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Archaeologists discover campsite of ancient fishermen in Moscow

More than 900 artefacts dating back to the period between the 12th and 20th centuries have been discovered since November 2019

MOSCOW, January 10. /TASS/. Russian archaeologists have stumbled upon a rare discovery during excavations in downtown Moscow, finding shards of molded ceramic vessels decorated with ornaments characteristic of later stages of the Neolithic period’s Lyalovo culture (4,000-3,000 BC). The fascinating relics of the past unearthed on the grounds of the former Moscow Orphanage reveal that a campsite inhabited by ancient fishermen could have existed there, the press service for Moscow’s Department of Cultural Heritage told TASS on Thursday.

"The discovered ceramic pieces can indicate that a camp of ancient fishermen could have been here long ago. Experts are now looking into this theory," the press service quoted the department’s head Alexei Yemelyanov as saying.

It is pointed out that the fragments were discovered in sedimentary layers formed in repeated Moskva River overflows. "It is premature to make judgements whether the materials are of local decent or were washed ashore by the water," the press service added.

Yemelyanov underscored that archaeologists had been working at the Moscow Orphanage excavation site since November 2019, discovering more than 900 artefacts dating back to the period between the 12th and 20th centuries — cosmetics jars, horseshoes, stove tiles, bullets, arrowhead, baptismal crosses and other objects.

According to the data available on Moscow’s mayor and government website, the Moscow Orphanage or Foundling Home was established on September 1, 1763 by Russian Empress Catherine the Great. The building is included in the list of cultural heritage sites of federal importance. The architectural ensemble will be renovated in the coming years, while scientists are studying the historic buildings, premises and the adjacent grounds. Architect Karl Blank drafted the master plan for the building that took almost two centuries to be completed.