Archeological collection

The collection of archeological objects, most of which were found during excavation works held on the sites of the Moscow State Integrated Museum-Reserve, is one of the biggest in the museum and counts over 75,000 items. These items date back to various eras: the Neolithic (New Stone), the early Iron, the Middle Ages, the modern and contemporary history.

White clay pots, XVIII-XIX centuries

Red polished jug, XVIII century

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the Front Gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

In 1935, the museum received first archeological items and the results of excavation works held under the supervision of K. Vinogradov on the territory of the Tsar’s Courtyard and Dyakovo Settlement in Kolomenskoye. Later on, the museum archaeological collection was expanded thanks to the objects found during the excavations held in Kolomenskoye (under supervision of L. Belyaev, M. Frolov, Yu. Lichter, N. Krenke, A. Wexler) and those found on other sites and handed over by the museum’s experts and officials of Archeology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences. Thus, the collection was enriched with archeological items discovered on various sites in Moscow: Bolotnaya Square, Tverskoy Boulevard, Electrolitny Road as well as items found in the Selitrennoye Settlement, Astrakhan Region (otherwise known as Sarai Batu, or Old Sarai, a medieval city, capital of the Golden Horde), at the kurgan range in Berlyuki, Moscow Region, and settlements in Bryansk Region.

Archeological items found mainly during excavations and observations held in Kolomenskoye and Lefortovo continue to replenish the museum stock.

The results of archeological research show that the Dyakovo floodplain, the territory of the present Kolomensloye estate, was developed even in the Neolithic Age (4,000-3,000 BC). Early Iron Age monuments found in the outskirts of the ancient villages of Kolomenskoye and Dyakovo were also examined by archaeologists.

Dyakovo Settlement, present days

 The most famous site is the Dyakovo Settlement: it gave its name to the Dyakovo archeological culture (VIII century B.C. — VII century A.D.) that spread from the upstream of the VolgaRiverto the OkaRiver. Other ancient settlements such as the Devil’s Town, Pasture and DyakovoFloodplain also date back to the Early Iron Age. In the museum collections one can see plummets of ‘the Dyakovo type’, anthropomorphous statuettes, clay plates, bone and iron arrow heads, bronze fibulae or clasps, glass beads, entire vessels, numerous fragments of ceramic tableware.

Anthropomorphous statuettes, VI-VII centuries
Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the front gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

Fibula, II-VII centuries

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the front gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye


Some collection items date back to the XI-XIII centuries, the time of Slavic settlements the most interesting of which is the Dyakovo Floodplain Settlement that gave researchers the opportunity to reconstruct the appearance of dwelling and household structures of the early medieval period in the estate history. A few metal implements and interesting ceramic items originate from this settlement. Other objects (spindle whorls, knives, ceramics, a glass bracelet fragment) were found in the Dyakovo Settlement and on the site of an ancient village situated to the south of the Church of the Ascension.

The time when an early Tsar’s Courtyard existed on the site of the present Church of the Ascension (XIV – beginning of the XVI centuries) has been least of all studied by archaeologists. Yet discoveries made during the excavation works held in 2003, namely building remnants as well as fragments of big red clay pots, coins and fragments of Chinese and Golden Horde ceramics that have become part of the collection throw some light on the Grand Princes period in the history of Kolomenskoye estate. At the same time (XIII – beginning of the XVI centuries) there existed a cemetery in the village of Kolomenskoye on the site of present Ascension Square, east of the XVII century Colonel’s Chambers. Archeologists examined over 200 burial places and as a result the museum collection was replenished with four white stone tombstones, a neck crucifix, vessels for anointing oil, a Tver poul coin, and ceramic glazed floor tiles.

Tombstones, XIV — beginning of the XVI century

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the front gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

The second date in the cemetery history indicates when the Church of the Ascension, the most famous monument in Kolomenskoye, was built. Archeological examinations held over many years inside and outside the church replenished the museum stock with a big collection of numerous white stone décor fragments.

White stone décor fragments,
Church of the Ascension in Kolomenskoye,
first third of the XVI century

Milestones in the History of Kolomenskoye exposition
at the front gate of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye

The majority of the collection items date back to the second part of the XVII — first part of the XVIII centuries. The items found during excavations on the territory of the Tsar’s Courtyard in Kolomenskoye include fragments of isinglass window frames and iron décor, various oven tiles, fragments of wooden water pipes, marked bricks, locks, forged nails, ceramics etc.

Detail of a wooden water pipe, end of the XVII century
Masters. Russian Builders’ Art and Technique in XV-XIX Centuries exposition
at the Atrium Hall of the Depositary in Kolomenskoye

Archeological excavations helped to identify foundation lines of the Palace of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich, Food and Bread Yards, Streltsy Guard-houses and the wall surrounding the Tsar’s Courtyard. Special research allowed specialists to reconstruct some parts of the wall and the gates. Thanks to archeological works, the wooden palace of Tsar Alexey Mikhailovich was reconstructed and decorated with the help of the museum collections that include everyday life items typical of Russian Late Medieval Age.

Glazed oven tile, second part of the XVII century

Cover plate, second part of the XVII century – XVIII century

Archeological items related to the modern history and found in Kolomenskoye and Lefortovo make up a collection that includes smooth oven tiles with narrative painting, copper coins, smoking pipes, lead trade seals, forged iron implements and tableware.

Special attention should be paid to the collection presented to the museum by archeologist and doctor of historical sciences Analoly Ambroz. The collection includes items found during excavation and examination held in the settlements of the Early Iron Age in Bryansk Region, namely miniature vessels, plummets, bronze bracelets, hand bells, ornamented ceramics as well as fragments of red and black lacquered vessels from the north of the Black Sea region.

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