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  Friday, February 21, 2020
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Excavations are on in a 12th-14th century necropolis of the Annunciation churchyard at Myachino, old Novgorod borough
The dead-certainly mediaeval dignitaries-lie in rectangular limestone sarcophagi. Unprecedented patterns, tentatively termed "wavy", decorate the coffin lids. Scholars are at a loss about techniques used to make the patterns on the slabs. Excavations over, the lids will be displayed for sightseers in the graveyard, say experts of the Novgorod State Museum Preserve. The necropolis, with ten or more graves, was discovered by last year's archaeological expedition. Some scholars think the buried people were Novgorodi boyars resident in Ludin Street, a mediaeval aristocratic neighborhood. Others argue they were princes of the Church. The expedition expects to dispatch the remains to Moscow. Prominent anthropologist Denis Pezhemsky, Muscovite who supervises the excavations, and his laboratory will try to re-create the facial features from the sculls. Bone tests will show the Novgorod residents' diet and what health problems they had. The tests over, the remains will return to their last abode near the Annunciation Church.
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