The name “Gnezdovo”, transformed into a huge complex of archaeological sites, the famous historian of Smolensk SP Pisarev (without citing sources) said first mentioned in the XV century. When it is as if it was the possession of someone from serving people. In 1648 the village Gnezdovo in which the residence of the Catholic Bishop Peter Parchevsky, named because of its litigation with the peasants due to land. The document of the lawsuit should be that the surrounding meadows Gnezdovo already at that time were the property of the city. On the maps of the general land survey, dating back to the last quarter of the XVIII century., Marked Gnezdovo village consisting of 5-6 peasant households, and the surrounding arable land and meadows. Up until the 60s. XIX century. there is no information on the archaeological sites in the area.
The first evidence of the archaeological finds near the village. Gnezdovo refers to 1867 due to the discovery in the vicinity of the village treasure, consisting predominantly of silver jewelry, which was named the Big gnёzdovskogo treasure and Archaeological Commission was transferred to the Hermitage “for permanent storage”. The hoard was discovered by workers during earthworks associated with starting arrangement Vitebsk-Orel railway. Three years later (in 1870), two other less spectacular hoard things which, like the items that made up the first treasure at the ongoing excavation at the construction of the Orel-Vitebsk road was found, apparently, were mixed with findings from some ruined mounds .
Study gnёzdovskih mounds began only 7 years after the discovery of the famous treasure. In June 1872 the Moscow Archaeological Society, represented by its chairman Uvarov instructed its member-correspondent of MF Kustsinskomusobrat information about the mounds and mounds in the upper reaches of the Dnieper, Volga and Dvina – the field “first settlements Krivichy”. The first official investigation into Gnezdovo MF Kustsinsky held in 1874 unearthed 14 burial mounds, probably in Central barrow group. The finds were transferred to the author in Russian Historical Museum. The results of these excavations, especially those found in one of the mounds and the Scandinavian Viking Sword spear, attracted the attention of archaeologists to the vicinity of Smolensk.
In 1881 a long excavations in Gnezdovo started one of the famous Russian archeologists – VI Sizov, Scientific Secretary of the Russian Historical Museum. These excavations he began a systematic study of mounds of Smolensk province, and repeatedly returned to Gnezdovo. In 1882 – 1883 years. gnёzdovskih excavations in barrows with him attended Uvarov and V. Sokolov. In 1885, VI Sizov unearthed one of the largest burial mounds Gnёzdovskih a circumference of the base is 103 m. This mound containing the burial of a rich warrior with a sword, shield and helmet, served as the subject of scientific debate around the issue of ethnic and social origin buried . In 1894 – 1896 and 1898. at the expense of the Archaeological Commission mounds excavations continued, moreover, produced, according to VI Sizov, “trial excavations” at the Central mound. This was uncovered part of masonry and found kiln glazed tiles with Latin inscriptions. In 1901, VI Sizov last worked Gnezdovo and excavated on behalf and at the expense of Princess Tenisheva several mounds, the findings of which were transferred to the Museum Tenishev. At the same time, apparently at the request of VI Sizov was taken first overall plan surroundings d. Gnezdovo where staff captain V. Zalensky been schematically indicated by mound group. Over the entire period of the VI Sizov opened about 500 mounds in all known burial groups. Most of the findings came in the collection of the State Historical Museum, part – in Tenishev museum in Smolensk. Description of several burial groups, the results of their excavations and other authors, as well as conclusions on the ethnic composition of the population of the ancient Gnezdovo, its role and history were presented in a monograph VI Sizov “Mounds of Smolensk province. Gnёzdovsky burial site near Smolensk,” published in 1902 in St. Petersburg.
In 1898 – 1901 years. in connection with the works to expand the web Rigo-Oryol railway excavations conducted in Gnezdovo engineer of railway traffic SI Sergeev. In Central, Forest and Dnieper burial groups they were excavated 96 barrows and, in addition, with the help of the railway master P. Pavlova collected a considerable amount of things, accidentally discovered during work on the territory of the alienated land for railway road. Among the excavated mound three belong to the largest in Central and Dnieper groups. In 1900 – 1901 years. SI Sergeev explored the eastern part of the shaft of the Central settlement. During work SI Sergeev tool plan was made that part of the Central Kurgan group, which is assigned a quarry for sand mining. In addition, in his diaries preserved mounds schematic plan of the Dnieper and the group made “by hand” plans of many mounds excavated them. Materials and edited diaries excavations SI Sergeev published AA Spitsyn in 1905 in “Proceedings of the Archaeological Commission”, and the findings acted to address the Archaeological Commission in the Russian Historical Museum.
In 1890-ies. years, several mounds were excavated by N. Birukovym, the deputy prosecutor of the court of Smolensk. A brief mention of these excavations is contained in a monograph VI Sizov; individual objects found after the excavations made in the Russian Museum of History and Tenishev museum in Smolensk.
In 1899 the excavations of several burial mounds in Central and, apparently, in the Dnieper group produced GK Boguslavsky Isa. PA Pisarev, also transmits Tenishev finds in the museum. Briefly mentioned in the book VI Sizov results of these excavations were later published GK Boguslavsky in a separate article in the local edition of the “old Smolensk”.
In 1905, the Dnieper and mounds Olshansky groups dug JS Abrams, Associate Member of the St. Petersburg Archaeological Institute. In addition, it was made a shaft recess Olshansky settlement. The finds are kept in the State Hermitage. Blogs excavation treated AA Spitsyn, published in 1906 in “Notes of the department of Slavic-Russian archeology of the Russian Archaeological Society” in St. Petersburg.
In 1909 – 1910 years. on Tenisheva means the artist Nicholas Roerich excavated mounds and probably the settlement. For information about these works remained very vague, the material was transferred to Tenishev Museum.
In 1911, excavations of several burial mounds and central settlement with the participation of the listeners of the Moscow archaeological institute in a few days made VA Gorodtsov, an outstanding Russian archaeologist, then head of the archaeological department of the Russian Historical Museum. Found materials were apparently transferred to Tenishev Museum.
In 1914 and 1922. excavation mounds Left Bank, and Zaolshanskoy Nivlyanskoy groups conducted EN Kletnova, an active member of the Smolensk Branch of Moscow Archaeological Institute and Smolensk scientific archival commission. She has also been compiled a detailed description of the Left Bank of the Kurgan group, accompanied by a schematic plan. The results of their excavations EN Kletnova published in 1916 and 1923. in local publications “Smolensk old” and “Smolenskaya nov.”
In 1920 – 1930-ies in Gnezdovo Smolensk and worked famous Belarusian archaeologist AN Lyavdansky. He first gave a detailed description of the location and the size of the burial places of each group and made a detailed schematic plan Gnёzdovskogo whole territory of the archaeological complex, including opening them in 1921 – 1922 years and Zaolshanskuyu Nivlyanskuyu mound group. In 1923 Lyavdansky opened two Villages: Central and Olshansky. The observations and the results of a schematic plan was published in 1924 in the publication “Proceedings of the Smolensk State. Museums”. In 1924, 1926 and 1935 AN Lyavdansky dug several pits in the Central and Olshansky settlement, materials of which came in the Smolensk Regional State Museum.
In 1940, excavations of several burial mounds in the forest or the Central Group and the central settlement area produced NV Andreev, associate professor of the Smolensk Pedagogical Institute, who was chief of the joint expedition of the Smolensk Pedagogical Institute and the Smolensk Regional State Museum. The excavations on the site of a rich female burial was discovered (?) With gold ornaments in X. Summary of the work published in 1945 in the summary statement of the Institute of History of Material Culture. All the findings were transferred to the Smolensk Regional Museum.
During the German occupation in 1942 the famous German archaeologist Klaus Raddattsem, member of the Institute for the Study of Ancestral Heritage (SS – Ahnenerbe) were made depiction of the monument and gathered a certain amount of lifting material, made according to the author, stripping pits on several ruined mounds different groups. Text prepared articles and items collected were sent to them in Berlin, the Museum of the primeval and early history, where they seem to have died during the bombing in 1945 In 1991, Klaus Raddatts published an article recovered them from memory in one of the German editions. It should be noted that almost all materials received from different authors excavations in Smolensk Museum until 1941, died during the Great Patriotic War, and were preserved depasportizovany.
In 1949, excavations at the beginning of the Smolensk Gnezdovo archaeological expedition of the Moscow State University named after MV Lomonosov, was originally called “Gnёzdovskoy expedition.” Its organizer and permanent head until 1993 was the DA Avdusin, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Professor of Moscow State University. During 1949-50, 1960, 1963, 1970, 1975-1978, 1980-1983, 1987-1993. It focused on the excavation of burial mounds Forest and Central groups. In 1984-1988 gg. excavated in the western part of the Dnieper group. In 1978 – 1981 years. Zaolshanskaya Kurgan group was studied EV Kamenetz, a senior lecturer at the Kaliningrad State University, who led the detachment as part of Smolensk expedition. From 1949 to 1993. expedition led by DA Avdusina in different groups Gnёzdovskogo burial complex was excavated about 700 burials. Among the most important discoveries is the discovery of the oldest Russian inscriptions scratched on the surface of imported amphorae and burial chambers. In 1950, on behalf of the expedition MN Kislov took poluinstrumentalny overall plan Gnёzdovskogo archaeological complex and its 4 main groups of mounds. Blogs excavations 1949 – 1950, 1957 – 1960 years. and part of the plan was published in several editions of publications “Materials for the Study of the Smolensk region.” Materials excavations 1949 – 1950 and 1960. deposited at the Smolensk State Museum-Reserve.
Constant monitoring and collection of surface material in the territory of the archaeological complex Gnёzdovskogo for many years held the Smolensk Pedagogical University professor E. Schmidt. He also in 1962, two of the mound was excavated in the Forest group and a small portion in the Central Villages.
In 1967 – 1968 years. Gnezdovo worked in the expedition LOIA USSR Academy of Sciences under the direction of I. Lyapushkina, explore a large area in the central western part of Villages. The results of this expedition stimulated the debate on the problem of chronology Gnezdovo and its monuments. The information collected in the course of excavations collection of objects stored in the Hermitage.
Smolensk archaeological expedition of the Moscow State University in 1952 and 1953. He conducted excavations in Central and Olshansky settlements, and in 1960 began studying the central Villages. Excavation of the Central settlement expedition resumed in 1970 -. 1972, while continuing to study the mounds. Excavations Central settlements since 1973 is Associate Professor T. Pushkin, head of the Smolensk State University archaeological expedition in 1995 Major works on the territory of the settlement are connected with the study of the eastern part and settlements. In 1996, the expedition discovered and began to explore the remains of an ancient settlement with a unique Gnezdovo for preservation of the cultural layer on the territory of the floodplain of the Dnieper.
In 1995, emergency excavations in the central selishte on the outskirts of the village Gnezdovo were conducted under the leadership of the expedition GIM VV Murasheva, lead researcher of the department of archaeological sites. In 1999, SHM expedition started studying flood plain of the central settlement which began with the shafts 1996 and successfully continues to study at the moment.
Since 1995, studies on Gnёzdovskogo archaeological complex is a joint archaeological expedition of the Moscow State University. University and State Historical Museum, working in two units. The main attention is drawn to the study of the expedition settlements. In this regard, in 2009, excavations at the fort were made Olshansky SA Avdusinoy, a senior fellow at the State Historical Museum. At the same time continue with security objectives and destructible excavation mounds Central, Forest and Dnieper groups, and in 1998 in connection with the threat of destruction excavated several mounds in the far Nivlyanskoy group. Over the years, since 1995, in the expedition attended by specialists from other departments of the Moscow State University (in particular, soil science and geography), as well as the Institute of Geography, Russian Academy of Sciences. The first results of these complex works were published in articles published in 2001 and 2007. A summary of the results of the excavations in Gnezdovo regularly published in the collections of the Institute of Archaeology RAS “Archaeological discoveries” since 1967. Since 2010, the Dnieper barrow group operates independent detachment of the State History Museum expedition under the supervision of the Department of Archaeology GIM S. S. Zozulya. Monitoring of the current state of the Central barrow group carried out an expedition under the leadership of Vasily Novikov, a monitoring group carried out the Left Bank Kurgan Sergei Kainov.