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The break in settling tradition accounted for in the peripheral area of the Pskov suburbs had not affected its most ancient central part, the best investigated in the Velikaya and Pskova rivers’ interfluve. Evidently, this region had got some fortifications. The process of accumulation of cultural deposits in different parts of the region started in the 10th, 11th, 11th— 12th cc. (Fig. 2,1-3, 5, 6, 8, 9,
11) and continued uninterruptedly. Still, archaeological material demonstrates decrease in constmcting activity in
the first half of the 13th с.
Dendrochronological studies of the timber from the ancient part of the suburb were carried out by N.B. Chernykh, A.F. Uryeva, and M.I. Kulakova. Wood samples mostly originated from the excavation trenches in Lenin street, seasons of 1968-1991 (Fig. 2, 5, 8). The work has permitted to establish a detailed chronology of constmcting dynamics. From 1534 samples with established dates 533 fell within the 13th c. (see Appendix). The lowest index of timber cutting was recorded in the chronological period since the late first decade till the early third decade of the 13th c. (Fig. 3, 4). In the second half of the 20-s building activity was resumed. The index of tree felling increased in the early 40-s, after 1242. The next period of growing activity may be dated back to the period after 1280, and this rise continued until the end of the first decade of the 14th с.
The authors consider the discontinuity in settling tradition in peripheral regions of Pskov and low rate of building wood supply established for the ancient part of the town’s suburb in the first half of the 13th c. should be explained by the information of Russian and Balto-German chronicles. The period under discussion is characterised by strong tension in military and political situation in north-western Russia.
German aggression in the Baltic region had brought to military activities necessary to defend Pskov’s safety and interests, which caused its inhabitants’ yearly participation in military raids and actions thus diverting both male
population and resources. In several cases Pskov was the field of military actions, being devastated and burnt down (1212), partly pillaged (1218), and sacked by the Germans (1240), in that instant the suburb was burnt down, and population partly fled to Novgorodan lands. Zavelichye - western outskirts of the town - was heavily afflicted.
After the liberation of Pskov and victorious battle on the lake Chudskoye (1242) a period of certain stability began; it is reflected in increase of constructing activity within the suburb’s ancient part. The second half of the 13th c. was marked with peak of constructing here. Taking into account such facts as building stone defensive walls, and lively tra-
ding connections it should be admitted that maintenance of political situation during prince Dovmont’s reign was the key factor in Pskov renaissance.
Still, the Livonic order was a constant threat for the town, and the population in the 13th c. did not come back to the places they had left. The way out of the situation was denser settling of the suburb and constructing stone fortifications for its defence (the Dovmont’s wall built of stone, stone walls of 1309 around the whole suburb area). The town had turned into the frontier stronghold, this situation caused constructing new fortification lines in the town and hillforts in the adjacent territory (the 14th—15th cc.).
Evolution of Kolomna in the 13th—14th cc.: from a minor town of Ancient Rus’ to the domain of the Moscow Great prince
At present all possible views on the dynamics of processes in ancient Rus’ from the pre-Mongol to post-Mongol periods are represented in historiography. The author carried out excavations in Kolomna - one of the minor towns of the pre-Mongol Rus’, that in the 14th-15th cc. became a centre of Muscovy principality immediately following Moscow in significance. The obtained material enables the author to establish both regional and general regularities in development of urban centres in the 13th—14th cc.
Kolomna came into being as an urban settlement in the mid 12th с. occupying the spot of earlier sites of the Early Iron Age (D’yakovo culture) and Slavic dwelling site dated back to the lOto-early 12th cc.
Historical sources mentioned Kolomna first of all as a strategically important point (4 chronicle entries in the last third of the 12th c. and 3 of them in the 13th c.). In the late 12th - first third of the 13th cc. the town was actively developing, and by the time of the Mongol invasion had reached a flourishing state. An important factor for this process was establishment here of local princely dynasty in the 1180-s. The material excavated from the earliest cemetery dated from the mid - late 12th c., and topographic observations over the town cultural deposit evidence a sharp growth of the area occupied by the town. It covered 30-35 ha.