Investigating 5,000-Year-Old Huts in Ukraine

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At 5,000 years, the Trypillian Culture, also called the Cucuteni Culture, is considered one the oldest in Europe. Ukrainian archaelogists celebrate the 30th anniversary of the start of research on a large Tripolye settlement. Our correspondents visited the excavations.

From the break of dawn, students from the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy are in the field.

Armed with knives and brushes, they practice what they've learned in archaeology.

By gradually unearthing this ancient structure, located in the Cherkassi region of Ukraine, students get a feel for the old farming culture.

[Olga Sosnitskaya, Cultural Studies Student]:
"We have to pick up ground, and immediately wipe it with a brush, very gently protecting the plaster from damage, and see what's down there. And so we clear away very consistently and very slowly."

During more than ten years of practical training in Talyanki, students have dug up 46 homes from the 2700 that are estimated to be there.

Archaeologists are proud of this settlement, thought to be the world's largest in that era.

[Alexey Corwin-Piotrowski, Scientific Secretary, Institute of Archaeology NAS of Ukraine]:
"This population, which we call Tripolye, has not gone the usual way of civilization and urbanization. Instead of a state, there were large populations existing in rural structures."

[Ruslana Demchuk, Director of Student Practice]:
"Inhabitants of Tripolye lived in large villages. They built their homes like this, with defensive walls. And in the center - a circle. It was a kind of arena where they organized different activities. They kept the sacred bulls there."

For archaeologists, these old stones and ceramics are a language that speaks volumes about the past.

NTD News, Cherkassi Region, Ukraine

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