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    VLADIMIR PUTIN INSPECTS EXCAVATIONS IN NOVGOROD REGION

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    VELIKY NOVGOROD, July 15 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin attended the Trinity excavations in Veliky Novgorod. He was accompanied by head of the archeology department of Lomonosov Moscow State University (MGU), academician Valentin Yanin. The latter told the head of state that archeological values are preserved well in Novgorod's soil.

    Vladimir Putin met with second-year students of the MGU faculty of history, who are taking part in the excavations. The President talked to them and autographed their notebooks.

    After that, he attended the Assumption Church on Bolotovo Field and inspected the exposition of excavation finds.

    Valentin Yanin told the President about the most interesting finds. Among them are birch-bark letters, lead seals, saddle decorations and a children's boot. "The people of Novgorod wore leather boots," the academician said. "The dressing is good," Vladimir Putin said smiling.

    Moreover, Mr. Yanin spoke about one of the greatest archeological discoveries. In 2000 we found a book of wax plates full of notes, the academician said. This is a psalm collection dating back to the early 11th century, he added.

    Valentin Yanin introduced Vladimir Povetkin, restorer of this book to Vladimir Putin. The academician praised his work. The restorer showed the head of state an ancient gusli (a kind of a lyre) and played them.

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