by Vladimir KULAKOV, Dr. Sc. (Hist.), Institute of Archeology, RAS
The summer of 2013 on the southern coast of the Baltic Sea was hot, though intense heat was hardly felt under the crowns of ancient trees, which covered one of the heights in the environs of Zelenogradsk (Kaliningrad region). Under this natural "umbrella" is actively working an international archeological expedition, organized on the base of the Baltic Federal University named after Immanuil Kant (Kaliningrad) within the framework of the international project "Cross-Roads 2.0". Young scientists and students from Russia, Lithuania and Poland carried out here excavations of the Prussian burial ground Minor Kaup. One of the findings turned out to be unique.
Excavation near Zelenogradsk. In the foreground-location of the burial ground K70.
The story about the finding I would like to begin from afar, touching upon the sources of such notion as a family portrait, which we connect with a high organization form of the society.
One of the first portrayals of the family-the most important social cell, a base of civilizations, including a contemporary one-is known through frescos of Pompeii. This small town, located on the slope of Vesuvius, in the center of the Apennine Peninsula, was buried under the volcanic ashes in 79 A.D. The excavations connected with this town promoted formation of archeology as science in the 18th century. There are found a great number of monuments of ancient art in Pompeii and neighboring Herculaneum. Among them a special place belongs to the fresco representing, according to specialists, a family portrait. United by love for versification (this is evident due to objects for writing in the hands of the man and woman on the fresco), young people demonstrate spiritual community, which points to the unity of their views on the environment.
Undoubtedly, earthly love plays a significant role in the family. This unalterable truth is illustr ... Read more