Liventsovka Fortress Becoming a Site for Archeological Tourism

Liventsovka Fortress Becoming a Site for Archeological Tourism

Turning the Liventsovka Fortress into a site for archeological tourism was the main topic of a meeting of the Investment Coordination Board at the City Administration.

The project presented to the Board is aimed at saving the Liventsovka archeological site, which includes the only bronze-age fortress in Europe. Located on the right bank of the river Mertviy Donets, between Liventsovka and Karatayevo villages, the site is a unique archeological monument. The first stone fortress in Eastern Europe was built here in the 17th century B.C.; Archeologists have nicknamed the fortress the Don Troy, while at the same time underlining the fact that the Don fortress is several hundred years older than its legendary sister, which was made famous through Homer’s poetry.

The fortress is part of a much larger archeological site. This includes burial sites dating back to the Bronze Age, Skythian burial mounds, and defense fortifications. Interestingly, that the first settlements on this land appeared more than 3,500 years ago. 

In the 1960s, the Liventsovka Fortress was still a headliner in guide books to Rostov Region. But today many Rostovites know little or nothing about the existence of this ancient town.

Unfortunately, in recent years, the ancient fortress has been turned into a garbage dump by local residents. Having endured numerous attacks by nomads in ancient times, all that’s left of the fortress today is a fragment of wall no more than two meters in length. Almost all the stones that made up the fortress walls have been carted away and used by country home owners. The stones have become part of the foundations of the houses, sheds and other buildings that can be seen beyond the local residents’ fences. Most of the fortress’s land has been overrun by country homes and gardens, and the vegetable patches are continuing to advance on the ancient burial mounds.

The project planners suggest creating a tourist complex on the western border of Rostov-on-Don. It would offer all services necessary for family recreation and archeological tourism. Without such a complex, the country-home owners’ frenzied gardening ultimately may lead to the irrevocable loss of a historical site of federal importance.

In the future, according to businessman and historian Artur Isakov, tourists, schoolchildren and students would visit the site. While the project is being implementated, the remaining parts of the fortress and the burial mounds will be turned into a museum. Archaeological excavations will be necessary as will the recreation of the fortress’s exterior. In addition, various elements connected with everyday life, work and religion of the ancient settlers will be created, including houses, utensils, tools, workshops and shrines. As part of this work, the project team will build five full-scale models of houses of the Caucasoid peoples who lived in the fortress area.

Construction of the museum and administrative buildings, maintenance and sanitary facilities, and pavilions over the burial mounds and the archeological “culture layer” of the soil at the location of the ancient settlement will also be necessary.

The tentative cost of the project is estimated at no less than 30 million rubles.

During the meeting, the project initiators asked representatives of the Coordination Board for support in creating the necessary engineering infrastructure. In the first place, this would include building a driveway to the archeological site. In addition, water and power supply lines need to be connected to the site.

Rostov mayor Mikhail Chernyshev said the project is very interesting and will definitely be supported by the City Administration. He has ordered the creation of a working commission, to promote this project.

The Liventsovka Fortress is truly a unique place. Located right at the outskirts of the megalopolis, it lies among patches of untouched ancient steppe landscape, which creates a perfect natural background for getting familiar with the archeological monuments. So, the tourist attractiveness of the site is more than obvious. Especially considering the fact that Rostov-on-Don will be a host city for the 2018 football World Cup.

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