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Dregovichs

From Academic Kids

The Dregovichs (Дреговичи, Dregovichi in Russian; Дреговичі, Drehovychi in Ukrainian) were a tribe of Early East Slavs, which inhabited the territories down the stream of the Pripyat River and northern parts of the Right-bank Dnieper river (the borders of the tribe's domain are still not eastablished to this day). The name of the tribe probably derives from the Old Ruthenian word дрегва or дрягва (drehva, or dryahva, which means "swamp") due to the fact that the Dregovichs used to live in the marshlands.

The first known reference to the tribe is in the Primary Chronicle, and by the 12th century they were assimilated into the main East Slavic peoples.

The Dregovichs left some archaeological monuments of the 9th and the 10th century along the Pripyat, such as the remnants of agricultural settlements and kurgans with incinerated bodies (unlike the kurgans of 11th12th century with intact bones). One could find sepulchral structures that look like small wooden houses with span roofs.

The principal city of the Dregovichs was Turaw. Other cities included Slutsk, Kletsk and Drutsk, all in the territory of the modern Belarus.

The chronicles do not tell historians much about the Dregovichs. We only know that they had their own princely rule in the city of Turov. In the 10th century, the lands of the Dregovichs became a part of the Kievan Rus and later—the Turaw Principality. The northwestern part of the land of the Dregovichs became a part of the Polotsk Principality.

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