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Unlike volost Voria, Pekhorka did not undergo radical changes in the structure of pre-Mongol settlements and then-type during the 2nd half of the 13th c. The largest of them (Alekseevskaya roshcha-1 on the river Pekhorka, Nikolskoye-Trubetskoye-1 and 2 and Gorbovo-3 on the river Malashka totalling 7-8.5 thousand sq. m in area) survived (were restored?), and supplemented with newer villages without ploughland (on Shchukino meadow, Aksentievskoye field, Balashikha-1 and 3) with an area of 1.7-4.6 thousand sq. m. Like on the Voria, a cluster of settlements, which had formed in the pre-Mongol period in the vicinity of a hillfort later known as Nikolskoye Mytishche (Balashikha seat, settlement Balashikha-10), underwent further development. Here were examined a building with ceramic material resembling log-house frame Srub-1 in the Istorichesky lane in Moscow and a fragment of amphora from Trillia (near Nikea) brought to Russia as early as the beginning of the 13th c. A settlement-the historic predecessor of the centre of volost Pekhorka - formed where the road to Pereslavl crosses the river Pekhorka. Besides, development began of the Medvezhy lakes 2.5 km off the locality populated before the Mongol invasion.
Stability of the settling structure on the Pekhorka can be explained by the fact that the surrounding Meshchera landscape (coniferous forests on fluvio-glacial sands) offered bleak prospects for cultivation and agriculture, but afforded an excellent opportunity for wild-hive beekeeping. The Voria valley was situated at the foot of the Klin-Dmitrov ridge, and its tributaries led new settlers to moraine flat-lands, suitable for arable farming (based on new forms of agriculture). It was here (before the Mongol invasion) that a stronghold appeared, which later became the historic predecessor of the centre of volost Voria (fortified settlement Tsariovo), as well as major “pioneer” settlements of the second half of the century (near the villages Berezniky and Staroye Selo).
The above-mentioned differences in landscape, however, cannot fully account for the greater continuity in the development of settlements on the Pekhorka (37% of settlements not restored) as compared to Voria (63% of settlements not re-settled), for the extent of destruction on the Pekhorka was not less than on the Voria (the route from Moscow to Vladimir along the river Klyazma lay through Pekhorka, and Khan Batyi’s troops could not help passing that way). The explanation should be looked for in a different plane. Studies of specialists in economic geography show that during crises, the periphery of a settling structure (“leafage”) is rapidly destroyed, while its central part (“trunk” and “roots”) demonstrates a high degree of stability, gaining strength from the periphery. It may be assumed that restoration of economic structures on the Pekhorka began during the first two decades after 1238, when remains of homesteads, ploughlands and meadows were still existent. As to the Voria, settlers returned there somewhat later, when former ploughlands and meadows were already occupied by forest. This explains the known cases of discontinuity. This also makes clear the quantitative level of restoration of
populated territories by the end of 13th - early 14th cc. On the Pekhorka (in our view) the process of restoration began earlier, and by the end of reign of Prince Daniel of Moscow it was well underway (110% of the level of 1238), while on the Voria it had not progressed so far (88% of the level of 1238). Later the roles of these districts in the economy of the Moscow region reversed. In Meshchera, the ecological niche of medieval economy had been filled by the beginning of the 15th c., while on the Klin-Dmitrov ridge economic development continued until the first quarter of the
16th c. Due to the diversity of landscapes on the Voria, the settlement network was potentially very flexible. The peripheral position in the settling structure of the principality resulted in a deeper demographic and economic crisis in the 13th c., and the “cultural challenge” was more acute. Consequently, the “response” of Russian culture here was more manifest, showing itself in a sharper and deeper change of forms of adaptation and emergence of new cultural and economic traditions, which became fully evident in the 14th c.
M.I. Gonyany, M.Ya. Kats, A.N. Naumov
Ancient Russian archaeological sites of late 12th - third quarter of the 13th cc. at the Nepryadva river estuary in the Kulikovo field
In the paper are considered the methods and results of complex archaeological and geophysical investigations performed at ancient Russian sites at the Nepryadva river mouth in the region of the Kulikovo field. ТЪе suggested complex method of study of dwelling sites included visual land survey, collecting stray finds with application of metal detector that had permitted to reveal the most informative spots within the sites, subsequent geophysical prospecting followed by archaeological excavations turned to be fruitful. The said is true first of all of non-stratified sites of short habitation period, as well as those undergoing ploughing and destruction.