Archaeologists find medieval bow at Zaryadye excavation site

Archaeologists find medieval bow at Zaryadye excavation site
Archaeologists have dug up a total of about 7,000 artefacts in Moscow.

Archaeologists have dug up a medieval bow in Zaryadye, in downtown Moscow. This wooden weapon is quite unique because it was made following a specific Russian technology as compared to the widespread Turkish technology for making arms in those times.

Contemporaries did not value such bows, and so we do not see any of those preserved today in fact. The only ancient Russian bow of this kind was found in Veliky Novgorod in 1990,” said Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage.

The find was discovered last autumn during the excavation by the Kitai-Gorod wall. In addition, archaeologists have found other military artefacts: stone shots, lead bullets, a fragment of precious metal chain armour and a leather musket holster. They have also dug up leather footwear, stove tiles depicting battle scenes, birch-bark boxes and wooden bowls.

The collection of finds sheds light on the military culture of Moscow in the late Middle Ages of the Time of Troubles [1598-1613], when the Kitai-Gorod wall was a fortress that defended the city,” said Konstantin Voronin, General Director of Stolichnoye Archaeology Bureau.

This season, archaeologists conducted their research on a total of over 55 excavation sites. They recorded about 7,000 finds.

Archaeological studies have been conducted since 2015 at the Zaryadye site in downtown Moscow. The most ancient part of the Zaryadye site probably was first settled in the 12th century, and the whole territory of the future park was populated by the late 15th century. To defend this part of the Moscow town, the tsar built a brick wall on the white stone foundation of Kitai-Gorod in 1535–1538. The foundation of the wall has been discovered and cleared during the archaeological work.

In 2015-2016, archaeologists studied 1,800 square metres of territory as part of stationary excavations, and over 20,000 square metres as part of archaeological monitoring.