ABOUT EAST BOSPOR EXPEDITION AND HISTORY OF EXCAVATIONS

The Greeks have arrived on the coast of Cimmerian Bospor from different Greek cities. They have brought with them various customs and funeral practices which have been accepted in their native city-countries. On the shores of the strait they faced barbarous tribes. It is necessary to remember that barbarians were heterogeneous, and they had various funeral ceremonies too. However, in my opinion, there was no barbarous influence on funeral ceremonies of Greeks during the early period of Greek states on the shores of Bospor Cimmerian. Often we speak not about interaction of Greeks and «barbarians», but about interference of different Greeks. Later on, since the IVth century B.C., influence of «barbarians» is traced poorly also. We find topical the funeral features of some separate cities, because of the differences in the ceremonies of their metropolises. Gradually we see a unification of various funeral traditions within the limits of one state. Besides, throughout all the territory of the state funeral rituals were spread under the ruling elite from Panticapaeum. The evident penetration of barbarous traditions becomes noticeable only after the IInd century B.C.

The earliest burials have been investigated at excavation of antique Gorhippia. According to a number of researchers, before Gorhippia on this place there was a policy mentioned in descriptions of antique authors under the name Sindh Harbour. Although, till now borders of the early Anapa policy and its necropolis are not defined. The time of the end of Sindh Harbour and the appearance of Gorhippia on this place is defined only approximately. During excavations under the layers of Georhippia buildings of Hellenistic and Roman times, the site of a necropolis of the Vth century BC was revealed which could be connected with the early policy on the same place. During the exploration eight burials of the Vth century BC were found, and also a number of finds from the destroyed burial places. Four burials are made in holes with stone plates floors. Such burials are characteristic for necropolises in Miletus colonies. We know 195 burials of this kind in necropolises of European Bospor of VI – II centuries BC. 27 of them date from the VI – V centuries, 46 – from V – IV, and 122 – from IV – II centuries. On the Asian Bospor we know of only 15 burials and only 1 dates from the VI – V centuries BC. Such floors were widespread in Greek necropolises. Three burials were made in ordinary sepulchral pits. One burial was made in a box from stone plates. On the territory of European Bospor and in the necropolis of «the Anapa policy», i.e. where land is rich with stone, similar constructions appear in the VI – V centuries BC already, and since the IV century BC, i.e. since the association of Bospor in one state, they extend to the territory of Asian Bospor. However, if in the IV century in Panticapaeum these burials are the type of funeral constructions second in popularity, more wide-spread than burials in simple soil pits without floors, on the Asian territory they remain rare enough. In burials of this type there have been found «bolsal» bowls and «kiliki»; amphoras both olpa and embalm made of Phoenician glass. Besides, in one burial there have been found sea cockleshells, bones of a bird's wing and a bowl on a stem. Such bowls are ascribed to cult gifts in honor of female gods. Spears and arrows have been found in one of the burials. The burials date from the V century BC, three from them – from the first half of the century, the others – from the third and the fourth quarters of the century. Thus, the given site of the necropolis had been functioning since the beginning of the V century BC till the end of the V century BC, most of the burials date back to the last quarter of the century. Later, the given territory was included into city boundaries. On the given site the surface was leveled, so some burials were destroyed, and some were blocked by later constructions. During the researches there have been found a series of a materials dated from the 4 century BC. Numerous fragments of amphoras and black lacquer ware date back to the 4 century. For more exact dating of the time when housing construction started on the given site, the brands of amphoras are important, especially those from Thassos and Heracle ones. So, the earliest Thassos brands are ascribed to group F according to I.Garlana's classification, making then quite a numerous group. A series of Heracle brands is representative enough also, dating back to the same time as Thassos.

Among Sinop brands there are earlier finds with an emblem in the form of an eagle on a dolphin. We can make an assumption that occupation of this part of Gorhippia begun in 360 – 350 BC. Till the moment on the territory of Sindh Harbour there have been revealed 24 of archaic, late classic burials. Most of them date from the second half of the VI century – the second quarter of the V century BC. Only three burials could be doubtlessly ascribed to the second half of the V century BC. Taking into account newly revealed burials, altogether they make 31 sites, and the number of burials belonging to the second half of the V century BC becomes 7, one of them dates back to the end of the century. It should be noted that burials of the second half of the V century BC are located on the same places of the necropolis as the burials of the previous period. Usually they are blocked by city layers of the later times. At the same time the burials of the IV century BC are situated on the more remote from the early city spots of the necropolis and are connected with the necropolis of later time and are not blocked by city layers. Such situation is most probable with the change of population and the arrival of a significant amount of the inhabitants who had not been connected with the previous population. With evolution growth of the population they either didn't construct the necropolis or made it after a considerable time interval. Thus, on the basis of the materials received in the 2006, it is possible to say that throughout the second half of the V century BC the city population buried the dead in the same sites as during the earlier times. Later the necropolis territory is levelled and on the given site there appears a city of Gorhippia. Possibly, it is connected with population change. The earliest materials of the city building period on the given site indicate the population change between the end of the V century BC and 360 – 350 BC. The five burials of the necropolis of Beregovaya 4 settlement date from the V century BC also. They are in a very bad condition and destroyed because of agricultural works. All of them are made in simple sepulchral pits. This is characteristic for burials of Asian Bospor. Since the IV century BC Asian Bospor becomes a part of the united state. Then on the territory of Bospor the barrow burial ceremony extended. For this purpose the earlier barrow embankments are used. This ceremony is characteristic for Panticapaeum from the earlier times. Besides there appears the ceremony of cremation, established in Panticapaeum since the early times too. On the border of Volna 4 settlement three burials of the IV century BC were explored. They have were made in barrows of Bronze epoch. One of these tombs contained bones of two dead men, and an amphora from Phoenician glass, a silver grivna and a spear. The barrow of Bronze epoch explored nearby was used as a necropolis in Hellenistic times. One cremation of the IV – III century BC and three entombments were also explored there. One children's burial is interesting because it was blocked by large bowls and pieces of ceramics. In the IV century a new type of funeral constructions appears – a crypt from adobe brick. Near to a village of Golubitskaya we explored the barrow of Bronze epoch in which such a crypt was built. Unfortunately, the crypt was plundered in the Middle Ages. The large-scale works were done on the territory of Ghermonassa necropolis. There has been revealed the site of a necropolis which was actively used since Archaic times untill the Middle Ages. The burials of Hellenistic times are made in simple sepulchral pits without floors. This is characteristic for some necropolises of Asian Bospor, but unusual for necropolises of Miletus of Northern Black Sea Coast. It is very interesting that lamps were found in two burials. Lamps are often found at excavations of antique necropolis, for example in a necropolis of Tom.

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