Why do we organize expeditions to abandoned Gulag camps? What do these trips bring? What specific conclusions can they help us reach? We attempt to answer those questions in the following article, which is an abbreviated, popularising version of an academic text in the book of Archaeology of Dictatorship published in 2020 by the Oxford-based British Archaeological Reports. If you are interested in reading the original piece, we would be glad to send it to you in PDF form; you could also order the whole book.