Ancient seal with image of the Saint was found during construction work in the centre of Yaroslavl

Moscow. August 23. INTERFAX – Archeologists during the excavation works for the laying of pipes in Yaroslavl have found a lead stamp of the XII-XIII century, owned by the wife of the eldest son of Grand Prince of Vladimir Vsevolod the Big Nest, Konstantin Vsevolodovich (1186-1218), reported “Interfax” in the press service of the Institute of archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences.

A godsend to fill the gaps in the Chronicles. The name of the wife of Prince Constantine Vsevolodovich was not known to historians, but scientists have now been able to figure out what the Princess’s name was Mary, said the Institute.

“In Ancient Russia all the persons who had the power – the rulers and top clergy, had their own seal, which was sealed official documents. Such seals, pre-Mongol era, there are several thousand, but print, by the owners whom were women, are extremely rare. Scientists know only about two dozen such seals,” – said the correspondent member of RAS, Deputy Director of IO RAS Peter Gaidukov, quoted in a press-service of the Institute.

The seal was found during works on laying sewer pipes built in the late seventeenth century, the Metropolitan chambers in the center of Yaroslavl. The city is a UNESCO world heritage site and an archaeological monument of Federal value, therefore, at the construction site in the center are necessarily conducted archaeological work.

The archaeologists were able to find a number of artifacts at the site. They came to the conclusion that in place of the Metropolitan Palace earlier was mentioned in the Chronicles of Knyazhiy Dvir specific first Yaroslavl Prince Vsevolod (John) K. (1210-1238). Near the Foundation of this ancient building and was discovered print.

At the Institute of archaeology emphasize that the seal is well preserved and comes from the cultural layer, “securely dated to the end of XII – beginning of XIII century”. It depicts the figures of two saints Constantine and Mary.

Deputy Director of the Institute P. Gaidukov explained that on seals of the time portrayed the patron Saint of the Prince, in whose honor they were named. If the owner of the press was a woman, depicted two saints: the first pointed to the wife, and the second was the patroness of the couple. Thus, historians found out that the wife of Constantine and mother of the first Yaroslavl Prince Vsevolod Konstantinovich’s name was Mary.

The Princess still remained nameless, noted in a press-service of IA RAS. It was only known that after her husband’s death she took the veil and to death in 1220 wore the monastic name Agatha.

“But the image of the Holy Mary on the print indicates that her name was Maria. The unnamed Princess was given the name,” said P. Gaidukov.

The artifact may also shed light on what took place the Princess in the society of that time. Lead seals are usually held together important legal documents, said the Deputy head of IA RAS. This allows scientists to suggest that a woman could independently dispose of the property.

In General, these findings “allow us to Refine the ideas about the status of women in pre-Mongol Russia,” says the Institute.