From ancient times, mankind has tried to protect their settlement from predators and enemies.
This promoted to creation of comfortable living conditions. This contributed to the emergence of
fortified settlements. On the territory that archaeologists associate with the Slavs tribe Drevlyany,
settlements began to appear in the IX century. when the Great Migration of the Slavs was finally
completed. Bohdan Zvizdetsky, researcher of drevlyan՚s antiquity, provided information about 20
fortified settlements between the Horyn and Teteriv rivers. Such settlements are called in Ukrainian
Unfortunately, researchers rarely turned to archaeological research of the fortifications of
drevlyan՚s fortified settlements. They primarily paid attention to the filling of cultural layer and
archaeological excavation of ancient cemeteries. Therefore, few fortifications have been studied:
Rayky, Secont fortified settlement in Korosten, Malyn and Third fortified settlement in Korosten.
In general, it is worth mentioning the researchers who studied and analyzed the fortifications
of the settlements of Kyiveian Rus՚ in the IX - XIII centuries. P. Rappaport was one of the first to pay
attention to the construction of defensive bulwarks in his opinion, main types of wooden structures
were palisade and the pillar structure, when horizontal logs are clamped between two verticals, or in
the grooves of one vertical. Another archaeologist who paid attention to the study of fortifications
was M. Kuchera. In his opinion, the most used was a framework structure. As a basis of a design, he
put three-, or four-walled framework. They could be separate segments of the defense wall, or be
structurally combined into a single line. Another option for fortifications, the researcher considered
the walls of the pillar structure. Archaeologist Yuri Morgunov is also tried to study of fortifications
of Kyievian Rus՚. He singled out separate elements: Escarpments; ditches; wooden-earthen defense
constructions. In the middle of XX century. military engineer B. Sperk considered various types of
defensive walls of fortified settlements of Ancient Rus՚. He wrote that, the main types of walls were
three- or four-walled framework. They could be separate segments of the defense wall, or be
structurally combined into a single line. Also, architect Vadym Lukyanchenko was engaged in
architectural analysis. He turned his attention to the construction of wooden and earth defense
construction. According to him, the earliest type of fortifications was a palisade, and later there were
several types of fortifications: three, or four-walled frameworks.
Based on the work of other researchers, as well as on analogies from the monuments of
Poland (Motych; Naszacowice; Zawada Lanckorońska), Czech Republic (Uherské Hradiště-
Rybárny; Breclav-Pohansko; Vlastislav) , Slovakia (Spišske Tomášovce; Pobedim), Germany
(Behren-Lübchin; Lenzen; Oldenburg; Berlin-Spandau) and Austria (Gars-Thunau), was created a
graphic reconstruction of the south-eastern section of the defensive wall of fortified settlement №3 in
Korosten. The main structure was a 4-walled framework. We assume that the diameter of the deck
could be 250 mm. In addition, frameworks, as the main structure of the defensive wall, were also
found on the early medieval fortified settlement near Olevsk, which is also considered as drevlyan՚s
fortress. Hypothetical size of each framework could reach 2x2 m in plan and up to 3 m in height. On
the top of framework could be a palisade. It was protection for the defenders of the fortress. It was
system of fences. The diameter of the deck of a single pile could be 200 mm and a height of 1.8 m.
The difference in the height of individual piles formed loopholes. The piles were located on the inside,
near the outer wall of the framework. A similar construction can be traced on the already mentioned
settlement of Motych and Gars-Thunau.
For construction of wooden and earthen construction was required a wide range of tools. It
was partially represented by archaeological finds: wooden shovels with metal shells, axes of various
types, saws, etc.
Despite the fact that other segments of the defensive line of third fortified settlement in Korosten
have not been studied. Based on the plan published by I. Samoilovsky, it is possible to draw a
conclusion that such a construction of the defensive wall was not found along the entire defensive
perimeter. So, the section on the eastern side adjacent to the steep cliffs on the Uzh river does not
have clear protective fortifications. Therefore, Therefore, it was possible that this area was fortified
only with a palisade. Also, according to I. Samoilovsky's plan, the western and northern parts of the
defensive perimeter are surrounded by a powerful bulwark, which most likely had a more complex
structure with larger parameters of fortifications.
Unfortunately, the worst studied element of the lines of defense of the settlements of the IX - X
centuries is the entrance remains. Therefore, were used analogies from well-researched monuments
in Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. In all cases, it had pillar structure withn the
gate tower. It has an exclusively observation function, because they do not have loopholes. That is
why in visualization gate structures is also only as observation and guard points. The outer wall of
such a gatehouse could be made of boards. The volume of the watchtower could be covered with a
gabled roof. This design required the installation of a roof ridge and the placement of wooden
brackets for the stability of the structure. A wooden bridge over the defensive moat could be located
in front of the entrance, which would facilitate access to the settlement in peacetime.
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Zvizdetsky, B. A., 2008. Settlements of the IX - XIII centuries. on the territory of drevlians tribe. Kyyiv:
Instytut arkheolohiyi NAN Ukrayiny.
Kuchera, M. P., 1999. Slavic and Rus՚ fortified settlements of VIII - XIII centuries between San and
Seversky Donets. Kyyiv: Instytut arkheolohiyi NAN Ukrayiny.
Lukyanchenko, V. I., 2016. Grodni - the defensive walls of Kiev IX - XIII centuries. Part one. Earth
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Morgunov, Y.Y., 2009. Wood and earth fortifications of Southern Rus՚ X - XIII centuries. Moskva:
Rappoport, P. A., 1965. Ancient Russian fortresses. Moskva: «Nauka».
Samoilovsky, I. M., 1970. Ancient Korosten. Arkheolohiya, t. XXIII. s. 190 – 200.
Shperk, V. F., 1957. History of fortification. Moskva
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