Nearly 150 artefacts transferred to museums after restoration

February 6

Nearly 150 discovered artefacts made between 300 and 400 years ago are ready to be  transferred to museum repositories. These are items that were discovered during the archaeological monitoring of the area around the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts (8 Volkhonka Street, bldgs.  7-11) in 2019.

“This is a massive and unique collection. Restorers have been working on it for more than a year now, cleaning it up as well as gluing certain bits. Various preservation methods are used on the artefacts. They will be put on public display at exhibitions in the not too distant future,” Head of Moscow’s Department of Cultural Heritage Alexei Yemelyanov said.

The restored artefacts include jewellery, tiles, tableware and other household items, as well as clothing and weapons.

Пресс-служба Департамента культурного наследия города Москвы

In particular, archaeologists found a fragment of an ornamental stamp with the image of a tree and two male figures made out of base metal dating back to the 17th century, an iron spur and arrowheads from the same period, a Turkish smoking pipe made between the 17th and 19th century, and a domino piece carved from bone in the late 19th or early 20th century.

The tiles were made between the 17th and 19th century and include green glazed, red matt finished ones, as well as polished and multicoloured relief examples. Clay tiles were used for decorative purposes both for the exterior and interior of places.

Пресс-служба Департамента культурного наследия города Москвы

The majority of jewellery artefacts found near the Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts are earrings and baptismal crosses made of base metal dating back to between the 17th and 18th century. The tableware includes 17th-century black polished clay pots that were extremely popular in Moscow but were only used for festive occasions. Black polished dishes resembled metal tableware. A special method was used to blacken the clay pots, after which special oils were applied to polish them so that they shone like metal.

The artefacts were found within the boundaries of the historical Bely (White) City near Borovitskaya Square, an important part of central Moscow located between Znamenka Street in the north-east, Volkhonka in the south-east, Kolymazhnaya Street in the south-west and Maly Znamensky Pereulok in the north-west. The area was a crossing point for many popular routes where well-to-do citizens built their mansions and estates.

Пресс-служба Департамента культурного наследия города Москвы

Preserving artefacts is a special part of an archaeologist’s job. It is performed in two stages, beginning with the removal of dirt and soil in a laboratory. The actual restoration work can take from one week to several years, depending on the artefact’s complexity and condition.

Last year, over 15,000 artefacts were excavated in Moscow.


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