Centuries-old carvings found in Viking cave at abandoned home in Ukraine. Take a look

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A conservationist in Ukraine has discovered an ancient cave complex with Viking carvings behind an abandoned house.

Dmytro Perov, an ecologist at the Kyiv Urban Development Center, grew up hearing stories about an ancient cave somewhere on the estate of his great-great-grandmother and her family, he told Life Pravda in an interview on November 7. Perov knew the location of the three-story mansion – now a dilapidated, abandoned house – in central Kyiv.

Perov decided to investigate, he told Live Pravda. He went with some friends to try to find the cave. After searching for half a day, the group finally found a hole hidden behind a crumbling wall of the abandoned house.

The cave complex — now named Ascension Caves — had four caves, but only two have been explored, Perov told McClatchy News on Monday, November 21. The Institute of Archeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine conducted an excavation of the cave.

A team explores the cave complex.

Excavations have found ceramic fragments dating from 600 to 900 AD, the time of the first Kyivan Rus, Perov said.

Kyivan Rus, also known as Kievan Rus, was the first East Slavic state founded by the Vikings or the Varangians, Britannica reported. The Rus became modern Belarus, Ukraine and Russia, reported the Encyclopedia of World History.

Excavations of the Ascension Cave complex also uncovered several Viking carvings, Perov wrote on Facebook. Animal sculptures decorate the walls. A sculpture, called a chicken leg, is an ancient Viking symbol of protection, charm and life.

One of the carvings on the cave wall.

These ancient symbols were carved into the walls of homes and considered talismans, signs of good luck, Perov said.

Another carving on the cave wall.

Archaeologist Timur Bobrovsky, who excavated the caves, told Life Pravda that the complex may have been used as a shelter during military unrest and as a dungeon.

The fate of the ancient cave complex remains precarious and unresolved, Perov said. Kyiv City Council has delayed land use plans for redevelopment, Suspilne reported.

“The public actively opposes the destruction of the historic site,” Perov said, but “Kyiv City Council plans to discuss this issue on Thursday, November 24.” This meeting can determine the fate of the caves.

Google Translate was used to translate stories from Life Pravda and suspended. Facebook Translate was used to translate Dmytro Perov’s posts.

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