About 20 researchers have made archeological excavations in the territory of the Gomel District for the last 100 years. They used to excavate the sites of the first people, settlements of the mid-Stone Age, of the New Stone Age, sites and sepulchers of the Bronze Age, settlements and villages of the Iron Age. Today thanks to the works of the leading Belarusian archeologist K.M. Polikarpovich the museum has a chance to exhibit the items from the oldest site on the territory of Belarus located near Berdyzh Village of Chechersk District of the Gomel Region. Ancient history of the region is illustrated by the first 4 glass cases of the exposition. During excursion it is possible to find out how the man looked like 40-10 thousand years ago, what animals used to live in the Dnieper River basin. One of cases exhibits the bones and the teeth of the mammoth and of the fleecy rhinoceros.
The views of the average men about the world where the Stone Age man used to live are quite one-sided: it is reckoned that small groups of sad people wondered in a damp tundra-steppe looking for food and shelter. When visiting our exposition you will not only see the hand tools of the Stone Age people and how they produced the tools from millstone, but you will also see the dwellings reconstructed from the mammoth bones, ancient "writings", a figure of the Mother Goddess, a reconstruction of the Paleolithic bone painting.
The part of the exhibition depicting the Mesolithic Age shows even the model of the shelter built from fells and timber poles. It also illustrates how the millstone hand tools were made, which became the prototypes of the modern saw. This technique is typical for the mid-Stone Age only. It was spread in the territories characterized by the shortages of raw millstone of good quality. The riverbed of the Dnieper in the Gomel Region belonged to such territories. The glass case devoted to the late Stone Age shows a unique sharp-bottom earthenware pot found in the district of Rogachev. It is beneficially placed in the good light of small fragments of other pots covered by an intricate ornament. Quarry-faced stone axes bring special flavor of the Stone Age and progressively lead us into the part of the exhibition devoted to the Bronze Age.
Half of the hall filled by unique items from the Bronze Age has a peculiar spirit of mysteriousness and mysticism. Practically all things exhibited there were retrieved during burial excavations. Each of them was laid into the graves during magic ceremonies, and that is why the outlook and the meaning of those subjects are special. Intricate ornaments similar to the ornaments on the towels of our grandmothers, well-proportioned forms and delicate art techniques make the tableware of the Bronze Age an inimitable one. Unique jewelry made for men and women from amber and bronze, bronze weapons, stone axes imitating those casted from metal create impression of touching the remote past, and the illustration of the burial mound accomplish it.
The hall devoted to the Iron Age is very informative despite its intimate size. Those who lived in the territory of Belarus in the 7th century before Christ learned how to make iron from swamp ore. The process was labor-intensive, but the result justified the time and efforts spent. The fragments of ore, bloom and slag hardly allow to imagine the nuances. The iron tools, which are about two and a half thousand years old, look like made the day before yesterday, and the visitors of the museum can study them. During excursion one can find out the secrets of how to make an uncommonly strong metal even in an artisan workshop.
The small exhibition corners are also interesting: their message is covered by the plot, and the true items just compliment the image. There are specially designed glass cases with niches: when looking inside them one can feel like being in the remote past, meeting a woman of the 4th century B.C. and a man of the 1st century A.D. You can see the things, which had undoubtedly served their owners for many years including the jewelry, which was expensive at the time and which had been brought from the East. This jewelry has not lost its charm even today. There are iron and bronze weapons, which can frequently find analogues in terms of shape and manufacturing technique among the neighboring regions, more developed and more warlike. Indubitably, the zest of the second hall is the reconstruction of the Iron Age burial. At that time the dead were burnt down, the remains were put into a pit, the tableware was placed nearby as well as a few necessary items. All that was done according to the beliefs of the then inhabitants of our region.