Lviv Pysanka

Лвівська Писанка


An ornate, 500-year-old pysanka was discovered in Lviv in 2013.  It was written on a goose egg, and is the oldest know pysanka found to date in Ukraine.

The pysanka was found at a depth of 5.5 meters during an excavation of a 15th-16th century rainwater collection system on Shevska Street in central Lviv, and was discovered by the Archaeological Rescue Service (RAS) at the National Academy of Sciences in Ukraine.

As Ostap Lazurko, a junior research officer at the RAS noted, “Decorated eggs from the Kyivan Rus’ period, dated to the 12th -13th centuries, have been found previously, but those were ceramic eggs. This pysanka is written on an egg shell, most likely from a goose egg and luckily is very well preserved – almost 90%.” 

The pysanka has been turned over the the Museum of the Pysanka in Kolomyia, where it will be preserved for future generations.  A replica has been created, and is currently touring Poland with other artifacts from the Kolomyia National Museum of Hutsul and Pokuttian Folk Art.

The design on this pysanka is easier to make out than the Baturyn pysanka, since it is largely intact.  The colors have faded, but there appear to be three--white (the bare shell) and two other colors (the striations and the background color).  The design is a common one throughout Ukraine––waves.

The existence of this pysanka is significant in that it once again refutes the claims by some that pysankarstvo is a recent import to Ukraine, having been introduced only in the early 19th century.  The find in Baturyn pushed the date back to the early 1700s, and now this pysanka pushes it back at least another two centuries.

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Oldest Known Ukrainian Folk Pysanka