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    Catch of the Day: Archaeologists Find Centuries-Old Artifacts in Moscow…Again

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    A silicic cutter and a scraper were found in Moscow during an urban renovation project believed to date back around 7,000–9,000 years, which makes them some of the city’s oldest artifacts to date.

    The silicic cutter discovered on Sretenka Street is a tool with a sharpened edge. The well-preserved cutter belongs to the Neolithic era (5th-3rd millennium BC); it was one of the most common tools at the time, used by ancient people to treat bones, skin, horns and certain types of stone.

    According to a statement posted on the official website of the city mayor's office, the cutter is considered to be one of the oldest finds discovered under the "My Street" improvement program so far.



    Archaeological monitoring is conducted on all construction sites of the "My Street" improvement program launched in 2014. Over a thousand artifacts have been recovered in previous years during this program, and this year, hundreds of various discoveries have been recorded.

    "For archaeologists, this ancient find is very important. It confirms our theory that these areas [in Moscow] were inhabited and developed in the early days," said Alexei Yemelyanov, chief of Moscow's Department of Cultural Heritage.

    Another artifact of the Stone Age was uncovered at Pokrovsky Boulevard. It is a fragment of the scraper, which belongs to an even more ancient period, the Mesolithic era (7th millennium BC). The scraper was made of an elongated stone plate with a sharp blade at the end. Ancient people could use it to scrub animal skins from the inside so that they become thinner and softer.

    The two ancient discoveries have something in common: archaeologists found them in a much younger cultural layer, which relates to the 16th-17th centuries AD. Experts suggest that the artifacts were most likely moved from the deeper cultural layers by accident, during excavation works carried out in the city some 400-500 years ago.

    The finds are currently being studied and soon will be transferred to a museum or put on display in temporary exhibitions devoted to archeology.


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