September 15, 2020

Archaeologists Make a Home Run



Archaeologists Make a Home Run
How do you say "batter up" in Old Russian? Schyler at English Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons

Archaeologists in the northwestern city of Veliky Novgorod have unearthed a surprising find: small leather balls stuffed with moss and horsehair. Scientists believe these were used in a game similar to modern baseball.

The experts believe the pieces date back to the 12th century.

The site, not far from the city's ancient Kremlin, also revealed a nail extractor, jewelry, an arrowhead, and fragments of these toys.

Novgorod was a major trading city linking Russia with Scandinavia and the Mediterranean in the 9th-15th centuries. Today, archeologists have found the marshy soil around the city to be perfect for the preservation of artifacts, including letters written on birch bark.

Whether or not the Novgorodians relegated their least-athletic warriors to right field was not reported.

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