Another Archeologist Believes Remains
Belong to Emperor Ivan VI
Ivan VI, the child Emperor of Russia
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Senior research scientist of the Arkhangelsk Regional Natural History Museum, head of the cultural and historical anthropology laboratory in Pomor State University archeologist Alexey Belichenko is convinced that it is necessary to continue research of the relics found in Kholmogory as the degree of probability that they belong to Emperor Ivan VI is very high.
"I saw an opinion letter from the Russian Center of Forensic Medical Expertise signed by professor Zvyagin (head of the Personality Identification Department in the Center of Forensic Medical Expertise at the Russian Health Ministry - IF) and I believe it highly probable that relics given to examination may belong to Ivan," Belichenko told an Interfax-Religion correspondent on Tuesday.
According to the archeologist, it is proved by broken cervical vertebra near the scull, broken jaws and pierced by the rapier left shoulder-blade in the heart area. The expertise has shown that the person, whose relics were found, struggled for his life until the end, and his wounds were aimed not to hurt him, but to kill.
"According to historical sources we know that events in Shlisselburg cell developed exactly that way when lieutenant Mirovich tried to release John," Belichenko said.
Besides, he pointed out to the anthropological part of the letter that confirms the high degree of coinciding portrait features of the relics with the Emperor's parents - Anna Leopoldovna and Anton Ulrich von Braunschweig.
As to the way the excavations were held, the archeologist promised to give his opinion after examining field documentation of the search group, but noted that "even now it's clear that canalization trenches much damaged historical necropolis of Kholmogory," where the second Russian generalissimo Ulrich von Braunschweig and Peter I's ally Archbishop Afanasy were buried.
"Something should be done with preservation of archeological sites. Builders and municipal services don't call archeologists to the building sites and destroy our past. The 73rd Federal Law can't protect archeological sites as in its last edition it lacks even definition of an archeological site. There's a feeling that it was written by builders," Belichenko regretted.
According to the archeologist, works started by the search group headed by Anatoly Karanin should be continued and "professor Zvyagin's opinion letter confirms that their success is highly probable," but at the same time "other highly qualified specialists should be attracted "to this work.
In his turn, secretary of the Imperator foundation guardian council Vladimir Stanulevich believes that all participants in the discussion around the "Kholmogory relics" unanimously speak for further research.
"Some of them urge to prepare for DNA expertise while others, for example, director of Archeology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences Nikolay Makarov want to check the research that has already been done. Everybody's welcome - no one is against double checking the results of Russian forensic medical expertise - doubts are characteristic of scientists. At the same time, we should move forward and try to obtain state help in DNA expertise of the relics," Stanulevich told Interfax on Tuesday.
He also urged all participants in the discussion to mind their words and statements as "such words as "false report" and "falsification" are not acceptable after many years of research" and would only make it difficult to "to establish justice in relation to Ivan" who "much suffered during his life and deserves worthy repose after his death."
Stanulevich thanked the Moscow Patriarchate for "steadfast support" of the idea to further continue research of the relics.
Russian scientists earlier reported that remains believed to be those of Ivan VI (Ioann Antonovich), the only Russian emperor whose burial place has until now been unknown, have been found in the village of Kholmogory, the Arkhangelsk Region.
Ivan VI, emperor from the Romanov dynasty, was born in St. Petersburg on August 23, 1740. After the death of Empress Anna Ioannovna, the 2-month old son of Princess Anna Leopoldovna and Prince Anton Ulrich Herzog von Braunschweig, was declared Emperor Ivan VI. However, Ivan (Ioann) did not stay emperor long. A total of 404 days later, Elizabeth I, the daughter of Peter the Great, seized power in a coup and the family of Ivan VI was exiled to Kholmogory. Baby Ivan was separated from his parents and lived alone in Kholmogory for 12 years before being taken to Shlisselburg in early 1756.