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A birch bark manuscript containing the earliest use of the word 'stepdaughter' found in Novgorod

Archaeologists in Veliky Novgorod, while deciphering the text of a birch bark manuscript, which had been found at the Duboshin II excavation site in early September, found the first ever use — in similar historical documents, that is — of the word 'stepdaughter'. The content of the note scientists considered to be also unusual, the press service of the Novgorod United Museum-Reserve informed.
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«In the letter, the author made serious financial claims to his stepdaughter, who lived in 'Radyatine Street'. The word 'stepdaughter' is used for the first time in a birchbark manuscript, and names of the streets are mentioned in extremely rare cases. The document sets an interesting task with regards to interpreting the text as well in that the message was sent on behalf of two people who also addressed also two addressees. Meanwhile the same name — Ivanko — is found on both sides,» the message from the museum said.

The press service of the museum explained that the letter was found in the occupation layer of the XIIth century. It was rolled up into a small scroll, which archaeologists had to make a great effort to unroll. It contains a text of seven lines — the experts consider this quite a large number. Historians continue to study the document.

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