23 February 2022

The Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts has completed the first stage of the study of archaeological objects discovered by Heinrich Schliemann during the excavations of Troy in 1872-1890. For many years, 13 treasures were not shown to the public. For the first time about the Gold of Troy also known as Priam’s Treasure people started talking in 1996, when a sensational exhibition was arranged. But back then it was impossible to examine the items in detail - there simply were no such technologies to study the world-famous collection in all its details. Such an opportunity has appeared only now. Using a high-resolution digital microscope, experts studied 65 exhibits.

13 treasures brought to Moscow in the middle of the 20th century are 259 items: things made of precious metals, rock crystal and stone. Other items made of bronze and clay were sent to the Hermitage museum in Saint-Petersburg, where 414 exhibits are still kept. The most valuable exhibits are on display at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, and since last summer they have been studied by experts on a special device located right in the halls of the Pushkin Museum. Visitors can follow the research - the laboratory is behind glass and open to the public. Now scientists managed to study in detail some archaeological finds, to find out the composition of the metals from which these accessories were made. An ultra-precise digital microscope allows to take samples from the jewelry without damaging the objects, as well as to examine the smallest details of the work of the Trojan masters. All this work makes it possible to unravel the secrets of the Trojan craftsmen who created these jewelry. The tradition was lost long before the Trojan War. According to modern data, the unique technique, in which the masters of ancient Troy worked, was in use only during 200-300 years. And then the tradition vanished along with its bearers, who died in a terrible fire thousands of years ago. The dating of the objects is still in question - the age of the studied exhibits can be from 2500 to 4500 years.

Also, in the process of research, it became possible to restore historical justice. The fact is that at the beginning of the 20th century, specialists restored a number of items from the Schliemann collection, and this restoration was not very successful, - says the head of the restoration department of the Pushkin Museum. Now the objects have been returned to their historical appearance.

Experts from different countries of the world also joined the study, the project acquired an international scale. Exploration of the Priam’s Treasure is planned to be completed by 2024. But already at the end of this year, some results can be seen at a large-scale exhibition dedicated to the 200th anniversary of the discoverer of ancient Troy, Heinrich Schliemann. The exposition will include not only 13 treasures stored in the Pushkin Museum, but items from German and Greek museums.