Sergei Sobyanin Introduces Main Finds of Moscow Archaeologists in Recent Years

Sergei Sobyanin Introduces Main Finds of Moscow Archaeologists in Recent Years
Photo by Y. Ivanko.
Moscow has already created 26 open-air archaeological museums.

Moscow archaeologists have found about 60 thousand valuable artifacts in the past 10 years. This was written by Sergei Sobyanin in his blog.

“Moscow is a real treasure for “historians with a shovel.” Archaeological research has been carried out in Moscow for over two centuries so far. Nonetheless, every year brings more and more new finds,” said the Moscow Mayor.

The historical part of the city being most valuable for science has no wastelands and unused territories. It is possible to perform excavations only where construction work is going to take place. However, when construction begins, archaeologists take full advantage of this opportunity to look for valuable items.

Zaryadye Park has become the largest archaeological site in recent years. The territory was carefully studied before its appearance. It turned out that the numerous reconstructions did not affect the antiquities found here.

Thus, they found a unique treasure with 34 thousand silver kopecks made in the 15th-17th centuries. Coins having a total weight of over 20 kg were in three black-glazed vessels: a jug, a flask and a thriftbox. The total amount of the savings was about 350-380 rubles, which was comparable with a salary of a marksman colonel for 7-10 years of service.

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Archaeologists also discovered a birch bark letter there – the fourth birch bark letter found in Moscow and the first one being in full compliance with the “Novgorod standard.” This is a comprehensive private letter. The text is clerkly written with a 14th century book handwriting on a specially prepared strip of birch bark with pre-cut edges and a flat surface.

All archaeological finds of historical value are transferred to the Museum of Moscow. One can see them on the Internet – at an online exhibition of the Cultural Heritage Department of Moscow.

“Quite often, specialists discover the remains of the foundations of historical buildings, pavements and other landmark buildings of the past centuries during excavations or landscaping operations. When possible, we try to integrate these artefacts into the urban milieu,” said the Moscow Mayor.

The most famous example of creating an open-air archaeological museum is a fragment of a stone foundation of the wall of the White City built in the 16th century on Khokhlovskaya Square. In 2018, they made an archaeological window in Maly Zlatoustinsky Lane. Here one can see the masonry foundations of the northern gallery of the 17th century church St. Nicholas in Stolpy and some part of a stone pavement.

One year later, when landscaping Ilyinka Street, archaeologists managed to clarify the location of the foundations of the ‘Great Cross’ Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker. After studying them, they decided to conserve them in the ground and outline temple contours on the street with special signs and install information boards.

In total, Moscow has 26 archaeological open-air museums and 16 of them have been established over the past 10 years.

Fieldwork will be deployed in Moscow at over 800 sites till late 2021. The most interesting ones will be performed in the territory of the Kitaygorodsky Proezd Orphanage and the Novodevichy Convent, at the place of the former Warm Shopping Street of Kitay-Gorod, as well as at the intersection of Sretenka Street and Pushkarev Lane. Archaeological excavations are continued in the site of the historical Izmalkovo Manor of the Troitsky and Novomoskovsky Administrative Districts.