10:01 GMT +318 December 2017
Listen Live
    Display of archeological artifacts found on Prechistinka Street under the My Street improvement program in Moscow

    Archaeologists Discover Antique Treasure Beneath Moscow Streets (PHOTO, VIDEO)

    © Sputnik/ Maksim Blinov
    Life
    Get short URL
    2112

    A stash of antique 16th century coins hidden in a hollow chess piece was accidentally discovered in Moscow by archaeologists during an urban renovation project.

    Archaeologists overseeing a renovation project on Prechistenka Street in Moscow stumbled upon a small cache of 16th century silver coins when workers were replacing gas pipes underneath the street.

    According to a statement posted on the mayor’s office's official website, the coins were concealed in a hidden compartment within a hollow bishop chess piece.

    "Ten hand-minted silver coins worth five kopeks in total were found hidden inside a bishop chess piece carved from bone," Alexei Yemelyanov, chief of Moscow’s Department of Cultural Heritage, said.

    The chess piece itself turned out to be hollow on the inside and composed of three separate components screwed together.

    Hand minted silver coins from the time of Ivan the Terrible (16th century) that were found inside an ivory chess bishop figure shown as part of a display of archeological finds discovered in Prechistenka Street as it was being renovated under the My Street programme in Moscow
    © Sputnik/ Maksim Blinov
    Hand minted silver coins from the time of Ivan the Terrible (16th century) that were found inside an ivory chess bishop figure shown as part of a display of archeological finds discovered in Prechistenka Street as it was being renovated under the My Street programme in Moscow

    "If every piece in that chess set was made in a similar fashion, then it could hold about 160 kopeks in total," Yemelyanov remarked.

    The chess piece and the coins have already been cleaned and treated with preservative compounds, and the city authorities are currently deciding which museum to submit the artefacts to.

    Display of archeological artifacts found on Prechistinka Street under the My Street improvement program in Moscow
    © Sputnik/ Maksim Blinov
    Display of archeological artifacts found on Prechistinka Street under the My Street improvement program in Moscow

    Yemelyanov also added that earlier another stash of valuables — a pouch containing 18th and 19th century coins, and a late 19th century watch along with a handful of watch dials and covers — was discovered in the vicinity of Petrovsky Boulevard.

    "We have reasons to suspect that this stash wasn’t legal in nature. We can’t rule out the possibility of the watch and parts being stolen from a workshop or a pawn shop and then discarded," Yemelyanov explained.

    Related:

    Archaeological Sites Discovered Along Silk Road Reveal Secrets of the Past
    Temple to Mysterious Roman Deity Unearthed in Turkey
    Tags:
    discovery, archaeology, treasure, coins, Moscow, Russia
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment