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Cave Verteba: riddles and answers

Україна, Тернопілля, печера Вертеба

In summer, many polytechnics traveled around the world, discovering new places, including underground. Today's story is about the mysterious Ukrainian Cave-Museum.

Who are we?

Ukrainians is a great nation, with thousands of years of history of great achievements. It is said that in during its history many outsiders passed by our territory changing the gene pool of the population. Or maybe the opposite - it is the land origin of all other people. During long time historians discussed hypothesis debated that we are descendants of Trypillians, now genetics (molecular anthropologists) joined them. Unique genetic "bank" the researchers found in a cave Verteba that is located near Ternopil. Bones of people who lived five thousand years ago during the so-called Tripoli culture were founded here. They contain up to 80% of organic matter, so keep the information of DNA, which scientists try to compare with the DNA of local residents. Findings raise more questions than answers, but it is an invaluable material for further research. This is a very big opportunity fro today scientists of Ukraine and the United States to have such reliable material in a search for the answer the question: "Are Trypillians our ancestors?"

History and legends

Underground wonders - caves – were given us by the Sarmatian Sea, first accumulated at the bottom of dead algae that formed thick layers of gypsum, and then washed away the soft one, and then completely receded, hiding deep in the earth white underground palaces. Over time, some arches failed to form the "verteps" (from the Old Church Slavonic - depressions, pits), transformed into Verteba.

It was documented that Verteba was opened in 1820 during the hunt of the last host Ian Hmeletskogo. Excited hunters do not want to put up with the loss of "prey", which disappeared in a hole in the middle of the field. The ordered peasants to dig out that hole. "To warm up" the drunk a little , and one of the diggers was lowered into the excavation, holding his legs. A moment later, there were frozen by a "seeker’s" terrible scream. In the large dark dungeon he has seen bones and potsherds, and decided that he was in the hell. This story was written about in the Magazine "Bee Krakow." About 400 ceramic vessels, 30 thousand large fragments of broken crockery, numerous crockery and bones, which had been laying for several millennia, were found there. All these artifacts were placed in Krakow Archaeological Museum, attributed to Tripoli culture. Because of its wealth a cave was called Up-Dnister Pompey.

It is known that Trypillians lived in houses and burned their dead. There is no answer yet what caused them to go down into the ground. May be they were warming there, or hiding, or maiking some religious ceremonies. At different times, the cave gave shelter to the poor people, to the bands, and many others, as evidenced by the current findings. Today several colonies of bats, listed in the Red Book of Ukraine, live there.


Today the cave Verteba (wide galleries with narrow bridges with a total length of about 9 km, the temperature of 9-11 ° C and humidity up to 98%) is a branch of the Borshevsk local history museum (the length of the tourist trail is about a kilometer). There is an exposition of the findings, equipped diorama of life and culture Trypillians. The presented sculptures depict people in everyday life, and the jewelry and painted ceramics is a copy of the exported to Krakow. Puzzles are at every step. At the entrance visitors are greeted by a huge flat stone sat on the three smaller, and the shape of the corresponding recesses in the roof. What is it – a table, an altar, an oven? Another riddle - male badge in the form of a bull's head, means strength and power. But Trypillians were reigned by women, then what does mean this symbol?

Visit "Trypillians." Perhaps it is you, who will discover their secrets.

N. Vdovenko


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