The rush of developers to put up properties and renovate infrastructure in recent years has led to scant respect for the laws regulating the exploitation of land and the subsequent loss of the nation’s archeological heritage. A KW article by Natalya Davydenko looks into the situation.
The national register includes only around 60,000 ancient historic and cultural monuments, while in Poland more than 435,000 are registered. “Polish archaeologists have examined 87% of their country while the corresponding figure in Ukraine is just 5-10%,” says Taras Mylyan, Deputy Director at the Archaeological Service Scientific and Research Center of the Institute of Archaeology.
“Archaeologists still have not examined some cultural and historic regions, such as [northern forested region] Polissya, at all because, unlike in Soviet times, today no archaeological digs are scheduled,” adds Serhiy Panyshko, head of the Volyn Regional Archaeologists’ Union.
“The number of experts capable of conducting field research is also low - a maximum 200–300 experts, which is 10 times less than in other European countries,” says Panyshko. Touching the most recent example of Kyiv’s Poshtova Square, which is a part of the Ancient Kyiv reserve, the historian said stressed. “It is incorrect to examine reserves and not touch the rest of the land, as it is possible that discovered objects can serve as the basis for a new archaeological complex in an unprotected land plot that has been already been dug up by construction crews. Unfortunately, construction works have destroyed these objects. Now they are lost forever.”