Artefacts from german merchant ship sunken in 1724.

The depths of the oceans hold a vast array of mysteries. One of them has been recently solved by the specialists of the Underwater Research Center of the Russian Geographical Society. We discovered and explored the wreck of “Archangel Raphael” – a German merchant ship of the late XVII century, which had a great contraband cargo on board. She sank in 1724. Her exciting story and mysteries will be presented to those who visit the exhibition “Contraband. Three centuries under water”. It already opened in the Russian Geographical Society headquarters, Ministery of Defence of the Russian Federation and in Oranienbaum.

The exposition presents unique findings recovered from the sea bed and given a new life by the highly precise work of restorers. Some of the contraband cargo: dishes, clothes and crew’s personal belongings, instruments tell us the story about the life aboard the ship, tastes of their owners and contemporaries. The visitors will learn a lot of interesting facts and rules of sea trading which did not always match the state laws.

The guests of the exhibition will witness the lifestyle of men aboard the European vessel of XVIII century; and at the same time, to see the shipwreck, the way it is today – which became possible with audiovisual technology recreating the exciting world of underwater archaeologist from the first point of view.

The exhibition is standing out by its original contemporary style. It is designed to create an image of the discovered ship and of the dynamic way the artefacts obtained at sea, made to the surface.

Сергей  Фокин
Sergey Fokin

Executive Director of the Underwater Research Center of the Russian Geographical Society

Manned submersible pilot, diver-explorer

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Сумбат  Александров
Sumbat Alexandrov


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Роман  Прохоров
Roman Prokhorov

Archaeologist, restorer, diver-explorer

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Сергей  Бычков
Sergey Bychkov

Hyperbaric Medicine and physiology Doctor

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Андрей  Лукошков
Andrey Lukoshkov

Science Advisor

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