Two inscribed tally sticks from Novgorod.

Tally sticks are notched and split sticks that record an amount paid, owed, done or collected, and are known from many finds in Russia as well as in western Europe. Some tally sticks are inscribed with the name of the debtor or the owner. Both of these finds from Novgorod have inscriptions. The top tally…

Birchbark documents in Novgorod. 

Much of Novgorod’s casual personal and business correspondence was carried out on birchbark, including collections and records of debts, directives from landowners to peasants, shopping lists, child’s writing practice, personal letters, and much more. (Thompson 56-63, Petrova et al 38-40, Franklin 37) Birchbark is also found as containers, fishing floats and shoes. (Kolchin) While birchbark…

Wooden seals for tribute bags, from Novgorod

Fur collectors and tribute collectors in Novgorod used cylindrical wooden seals to secure and mark bags of fur and other items. I want to try making some of these, as the mechanism is very intriguing.   Seal locks, wooden cylinders bored through vertically and horizontally, were used to both secure and mark tribute sacks, usually…