Tiles and rings: Artifacts found during improvement projects

Tiles and rings: Artifacts found during improvement projects
Archaeological monitoring is underway at many city improvement sites.

New artifacts discovered during city street improvement projects have been added to the inventory of archaeological findings. During work on Armyansky Pereulok, many objects dating back to the 17th-19th centuries were found.

"The findings include fragments of ceramic and glassware, stove tiles, and religious and secular jewelry. Specialists particularly note several men's rings made from a white metal and copper alloy. The seal-rings have relief images with heraldic symbols and floral motifs. The others have glass and gray agate inlay," head of Moscow's Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov said.

The objects were found near the Armenian Embassy in Russia.

Tudor rose and town wall

Many valuable artifacts were discovered during the construction of Zaryadye Park. Those include an English medallion from the 16th century made from a lead-tin alloy. The old artifact is adorned with the Tudor rose, the heraldic emblem of the English royal dynasty.  On Varvarka Street, a massive treasure of silver coins (up to 43,000 items), that were minted with a wire coin technique, were unearthed. The total weight of the coins is over 20 kilograms. Another unique find at Zaryadye was a ten-metre section of white stone pavement from a Kitay-Gorod wall foundation. Other interesting artifacts include merchant seals, a wooden bow, a copper toy and many others.

City improvement projects have unearthed a great number of objects: ceramic items, crockery, toys, decorations, arms, fragments of buildings and pavements, the remnants of a temple necropolis, and unique items like a false coiner tool dating back to the 17th century.

In the past few years, thousands of artifacts and fragments of historical structures have been found. This was partly due to the archaeological monitoring under the improvement programme. Monitoring is conducted at all construction sites between March and September. Designers, architects, local historians, construction workers, and public utility workers all prepare for each season. They define the ways city repair and improvement projects should be conducted to preserve Moscow's historical and cultural heritage.

Where findings can be seen

Each finding first falls into the hands of the archaeologists and then to restorers. Then, the items are catalogised, each receiving a tracking number, and then handed over to the Museum of Moscow for its collection. These artifacts can be seen at many places including the Zaryadye Park museum located in the underground walkway leading to Moskvoretskaya Naberezhnaya. The museum mostly displays artifacts founds in and around Kitay-Gorod and Zaryadye. The museum's key exhibit item is the fragment of the Kitay-Gorod wall that dates back to the 16th century. Another interesting exhibit format is an open air archaeological museum. Last year, an amphitheatre with a section of a White City town wall dating back to the first half of the 16th century was opened at Khokhlovskaya Square.

It turns out that Muscovites are interested in the archaeological findings found over the past few years; the exhibits are very popular. One of the first projects was the exhibition ‘Tverskaya And Then Some,’ which took place at the Museum of Moscow in 2016. Due to the large number of visitors, the exhibition was extended for one month.