Remains of 16-17th century wooden pavement found on Moscow’s Tverskaya Street

Remains of 16-17th century wooden pavement found on Moscow’s Tverskaya Street
Pieces of ceramic vessels from the same period were also found. The discoveries will be thoroughly studied.

Archaeologists found remains of a wooden pavement from the 16-17th centuries on Tverskaya Street during its renovation.

The Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage press service reported that experts also found pieces of ceramic vessels from the same period. The remains of the pavement are logs measuring 15 cm in diametre. In all, four levels of the pavement were found. “The pavement will be studied and undergo tree-ring dating. This will give us new documentary data about the occupation layer of Moscow’s historical centre,” said Head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov.

Remains of an ancient pavement were found earlier, in the 1960s, during the construction of an underground pedestrian crossing by 13 Tverskaya Street, and in the 1990s, similar discoveries were made during renovation works on Manezhnaya Square.

Archaeological research along Tverskaya Street was sponsored by the Department of Cultural Heritage in connection with the improvement of central streets and boulevards as part of the My Street city programme.

According to historical data, the road to Tver existed at the site of modern Tverskaya Street as early as in the 12th century. From the end of the 15th century, this road also connected Moscow and Novgorod. The development along Tverskaya Street began from the city centre and ended by the wall of the White Town (the modern Boulevard Ring). After Moscow’s expansion in the late 16th century, the street was extended to the Earthworks Town rampart (the modern Garden Ring).

In the 14th and 15th centuries, the street stretched to the bridge across the Neglinnaya River, which was located opposite the Kremlin’s Middle Arsenal Tower. In the 16th century, courtyards of the aristocracy, churches and monasteries appeared along Tverskaya, replacing the nonagricultural localities within the city walls. Only the Novgorod Sloboda (quarter) survived between contemporary Stoleshnikov Pereulok and Pushkinskaya Square. One of the oldest images of the wooden pavement of Tverskaya Street can be seen on Sigismund’s Plan of Moscow, dated 1610.

In the 18th-19th centuries, the wooden pavement was replaced by a stone one. In 1876, the Moscow City Duma allocated 50,000 roubles for an experimental asphalt concrete pavement, and Tverskaya Street saw the first pavement made of this new material.