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CASTLES OF LITHUANIA

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News

Section of the rampart of Šeimyniškėliai hillfort
Section of the rampart of Šeimyniškėliai hillfort.

       August 1, 2002
       The 13th season of the archaeological investigations at the Šeimyniškėliai hillfort was finished. The investigations lasted for 37 workdays (since June 12), 24–25 workers were working permanently, and 6–15 students of Vilnius Pedagogical University, headed by A. Malonaitis, were assisting for 4 last weeks. The total area of 438 sq. meters was excavated, divided in 9 areas, including section of the big rampart (2x22 m², excluding terraces at the both sides up to 1,8 m deep and 1 m wide). The other areas were excavated near the little rampart – two partial sections at the sides of the little rampart were made (16 and 50 m²) and investigations of the flat hilltop up to 23 m from the little rampart were finished. Until now the total area of 2259 sq. meters was investigated on the hillfort, c. 1500–1700 sq. m are remaining.
       In the areas near the little rampart, at the both sides of the hilltop, the remains of a defensive wall were found – 12 post-holes, stones of the fundament. The depth of the section of the big rampart was up to 4,8 m deep. Inside it empty places of decayed timbers, which served as framework, and remains of three timbers were found. As mostly thick layers of filled up clay were excavated, a few artifacts were found: 2 rings, iron knife, bone darning needle, a part of a fibula, bronze belt ornament, a part of a stone spindle, some tents of ceramic sherds, some animal bones. The investigations of the hillfort were reflected in the press.

Valdas Adamkus on the hill-fort
President Valdas Adamkus, archaeologist Gintautas Zabiela and mayor of Anykščiai region Darius Gudelis on the hill-fort of Voruta

       November 8, 2001.
       President Valdas Adamkus visited Anykščiai and the hill-fort of Šeimyniškėliai, planted oak-trees in the oak-wood of the King Mindaugas and in the oak alley of Mindaugas, which leads to the hill-fort. Archaeologist Gintautas Zabiela arranged a brief excursion on the hill-fort for the head of the state, and presented the project of construction of the wooden castle. V. Adamkus supported the idea of this building, stressing its importance for the education of the young generation. The visit of the President was described in the regional and national press.

       September 22, 2001.
       After reorganisation of the web site "Medieval Lithuania", "Wooden Castle" became a part of "Medieval Lithuania", forming the basis of its section "Castles of Lithuania".

Amulet, found on the Seimyniskeliai hillfort
Pendant, found on the hillfort (enlarged;
original size - 2,6 x 3,2 cm).

       August 3, 2001.
       The archaeological investigations of 2001 were finished in Seimyniskeliai hillfort. Due to financial difficulties the investigations lasted just for 18 workdays this year (since July 11). The total area of 148 sq. meters was excavated: the 10x10 m area on the flat hilltop near the little rampart was excavated and section of the little rampart was made (2x24 m).
       In the area near the little rampart as many as 4 places of ovens were found (there were just 3 places of ovens found before during 11 years). Among more precious finds two round bronze fibulas (found in the rampart), a clay ornamented spindle and a pendant are to mention. The latter resembles the sign of the Rurikids and partly - Columns of the Gediminians (like a transitional variant). Few pottery and osteological material were found.

       July 6, 2001.
       During the traditional festival of Anyksciai dwellers on the Voruta hillfort, devoted to the State Day, the castle bridge on the rivulet Varelis was opened. It was rebuilt in the old place. A special edition of the newspaper "Ziburys" ("The Light") was published, which was devoted to the 750th anniversary of the Kingdom of Lithuania and the castle of Voruta.

       May 11, 2001.
       The Anyksciai Museum organised a festival for the pupils of town schools on the Voruta hillfort. The workers of Kernave, Panevezys and Anyksciai museums were demonstrating medieval crafts, the warriors of the warrior community of the ancient Balts shoved medieval weapons and duels. The pupils were participating in various competitions, archaeological relay-race, competition of historical knowledge.
       On the eve of the festival the "Diemedis" Publishers published a booklet "Vorutos pilis" ("The Castle of Voruta") by Tomas Baranauskas and Gintautas Zabiela. The booklet contains 16 illustrated pages.

       February 27, 2001.
       The internet site "Wooden Castle" was opened.

       Tomas Baranauskas

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