Open Data starts compiling My Street, a map of artefacts

Open Data starts compiling My Street, a map of artefacts
The website shows various areas where archaeologists have unearthed artefacts during street improvement works.

The Open Data website is publishing a map of artefacts that was compiled during the renovation of Moscow’s streets. The map shows various locations where specific artefacts were unearthed, and when, along with descriptions and photos.

So far, the map includes the 23 most important finds, but the list will be updated continuously. Visitors to the site can find a 17th century counterfeiter’s coin-minting device. The website also has images of a 17th–18th century boardwalk, beneath which is now Tverskaya Street, and a photo of a 1790 five-kopeck coin found under the boardwalk. The coin was made at the Yekaterinburg mint during the reign of Empress Catherine the Great.

Soon, the website will post images of all exhibits currently on display at the Moscow Museum. The collection includes a treasure trove containing 91 18th century coins, found on Voznesensky Pereulok. City residents will soon be able to see a photo of a pub dating to the reign of Empress Yelizaveta Petrovna, unearthed on Teatralnaya Square.

In the past two years, archaeologists working under the My Street programme have located over 1,000 items that were used by city residents over the centuries, including many similar artefacts. The map will list the most important finds.

“We will report on the finds after experts clean the artefacts, check them and determine the date of their manufacture. All finds are later transferred to the state section of the museum depository,” said sources at Moscow’s  Department of Cultural Heritage.

In all, 100 archaeologists and laboratory assistants are working at various sites under the My Street programme, Moscow’s Chief Archaeologist Leonid Kondrashev told mos.ru.

“The My Street programme is unique because archaeologists can unearth artefacts in those layers where utility mains are being actively replaced. We started assessing city-level renovation projects still in their design stage. We knew the exact depth that would be reached by workers and what objects would be discovered there,” he explained.

All artefacts and historical landmarks are meticulously preserved. Workers often find Soviet-era industrial waste inside trenches while laying new cable pipes. Therefore experts carefully study all artefacts and check them if necessary. Sensational archaeological discoveries are sometimes made, as people sift through boards, rubble and other waste.