A blue bird and a lipstick jar: Archaeological finds of volunteers

A blue bird and a lipstick jar: Archaeological finds of volunteers
Archaeological excavations took place in the  Zamoskvorechye District on the grounds of the Resurrection Church in Kadashyovskaya Sloboda.

Volunteers joined archaeologists in their excavations at 2nd Kadashyovsky Pereulok. They dug up many artefacts – a fragment of a white earthenware painted candlestick, a red earthenware toy, a ceramic lipstick jar, a copper buckle and more.  

“Last weekend, volunteers joined in the digs at 2nd Kadashyovsky Pereulok. Among them were the church priest and parishioners. They were looking through and sorting out the soil, washing the finds and cleaning gravestones,” said Head of Moscow’s  Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov.

Early finds include a fragment of a white earthenware painted candlestick, a widely used household item in the 18th century.

They also came across a red earthenware column-shaped tile used to decorate stoves and a fragment of a stove tile painted with a scene. Both finds date to the 18th century.

The excavations uncovered a cobalt blue tile which is presumed to post-date the stove items. Such tiles were produced in Moscow in the first half of the 19th century. Archaeologists and volunteers also dug up a red earthenware toy in the shape of a bird covered with cobalt blue paint (18th-early 19th century). Specialists say this is a pretty rare artefact.

They also found a ceramic lipstick jar for holding makeup, an item common in the 19th century.

One more discovery on the Resurrection Church in Kadashyovskaya Sloboda grounds was a pseudo-Turkish smoking pipe made of red-burning clay. Such items became popular after the Russo-Turkish wars.


A number of finds are dated to the 18th-19th centuries such as a decorative heart-shaped belt fitting and a copper buckle – a horse harness element.


Post-dating these finds is a copper alloy token dedicated to the 200th anniversary of St Petersburg. Ahead of the landmark date in 1903, a series of commemorative medals and tokens was issued for different classes of the population. 

They also unearthed a pectoral cross made of copper alloy that was most likely produced at a local copper foundry in the 19th century. Several of the finds confirm that a copper foundry was located nearby. These are a defective pectoral cross made in the 17th-18th centuries and a copper coin (kopek) from the time of Peter the Great’s rule, a reminder of the mint located in the former Kadashyovskaya Sloboda in 1704-1736.