September 27, 2021

Kremlin Finally Gets Around to Clearing Out Old Basement



Kremlin Finally Gets Around to Clearing Out Old Basement
"Can't you get rid of this one? After all, you never use it." A late-medieval pot, found at the Kremlin. Russian Institute of Archaeology

It's good every now and then to clean out the parts of your house where stuff has accumulated. For the Kremlin, that means digging down to examine what Muscovites of centuries past have left behind.

Archeologists from the Russian Institute of Archeology finished a major dig at the heart of the Moscow Kremlin last week, uncovering some fascinating finds.

Scientists found several artifacts from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, when rubble was used to level the Kremlin for construction. In addition to fragments of pottery, construction material, and tiles, several coins and the foundations of a handful of estates–likely the former abodes of Russia's old nobility–were also discovered.

Further, several fourteenth-century finds, including rings and jewelry from Bulgaria and the Byzantine Empire and several iron objects.

The most interesting find, perhaps, was a fifteenth- or sixteenth-century irrigation bowl, decorated with abstract designs and faces.

The Kremlin's location, high on a hill alongside a river, means that it has always been a great spot for human settlement, with defensive advantages and easy access to water and transportation. Artifacts dated back to the Iron Age, when a small settlement was located near the Archangel Cathedral.

If the Kremlin decides to hold a garage sale for this stuff, we'll be there. Maybe they'll sell it online?

You Might Also Like

Natalia Shishlina, archaeologist

Natalia Shishlina, archaeologist

In Russia’s southern regions there is a huge expanse of steppe called the Eurasian Belt. For thousands of years, this “belt” was the home for nomadic tribes. Natalia Shishlina, 40, is one of the few archaeologists in the world who studies these lost cultures.
What Lies Beneath
  • May 01, 2021

What Lies Beneath

On the architectural heritage of Moscow that is being lost, bit by bit, though not without some resistance by dedicated scientists and activists.
Ancient Peoples of the Russian Steppes
  • September 27, 2007

Ancient Peoples of the Russian Steppes

Scythians, Sarmatians, Amazons; all ancient inhabitants of Russia's southern steppes. These Mesopotamic, nomadic tribes were feared warriors and accomplished horsemen who warded off the mightiest rulers including Darius and Alexander.
Like this post? Get a weekly email digest + member-only deals

Some of Our Books

The Moscow Eccentric

The Moscow Eccentric

Advance reviewers are calling this new translation "a coup" and "a remarkable achievement." This rediscovered gem of a novel by one of Russia's finest writers explores some of the thorniest issues of the early twentieth century.
Russia Rules

Russia Rules

From the shores of the White Sea to Moscow and the Northern Caucasus, Russian Rules is a high-speed thriller based on actual events, terrifying possibilities, and some really stupid decisions.
The Latchkey Murders

The Latchkey Murders

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin is back on the case in this prequel to the popular mystery Murder at the Dacha, in which a serial killer is on the loose in Khrushchev’s Moscow...
Moscow and Muscovites

Moscow and Muscovites

Vladimir Gilyarovsky's classic portrait of the Russian capital is one of Russians’ most beloved books. Yet it has never before been translated into English. Until now! It is a spectactular verbal pastiche: conversation, from gutter gibberish to the drawing room; oratory, from illiterates to aristocrats; prose, from boilerplate to Tolstoy; poetry, from earthy humor to Pushkin. 
Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod: A Novel in Many Voices

Stargorod is a mid-sized provincial city that exists only in Russian metaphorical space. It has its roots in Gogol, and Ilf and Petrov, and is a place far from Moscow, but close to Russian hearts. It is a place of mystery and normality, of provincial innocence and Black Earth wisdom. Strange, inexplicable things happen in Stargorod. So do good things. And bad things. A lot like life everywhere, one might say. Only with a heavy dose of vodka, longing and mystery.
Murder at the Dacha

Murder at the Dacha

Senior Lieutenant Pavel Matyushkin has a problem. Several, actually. Not the least of them is the fact that a powerful Soviet boss has been murdered, and Matyushkin's surly commander has given him an unreasonably short time frame to close the case.
Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar

Bears in the Caviar is a hilarious and insightful memoir by a diplomat who was “present at the creation” of US-Soviet relations. Charles Thayer headed off to Russia in 1933, calculating that if he could just learn Russian and be on the spot when the US and USSR established relations, he could make himself indispensable and start a career in the foreign service. Remarkably, he pulled it of.
93 Untranslatable Russian Words

93 Untranslatable Russian Words

Every language has concepts, ideas, words and idioms that are nearly impossible to translate into another language. This book looks at nearly 100 such Russian words and offers paths to their understanding and translation by way of examples from literature and everyday life. Difficult to translate words and concepts are introduced with dictionary definitions, then elucidated with citations from literature, speech and prose, helping the student of Russian comprehend the word/concept in context.
Fearful Majesty

Fearful Majesty

This acclaimed biography of one of Russia’s most important and tyrannical rulers is not only a rich, readable biography, it is also surprisingly timely, revealing how many of the issues Russia faces today have their roots in Ivan’s reign.

About Us

Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.

Our Contacts

Russian Life
PO Box 567
Montpelier VT 05601-0567

800-639-4301
802-223-4955