Research school of history and anthropology of the Dvina River Region - Полоцкий государственный университет имени Евфросинии Полоцкой

Research school of history and anthropology of the Dvina River Region

Research school type – scientific research
Intellectual sphere – history, anthropology, ethnology
The nature of scientific activity:
  • fundamental research
  • applied research
Many research fields within the framework of the school have also defined its name: The History and Anthropology of history and anthropology of the Dvina River Region, where the anthropological discourse has the widest, European interpretation and combines various disciplines: archaeology, ethnography, folklore studies, ethnosemiotics, oral history, and military-historical anthropology, collectively aimed at a comprehensive study of the history and culture of the Dvina River Region.
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History of the research school

The formation of the research school dates back to 1995 when the two priority research areas were identified: archaeology (M. Klimov) and fieldwork ethnography (V. Lobach) – with a common goal, which is to study the features of the historical, ethnic, and cultural development of the Belarusian Dvina River Region. The actual historical research is developing at the same time. Since the beginning of the 2000s, the direction of biological anthropology (O. A. Yemelianchik) has been formed. It largely supplemented the Polotsk archaeology headed by D. Duk in the 2000s, who conducted large-scale excavations in Polotsk.

As a result of intensive field research of the ethnic and cultural traditions of the region, ethnographic and folklore material was recorded, which formed the basis of a unique publication for the Republic of Belarus – the Polotsk ethnographic collection (V. Lobach, V. Filipenko). In 2000-2015, a huge number of young scientists of various specializations grew up within the framework of the emerging school: ethnology and ethnography (S. Andrievskaya, V. Ovseychik, S. Shidlovsky); archaeology (I. Magalinsky, A. Kots); medieval, regional, confessional history (V. Baranenko, Yu. Kezha, V. Cherevko, etc.).

Since 2015 the fields of oral history and military-historical anthropology have been updated (A. Korsak, V. Lobach, A. Sumko). The research school has become recognized in the Republic of Belarus and abroad.

Olga Yemelyanchik
Olga Yemelyanchik
Ph. D. in Biology Associate Professor at the Department of History and Tourism
Telephone: + 375 29 963 71 59
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


  • research of ethnic and cultural traditions of the Dvina River Region (traditional rituals, traditional medicine, magical practices, sacred geography, ethnic stereotypes, culture of ethnic groups, folklore)
  • research in the field of oral history and military-historical anthropology (the period of the Great Patriotic War, the post-war period, the life support system of the Belarusian villages, the peculiarities of urbanization in the region, the specifics of memorialization of historical events)
  • study the features of the historical development of the region in the European context
  • archaeological research of urban material culture (archaeological study of the hillfort, ancient settlements, the roundabout city, the settlement structure, castles of Polotsk, funerary monuments, religious and civil objects), archaeological research of funerary monuments, and the settlement structure of the historical and ethnographic region of the Belarusian Dvina River Region
  • anthropological studies of the population of the Belarusian Dvina River Region of the IX-XVIII centuries


  • Peer-reviewed journal "Vestnik of PSU" (Issue A. Humanities. (A. Korsak, V. Lobach))


State research programmes

  • "Economics and humanitarian development of the Belarusian society" for 2016-2020 (subprogram 12.1. "History and culture", task 1.1.01. "Belarusian lands in prehistoric, medieval and modern times: archaeological sites, population territory, economics and culture", research work "Polotsk Dvina Region population in I-II ths. A. D.")
  • "Economics and humanitarian development of the Belarusian society" for 2016-2020 (subprogram 12.1. "History and culture", task 1.1.02. "Social and economic processes on the territory of Belarus in the IX-beginning of the XXI century: source criticism, historiography, anthropology, and other special studies", research work "Formation of the anthropological composition and adaptive status of the population of the Polotsk Dvina Region in the XI-XIX centuries")
  • "Memorialization of military graves and places of extermination of the population by the German occupiers in 1941-1944 on the territory of Belarus"
  • "Ethnic images in the Belarusian folk tradition of the 19th and early 20th centuries: typology and levels of representation on an Eastern European background"
  • "The economy, cultural traditions and population of Polotsk and Polotsk Dvina River Region during the formation and development of the historical forms of Belarusian statehood in the IX-XVIII centuries."

Belarusian republican foundation for fundamental research

  • "Semantics of the traditional cultural landscape of the Belarusian Dvina River Region: evolution and transformation in the 20th and early 21st centuries"
  • "The subculture of childhood in the discourse of oral history, language, and folklore of the Vitebsk-Pskov frontier region of the XXth and early XXIst centuries"
  • "People and power: occupiers, collaborators and partisans on the borderland of Belarus and north-west Russia in 1941-1944."
  • "Historical role of demographic processes in the formation of the anthropological composition of the population in Belarus and Russia"

Cooperation projects

  • JSC "Belrestavratsiya" of the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Belarus: "Reconstruction and restoration of the Transfiguration Church in Polotsk (historical and cultural value of the XII century)"
  • Spaso-Euphrosyne female Orthodox monastery: "Reconstruction with complex regeneration of the Spaso-Euphrosyne female Orthodox monastery"


  • Diploma and Certificate of Merit of the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Belarus (А. Korsak, V. Lobach, V. Ovseychik, E. Sumko, V. Cherevko)
  • Letter of acknowledgement of the President of the Republic of Belarus for productive scientific and pedagogical activities, and contribution to the training high-qualified specialists (2019, A. Korsak)
  • Anniversary medal "75th anniversary of the liberation of Belarus from nazi invaders" for the perpetuation of the memory of the dead of the Great Patriotic War (A. Korsak)


Russian Federation

  • Pskov Region Archaeology Centre
  • Kemerovo State University
  • Smolensk State Institute of Arts
  • Hermitage Museum
  • Samara State University of Social Sciences and Education


  • NASU Institute of Archaeology


  • University of Daugavpils

Republic of Belarus

  • The Institute of History of the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus