Russian oil producer Lukoil has been able to involve a crowd of volunteers and students to assist archaeologists in massive excavations on a second oilfield in West Siberia despite the tough outdoor environment complete with a myriad of hungry mosquitoes.

The digging that started several years ago on the Pokachyovskoye field, earlier this summer expanded to a nearby deposit, Nivagalskoye.

Archaeologists have identified two major layers on Pokachyovskoye that contained artefacts, relating to different historic periods between the 4th and 8th centuries AD, suggesting that the area hosted a large ancient settlement.

Lukoil said that starting excavations on Nivagalskoye has proved to be the correct decision, with volunteers discovering “fragments of dishes, ceramics and stone tools of the Chalcolithic and Bronze Ages”.

Ancient artefacts: treasures found at the Nivagalskoye oilfield in West Siberia on display in a local museum Photo: LUKOIL WEST SIBERIA

With new artefacts being unearthed almost daily, the company’s local producing subsidiary has even freed some office space to arrange a temporary exhibition in an apparent effort to raise more public interest in the excavations.

Volunteers have been also working hard to solve the puzzles of recreating single objects from the dozens of fragments after they are cleaned from soil and debris.

Lukoil said that at the end of summer, all the artefacts will be moved for display at a history museum in the West Siberian city of Surgut.