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Our debut (in the finest tradition of the RGS)

The Underwater Research Center of the RGS has officially opened its first archaeological exhibition. The artifacts recovered from Archangel Raphael, a Lübeck cargo vessel that sank in 1724, can be viewed at the St. Petersburg Headquarters of the Russian Geographical Society.

Four years of excavations in the cold and muddy Baltic finally paid off. An incredible collection of 300-year old artifacts, all well-preserved, turned into the Contraband. Three Centuries Underwater exhibition.

Clothing and household items belonging to the crew, tools and cargo – over a hundred objects are now sitting in glass cases, telling the story of the life and death of the Archangel Raphael. Exhibition guests will also learn many interesting facts about maritime trade laws, which often differed from state laws. 

The opening night of the exhibition brought together almost 200 history buffs and museum professionals. Among the attendees were our friends from the State Hermitage Museum and Central Naval Museum, as well as Natalia Solovyeva from the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences, and Alexander Drozdenko, the Governor of Leningrad Region (we often discover unique artifacts there). 

Our guests not only learned about the way of life on a European vessel in the 18th century, but they also dove to the bottom with the help of the audio and visual technology to experience the exciting life of an underwater archaeologist.

Check it out for yourself: the exhibition will be open until January, 31; admission is free.