Izmalkovo estate: Archaeological finds in an old park

October 28
Parks and pedestrian areas

Unusual archaeological finds were discovered on the grounds of the Izmalkovo estate in the rural town of Vnukovskoye. Archaeologists uncovered components of landscaping structures and systems from the late 18th – early 19th centuries. The finds include walkway beds paved with broken brick, remnants of water ducts, foundations of garden pavilions and greenhouses, and parts of pergolas.

The restoration works that started in Izmalkovo over a year ago are still in progress. Specialists are reconstructing six buildings (the main building, the eastern and western outbuildings, the storehouse, the kitchen and a service facility) and rehabilitating the local park, which is also part of the estate complex and the cultural heritage site of regional importance.

The works are supported by archaeologists at all stages. Their studies made it possible to find not only large objects that were part of the estate park infrastructure, but also smaller items that belonged to local residents. They date back to the late 17th - early 20th centuries.

“Some archaeological finds in the estate park are mainly associated with everyday life in Izmalkovo. These items include cutlery, clothes, coins and broken dishware. Archaeologists are already working on them,” said Alexei Yemelyanov, Head of Moscow’s Department of Cultural Heritage.

Most of the ceramic dishware fragments are from greenhouse flowerpots. There are also coins, lead balls, cross fragments and horse harness parts. The finds also include a smoking pipe and a dessert spoon. All these items were lost by their owners as a rule.

The plans to restore the Izmalkovo estate park are based on historical blueprints and archival records. According to Mr Yemelyanov, the remnants of the park’s former layout and structures will not only make it possible to trace the history of changes in park development and learn more about local dwellers, but also help in restoration work. For example, the bed of an old walkway will go on display in a glass showcase. The authorities are thinking of displaying other finds too.

The Izmalkovo estate architectural ensemble started to take shape in the late 18th century. Its main building was a two-storey Empire wooden house with pebbledash walls. The house also has several remaining double-leaf doors and windows with geometrically-shaped panes.

The estate owners changed on many occasions. Ivan Leontyev, a governor in Yelets, was one of the most well-known of them. The Samarins, a noble family, owned the manor starting in the 19th century. After the 1917 revolution, the estate was nationalised, and Izmalkovo became a children’s health camp.

The Moscow Government got the estate in critical condition. The large-scale works to restore it started last autumn. The renovations are complicated by the fact that all its structures are made mainly of wood. The lack of timely maintenance caused damage to 60 percent of all the logs. The first major stage of restoration focused on them: workers repaired the logs, treated them with protective solutions, removed biological damage and fully replaced the rotten ones. These works met the highest standards because the site should have proper conditions for the safe stay of children in the future. After the major restoration is completed, the estate will accommodate a boarding house for children undergoing outpatient treatment.

Photos provided by the Moscow Department of Cultural Heritage press service

Source: mos.ru

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