New Publication on the Archaeological Research of Baturyn in the Cossack Era

Cover of the booklet on the 2015 Baturyn excavations

Dr. Volodymyr Mezentsev for New Pathway, Toronto.

Zenon Kohut, Volodymyr Mezentsev, and Yurii Sytyi, Rozkopky u Baturyni 2015 roku. Rekonstruktsii inter’ieriv palatsu Ivana Mazepy (Excavations at Baturyn in 2015. Reconstructions of the Interiors of Ivan Mazepa’s Palace), Toronto: Ukrainian Echo Publishing Company Ltd., 2016, 36 pp., 79 colour illustrations, glossy paper, paperback.

This new booklet continues the series of annually issued, richly illustrated brochures dedicated to the historical, archaeological, architectural, and artistic study of Baturyn, one of the capitals of the Cossack Hetman state. It was prepared by Canadian and Ukrainian archaeologists and historians participating in the Baturyn excavations and is addressed to both the general public and scholars.

The Kowalsky Program for the Study of Eastern Ukraine at the Canadian Institute of Ukrainian Studies (CIUS) of the University of Alberta, Edmonton, the Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (PIMS) at the University of Toronto, and the Ucrainica Research Institute in Toronto have sponsored the Baturyn project. Prof. Volodymyr Kravchenko, Director of CIUS, heads the Kowalsky Program. Prof. Zenon Kohut, the previous director of both the Institute and the program and an eminent historian of the Hetmanate, is the academic adviser of this undertaking. The archaeologist Dr. Volodymyr Mezentsev (CIUS Toronto Office) and the renowned historian of Ukraine-Rus’, Prof. Martin Dimnik (PIMS), have participated in the research of Baturyn and the publication of its excavation findings. The archaeologist Yurii Sytyi (Chernihiv National University) oversees the Baturyn Canada-Ukraine expedition. Some 45 students and scholars from universities in Chernihiv, Kyiv, and Hlukhiv took part in the 2015 excavations. I wish to thank the Ukrainian Credit Union (Taras Pidzamecky, CEO) for its continuous support of the Baturyn project with annual subsidies from 2009.

The booklet provides a brief overview of the history of Baturyn during Polish-Lithuanian rule over Left-Bank Ukraine, the national-liberation war led by Hetman Bohdan Khmelnytsky against Poland, and the Hetman era. It pays special attention to the reign of Hetman Ivan Mazepa, when the town was his capital and reached the pinnacle of its economic, demographic, and cultural development and became known in Western Europe. The total destruction of Mazepa’s capital and the slaughter of its entire military personnel and civilian population by Russian troops in 1708 is described on the basis of the Belarusian Mahiliou Chronicle, which provides a unique, detailed, and vivid account of this tragic event.

The authors examine the results of the 2015 excavations of the remnants of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century dwellings and graves of the townsfolk within the former Baturyn fortress, as well as Mazepa’s and General Judge Vasyl Kochubei’s manors and court churches. They also discuss the material culture and lifestyle of the hetman and wealthy Cossack state officials along with their families. The researchers have revealed hitherto unknown Italian and Polish influences on the ceramic floor pavement patterns and impressive ornamentation of Mazepa’s destroyed principal residence and published several unprecedented computer reconstructions of its interiors.

The 2015 archaeological explorations have obtained data for locating the sites of the ruined St. Nicholas Church (1698), commissioned by Mazepa, and the household of his closest supporter and chargé d’affaires, General Secretary Pylyp Orlyk, as well as the seventeenth- to nineteenth-century Kerbutivskyi (Novomlynskyi) convent near Baturyn, which the Imperial Russian authorities abolished in 1827. New archaeological and physical anthropological evidence about the annihilation of Baturyn’s residents by tsarist troops in 1708 has also been brought to light.

The publication of this booklet was funded by Buduchnist Credit Union and the Ucrainica Research Institute. I kindly thank Oksana Prociuk, CEO, and Chrystyna Bidiak, Operations & Human Resources Manager of BCU, as well as Orest Steciw, President of this Institute and President of the National Executive of the League of Ukrainian Canadians, for providing subsidies to cover the printing and other costs of this, the fifth, and the fourth (2015) booklets. The brochures of the Baturyn series have 24 to 36 pp. in Ukrainian, 50-80 colour illustrations, and glossy paper. They will be of interest to all students of Ukrainian history and antiquities.

The last two booklets are on sale for $10 each from the office of the National Executive of the League of Ukrainian Canadians in Toronto (tel.: 416-516-8223, email: [email protected]). These and two earlier brochures are available for purchase through CIUS Press in Edmonton (tel.: 780-492-2973, fax: 780-492-4967, email: [email protected]). These booklets can also be ordered on-line from the CIUS Press website:;;’kogheo;

In August, the Canada-Ukraine archaeological expedition, including nearly 60 students and scholars from universities in Chernihiv, Kyiv, Sumy, and Hlukhiv, continues the systematic excavations in Baturyn. Its findings will be analysed and presented in academic and newspaper articles, a new booklet, and public lectures in 2017. Next summer, our expedition will resume the field research in the town. Meanwhile, in the current war situation, the funding of our scholarly project has become increasingly problematic for the Ukrainian government.

The continued support of archaeological explorations in Baturyn and the publication of its materials by Ukrainian organizations, foundations, companies, and private benefactors in Canada and the United States will be much needed in 2016-17. Canadian citizens are kindly invited to send their cheques with donations to: Orest Steciw, M.A., President, Ucrainica Research Institute, 9 Plastics Ave., Toronto, ON, Canada M8Z 4B6. Please make your cheques payable to: Ucrainica Research Institute (memo: Baturyn Project).

American residents are advised to send their donations to: Mr. Stan Kamski, Treasurer, Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies, 59 Queen’s Park Cr. E., Toronto, ON, Canada M5S 2C4. Please make your cheques payable to: Pontifical Institute of Mediaeval Studies (memo: Baturyn Project). These institutes will send official tax receipts to all donors in Canada and the USA, and they will be gratefully acknowledged in related publications and public lectures.

For additional information or questions about the Baturyn project, readers may contact its executive director, Dr. Volodymyr Mezentsev, in Toronto (tel.: 416-766-1408; email: [email protected]). Researchers of Baturyn kindly thank the Ukrainian communities in Canada and America for their generous support of this archaeological undertaking and related publications over the past sixteen years.