Mysteries of Moscow’s Vaults: My Street archaeological finds on display at Museum of Moscow

Mysteries of Moscow’s Vaults: My Street archaeological finds on display at Museum of Moscow
In the past two years, archaeologists in central Moscow have found over 10,000 artefacts. Some of them are said to be quite special.

An exhibit of archaeological artefacts has opened at the Museum of Moscow. Visitors at the Mysteries of Moscow’s Vaults exhibit will see items discovered during the renovation of the city under the My Street programme. This archaeological season has become one of the most fruitful in recent years.

Over the last two years, more than 10,000 unique items have been discovered on Lubyanka and Novaya squares, Prechistenka and Sretenka streets, the Boulevard Ring and other locations. On the 100 square metres of Birzhevaya Square alone, archaeologists have found over 500 items dating as far back as the 12th century. The most fascinating items will be displayed at the new exhibit.

City Government minister and Head of the Department of Culture Alexander Kibovsky said that the finds on display are truly one-of-a-kind and those discovered this year are sensational. They even have archaeologists reconsidering the capital’s founding date.

“The finds made on Birzhevaya Square not only indicate that the city supposedly had wider boundaries in the 12th century but also give an idea of Moscow’s extensive trade and, therefore, political links at the time. Today we can say with confidence that these finds confirm that Moscow was not just a stronghold but a full-fledged city with serious infrastructure that had contact with other Russian and Slavic lands,” Alexander Kibovsky noted.

For the first time, the Museum of Moscow will display items found near the secret underground room at the bottom of the Kitai-Gorod Wall opposite the Church of St John the Baptist Under the Elm). Visitors will also see unusual treasures, copper coins, ceramics and household items that belonged to Muscovites from different periods in history.

Leonid Kondrashev, Deputy Head of the Department of Cultural Heritage and Chief Archaeologist of Moscow, noted that during the digging, archaeologists had to coordinate their work with the various utility services.

“These archaeological pits are quite deep, and I don’t think that archaeologists would have gotten along without our colleagues from the construction services. The term “foregrounding of cultural heritage” is becoming increasingly popular these days. Without museum workers, these finds would remain stored in boxes,” he added.

Moscow’s chief archaeologist said that for the second year in a row the city has organised an exhibit of new finds in a very short period of time.

The exhibit at the Museum of Moscow will run until 5 September.