MOSCOW, September 10. /TASS/. Numerous ceramic fragments dating back to early Iron Age have been found within the Kremlin walls by Russian Academy of Sciences’ Institute of Archeology specialists. The amazing discoveries may serve as the proof that a settlement was founded and existed at the site of the Russian president’s current residence in the first millenium BC, Institute’s Director Nikolay Makarov told reporters on Tuesday.
Scientists have been conducting archeological excavations in Bolshoi Kremlovsky public garden since this May. On June 12, Russian leader Vladimir Putin visited the site and examined the artefacts unearthed by then and fragments of Prikaz (state authorities in old-day Russia) buildings — administrative, judicial, territorial, or executive offices in Russia in 1400s-1700s.
"Today, we suddenly came across Iron Age ceramics at one of the excavation sites. This is the history that predates the Kremlin, it was [left by] the Finno-Ugric peoples who lived in the Moskva River basin in the second half of the 1000s BC," Makarov claims. Showing a few fragments slightly smaller than a palm, he pointed out that this is "ceramics made without a potter’s wheel with the so-called reticulate surface." "It is believed that it was decorated by rolling a pinecone on the surface of a pot," the scientist clarified.
According to Makarov, "separate small sherds" dating back to these times were also found in the Kremlin before, "there were speculations, there were independent discoveries." "But now we have a whole tray full of ceramics, a few dozens of pieces. Based on the findings of these sherds, we can say that there used to be a Dyakovo culture settlement here, this are Finno-Ugric cultures of the second half of the 1000s [BC]. This was a permanent settlement and not just a random site visited by the people of this culture — it was a rather well-founded and lasting settlement," Makarov underlined.
According to him, the ancient fragments were discovered due to the fact that the former Prikaz (state authorities in old-day Russia) buildings were constructed properly with deep foundations beneath them. "Extensive construction works were taking place then. Deeper layers were lifted up, some of the ground was left at the level of the 1500s-1600s. That is how we can unearth ceramics dating back to the early Iron Age without having to dig all the way to the level where it lay originally," the scientist explained.
"Every science witnesses accumulation of facts and at some point there is enough of them to make fundamental assumptions. Today, we have a few dozens of sherds and can see that this was a Dyakovo culture settlement," he said. According to the researcher's estimates, "the Dyakovo culture is an extraordinary one, which is not historically connected to the Slavs. This is a pre-Slavic settlement separated from the historical Moscow by hundreds of years." "It is very important that the Kremlin has history that preceded it, these are fascinating historical facts," Makarov is certain.