A miniature ceramic receptacle containing dozens of hand-minted kopek coins was found on Kostyanskiy Lane, Moscow, with the receptacle discovered about 150 centimeters below ground level, the mayor’s office has reported.
The receptacle was said to have been decorated with ornaments and painted a light brown colour. Archeologists believe the item was used as an inkwell, and produced in Western Europe.
The 98 white metal coins found in the jar weigh a total of 24.25 grammes, and are believed to have been minted between 1682 and 1712, during the rule of Tsar Peter the Great.
The treasure was the second item found on Kostyanskiy Lane this year. In the summer, a trove of gold coins with a face value between 5 and ten rubles from the period of Tsar Nicholas the Second were found in a tin box.
The territory where the artefacts were discovered was known to have situated one of the nearly two dozen settlements housing Moscow’s firearm infantry regiments, known as the Streltsy. These units enjoyed multiple privileges, including the right to drink alcohol and participate in trade.
The Streltsy uprisings of 1682 and 1698 led Peter the Great to disband the units, with their housing then taken over by artisans and merchants. The uprisings helped lead to the creation of a regular Russian army. Although many of the buildings from the period have since been lost, a nearby church, the Church of St. Nicholas the Miracle Worker, built between 1697 and 1712, continues to stand in the area.
Peter the Great ruled Russia between 1682 and 1725, and is considered by many Russian historians to have been one of the greatest leaders in the country’s history. The tsar visited Western Europe as a young man, and worked to import the ideas of the Enlightenment into his home country upon his return. He carried out a wide range of economic, social, political, educational and military reforms, including the secularisation of education, the use of new technologies and the creation of industry. Peter the Great was also the founder of St. Petersburg, the city which became Russia’s capital during his reign.