled horse. Middle of the 12th centuryThe unique cultural layer of Novgorod with its depth (up to 8 meters), stratigraphic purity and ability to preserve organic materials, revealed an abundance of artifacts: craft and agricultural tools, weapons, jewelry, musical instruments, chess sets, children's toys, buffoons' masks, a lot of leather footwear, details of house-building and ship-building...

Many articles have both historical and the artistic value. Especially convincing in this sense are the birch- bark letters of 11th - 15th centuries, which by 1999 had numbered approximately 1000. These artifacts are part of the archaeological collection, but at the same time present most valuable proof of literacy in medieval Novgorod. The variety of texts, ranging in character and topics - from school notes by the boy Onphim to original manuscripts of the prominent statesman Mishinich-Ontsiforovich - help us to understand the previously inaccessible life of medieval Novgorod citizens with their cares and joys.

Leather shoes with cut-out ornament. 14th centuryDue to the richness and the thorough analysis of the museum's medieval archaeological collection it can be used as a standard collection, though it is constantly replenished with new materials from operating archaeological sites.

The collection is on display at the exposition "The History of Novgorod and the Novgorod Region", accommodated in the building of the former Public Offices on the territory of the Novgorod Kremlin.

Birch-bark letter. 14th century

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