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01.11.2013

см. http://minervamagazine.co.uk/news-2013-6-01.html -журнал "Минерва", ноябрь-декабрь 2013 г.


The excavation of a 2,500-year-old Greek temple (the oldest found on Russian soi) in progress at the site of Phanagoria by the Black Sea..

Russia"s oldest temple unearthed

A 2,500-year-old temple, the oldest on Russian soil, has been discovered at the site of the ancient city of Phanagoria, in the Krasnodar region of Southern Russia (see Minerva, Volume 24, Number 1, January /February 2013, pages 50-53).
The foundations of the 10-square-metre building, consisting of a naos, or inner chamber, and an adjacent porch, or pronaos, were uncovered on the acropolis of the ancient city this summer.
The remains of several other well-preserved public buildings, dating back to the same period, have also been found. Two other buildings of mud-brick laid on a stone foundation, whose functions have yet to be deduced, exceed 100 square metres in area. This season has also yielded numerous finds, including coins, terracotta figurines, toys, huge amphorae, and engraved ceramic fragments.
Excavation at Phanagoria"s eastern necropolis, where more than 200 burials have already been found, revealed a Roman tomb dating back to the 1st century AD which contains the remains of several dozen Phanagorians, all members of the same family.
This find is especially valuable for anthropologists involved in the project, since analysis of the remains will provide a wide range of information about the diet of the ancient inhabitants of the Black Sea region and their standards of living, as well as the diseases that affected them.
As around one-third of the city is submerged, archaeologists carry out annual underwater excavations. With the help of special equipment, a seabed map featuring around 300 objects of interest at the bottom of Taman Bay has been compiled. These include the ancient city"s streets, now covered with sand, its port structures, ship debris, and so on. Last year, the submerged wreck of a 15-metre-long Byzantine ship was located.


One of the huge amphorae in the process of being uncovered.

Apart from archaeologists and historians, anthropologists, soil scientists, palaeozoologists, numismatists and many other kinds of researchers are all working as part of the team at Phanagoria. This complex approach helps to reconstruct the everyday life of the citizens in 500 BC – their religious beliefs, economy and military operations.
In May, Kuban"s Antique Heritage, three volumes analysing the discoveries made in Phanagoria over the past 150 years, was published.
This was followed in June by Phanagoria: Results of Archaeological Studies, the first volume of a series of books summarising the latest research into the ancient city.
Founded in the mid-6th century BC by Greek colonists, Phanagoria was one of the two capitals of the Bosporan Kingdom, an ancient state located in eastern Crimea and the Taman Peninsula. Phanagoria was the major economic and cultural centre of the Black Sea region, one of the biggest Greek cities,
the first capital of Great Bulgaria and one of the main cities of Khazar Kaganate.
It is also one of the ancient centres of Christianity. Saint Andrew is believed to have preached in Phanagoria. It was during the 9th and 10th centuries AD that the residents abandoned the city for reasons that are still unknown.
Dr Vladimir Kuznetsov, director of the Phanagoria Project, commented:
"Phanagoria reveals its secrets year by year, showing us the hidden sides of the Black Sea region"s history. Our task is to go gradually, step by step, deeper into ancient times in order to study the circumstances in which people lived thousands of years ago in a thorough and a precise way.
"It is important that we have the opportunity to carry out research using cutting-edge equipment, as well as working in comfortable conditions and carrying out overall research of this historic site."
Lindsay Fulcher

• Volnoe Delo Foundation (www.volnoe-delo.ru), one of Russia"s biggest privately held charity funds, and the Russian Academy of Sciences" Institute of Archaeology have supported the research project in Phanagoria since 2004.

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