Near an excavation edge some remains of logs were laid out in a semicircle. It puzzled us a lot. Maybe these are remnants of flooring or palisade? But the answer was very simple. While clearing the area of the excavation separately lying logs were not thrown away, but gently placed on the edge.

Additional findings.

Generally, it is sometimes difficult to distinguish where it is the original layout of log cabins, and where there are additions of restorers. For example, the wooden floor, as the museum staff says, isn’t original. It was put inside for demonstrativeness, and some boards may be parts of pavement decking.

A house with boarded floor.

The problem is aggravated by the fact that, according to archeologists, the cultural layer on the site of the settlement was growing very quickly — 7 meters for 200 years, and  new houses were often placed on the site of the previous ones. There are some good examples.

Perhaps this is not a five-wall house, but a small log cabin set over the former one of larger size.

Look at the layout of boarding joists, which were made in reach-through cutting technique. In some houses they were arranged in two tiers at a considerable distance from each other.

We see a preserved joist, but at the top joisted floor, a groove for the former joist has preserved. These joists shows the floor level in two different houses.

Perhaps, some of these joists indicate the presence of grownd floors in some houses, but there are houses where it’s impossible. For example, a log cabin with remains of the stove. Directly above the stove there are grooves, traces of joists notch. This means that the stove had been already out of service when the joists were installed.

Even a ruined furnace is situated very close to the joists.

In the houses of Berestye there are two types of floor construction:
1. Floor of cleaving planks on boarding joists.

2. Floor of logs. Now the floor looks like a pile of rotting garbage, but at the time of discovery, it was almost in perfect condition.

There is an interesting six-wall house, which we firstly took for a house with a gallery. Apparently, these are two different log houses of different periods, standing one over another. Two walls of the smaller one were fixed to the older house. Note, that the exits of these buildings are oriented differently.

A «six-wall» house, which turned out to be two houses of different periods.

The theory of two houses with different dating is supported by the wall, because remains of a doorway preserved in it. One can see slots for tenons, but it is blocked with the top log.

There is a lot of recycled material in these buildings. In ancient Russian cities of X–XI centuries the situation is similar. After dismantling of houses, ships etc. boards and logs were often reused. There are many examples in Ladoga and Novgorod, we see it in «Berestye» as well.

A pavement of recycled material.

Here are figured cuttings on pavement boards.

In many boards one can see triangular, circular or other openings.

Here is an old cup on a log of a new house.

Here is a lower row made of logs.

There are also buildings made of logs with trimmed internal and external sides. Almost modern «lafette» logs.

Sometimes only certain logs in a house were trimmed.

And once we found a sound squared beam.

We’ve got some answers about cutting technique.

Longitudinal grooves in logs are preserved not very well, so it was difficult to identify their form. What does it matter for us? Form of connecting elements and processing traces can tell a lot about how these grooves were cut. And this is very important for creating a high-quality replica.

In some log cabins we saw triangular grooves. Most likely, they were cut out with axe.

Some grooves have almost semicircular form. It’s not clear what tool they were made with. There are no finds of semicircular addices for this period. Perhaps they were cut out with axe, and then completed with semicircular spokeshave. This technique is found in the ethnography of the Russian North.

Some logs had no grooves at all. Perhaps they were parts of the outbuildings.

The first part of the report about Berestye.