A revolver produced by the American Smith & Wesson Firearms Co in the late 19th century, and a Soviet militia cap badge of the last century were found by Moscow archaeologists during excavations in Dolgorukovskaya Street. Earlier, a treasure trove of 97 silver and copper coins dating back to the reign of Nicholas II was discovered here. The entire trove is worth 35 rubles and 50.5 kopecks equaling a skilled Moscow worker’s monthly pay package back then.
"Archaeological research is conducted in the area of building 25, on the site of a building, demolished in the 1960s. As experts believe, both money, and the weapon with a militia cap badge belonged to a person who, apparently, served in militia. All the findings were hidden in the building's wall, and after its demolition they were probably buried together with the building debris. Currently, our experts carry out a detailed study of these artifacts, and later they will be transferred to Moscow museums for display," Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of the Moscow Cultural Heritage Department, said.
According to him, a metal cap badge with the USSR emblem, a hammer and a sickle, was an insignia of Soviet militia. It was attached to a cap that has not survived. Most likely, the badge owner received it in the 20-30-ies of the last century, in the era of Soviet power development. But the revolver was produced in the late 19th century. The tsarist Russia's police used to carry such weapons.
Historical finds in the Moscow centre
Valuable items from bygone days are regularly unearthed during construction and improvement projects and during the relocation of utility mains in central Moscow. They help explain the city life of previous generations. Archaeologists oversee these projects, preventing workers from damaging any items of interest. Experts assess their state and value, study them meticulously and then decide how it is best to preserve and display them at the museum.
Recently, archaeologists found a 17th−18th century pectoral cross (quatrefoil) on Bolotnaya Square. Experts believe the cross, decorated with the images of saints, belonged to a middle-class city resident. Sections still intact of two 17th−18th century wooden cabin frames were found during a construction project on Serebryanicheskaya Embankment. Several hundred years ago there were many mills, breweries, factories and dyeing workshops here. The area was also swarming with all kinds of shady characters, including con artists, robbers, fugitive peasants, convicts and vagabonds.
Over the past 8 years, Moscow archaeologists have found more than 30,000 artifacts. Only on Birzhevaya Square, experts collected 500 items with the oldest ones dating back to the 12th century.