13.10.2013 - Travel

Dragon shafts at Makariv

The defense of our nation  Dragon shafts  cause surprise and delight. This is the most ancient trace of ancestors in our region. Their total length in Ukraine is almost 1,000 km, and in the Kiev region – 800 km. These shafts were built for the millennium. At first, they were protected from the Scythians, then the Goths and the Huns, and in the Old Russian period  from the Pechenegs and the Kipchaks.


The origin of shafts

The first written sources mentioning the settlements of modern Makarov district  the ancient Russian chronicles. Extremely much information is contained in the partially preserved documentary books Archives of Southwest Russia, church metrics, etc. Description of settlements, villages and towns in the territory of modern Makarov district court counselor was the first of the Kiev district court Lawrence Pohilevich(1816-1893). He collected statistics, historical and religious statements of the old documentary books Kiev province.

Proceed with work as a professor of the University of Kiev, Vladimir Antonovich devoted to archeology edge. Significant contribution to the reconstruction of the area’s history made ​​Chairman of the Scientific and Methodological Council of the Kiev regional branch of the Ukrainian Society for Protection of Monuments of History and Culture Arkady Buhay. His studies of ancient archaeological sites  Snakes shafts  are still the best in Ukraine.

But why shafts, and even dragons? One legend says that in ancient times, God sent down a snake, which devastated all around and eat people. The owner of the land would prevent trouble, so the serpent promised every year to give the young man from each family. A hundred years later it came to the king’s son. Angel appeared to him and commanded to flee from the insatiable snake, constantly reciting the prayer “Our Father.”

Three days and three nights in the youth fled, repeating a prayer. On the fourth day of his forces began to leave. The serpent was close, his breath scorched the back boys. And suddenly he saw an iron forge in which the saints Boris and Gleb forged the first plow for people and managed to run there. Behind him were closed iron doors that serpent licked only three times. Then the saints Boris and Gleb grabbed the snake with red-hot pincers for language and hitched it to the plow. With furrow drawn huge plow came shaft, which is now called dragons.

In fact, to protect the capital of the ancient Russian state was reduced system of fortifications  trees that used with the defensive properties of land and water. No wonder the Sanskrit word “Ukhraya”, translated in the last century, means “Country of burial mounds and earthworks.” These ramparts were constructed over the rivers, wetlands and valleys between, and it’s rugged border with triple line of obstacles: a river, a deep ditch and rampart. In this case, the builders tried to get around the low-lying areas. Maximum use of terrain features. Studies show that in the not found any shaft from the floor side which would not be the den, because he appeared in and shoveling mounds of soil. Almost every tree in its core was about 8-20 meters in width, and height in some places as high as 9 m.

Location of Dragon shafts

The map Makarovschiny fortifications consist of a few lines that semicircle on the south-west bend around Kyiv land. This land is situated between the rivers Irpin and grouse. On the territory of Kyiv region held as many as four of the shaft. The longest of them passed through the village Byshiv Makarov district. It begins in the flood plain of the river Irpin as modest increases, crosses the valley and extends further into the north-west of the village. Partly shaft destroyed, but in woodland almost completely preserved. As you approach the center of the village from the outside shaft undercut ledges along the entire length of the river, apparently to make it more rapid. It ends near the river already Zdvizh. Its total length is more than 30 km.

The second shaft is in its southern part is not preserved. It begins in the northern suburbs Byshiv, connected to the first and breaks off in the woods in front of marshes in the village Nezhilovichi. North-western ends of both shafts are almost parallel, at a distance of 100 to 200 m apart. The third wave is preserved even less. His route can be traced in the highway Kyiv  Lviv and further north.

Finally, the fourth shaft  external. In the southern part, it has an additional branch. Obviously, in this lies a tactical plan of our ancestors, because the northern flank of the left defensive zone was covered with swamps. Additional segment started on the left bank of the river Irpen, near the village of Sosnovka, and 4 km joined at an obtuse angle to the main shaft. The same can be said of the southern segment Byshev shaft, which starts from the village Chernogorodka. This feature is not coincidental. The compound gave additional natural barrier, ruled breakthrough defensive zone. The remains of the fourth defensive wall indicate that it reached to the neighboring Zhytomyr region and extended to 50 km in length. This system generally provide a defense to the edge of our land to the south and south-west.

Strategic objects of Rus defense 

At the heart of fortifications found wooden, made ​​of oak and birch. On Makarov they passed through the swampy peat soils, but well-preserved. According to the results of the excavation shaft design can be divided into shell houses and conversion. Carcass is too simple, traditional for both ancient and late period. Since the house was built and Ukrainian. Log houses were in excess, ie the ends of the logs were. Carcass shaft construction  walls built along the inside of the shaft and filled the land. Sometimes, there are the remains of trees, from which the design itself. All this was done on the spot, which blew down the log. All cabins, filled with earth, sand, clay, coal, called Gorodno, and where there was no earth filling  stands. Length of shaft indicates that they were used not only for combat operations. In localities or more vulnerabilities on them overbuild took with loopholes.

In 1983 the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine Archaeological Expedition was excavated defensive wall near the village Lupske. The results of these studies support the hypothesis put forward earlier wooden structure shafts. She is so well preserved in a moist soil, though oak logs were placed there several years ago. Affects the skill woodwork. There is evidence of a certain symmetry, which indicates a high level of skill builders. Such a construction is 4 meters wide at the base of it covered with earth. On the external side digs deep moat.

Translated structure consisted of tiers of longitudinal beams arranged in a cross-decking to the logs. The longitudinal beams were placed at a distance of 10 cm from each other, and cross  over 1 meter, for example, in the construction of up to 3 m was 8 tiers of longitudinal beams and transverse 7. Analysis of archaeological research confirms that shell houses, construction and conversion took place in the same shaft, depending on the terrain, which hosted the defensive zone. The construction of these fortifications, three shafts which converge in the village Byshiv Makarov Area, it was only possible with a large number of people and proper organization, only by such a lasting state, which was among the Slavs. For the construction of at least 1 meter shaft to nearly 100 m2 of land. A defensive line stretched for tens of kilometers.

Snakes fan shafts diverge to the west and north-west of Ukraine. If the enemies bypassed the southern outer shafts that began on the Dnipro River, then certainly spent a lot of time and energy, being in the heart of Kiev land. Then in front of them appeared as a maze of shafts in the area between Irpin  grouse, which break in the southern part, given the numerous obstacles, it was almost impossible. This is upset the plans of the enemy. This will eliminate the surprise attack of the nomads. If the outer line of defense is overcome then the enemies caught in the network of rivers, ravines, swamps and so on to the next fortified line. They wandered in search of a way, and in the case of break and found themselves in a semicircle could go in the reverse direction. There’s an enemy waiting for the same risk.

Snakes shafts are not arranged randomly, they had a strict system. Tactical plan of our ancestors confirms their military talent. Fortifications were under the control of the Slavic warriors. Also used in large mounds guard. Treat Snakes shafts passing through the territory of the region, together with the necessary fortifications with which they are closely related, because they  together. Among the fortifications particularly stand out nine settlements on the right bank, to the west and south-west of Kiev. This is Makarov, Motyzhin, Byshiv, Cornflower, etc. These building were based solely on the hills, hard to reach places, but almost always in the rivers. This created an additional natural barrier for those who have tried to take it by storm a fortified settlement. Therefore the builders tried to use safety features of the terrain effectively.

Analysis of archaeological excavations in the Makarov gives grounds to assert that there is a certain amount of settlements in the area between Irpin  Zdvizh. Built almost at the same time, they served as outposts of Kiev defense against enemy invasions. Review of the plan of their placement suggests skillful tactical ideas of our ancestors. Fortified settlements with serpents shafts impregnable wall blocked the road to the capital of Russia in the south-west side.

Zlatoslava Ogin