History of the association of interests «Argonauts of the Past»

Гурток «Арганаўты мінулага»

The circle «Argonauts of the past» operated first on the basis of secondary school No. 1 in Miory (students of grades 7-8 were engaged), and since 1981 – on the basis of secondary school No. 3 in Miory.

From the very beginning of the activity of the circle, the head and students tried to show their zest in the name and symbols. The circle has its own distinctive coat of arms, as well as an anthem, reflecting its essence and goals. Following the heroes of the ancient myth, today’s «Argonauts» strive, overcoming all obstacles, to find the secrets of the historical past of our Fatherland, to search for the golden grains of old-world science to show this wealth to their contemporaries.

A significant place in the work of the circle is devoted to acquaintance with scientific archaeological research conducted in the Miorsky district and Pridvinye. The members of the association participate in archaeological excavations and exploration of the West-Dvina archaeological group of the Belarusian expedition of the Institute of Archeology of the Academy of Sciences of the Republic of Belarus. During the exploration, children explore already known monuments, check their condition, collect lifting material.

The most interesting and at the same time time-consuming is the exploration in search of new archaeological sites. It occurs as follows. If there is no information about these monuments in the Polish, pre-revolutionary, Soviet literature, then first of all there is a survey of local residents. The participants of the circle write down legends, legends about this area, the names of swamps, river tracts, hills, etc. selecting the rational, sifting through the layers of legends, find historically true facts.

One of the main activities of the circle is to monitor the preservation and condition of archaeological sites in the area. The members of the circle conducted a bicycle route through the main monuments of the archeology of the Myory region. The Kurgan cemetery near the villages of Kublishchino, Snegi, Vyata, Chemyary, Poddubniki, Churilovo, and Lesnoye was investigated. The main group of settlements of the Early Iron Age was examined: Nikolaevo, Gvardeyskaya, Yazno, Prudniki, Garani, Poddubniki, Churilova, etc. Traces of unknown purpose, pits on the hillfort near the village of Yazno were found. Under the influence of natural factors, the destruction of oxen, slopes, ditches, and hillforts was observed in some monuments. The circle members took the appropriate possible measures-the preservation of the cultural layer. At the same time, the lifting material found on the surface was collected. In addition to numerous pieces of ceramics of the Dnieper-Dvina culture, hatched ceramics during the survey, a ceramic image of a dog was found, dating from the I thousand BC. There are no analogues of such finds in Belarus. And on the border of the Miorsky and Polotsk districts, during the exploration, a stone axe with an image of an ornament was found. Such a find, too, is still the only one known in Belarus.

The excavations are of the greatest interest to the circle members. It is here that children use all the knowledge that they have received during the year: how to quickly and correctly conduct excavations, make sweeps, store exquisite items. The participants of the circle easily read the stratigraphy of the mound, can fix it, outline the purpose of the find, its belonging to the archaeological culture. After the excavation, the children wash the pottery, clean things, and classify them. In the evening, after finishing their work, the young archaeologists meet with war and labor veterans and help them.

A special place in the activities of the circle «Argonauts of the past» is occupied by ethnographic expeditions. Recently, unique exhibits have been found: the sculpture «The Grieving Christ» by a local master of the 18th century, a handwritten book «The Burial of the Laity», rare household items of the 18th and 19th centuries. A lot of new information was found during local history expeditions to clarify the biographies of our famous countrymen. This is how the pedigree was compiled, and unique photographs of Czeslaw Sipowicz, the founder of the world’s first museum and library, were found. Skoriny in London. For the first time, the activity of the figures of the national liberation movement B. Turonok, K. Kruk, E. Maletsky and others is investigated.

One of the main results of the activity of the circle members is the creation in 1986 of the historical museum on the basis of the Secondary school No. 3 in Miory, which in 1996 received the title of People’s Museum. Its 12 departments and spare funds include more than 17 thousand exhibits, most of which are unique to our country. For example, the Roman denarius of Maximian 280 AD, the Prague penny of 1386, Coins of the 15th – 17th centuries, treasures of coins of the 17th-20th centuries. The most rich is the archaeological section of the museum, where numerous tools and art of ancient people found by the «Argonauts» are presented. Other sections are represented by documents on the history of the Miory Region of the 18th-20th centuries, medals, seals, photographs, etc. Unique exhibits tell about the history of Ancient China and Greece. The participants of the circle helped to create Miorsky, Braslavsky, Glubokoe district museums, numerous school museums of the district and the region.

The museum houses thousands of valuable and unique exhibits. The significant work of the Argonauts is reflected in an interesting publication – a 5-volume history of the circle, where each book created by the students is also a valuable exhibit. The place of honor on the museum stands is also occupied by dozens of diplomas and certificates received by groups for winning many competitions.

In September 2009, the Museum of Books and Printing in Miory Secondary School No. 3 opened its doors hospitably. According to 17 sections, 18 excursions were developed, each 45 minutes. The general tour for guests lasts two hours. The Museum of Books and Printing presents 3,000 exhibits that were collected by the teachers of the Argonauts of the Past circle during its existence.

A new direction of activity of the circle was the creation of a periodical publication of the newspaper «Miorskaya Starina». The newspaper has been published since 2011. Its publication is attended by members of the circle «Argonauts of the Past» under the leadership of V. A. Ermalenok.