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19 April 2024, 16:43



New graffiti uncovered in Transfiguration Church in Polotsk

MINSK, 19 April (BelTA) - Unique graffiti was uncovered in the Transfiguration Church in Polotsk. One of the inscriptions is seen as sensational, the Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus said on its website, BelTA has learned.

The Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior in Polotsk remains a source of new information about the ancient history of Belarus. The church is not only a unique specimen of ancient architecture but also a true "depositary" of ancient graffito inscriptions. They date back to the 12th-19th centuries, and their number has reached 4,000. In April, as a result of restoration work on the north door of the church, a fragment of the wall was cleared and a new graffito was found.

The memorial note about the death of a priest runs five lines measuring 17x6.5 cm. It was analyzed by the leading specialist of the Center for the History of Science and Archival Affairs, Associate Professor Inna Kalechits.

The graffiti was made in the 12th century, as suggested by paleographic evidence. The person who left the inscription was literate. He scrabbled the graffito with a confident hand, somewhat expressively, repeating some dashes. Perhaps he was shocked by the priest's death. The titlos that he placed above the abbreviated words differ in spelling: for words expressing holiness, he used straight titlos with dashes, for simple words and numbers – angles.

This rather brief memorial inscription, in fact, unfolds the biography of a person who came from Byzantium and was most likely a builder or fresco painter. After working on the churches of Polotsk and possibly on the Church of the Savior, he stayed in the city, took the priesthood, and served as a priest in the Church of the Savior and died on 1 March.

Thus, thanks to the study of ancient graffiti we learned the name of another person, the craftsman and priest Avdakim, who lived in the time of St. Euphrosyne of Polotsk and who can be put on a par with the famous architect John and goldsmith Lazar Bohsha. The graffiti on the Church of the Transfiguration of the Savior also revealed the names of the iconographer Kuzma and the builder Savva, the priests and abbesses of the monastery, who were not mentioned in other written sources.
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