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2 December 2007
Flood threatens ancient Russian settlement

A large settlement dating back to the first century BCE has been found in the Russian republic of North Ossetia. But since the archaeological site is in a valley next to a hydroplant under construction, there's a race to unlock its secrets, before it's flooded.
     Most of the 60 people working at the site in the Zaramag Valley are amateurs with professionals guiding them. Every day they find antique jewellery, tools, weapons and crockery that once belonged to the ancient tribe of Alans, the ancestors of modern Ossetians. But in just a few weeks time, the whole valley will be flooded. It will become a reservoir for Zaramag hydroplant. Once built, it will solve North Ossetia's energy problems.
     The archaeologists regret that they may not be able to finish the work. They say they did everything they could to prolong their stay in the valley. But there is just no way to explore such a large area in a short period of time: "It is practically impossible to excavate a territory of 8,000 square metres in three months. We are just doing our best," says Sergey Dzutsev one of the scientists at the site. Since there was no way to stop the plant construction when it was halfway through, Ossetians try to save what's possible.

Source: Russia Today (28 November 2007)

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