Where there is no law, but every man does what is right in his own eyes, there is the least of real liberty
Henry M. Robert

The greatest Ukrainian archeologist

Borys Mozolevsky would have turned 80 on February 4
9 February, 2016 - 11:41

Borys Mozolevsky (1936-93), the son of a peasant from Mykolaiv region whose grandfathers and great-grandfathers were dekulakized during collectivization, while his father perished in a Nazi POW camp, was truly a self-made man, and a world archeology figure quite comparable with Heinrich Schliemann, who excavated the famed city of Troy, or with Sir Howard Carter, who became famous thanks to exploring mysterious ancient Egyptian tombs. But while these scholars are known throughout the world and have had hundreds of fascinating books written about them, how many Ukrainians (not to mention foreigners) are even aware of Mozolevsky’s research achievements? The largest of them is on its own enough to recognize him as the greatest Ukrainian archeologist. We mean the June 21, 1971 discovery of a rich Scythian burial near the village of Tovsta Mohyla in Dnipropetrovsk region; the finds there included, in particular, the pectoral which is now known throughout the world.

Photo from The Day’s archives

Mozolevsky would have turned 80 on February 4. The prominent archeologist whose achievements have greatly changed our understanding of the nation’s distant past left us aged only 57, and the magnitude of this loss we have yet to assess in full. It should be added that Mozolevsky was also a talented poet, and his archeological work was not limited to the Tovsta Mohyla discovery. So, celebrating his anniversary as a national event is absolutely called for. But... Still, we have certain positive signs, too, namely local-level efforts to that end, particularly in Nikopol, where a street will be renamed to honor the great archaeologist. This is covered in a report by The Day’s own correspondent in the region.