Veliky Novgorod is a city is Russia that is famous for once being one of the largest cities in medieval Europe. In fact, between the 12th and 15th centuries, it was the capital of the Novgorod Republic (today, the republic's lands are a part of Russia and Finland). With all of this history, Veliky Novgorod is home to lots of important monuments, buildings, and artifacts.
Birch bark window to history
It is also full of thousands of "pages" of birch bark. Birch bark was essentially the paper of the time and place, and many of these pages contains notes, personal letters, even financial records about who owes who what for those fish they took last Friday. Documents such as these can tell researchers a lot about the everyday life of people in Novgorod. But best of all? There are also a bunch of doodles by a seven year-old boy named Onfim.
Onfim's sketches date back to about 1220CE. They show him as a warrior, a beast... he even took the time to sketch his mom and dad. And how are his drawing skills? You know what? Not bad, Onfim! They're pretty similar to what you'd find a lot of seven year-olds drawing these days. (Minus the whole drawing on birch bark thing...)
But, hey, pictures are worth a thousand words, so why not check out some of his artwork below for yourself?