A treasure of 200 lead seals found on Sofiiskaya Embankment

A treasure of 200 lead seals found on Sofiiskaya Embankment
By preliminary estimate, the lead seals of the time of the Patriotic War of 1812 were kept as the material for making bullets.

On Sofiiskaya Embankment, archeologists found a treasure of 196 lead seals, presumably dating back to the Patriotic War of 1812. The total weight of the finding is two kilos. Archeologists believe that the lead trade seals may have been kept in a secret place to be used for casting bullets.

The national emblem of the Russian Empire is depicted on one side of each seal, and the other side is decorated with signs and abbreviated inscriptions.

“The conclusion was made by our archeologist Ivan Volkov. The hiding place contained trade seals that had been used already, which on the face of it made them useless. Nevertheless they were stashed away by someone, most likely for the lead. The seals are dated 1807-1811, so we can surmise that they were stored to later cast bullets out of them,” Moscow’s Chief Archeologist Leonid Kondrashev said.

Mr Kondrashev added that the reason for hiding the seals is yet to be identified. More research will be done.

Archeological excavations began on Sofiiskaya Embankment in June 2015. Accident prevention work and restoration of mansions and estates of the 19th-20th centuries are being carried out under the embankment development project.

In the summer of 2016, archeologists came across a 14th century black market here. In the early times, trade was conducted on the bank of the Moskva River that was outside of city limits. Thus, the Sofiiskaya Embankment market must have been unsanctioned. Goods were sold on the outskirts to avoid paying duties to the treasury. Artefacts from the illegal market, mostly coins, are being examined by archeologists. They will be handed over to the Museum of Moscow.