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UKRAINE'S ARCHAEOLOGICAL TREASURES.
ARCHAEOLOGIST AND SCHOLARS LECTURE AT THE UKRAINIAN MUSEUM.
The Ukrainian Museum in New York City is organizing a series of lectures under the broad topic "Recent Archaeological Discoveries: Treasures of Ukraine's Ancient Past." The lectures, each accompanied by a slide presentation, will be given by archaeologists and art historians - Dr. Adrian O. Mandzy (Sept.17 & Sept.19, 1999), Dr. Olenka Pevny (Oct.29 & Oct.31, 1999), and Dr. Lada Onyshkevych (Nov.5 & Nov.7, 1999). Excelling in their chosen field, these young professionals are making a mark in the exciting world of achraeological explorations and scholarship, both in Ukraine and in the United States.
Since Ukraine's independence in 1991, there has been much activity in the country pertaining to archaeology, anthropology and the restoration of historical monuments. These activities underscore the abundance and variety of social and cultural ventures that have occurred over thousands of years within what are now the modern boundaries of Ukraine. Of great interest is the social and cultural interplay between developing cultures that had blossomed and died, some that had blended with others on this land, leaving their mark to a greater or lesser degree for scholars to study and decipher.
The lectures with the Friday dates will be presented in the English language. Those dated on Sunday will be presented in the Ukrainian language.
Dr. Adrian O. Mandzy, historian and archaeologist (Ph. D. History, York University, North York, Ontario, Canada), will describe the project he has organized and headed since 1991, in the first lecture of the series, entitled "Footprints into the Past: Archaeological Excavations of the Medieval City of Kamianets-Podilsky in Ukraine". The excavations in the old city of Kamianets-Podilsky, a National Historical Preserve, are conducted in cooperation with the City government and with organizations such as the Kamianets-Podislky National Historico-Architectural Preserve, the Lviv Institute of Restoration, the Peter Jacyk Center at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies at the University of Alberta, in Canada, and St. John Fisher College in Rochester, NY. The funding for the project comes from various sources in Ukraine, Canada and the United States.
Kamianets-Podilsky is first mentioned in Armenian chronicles in the 11th century. It was a regional capital for the Polish frontier (1374-1672) and an important administrative, cultural and economic urban center of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in early modern history. For a time in the late 1600s it was under the Ottoman Turkish rule. Through the long period of its growth and development the city has maintained its vitality and excitement, perched on the border between the empires of Europe and Asia, Christianity and Islam, Catholicism and Orthodoxy.
In the introduction to a publication documenting the current excavations in Kamianets-Podilsky, Dr. Mandzy describes the city as unique, in that its "three dominant ethnic groups (the indigenous Ukrainians, immigrant Armenians, and Polish colonists), maintained their own particular legal representation and courts within its boundaries. Whereas in almost all other cities the rights and economic opportunities for the Ukrainian citizens were extremely limited, in Kamianets-Podilsky the Ukrainian community continued to grow and prosper."
In terms of power, the Ukrainians in Kamianets-Podilsky were doing quite well. They had their own administration and many of them were in high positions of authority in the city government. Their religious life was also remained on a secure footing, with many Ukrainian Orthodox parishes being founded in the 16th and 17th centuries, while several churches were being rebuilt in stone. Dr. Mandzy states that based on available records "it is clear that Ukrainians were involved with some of the most exclusive and prosperous of professions. Many of the city's goldsmiths and furriers were Ukrainians, and Ukrainian merchants lived in the most prestigious part of the city."
Dr. Mandzy concludes, "the excavations conducted within the city provide a fascinating view into the daily lives of the people of Kamianets-Podilsky. Indeed, these excavations have uncovered an unique portrait of a forgotten world. In places where the documentary evidence is missing or incomplete, the archaeological data provides a doorway into the past. Perhaps most importantly, these excavations allow us to discuss and draw conclusions about life within the city with a degree of certainty."
As a supplement to the lecture, a small exhibition of artifacts excavated in Kamianets-Podilsky will be on view.
The second lecture in the series "Medieval Cherson: Archaeological Excavations" will feature art historian Dr. Olenka Pevny (Ph.D. History of Art, Institute of Fine Arts, New York University) at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Dr. Pevny participated in excavations in Cherson in 1998, an important ancient Byzantine city, and will recount her on-site experiences, as well as trace the history of Cherson through the archaeological finds.
In 1997 Dr. Pevny was the Research Assistant for the "Glory of Byzantium" exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum and is the author of the essay Kievan Rus, and of twenty-five entries in the exhibition catalogue.
Dr. Lada Onyshkevych, a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a Ph. D. in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, is an Exhibition Project Assistant at the Walters Art Gallery in Baltimore, MD, specifically to the upcoming exhibition "Scythian Gold: Treasures from Ancient Ukraine". The Gallery and the San Antonio Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas, are organizing this exhibition of 165 Scythian works, most of them discovered in recent years and never before seen in the United States.
The lecture/slide presentation by Dr. Onyshkevych at The Ukrainian Museum will be offered in conjunction with the opening of the Scythian exhibition in the San Antonio Museum on November 7th. In her lecture the archaeologist will discuss the culture, lifestyles, beliefs, history and the art of the Scythians, who were a nomadic people that migrated from Central Asia and settled and controlled the southern Ukrainian steppe in the 7th to 3rd centuries BC. They were fierce warriors as well as astute businessmen and left a remarkable legacy of their culture, especially the extraordinary golden artwork found in their burial grounds. The Scythian exhibition will come to New York City in the latter part of the year 2000.
More details about the last two lectures will be forthcoming.
For information please call The Ukrainian Museum at 212 228-0110. FAX 212 228-1947; E-mail: UkrMus@aol.com. Visit the Museum on its web page: www.brama.com/ukrainian_museum.
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