The Moscow Museum of ArchaeologyRussian: Muzey arheologii Moskvy or Музей археологии Москвы is one of the world’s most fascinating archaeological museums. It is located at a depth of 7 metres in the historic centre of Moscow, just a few steps from Red Square. Large-scale archaeological excavations took place between 1993 and 1996 on the future construction site of an underground shopping mall on Manezhnaya SquareRussian: Manezhnaya ploschad or Манежная площадь. The historic centre of Moscow has never been vacant, and archaeologists have unearthed many items from different eras. The Museum introduces visitors to the culture of Moscow and the Moscow region from Paleolithic tines all the way through to the 19th century. On display are veritable treasure troves of silver tableware and coins, items from ancient burial mounds and settlements, a collection of porcelain tiles, centuries-old smoking pipes and many more fascinating items. A tiny copper icon portraying St. George, the patron saint of Moscow, was the first registered archaeological discovery made on Manezhnaya Square and it is displayed here.
Excavations made it possible to trace the history of this site all the way back to the first centuries A. D. Remains of private estates, shops and taverns came out in layers, with archaeologists exploring an area of over 30,000 square metres. The finds were numerous, because the moist soil preserved organic objects (leather, bones, wood) exceptionally well, and even the embroidered vestments of nuns from the former Moiseevsky monasteryRussian: Moiseevskiy monastyr or Моисеевский монастырь have survived in good condition until today. Moreover, a major necropolis was unearthed at the intersection of Manezhnaya Square, and MokhovayaRussian: Моховая and TverskayaRussian: Тверская Streets. After a burial service, the remains from this necropolis were relocated to one of the cemeteries outside the city limits, and a chapel was built to mark the new burial spot.
THE GEM OF THE MUSEUM: THE SUPPORTS OF AN ANCIENT BRIDGE
The gem of the Museum is definitely the stone supports of the Voskresensky (Kuryatny) BridgeRussian: Voskresenskiy most or Воскресенский мост, which was built between 1601 and 1603 during the reign of Tsar Boris Godunovruled the Tsardom of Russia as de facto regent from 1585 to 1598 and then as the first non-Rurikid tsar from 1598 to 1605, replacing an old wooden bridge. It crossed the Neglinnaya RiverRussian: reka Neglinnaya or река Неглинная connecting the Voskresensky Gate‘Resurrection’ (aka Iberian Gate) with Tverskaya Street. In older times, this was the starting point for a major trade road to Novgorodduring the 14th century, the city was the capital of the Novgorod Republic and one of Europe's largest cities, as evidenced by the authentic fragments of a 15th century cobblestone road and a wagon wheel on view at the museum. There were numerous shops on and around the bridge, including cabbage stalls and cooked food rows as well as gingerbread and candy (‘sugar crunch’) shops. After the 1812 Fire of Moscow, architect Osip Bovéa Russian neoclassical architect with Italian roots undertook the reconstruction of the territory surrounding the Kremlin, establishing Alexander GardenRussian: Aleksandrovskiy sad or Александровский сад, confining the Neglinnaya River to the underground and having the Voskresensky Bridge filled with soil, which would only resurface in the 20th century.
VISITING WITH KIDS
Of particular interest to kids are the modern multimedia installations set up around the bridge. Interactive sections of the exhibition allow visitors to get a glimpse of the past and see what the Voskresensky Bridge looked like at different points in history.
The Museum conducts guided tours for children and adults, and is also the home of the School of Young ArchaeologistsRussian: Shkola nachinauschego arkheologa or Школа начинающего археолога.
The Museum arranges tours for both kids and adults, and children aged 5 and above are invited to attend the Entry-Level Archaeologist School. School-aged children are offered a whole series of interactive programs, in which they can try on the role of an archaeologist or a builder and attempt to find their own treasure or build an ancient bridge.© 2016-2018 moscovery.com