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PONTIKA 2006 2006


Vol. 11


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Najnowsze badania greckich kolonii pnocnych wybrzey
Morza Czarnego
Materiay midzynarodowej konferencji, Krakw, 18 marca 2006

pod redakcj
Ewdoksii Papuci-Wadyki

Uniwersytet Jagielloski
Krakw 2008


Vol. 11


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March, 2006

Edited by
Ewdoksia Papuci-Wadyka

Jagiellonian University
Krakw 2008

Editorial Board
Krzysztof M. Ciaowicz
Janusz A. Ostrowski (Rewiever of the volume)
Ewdoksia Papuci-Wadyka
Joachim liwa

Technical editor
Katarzyna Mirczak

Cover design and layout

Aleksandra Kowal

Cover photo
Robert Saboski

English Translation
Authors & Katarzyna Bodziony
Jadwiga Szczupak
Tadeusz Stanek

Copy Editor
Tadeusz Stanek

Published by the Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology

KRAKW 2008

ISSN 0083-4300

Jarosaw Bodzek Koshary (Ukraine) Coin finds in 2004-2005 ........................ 12
Jan Chochorowski Social aspects of sacred spatial organization
of Koshary necropolis ........................................................................................................ 24
Maciej W. Czech Prospects of archaeological underwater research
of the Black Sea basin .......................................................................................................... 46
Krzysztof Kaczanowski, Andrzej Kosydarski, Elbieta Niedwiecka
Results of 1998-2004 anthropological studies at an ancient burial site
at Koshary (the Ukraine) ................................................................................................... 52
Marta Kania Daily Life in Ancient Koshary:
Some Comments (Part 1)..................................................................................................... 62
Aleksandra Kowal Grey ware from the Koshary site ............................................... 74
...................................... 95
Grzegorz aczek Bone amulets from tomb
No. 211 at Koshary, Ukraine ........................................................................................... 111
Mariusz Mielczarek Archaeological Excavations at Ancient Nikonion
(Summary) .............................................................................................................................120

(VI . .. III . ..) ................................ 122

Andrzej Pydyn Preliminary result of archaeological

underwater survey in the northern part of the Black Sea
basing on example of Olbia .............................................................................................. 134
, -,
.................................. 142

................................................................. 161

.................................................... 176

- ...........................................................190

.......................................................................................... 204
Michael Vickers, Amiran Kakhidze Pichvnari 1967-2005;
recent work in a Colchian and Greek settlement ........................................................ 220
Plates ............................................................................................................ 239


March 2006 was an exceptionally good month in Krakw for Polish-Ukrainian

cultural and scientific cooperation. On March 17, a photographic exhibition entitled
In Search of Treasures. Polish-Ukrainian Research at Koshary near Odessa was opened
at the National Museum in Krakw. This was followed by an international conference
held on the next day at the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University:
Both events were the effect of cooperation between the Institute of Archaeology
of the Jagiellonian University and the Archaeological Museum of the National
Academy of Sciences of the Ukraine in Odessa, a cooperation which started several
years ago, in 1998. The joint archaeological Koshary Project was launched then and,
more importantly, closer ties were established between the two institutions.
Some time ago, Jarosaw Bodzek (a member of the Koshary Project, staff
member not only of the Institute of Archaeology at the Jagiellonian University
but also of the National Museum in Krakw, where he heads the Numismatic
Room) and Krystyna Moczulska (then in charge of the Ancient Art Gallery
at the Czartoryski Museum in Krakw) came up with the idea to organize an
exhibition of antiquities from Odessa in our city. Our joint suggestion to have
a photographic presentation of the excavations and an academic conference to
go with it was a natural follow-up. The Odessa exhibition,2 was organized as part

E. Papuci-Wadyka, M. Kania, Nadczarnomorska konferencja, Alma Mater, No. 81, 2006, 59-60.
Cf. J. Bodzek, M. Woniak, Skarby znad Morza Czarnego, Alma Mater, No. 81, 2006, 61-62; Skarby
znad Morza Czarnego. Zoto, rzeba, ceramika z Muzeum Archeologicznego w Odessie / Treasures from
the Black Sea. Gold, Sculpture, Pottery from the Archaeological Museum in Odessa (Katalog wystawy w
Muzeum Narodowym w Krakowie, marzec-czerwiec 2006 / Catalogue of the Exhibition at the National
Museum in Krakw, March-June 2006), J. Bodzek (ed.), Krakw 2006.

of the Krakw Museums ODESSA-KRAKW project. It was listed as one of

the numerous cultural events designed to promote the Ukraine in Poland as part
of the year-long program called Year of the Ukraine in Poland in 2005, which
ran over from the preceding year into 2006. The official opening ceremony of the
Odessa exhibition and the photo presentation took place on March 17 in the
Main Building of the Krakw National Museum.3
Complementing the two exhibitions in the scientific sphere was a conference
concerning the newest research in the Black Sea littoral. It took place on March 18
at the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University in Gobia Street and
it proved to be an excellent forum for exchanging ideas and presenting the results of
work by several expeditions excavating in the region from Tyras in the Ukraine in
the west to Tanais in Russia and the Georgian Pichvnari in the east. The conference
was attended by the late Vladimir P. Vanchugov, Director of the Archaeological
Museum in Odessa. It was hosted jointly by Jan Chochorowski, Director of the
Jagiellonian Universitys Institute of Archaeology, and Ewdoksia Papuci-Wadyka,
head of the Classical Archaeology Department at the Institute and co-director,
with Evgeniia F. Redina, of the Koshary Project. Special guest Vassos Karageorghis,
Director of the Anastasios G. Leventis Foundation (Nicosia, Cyprus), presented the
achievements of the Foundation in the promotion, conservation and organization
of exhibitions of monuments of Cypriot and Greek culture throughout the world,
the Odessa Museum included.
The PONTIKA conference brought important conclusions which are presented
in these proceedings. The conference also demonstrated the role that Krakw can
play as a meeting place between the East and West of Europe. Many promising
contacts were made at the conference between representatives of various academic
institutions and museums. By the same token, the one-day meeting organized
by the Department of Classical Archaeology at the Jagiellonian proved to be an
important event for researchers focusing on ancient cultures on the Black Sea.
The exhibition and conference would hardly have been the success it was
without the contribution of the staff, doctoral candidates and students of the
Faculty of History and the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University:
Wojciech Machowski, Marta Kania, Grzegorz aczek, Aleksandra Kowal, Maciej
Czech, Katarzyna Mirczak, Sylwia Stelmach and Anna Drzymuchowska, as well

Open until June 4, 2006; cf. Also E. Dziwisz, Zoto, groby i uczeni, KRAKW, czerwiec 2006, 74-75.

as Sawomir Chwaek, a graduate of our Institute. Jarosaw Bodzek and Mateusz

Woniak of the Archaeological Institute and the National Museum operated as
a natural connection between our two institutions.

Ewdoksia Papuci-Wadyka
Jagiellonian University, Krakw

ACIMB Annuarul Comisiunii monumentelor istorice: secia din Basarabia
CN Cronica numismatic i archeologic
IOSPE2 B. Latyshev, Inscriptiones antiquae orae septentrionalis Ponti Euxini,
Ed. 2, Petropolis 1885-1916
KSIA AN SSSR Kratkie soobshchenia Instituta Arkheologii AN SSSR
(see )
MSROA Materiay i Sprawozdania Rzeszowskiego Orodka Archeologicznego
MIA Materialy i issledovania po arkheologii SSSR (see )
NE Numismatika i Epigrafika (see )
RGF Rmisch Germanische Forschungen
VDI Vestnik Drevnei Istorii (see )


(. VDI)

(. MIA)
(. NE)


- - ,

PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Jarosaw Bodzek
Krakw, Poland

Koshary (Ukraine) Coin finds in 2004-2005

This article discusses coin finds made in the complex of archaeological sites at
Koshary (Ukraine, Odessa province, Kominternovskii District) during the excavation
season 2004-2005. The present is an introductory discussion. A full publication of
coins discovered in the Koshary settlement and necropolis will be made available in
a monographic study under preparation.
The complex of archaeological sites at Koshary has since 1998 been under examination
by a Polish-Ukrainian Archaeological Expedition of the Institute of Archaeology,
Jagiellonian University, and Archaeological Museum of Odessa (Chochorowski et al.
1999, 2000; Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2002; Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2003; Papuci-Wadyka
et al. 2005; Redina, Chochorowski 1999; Redina, Papuci-Wadyka 2004; see also the
article by Redina E.F. et al. in the present volume). One effect of work on the project are
coin finds (Papuci-Wadyka 2002, 12f; Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2002; Papuci-Wadyka
et al. 2005, 208ff, 216, 225; Bodzek 2007, 2008; Bulatovich 2006, 181, No. 37).
The digs of 2004-2005 at Koshary yielded 11 monetary finds. Like other discoveries
in previous seasons, all can be classed as stray finds. These brought the number of coins,
or monetary finds, recorded on that site in regular archaeological search to a total of
41 pieces, of which 29 were recovered since the Polish-Ukrainian Expedition started
operating in 1998 (as above), the others coming from earlier digs (Karyshkovskii
2002, 298, No. 28; Symonovich 1969, 105f; Diamant 1978, 241ff ; Levina, Stolarik
1991, 51ff.). This figure does not include a coin hoard of over a dozen bronze pieces
of Odessus said to be discovered in the Koshary settlement during illicit excavations
(Alexeev 2005).


Fig. 1. Olbia, AE, c. 380-350 B.C., Koshary,

Trench VII/2, Season 2005.

The number of 42 recorded monetary finds (including the hoard mentioned above)
is higher than for most other sites in the Olbian chora (Ruban, Ursalov 1986; Saprykin
2004)1. It is still an unresolved question how far this results from the favorable location
of the Koshary settlement along a trade route from the west coast of Pontus Euxinus to
the Crimea (Buiskich 1986, 22), and how far it reflects the state of research.2
The topography of monetary finds in the 2004-2005 season largely mirrors the
intensity of excavation work in the respective parts of the site. All finds were made in
the broadly understood settlement (including its nearest neighborhood and an open
sacrificial altar called zolnik). No coin finds have been made in the necropolis. Such
a layout of finds conforms to the results of previous searches. Of the mentioned total

Fig. 2. Olbia, AE, c. last quarter of the 4th c. B.C., Koshary, zol'nik, Season 2005.

of 41 coin finds by Soviet, Ukrainian, and Polish-Ukrainian expeditions, 36 were

unearthed in the settlement (including six in the zolnik area), and only six in the
necropolis (all in the 2002-2003 seasons; Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2005, 225).
In the season 2004-2005, digs in the settlement continued in trenches III (northern
part of the site), VII and VIII (southern side of the settlement), in trench VI (in
a borough west of the settlement), and on the southernmost tip of the promontory
on which the site is located (zolnik trench V). The richest yield (five coins) came
from trench VIII located in what is thought to have been the industrial part of the
settlement. Digs in trench VII, embracing part of a habitation, embankment, and
escarpment, produced two coins, both in the escarpment. A single find was made in

The figure refers to the number of finds, not individual pieces in them. All photos in this article by author.
Importantly, the Polish-Ukrainian Expedition is regularly and skillfully using a metal detector,
a practice that translates into the number of metal finds.



Fig. 3. Olbia, AE, c. last quarter of the 4th c. B.C., Koshary, Trench VIII/8, Season 2005.

a habitation building in the borough (trench VI). Finally, three coins were retrieved
near the zolnik (trench V).
Of eleven coins, nine were encountered in a close archaeological context, the
remaining two (unearthed at the zolnik) with no context.
All the pieces discovered in the season 2004-2005 belong to bronze issues, in tune
with the overall nature of monetary finds at Koshary. So far, no coin struck of any other
metal has surfaced on that site.3 After conservation at the Archaeological Museum of
Odessa Conservation Workshop, the coins were analyzed. Positively identified were
nine pieces, with two described as probable.
All coins were struck at Olbia. Nine of them (eight positive and one probable) belong
to so-called Borysthenes issues (coins bearing the head of Borysthenes river god on the
obverse, and a bow in case and ax on the reverse; Karyshkovskii 1968; 1988, 80ff ; 2002,
167ff ; Demianchuk, Turovskii 19994; Mielczarek 1992). Of the remaining two, one
probably belongs to the head of Demeter/eagle on dolphin issue (as in SNG BM 402414; SNG Stancomb 349, 351-352; Karyshkovskii 2002, Pls. VII=A IX = C, LXVII-

Fig. 4. Olbia, AE, c. 250-240 B.C., Koshary, Trench VIII/3, Season 2004.

XCI; in this case identification is not positive owing to the pieces poor preservation),
the other to a series of small coins with head of Apollo/dolphin and ear of grain
(Karyshkovskii 2002, Pls. X=B, 19, XCIX; Frolova, Abramzon 2005, Pl. 43, 19).

The present author is aware of the rumor circulating in collectors circles about an accidental
find of a gold coin at Koshary vicinity, see Alexeev 2008.
Alternative general dating.



Fig. 5. Olbia, AE, c. 350-330 B.C., Koshary, Trench III/32, Season 2001.

Among the Borysthenes pieces found in 2004-2005, six were accurately

identified. Most of these (five) were struck as part of an early series (groups I-III after
P.O. Karyshkovskii, dated from ca. 330 to the turn of the 280s B.C.). Only one coin
belongs to a late Borysthenes issue (group IX or X, dated ca. mid-3rd century B.C.)5.
This is in agreement with the general picture of Borysthenes finds at Koshary, clearly
dominant among which are those belonging to series produced prior to ca. 275 B.C.

In the piece in question, the monogram did not fit on the flan. Nonetheless, a die analysis suggests that
the coin may belong to the series marked with , API, or .



By and large, coins discovered in 2004-2005 were struck between the first half of the
4th century B.C. and ca. 250 B.C..
This composition corresponds to the general picture of monetary finds on the Koshary
site. A clear majority of them are Olbian issues, with Borysthenes types the most
numerous (so far more than 68% of all finds). There are no more than several examples
of the types head of Demeter/ eagle on dolphin, head of Apollo / dolphin and ear
of grain, and had of Tyche / archer (Karyshkovskii 2002, Pls. XII=A, CXVI-CXX;
SNG BM 536-541; SNG Stancomb 402-405; Parovich 1957; Karyshkovskii 1988, 83;
1962; Snytko, Turovskii 1999). Exceptions include discovery in the season 2001 of an
Olbia as with head of Demeter (Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2005, 209f; Bulatovich 2006;
Bodzek in 2008), coins produced in mints other than Olbia a piece struck at Tyras
(Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2005, 216; Bodzek 2007), and the mentioned bronze hoard at
Odessos (Alexeev 2005). It may be good to add that the numerical disproportion in

Fig. 6. Tyra, AE, c. end of the 4th beginning of the 3rd c. B.C., Koshary, zol'nik,
Season 2003.

contemporary finds of Borysthenes and head of Tyche/archer types favoring the

earlier is also seen in finds on other sites within the Olbian chora (Saprykin 2004, 84).
Both the as and the Tyras coin call for a brief commentary. The earlier belongs to
a rare as variant in the last Olbian aes grave series dated at 350-330 B.C. (Karyshkovskii
1988, 41ff.). The variant, characteristic for an A-shaped symbol on the reverse, has only
been knows since the publication by A.M. Gilevich of a hoard discovered in Olbia in
1968 (Gilevich 1972). Known before were only pieces bearing letter symbols B, , ,
, and . Single and multiple finds of asses with head of Demeter are known from the
Olbian chora (Ruban, Ursalov 1986; Saprykin 2004; Bodzek 2008), but they concentrate
around Bierezanski, Boh, and Dnieper limans. So far, the Koshary example is the most
westerly recorded find of an as with head of Demeter in the Olbian chora.6
The bronze Tyras piece, discovered near the zolnik in 2003, is of the type head of
Tyras river god/head of horse (Zograph 1957, No. 17; Anokhin 1989, No. 430; SNG

Still further west, ases of earlier series have been reported.



BM Nos. 342-343; SNG Stancomb 333). The issue may be dated at the end of the 4th
beginning of the 3rd centuries B.C. (Bodzek 2007). Finds of Tyras coins struck between
the mid-4th and end of the 3rd centuries B.C. are known from Olbia (Zograph 1957,
No. 17/13, No. 18/9; Karyshkovskii 2002, 303), and intensive contacts between both
poleis are suggested by Olbian coins found at Tyras (Samoilova 1988, 61; Bulatovich
1989, 85, Nos. 15-17; Karyshkovskii 2002, 293, No. 17) and other relics (Ruban 1980;
Karyshkovskii, Kleiman, 120). So far, however, no Tyras coins have been reported in the
Olbian chora. The piece found at Koshary remains an exception. The finds of the Tyras
coin and the mentioned Odessos hoard make up a small fraction of all monetary finds
at Koshary and do not affect the general picture of monetary circulation on that site. Yet
considering the minimal number of non-Olbian coins reported in the Olbian chora,
a question arises about the special position of the Koshary settlement for its location.
The picture of monetary finds presented above corresponds with the development
of the Koshary settlement, which flourished from the second half of the 4th to about
mid-3rd centuries B.C. The period largely coincides in time with the minting of
the largest group of coins found at Koshary, i.e., Borysthenes coins (ca. 330-250
B.C. according to Karyshkovskii 1988, 80ff ) and their contemporary types head of
Tyche/archer (Karyshkovskii 1988, 83). It is a question for more in-depth research to
determine to what extent the prevalence among the Borysthenes coins of examples
dated at ca. 330-270 B.C. reflects the development of the settlement, as opposed to
e.g. the Olbian mints output volumes.

Alexeev V. P.
2005 Monety Odessa s kosharskogo polseleniia, [in:] Drevnee Prichernomore. VI Chteniia pamiati professora Petra Ossipovicha Karyshkovskogo. Materialy mezhdunarodnei konferentsii, Odessa 12-14
marta 2004 goda, Odessa, 5-9.
2008 Novye nakhodki staterov Lisimakha v severo-zapadnom Prichernomore,
[in] V.P. Alexeev, Issledovaniia po antichnoi numismatike, Odessa,
Anokhin V. A.
1989 Monety gorodov Severo-Zapadnogo Prichernomora, Kiev.


Bodzek J.
2007 Moneta Tyras znaleziona w Koarach, Prace i Materiay Muzeum
Archeologicznego i Etnograficznego w odzi. Seria Numizmatyczna
i Konserwatorska, Nr 13:2004-2007, 41-48.
2008 Olviiskii ass naidennyi v Kosharakh, [in:] Drevnee Prichernomore
VIII, Odessa, 53-58.
Bodzek J. (ed.)
2006 Treasures from the Black Sea Coast Gold, Sculpture, Pottery from the
Archaeological Museum in Odessa, Krakw.
Buiskich S.B.
1986 Nekotorye voprosy prostranstvenno-strukturnogo razvitiia olviiskoi
khory (VI-II vv. do n.e.), [in:] S.D. Kryzhytskii, S.N. Mazarati, Olvia
i ee okruga, Kiev, 17-28.
Bulatovich S.A.
1989 Antichnye monety iz Tiry (1977-1986), [in:] Archeologicheskie
pamiatniki stepei Podnestrova i Podunava, Kiev, 81-88.
2006 Numismatics, [in:] Bodzek (ed.), 181, No 37.
Chochorowski J., Papuci-Wadyka E., Redina E.
1999 The Polish Ukrainian Excavations at Koshary; Odessa District.
Preliminary Report, Studies in Ancient Art and Civilization 9, 55-63.
2000 Polsko-ukraiskie badania wykopaliskowe zespou stanowisk z okresu
antycznego w miejscowoci Koary koo Odessy, MSROA XXI,
Demianchuk S.G., Turovskii E.Ya.
1999 O vremeni chekanki olviiskikh borisfenov, [in:] Sedmaia Vserossiiskaia
numizmaticheskaia konferentsia, Moskva, 19-20.
Diamant E.I.
1978 Monetnye nakhodki kosharskogo poselenia (K voprosu o zapadnoi
granitse olviiskogo polisa), [in:] Arkheologicheskie issledovania severozapadnogo Prichernomora, Kiev, 241-249.


Frolova N.A., Abramzon M.G.

2005 Monety Olvii v sobranii Gosudarstvennogo Istoricheskogo Muzea.
Katalog, Moskva.
Gilevich A.M.
1972 Klad assov iz Olvii, NE X, 74-78.
Karyshkovskii P.O.
1959 Z istori monetno spravi ta groshovogo obigu v Olvi 2. Olviski
asi, [in:] Pratsi odeskogo derzhavnogo universitetu imeni I.I.
Mechnikova. Seriya istorichnikh nauk, vipusk 7, Odessa, 47-68.
1962 Iz istorii monetnogo dela Olvii v epohu ellenizma, [in:] Materialy po
Arkheologii Severnogo Prichernomora, vyp. 4, 113-114.
1968 Olviiskie Borisfeny, Numizmatika i Sphragistika 3, 62-85.
1988 Monety Olvii, Kiev.
2002 Monetnoe delo i denezhnoe obrashchenie Olvii (VI v. do n.e. I v. n.e.).
(Dissertatsia na soiskanie uchenoi stepeni doktora istoricheskikh nauk,
Odessa 1968), Odessa.
Karyshkovskij P.O, Klejman I.B.
1994 The City of Tyras. A Historical and Archaeological Essay, Odessa.
Levina E.A., Stolarik E.S.
1991 Novye monetnye nakhodki s kosharskogo poselenia, [in:] Drevnee
Prichernomore. II chteniia pamiati professora Petra Osipovicha
Karyshkovskogo. Tezisy dokladov iubileinei konferentsii 9-11 marta 1991
goda, Odessa, 51-54.
Mielczarek M.
1992 Olbijskie monety z gow boga rzeki Borysthenes, dzki
Numizmatyk XXI, 17-22.
Papuci-Wadyka E.
2002 Kultura grecka nad Morzem Czarnym, Alma Mater 41, Krakw,
Papuci-Wadyka E., Chochorowski J., Redina E.F. et al.
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Papuci-Wadyka E., Chochorowski J., Redina E.F.

2004 Koszary-grecka osada nad Morzem Czarnym w wietle picioletnich
bada polsko-ukraiskiej ekspedycji (1998-2002), PORTOLANA.
Studia Mediterranea 1, Krakw, 47-64.
Papuci-Wadyka E., Redina E.F., Bodzek J., Machowski W., Nosova L.V.
2005 Koshary. Greek settlement on the Northern Black Sea coast. PolishUkrainian excavations in the 2001-2003 seasons, tudes et Travaux
XX, 193-234.
Parovich P.M.
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Arkheologia 11, 157-159.
Redina E. F., Chochorowski J.
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Northwest Coast of the Black Sea, Kiev, 139-154.
Redina E. F., Papuci-W adyka E.
2003 Issledovane arkheologicheskogo kompleksa antichnogo vremeni u s.
Koshary, Archeological Researches in Ukraine in 2001-2002, (Zbirka
naukovykh prats 5), Kiev, 240-242.
Ruban V.V.
1980 Iz istorii vzaimotnoshenii Tiry i Olvii, [in:] Issledovaniia po
antichnoi arkheologii Iugo-Zapada USSR, Kiev, 103-106.
Ruban V.V., Ursalov V.N.
1986 Istoriia denezhnogo obrashcheniia na selskoi territorii Borisfenidy
i Olvii dogetskogo vremeni, VDI 4, 31-53.
Samoilova T. L.
1988 Tira v VI-I vv. do n.e., Kiev.
Saprykin S. Yu.
2004 Money Circulation on chorai of Olbia and Tauric Chersonesus in
pre-roman period, [in:] Presenza e funzioni della moneta nelle chorai
delle colonie greche dallIberia al Mar Nero, Atti del XII convegno


organizzato dallUniversit federico II e dal Centro Internazionali

di Studi Numismatici, Napoli 16-17 Giugno 2000, Roma, 71-132.
1993 The Black Sea, Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum IX. The British
Museum 1, London.
SNG Stancomb
2000 The William Stancomb Collection of Coins of The Black Sea Region,
Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum XI, Oxford.
Snytko I.A., Turovskii E.Ya.
1999 O monetakh Olvii i Khersonesa s izobrazheniami strelkov iz luka,
Khersoneskii Sbornik X, 399-406.
Symonovich E.A.
1969 Olviiskie monety s Kosharskogo gorodishcha, VDI, 2, 105-106.
Zograph A.E.
1957 Monety Tiry, Moskva.


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PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Jan Chochorowski
Krakw, Poland

Social aspects of sacred spa al organiza on

of Koshary necropolis
[Pls. 1-6]

Among the most interesting characteristics of the settlement in Koshary* are issues of
ethical and social framework of its population. It is especially a problem of identification
(particularly ethno-cultural) of the organizing environment, which under certain
conditions, influenced by prevailing factors, initiated the formation of the local
society.1 To evaluate such a phenomenon in a settlement like Koshary (chronologically
late, small, more rural-urban than strictly urban) is much more complex than it is in
the case of early Greek towns in the north-western part of the Black Sea coast,2 for
the two formed in completely different more distinct socio-political and cultural
The arrangement of sacred space in ancient necropoleis is by no means our last
source of reflections in search of answers to this question. The layout of graves in
relation to each other within the boundaries of the necropolis and their character may
reflect some features of the social system and religious beliefs of the deceased (or rather
their group consciousness), the ethnic composition of the society, and features subject
to sacralization (and preservation in material and spatial structures) through magic and
religious procedures related to burial rites.
In this context a situation observed in the part of the necropolis in Koshary which
was excavated when I took part in the works of the expedition in the years 1998-2000

All photos and drawings in this article by the author, digital visualizations by U. Bk.
In any case, it may have been a spontaneous process, not necessarily a fully conscious or controlled one.
For conclusions regarding research on the group of sites in Koshary, see: Redina p.143-160.



(Plan 1) is certainly noteworthy. It happened so that the first object discovered there was
a small barrow (object 55), in any case completely dug out. Despite the fact that it lacked
a mound, the original outline was marked by a trench quite precisely surrounding the
barrow in a circle measuring slightly over 8 meters in diameter (Fig 1, Pl. 1:1, 22:3). Two
openings were made in the circle exactly opposite each other, passages of some sort one
in the east, the other in the west.3 The trench was a line of demarcation between the inside
of the barrow (a highly sacred area due to the presence of a burial) and the rest of the
necropolis. This element of barrow architecture is typical for Scythian graves in steppe
and forest-steppe zones. An identical building pattern was discovered among others in
the necropolis in Ryanwka, undoubtedly contemporary to Koshary, if only because the
Great Barrow of Ryanwka is dated to the beginning of the 3rd century B.C.4
Two niche graves were located in the centre of barrow No. 55. The larger and
probably main one, with a stone barrier at the entrance to the niche, had unfortunately
been entirely robbed (Pl. 1:2). A young individual was buried there (Juvenis), whose
skeleton had been vandalized by robbers.5 Based on the distribution of bone remains
we may, however, assume that the person buried here was placed with his head to the
west, an orientation typical for a Scythian ethnic environment. A second burial, that of
a child (Infans I) was located in a similar yet smaller tomb, with its head also pointing
west (Fig. 2). The modest grave inventory consisted only of a damaged bronze bracelet
with a serpent-like ending.6
The lack of inventory, especially in the main, robbed tomb, does not allow us to
elaborate on its cultural characteristics and, possibly, the ethnic affiliation of the deceased.
In this case, however, not the barrow itself is especially noteworthy, but the situation
visible around it (Plan 2), that is a zone free of any graves measuring approximately 3-4
meters spreading on the outer side of the trench surrounding the barrow. A little further,
a circle of graves is visible, as if concentrated around a centre of some sort, undoubtedly
barrow No. 55 (Plan 2). It would therefore be the oldest object in this part of the cemetery
that somehow initiated the process of its spatial development (organization).

A vast majority of remains of a mourning feast were found near the west passage, which is also quite
This feature was characteristic not only for the Great Barrow of Ryanwka (No. 4), but also for
barrow No. 3 at that necropolis, dated to the 4th century B.C.; Chochorowski et al. 1998 b, 99-117;
Skoryi 1998, 119-137; Chochorowski 2004, 447-464. See also: Chochorowski et al. 1998 a, 89-93.
For anthropological research on a series of skeletons from the Koshary necropolis, see Kaczanowski et
al. in this volume.
A form known from the Scythian cultural environment, initially found mainly in forest-steppe zones,
and in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. also in steppe zones (Petrenko 1978, 52-53, pl. 39; 1-18, 20-22).


Fig. 1. Main tomb in barrow No. 55.




Theoretically, there are two possibilities that would explain this situation:
either it was only imposed by the barrow mound visible in the landscape, which
forced an interval, a sort of safe distance (for visitor comfort) in terms of space only,
imposed by the morphology of the area; or
we are dealing with a magical-ritual distance forced by the social status of
the deceased, which after his death was transformed into a socio-religious status,
appropriate in relation to a mythic forefather (hero). This status inclined some users
of the necropolis to bury their deceased around the existing barrow.
It is therefore worth examining the structure of the entire group and the character
of particular burials.
Most of those graves (27) form a quite regular circle of objects situated at a similar
distance from the centre of barrow No. 55. Four other (54, 79, 80 and 122) seem spaced
relative to the previous ones, located on the north-western side of the circle, while five
further ones (107, 108, 109, 110 and 111) are on the southern side.7 Niche graves
characteristic for Koshary necropolis dominate among objects concentrated in the
circle, with niches on the N, NW or NE side of the entrance shafts.8 In three cases only,
niches were situated on the SW (103, 116) or SE (44) side of the pit. In two graves the
deceased were buried inside simple, shallow pits (69, 104). Grave No. 59, with a large
chamber and an entry corridor, also differed from the standard.9
The preservation state of many tombs (robbery digs)10 does not always allow a closer
characteristic of their contents, including burial form and equipment. An analysis of how
the deceased were placed in relation to the four cardinal points seems especially important
here, since orientation to the west is traditionally assigned to the Scythian, while to the east

Objects Nos. 86 and 87 (see Plan 1) are not connected with the Late Classical and Hellenistic necropolis.
Objects Nos. 76, 88 and 144 (dark patches with little charcoals and crushed pottery fragments), on the
other hand, are probably connected with some rituals (?) that took place in the necropolis.
The character of the grave group Nos. 77 and 78 is not entirely clear (although it is preserved very
well). Basically, we may consider it a niche grave with a burial in the niche (No. 77), shifted somewhat
asymmetrically in relation to the entry shaft. The outlines of the fills of both objects visible at the
primary level (after surface soil has been removed) indicate that after some time a dig was made into
the entry shaft and another body was interred alongside (No. 78). This conclusion is confirmed by a
disturbed stone barrier closing the niche containing burial site No. 77. Theoretically, we cannot rule out
that we are dealing with two pit graves dug into each another. However, the considerable depth of the
object (125-135 cm from the primary level) contradicts this theory, since other pit graves in the Koshary
necropolis are approximately half that deep.
Unfortunately, the preservation of this grave (vandalized by robbers) does not allow a detailed
Among 33 niche graves around barrows Nos. 55, 15 had been vandalized by robbers or the preservation
of bone remains does not allow determining what the position of the skeleton was.



Fig. 2. Side(accompanying) tomb of barrow No. 55.

to the Greek ethnic environment. In the case of 19 niche graves where it was possible to
determine what the burial orientation was, in 7 cases the deceased was placed with his head
to the west and in 12 to the east. Burials in pit graves are also oriented to the west.11
The anthropological structure of the remains buried around barrow No. 55
(Specification 1)12 is also interesting in the context of the above discussion. In the analyzed
circle, 22 adult individuals were buried (including 11 females and 11 males) along with 15
children, mainly at the age of Infans I.13 Anthropological analysis does not include remains
from graves Nos. 59, 68, 80, 103, 104, 115, 120 and 122; however, by all indications, graves
Nos. 68, 80, 103 and 115 contained children remains, while adults were buried in graves

Niche grave No. 62 is thoroughly unusual. A woman and child were buried in the niche with their
heads to the east, further three adult individuals were found in the entry shaft, all decapitated, and in
one case also limbless. Two of them (a male + an individual of unidentified sex) were placed with their
heads pointing east, while another woman with her head to the west.
The author would like to thank Krzysztof Kaczanowski and Andrzej Kosydarski for providing results
of their anthropological analysis for the purpose of this article.
Two were buried in grave No. 81 and three in grave No. 84.



Grave 55A
Grave 55B


Grave 44
Grave 45
Grave 53
Grave 57
Grave 59
Grave 61
Grave 62
Grave 65
Grave 68
Grave 69
Grave 77
Grave 78
Grave 81
Grave 82
Grave 83
Grave 84
Grave 85
Grave 103
Grave 104
Grave 112
Grave 115
Grave 116
Grave 117
Grave 118
Grave 119
Grave 120
Grave 121
Grave 54
Grave 79
Grave 80
Grave 122
Grave 107
Grave 108
Grave 109
Grave 110
Grave 111









Infans I
Senilis (Maturus/Senilis)
Ad. + ? Inf. I +? Ad.? + Ad. + ? Juv./Ad.
(3 children)
Infans I
Infans I (2 children)


Infans I + Adultus

Infans II (912 years old )

Infans I

Infans I

Infans I + ? Infans I
Infans I
Infans II/Juvenis

Specification 1. Anthropological analysis results for burials from barrow No. 55 and
graves around that barrow.


Nos. 59, 104, 120 and 122.14 Therefore, in adult individuals, proportions between both
sexes are more or less equal and the percentage of child burials is around 40%.15 The size
of the researched series was too small to allow a precise statistical age structure analysis, yet
data from anthropological analyses also suggest (Specification 1) that it is close to natural,
characteristic of an average live population. We may therefore have the impression that the
anthropological structure of the analyzed bone remains series is equivalent to the biological
structure of a living population linked by certain social ties. The character of those ties is
hard to define, although we may not rule out a possibility that those ties resulted from
a sense of membership (either genuine or formal16) to a kin group.17
This is not the place for a full and penetrating cultural characteristic of burials that
are part of the circle around barrow No. 55. It is, however, worth mentioning a few grave
groups, at least as examples, with particular attention to burial rites and the character
of equipment. In some sense, those objects are representative for the population in
Grave No. 111 of a young female at the age of Infans II/Juvenis is undoubtedly
intriguing in this context (Fig. 3, Pl. 1:3). The deceased was placed with her head to the
east, on a bed lined with grass and covered with a felt cloth, in a niche lined with reed.
She was wearing an ornamental dress (remains of decomposed fabric are visible especially
along arm bones) and a set of decorative jewellery. It consists of silver earrings shaped as
heads, perhaps of Demeter, with bronze hooks to hang them at the temples, a number
of grass beads on the neck, six bronze rings on the left hand fingers and two on the right.
Remains of leather shoes were identified near her feet. A wooden tray with a piece of
meat and an iron knife with a bone handle (Pl. 2:1) driven into it were left at the bed
head (a roll of grass), which was customary practice among steppe nomads.19 A set of
Greek pottery was deposited next to the tray (an Athenian squat lekythos with red figure
palmette, a jar, probably Olbian, an Athenian black glaze thin-walled cup a skyphos
and a saltcellar20), along with two ordinary hand-modeled bowls. Four bronze circles

Graves Nos. 59, 120 and 122 have been vandalized by robbers, but their form and dimensions suggest
adult burials.
The percentage of child burials is slightly lower than usually expected, which may have been caused by
better living conditions of the inhabitants of the settlement.
For instance, in the case of social adoptions or exogamous marriages.
Genetic research aimed to search for connections between the deceased buried in the circle around
barrow No. 55 could have been conclusive in the analyzed situation.
In this case, it only makes sense to analyze groups that have not been vandalized by robbers.
See e.g.: Skoryi 2003, 46.
Dated to ca. 375-350 B.C.; see: Papuci-Wadyka et. al. forthcoming. The author would like to thank
Ewdoksia Papuci-Wadyka for providing information regarding Greek pottery dating.



with tapered endings (earrings?) were placed next to the vessels. Unusually, a leather
quiver with nine arrows tipped with bronze arrowheads of the Scythian type was placed
to the right of the shoulder and head of the deceased. It is impossible to determine
whether in this case the quiver should be considered as a sign of prestige or a feature
typical for burials of amazons, that is female graves containing weapons characteristic
for the Scythian and Sauromathian environment (Smirnov 1964, 200-202; Fialko 1991,
4-18; see also: Simonenko 1993, 105).
Grave No. 107 is also undoubtedly extraordinary (Fig. 4). It contains the body of
a strongly built male at the age of Adultus (more precisely around 30 years old) placed
on his back with the head to the east in a large niche sealed with a solid barrier of stone
slabs (Pl. 2:2). The deceased was also lying on a bed of grass, covered with a felt cloth,
and had been given a spear measuring about 2m in length, with an iron spearhead (over
40 cm long) and a ferrule at the other end of the shaft, which was placed at his right
side (Pl. 2:3). A quiver containing 67 with bronze-tipped arrows of the Scythian type
was placed at his left thigh,21 in a position typical for steppe warrior-archers (Pl. 3:1).
An amphora22 was deposited behind the mans head along with a wooden tray with
a piece of meat and an iron knife with a bone handle as well as four astragals (dice)
and a set of Athenian pottery: a squat lekythos with a red-figure palmette,23 a black glaze
molded-rim kantharos24 and a bowl (saltcellar) made from the bottom of a larger
vessel (Pl. 3:2). The warrior died after he had been shot in his left eye, an arrow with
a bronze arrowhead went exactly through his eye-socket into the brain and was stuck
in the back of the skull, going right through the bone. It is yet more unusual that most
probably the deceased had his ankles crossed and tied. Vertical brown discolorations are
visible where his legs were crossed, above the ankles and slightly higher, on his shanks;
presumably remains of leather straps keeping the legs together. What is most intriguing,
however, is that the custom of binding the deceased is known from later Sarmatian
burials (from the 2nd century B.C.) in the Black Sea region, the bodies also sometimes
placed with their heads to the east (Simonenko 1993, Fig. 4; 3A, p. 20, Fig. 11; 1, p.
40, Fig. 23; 2B, p. 96). The warrior burial in grave No. 107 may therefore contribute to
a discussion (inspired by a note in Diodorus Siculus) on the Sarmatian infiltration into
Scythian lands on the Black Sea coast as early as the second half of the 4th century B.C.

It has mostly been dragged away by rodents (along their burrows), but a part was preserved in situ
(Pl. 2:3).
From Thasos (or related); see Papuci-Wadyka, Kokorzhitskaia 2004, 322, Fig. 14.
Dated to ca. 375-350 B.C., ibid.
Dated to the same period; see: Papuci-Wadyka et al. forthcoming.



(Machinskii 1971, 30-54; Polin 1984, 24-34; Polin, Simonenko 1990, 76-95), which
is difficult to confirm by archaeological evidence (Simonenko 1993, 104-105). Grave
No. 107 was carbon-dated (Ki-8775, 230070 B.P., 30889 B.C.),25 while the set of
arrowheads from the warriors quiver represents forms typical for the 4th-3rd century
B.C.26 The above-cited pottery dates the grave at 375-350 B.C. or slightly later. If we
assume the pottery was used for a long period of time before being placed in the grave,
it is more or less convergent with the radiocarbon dating.27
Right next to grave No. 107, another burial place was located (No. 108), this time of
a woman at the age of Maturus (around 40 years old). On the surface, it is quite typical
(Fig. 5, Pl. 3:3, 23:1), but it is equally intriguing as the above objects, due to some features
of the burial rite. The deceased was placed on her back, but with her head to the west,
and usual equipment was left at her bed head: an amphora,28 a tray with a piece of meat
and, as in other cases, a cutting knife, a black glaze bowl cup-kantharos, a small grey
ware wheel-made vessel29 and two clay whorls (Pl. 4:1). The latter may be considered
a symbolic indicator of sex in burial inventories. The interesting fact is that the stone
barrier at the feet of the deceased was visibly damaged and her leg bones, from the knees
down, were scattered and incomplete. Such damage was not typical for robber intrusions.
Most probably, the grave had been opened for some reason (ritual?) and later closed again.
Besides, numerous fragments of a broken amphora were discovered in the disturbed part
of the fill. It is also very intriguing that, according to anthropologists,30 although the lower
part of the skeleton had been disturbed, the arrangement of foot bones suggests that the
legs of the deceased had once been crossed and tied. Is there some connection between
this burial and the warrior burial from grave No. 107 (?),31 and if so, why was it oriented
differently in relation to the cardinal points? In this case, we also need to point out that her
leg muscle entheses are well developed, which indicates strong lower limb musculature.

Radiocarbon analysis of bone material from the Koshary necropolis was performed by N.N.
Kovaliuch and V.V. Skripkin of the Kiev laboratory.
The problematic dating of the arrowhead set from this part of the Koshary necropolis will be discussed
Repeatedly in the case of many carbon-dated burials, their pottery dating is older, which merits
a thought. In those cases, we need to either assume a so-called long chronology of Greek handicraft
in this environment or a systematic error in radiocarbon dating in relation to archaeological dating,
resulting from the nature of this method.
From Heraclea Pontic, type II; see Papuci-Wadyka, Kokorzhitskaia 2004, 319.
For gray ware pottery from Koshary, see: A. Kowal, p.75-94.
An opinion expressed by Krzysztof Kaczanowski and Andrzej Kosydarski.
Grave No. 108 was carbon-dated at 14C = 224570 B.P., 28480 B.C. (Ki-8775), while the abovementioned cup-kantharos is dated at ca. 350 B.C.; see: Papuci-Wadyka et al. forthcoming.



If we consider a similar practice, grave No. 81 containing the remains of three

children is also quite interesting (Pl. 4:2).32 To inter the body of the last child, the grave
had been opened and tidied by pushing deeper into the niche the remains of two
previously deceased children (little more than the skulls were preserved) as well as their
equipment (at one of the skulls a kantharos,33 a squat lekythos, two bronze bracelets and
two astragals; at the other skull two wheel-made grey ware cups and a little black-glaze
bowl34) (Pl. 4:3). Yet it is impossible to determine whether the two children were buried
simultaneously or one at a time. The third child was placed at the entrance to the niche
with its head to the east and was given another grey ware jug, a set of astragals, originally
probably in some sort of organic container (bag?) and a bead. Doubtless, at the time the
third child was being buried the bodies of the previously interred children had already
decomposed completely. The knowledge of where that grave was located and what it
contained was not gone, however. The children died within a certain time period and
were probably somehow connected (siblings?). Despite the fact that this grave has not
been robbed, its stone barrier was only fragmentarily preserved because of the events
described above. The rich appointments of those child burials are also noteworthy and
confirm their high social status and, most probably, their low age level of initiation.
Traces of repeated opening and reuse are also visible in the case of grave No. 109
containing the remains of two children, the older of which was around 7 years old,
while the younger from 18 months to 2 years old (that is Infans I). (Fig. 7, Pl. 5:1)
It is not easy to determine in what order their bodies were interred, but since a wall
barrier closing the niche was only slightly damaged, we may assume that the younger
(smaller) child was buried later. The body of the older child was placed closer to the
entrance to the niche, with its head to the west, and the younger one lay on its left,
probably similarly orientated.35 The right-hand wrist of the older child was adorned
with a bronze bracelet; the child probably also owned of a bead necklace, now spread
all over the niche by rodents. A grey ware plate with a piece of meat was placed at his
feet and a grey wheel-made jug at his right hand (Pl. 5:2). Placed behind the childs
head were a small biconical cup, a saltcellar made from the bottom of a kantharos,
and a whitewashed terracotta figurine, probably depicting a sitting Demeter (Pl. 6:1).

In this case we lack a detailed anthropological analysis.

Molded rim kantharos dated at ca. 375-350 B.C.: see: Papuci-Wadyka et. al. forthcoming; in this
case radiocarbon dating is approximately consistent with this date; 235050 B.P., 374129 B.C.
(Ki 7428).
Dated similarly to the kantharos, ibid.
The skeleton of the younger child was preserved poorly.



Fig. 6. Grave No. 81.

Furthermore, a conical lead whorl was discovered on the left side, at the childs ankle.
If we treat it as an indicator of sex, the older child may be considered a girl. Perhaps
arrowheads discovered together with amphora fragments (?) in the upper part of the
fill are the remains of a mourning feast connected with the secondary burial interred
in the tomb. In this case, we may treat them as a sex indicator for the second child,
therefore a boy. It is also notable that among the rocks used to close the niche were some
polished sandstone slabs. Probably the material had been reused, coming from some
damaged building in the village. By the time this body was buried, a part of the villages
infrastructure had been ruined.36
When architecture is considered, object No. 119 stands out in the discussed circle of
graves (Fig. 8, Pl.6:2). The body of a young individual at the age of Infans II (9-12 years
old) was placed, head pointing north-east, in a niche closed with a barrier of blocks
made of clay with an addition of organic substances. On the surface, a stone stele dug
into the ground above the niche marked the grave. Stone stelae in and around Olbia
necropolis are typical for burial sites of members of the Greek ethnic super-stratum
(Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 63-64). Two bronze arrowheads were found among chest

It is not a singular case in this necropolis. This observation may be an important chronological
indicator when an ultimate interpretation of its planigraphy is done.



bones, partially dragged away by rodents. A grey ware wheel-made plate with a piece of
meat and a knife on it and a black glaze kantharos were placed behind the head of the
deceased, while an amphora was positioned at his feet.37
Although the groups discussed above may be considered typical for the circle of graves
we are interested in, it is not easy to define clearly what their cultural characteristics are. If
we consider architecture, the discussed series of graves is extraordinarily uniform. Niche
graves in and near Greek Black Sea colonies are basically considered an element of cultural
behavior of the colonists settling there.38 We need to stress, however, that they do not appear
until the second half of the 6th century B.C. and are rather rare in the Archaic period.39
As time passed, they became common in the Classical and Hellenistic periods,40 although
at that time, e.g. in the Olbian necropolis, more common are niche graves with niches
closed by barriers of clay blocks (Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 16). In addition, stone barriers
at Koshary were constructed of diagonally arranged slabs rather than dry walls closing
entrances to the niches (Parovich-Peshikan 1974, Figs. 7, 9). The peculiar feature of niche
graves in the Koshary necropolis is that the niche was commonly dug below the entrance
shaft level, which created a step at the bottom of the pit.41 Perhaps it is a feature of younger
objects of this type in Olbia and its chora dating to the 4th-3rd centuries B.C. (?).42
Little can be said about the ethno-cultural affiliation of burial places in simple pits
(graves Nos. 69, 104) because such solutions are quite universal. On the other hand,
catacomb grave No. 59 seems to represent a form characteristic for type 2 of Scythian

The molded rim kantharos is dated at ca. 375-350 B.C.; see: Papuci-Wadyka et al. forthcoming;
the amphora is close to Heraclea Pontic type I A, it bears a stamp of producer Ariston and magistrate
Karakidas, and is dated at ca. 360-350 B.C., see: Papuci-Wadyka, Kokorzhitskaia 2004, 318, Fig. 9. In
this case, radiocarbon dating is visibly younger from the mentioned dating: 220570 B.P., 26191 B.C.
(Ki 8783).
Kozub 1987, 27, 33-34. However, potential influence by the local (Scythian) background has been
discussed in literature; see: Kozub 1987, 27, 33-34. Similarities to catacomb graves may be the case,
typical for the Scythian (Iranian) nomadic life. Against the opinion of J.I. Kozub (Kozub 1987, 33), they
were popular as early as the 5th century B.C. and are one of the most important indicators of Scythian
nomads expansiveness (see e.g.: Skoryi, 1993-1994, 161-162). Scythian influence on the final form
of niche graves known from Olbia is also accepted by M. Parovich-Peshikan (see: Parovich-Peshikan
1974, 19). Its is an important point in the discussion on the ethnic context of this grave form that the
appearance of niche graves in Thracian environment (e.g. Branichevko near Varna) is considered a sign
of Thracian-Scythian intergroup relations (marital exchange). See: Dremsizova 1958, pp. 455-456
They are not present e.g. in Berezan: Kozub 1987, 33 -34; Skudnova 1988, 7.
The highest frequency of niche graves in the Olbian necropolis falls at the end of the 4th - beginning
of the 3rd century B.C.: Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 14-19; Kozub 1987, 33; Skudnova 1988, 7.
In Olbia and its surroundings, niche graves without a characteristic step are more common; see:
Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 15.
The lack of characteristic steps in Olbian niche graves was also pointed out by Olkhovskii (1974,
115); see also: Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 15; Kozub 1987, 33.



Fig. 8. Grave No. 119.

catacombs according to V.S. Olkhovskii (Olkhovskii 1977, 112, Fig. 2), although
the state of preservation does not allow a detailed description. Catacomb graves are
considered typical for the Scythian environment, particularly in the steppes, as early as the
7th century B.C., although they are most widespread during the 4th century (Olkhovskii
1977, 110 [map] and 124; see also: Olkhovskii 1978, 83 [table]). The appearance of such
graves in other regions may even help mark out the scale and directions of Scythian ethnic
expansion. (Skoryi 1993-94, 151-162).
If we consider the orientation of burial sites in relation to the cardinal points,
orientation to the east dominates in the necropolis, which is typical for the Greek
Olbian necropolis during the archaic period (Skudnova 1988, 8). Orientation to the
west is, on the other hand, an immanent feature of burial rites in the Scythian ethnic
environment (see e.g.: Olkhovskii 1977, 122, Table 2) which shows an astral aspect of
beliefs regarding posthumous fortunes of the deceased. An equalization of proportions
between those variants on the necropoleis of Greek colonies on the north-western Black
Sea coast and surrounding territories (Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 55-56) undoubtedly
results from the formation of a new, Greek-barbaric (Scythian) society. A Scythian
origin (or rather a steppe-nomadic one) should also be attributed to the custom of
providing the deceased in the necropoleis of Olbia and its chora with consumer gifts (at
Koshary mainly pieces of mutton) as well as lining the graves with a bed of grass (reed)
covered with a felt cloth (see: Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 59-62).


The model of material culture defined through the lens of tomb inventories in
the described grave circle leaves no doubt about its syncretic character. Inhabitants of
the Koshary settlement were representatives of a society going through a process of
uniformization, characteristic for the Greek Late Classical and Hellenistic culture (e.g.
considering pottery), which simultaneously adapted local material cultural elements
that to some extent were technologically or functionally attractive. This may be true
in the case of Scythian-type armament, as a matter of fact only represented by archers
weapons (quiver, arrows). It is also possible that they played a role of prestige indicators.
At the same time, some elements of funerary equipment were also attributes of sex of
the deceased (e.g. arrowheads, kantharoi for males; jugs, whorls, beads for females).
It would be equally intriguing to determine the chronological framework of graves
concentrated around barrow No. 55 and the inner structure of their dating as their ethnocultural characteristics. Unfortunately, we do not have research tools precise enough to
solve this problem. Incomplete grave inventories as well as long time frames of most of
the archaeological finds do not make this task any simpler. We do have 23 radiocarbon
dates from 17 graves in the analyzed group (Specification 2);43 however, in relation to
the discussed period those designations may only be treated as approximate. This is the
result of the nature of the dating method itself, as well as of the narrow time frame of the
researched phenomenon that is equal, roughly, to the value of standard error. Therefore,
if we discard the three dates falling in the 6th century B.C. as completely unreliable,44
the period of time between the oldest (374129 B.C.) and youngest (25398 B.C.)
designations for this group of graves is 121 years.45
A considerable part of the radiocarbon dates fall around the turn of 3rd century
B.C. Such a picture of the time frame for the analyzed grave group, in the context of
our knowledge of the dating of the entire Koshary site, does not seem faulty (Redina,
Chochorowski 2001, 143; Chochorowski et al. 2000, 187, 191, 201; Chochorowski et
al. 2004, 247, 252-253, 264-265).

The size of this article is insufficient for an evaluation of the structure and credibility of those
designations, especially in the context of whether the method is adequate for protohistoric periods. It
will be published elsewhere.
Resulting among others from the fluctuation of radioactive carbon content in the atmosphere in the
period of 400-200 B.C. and equivocal calibration designations. Proof that in the case of the Koshary
necropolis radiocarbon dating at the 6th century is unreliable is for instance the date obtained for grave
No. 112 (524165 B.C.), since a series of 12 arrowheads were discovered inside that certainly date to
the 4th-3rd century B.C.
For clarity of argument, the author uses the so-called point dates (see Specification 2). Full data
regarding those and other radiocarbon dates for the part of the Koshary necropolis researched during
1998-2000 will be published elsewhere.



Grave 69




Grave 77




Grave 77




Grave 78




Grave 78




Grave 78




Grave 81




Grave 83




Grave 83




Grave 85




Grave 104




Grave 107




Grave 108




Grave 109




Grave 111




Grave 112




Grave 116




Grave 116




Grave 116




Grave 117




Grave 118




Grave 118




Grave 119




Specification 2. Radiocarbon dating of graves around barrow No. 55 (Oldest and

newest underlined, 6th century B.C. dates in italics).


The question therefore arises whether it reliably defines the time span during which
the population functioned that buried their dead around barrow no. 55. Even if the
available dates do not precisely establish a chronological framework of this period, they
still confirm that the area around barrow No. 55 was used continuously and successively
by a theoretically distinct population during that entire period. This would mean that
during that period the population retained a sense of self-identity and constituted a firm
social structure among the users of the necropolis.
To sum up the above remarks, we may state that the grave circle surrounding barrow
No. 55 may represent a social group with a natural anthropological (biological) structure
that functioned during the entire period during which the Koshary necropolis was in use.
It was perhaps bound by a sense of belonging to a kin group extending to outsiders by
marriage or other social adoption procedures. The group is characterized by the distinct
social roles of males and females as well as by high social prestige and considerably lower
age limit for child initiation. Thus hypothetically distinguished, the community may have
derived from an environment that professed certain cultural principles typical for Scythian
ethnic groups. During its society-building process, the community that used the Koshary
necropolis and settlement was subject to a strong pressure from the Greek cultural model
characterized by its unifying qualities. We may not rule out that individuals from outside
of the groups dominating the north-western Black Sea coast at that time (e.g. SauromatianSarmatian environments) also appeared there and were included in local social structures.

Chochorowski J.
2004 Radiouglerodnaia khronologiia Bolshogo Ryzhanovskogo kurgana,
[in:] Kimmerowie, Scytowie, Sarmaci. Ksiga powicona pamici
profesora Tadeusza Sulimirskiego, J. Chochorowski (ed.), Krakw,
Chochorowski J., Skoryj S., Grigorev V., Rydzewski J.
1998a Trzeci sezon bada wykopaliskowych w Ryanwce, raj. Zvenigorodka, obl. erkassy (Ukraina), MSROA XIX, 89-93.
Chochorowski J., Kovaljuch N., Skripkin V.
1998b Subkalibrowane datowanie radiowglowe grobowca ksicia scytyjskiego z Wielkiego Kurhanu Ryanowskiego, MSROA, XIX,


Chochorowski J., Papuci-Wadyka E., Redina E.

2000 Polsko-ukraiskie badania wykopaliskowe zespou stanowisk z okresu antycznego w miejscowoci Koary koo Odessy, MSROA XXI, 185-202.
Chochorowski J., Papuci-Wadyka E., Redina E.
2004 Polnisch-ukrainische Ausgrabungen an dem antiken Fundstellenkomplex
von Koary bei Odessa, [in:] Recherches Archologiques de 1993-1998,
Krakw, 243-265.
Dremsizova Tsi.
1958 Nadrobnata mogila pri s. Branichevo [in:] Izsledovanie v chest akad.
D. Dechev, Sofia, 445-456.
Fialko E.E.
1991 Pogrebeniia zhenshchin s oruzhiem u Skifov, [in:] Kurgany stepnoi
Skifii, Kiev, 4-18.
Kozub Iu.I.
1987 Pogrebalnye sooruzheniia nekropolei Olvii i ee okrugi [in:] Kultura
naseleniia Olvii i ee okrugi v arkhaicheskoe vremia, Kiev, 27-34.
Machinskii D.A.
1971 O vremeni pervogo aktivnogo vystupleniia Sarmatov v Podneprovie
po svidetelstvam antychnykh istochnikov, Arkheologicheskii Sbornik
13, 30-54.
Olkhovskii V.S.
1977 Skifskie katakomby v Severnom Prichernomore, Sovetskaia
Arkheologiia 4, 108-128.
1978 Ranneskifskie pogrebalnye sooruzheniia po Gerodotu i arkheologicheskim dannym, Sovetskaia Arkheologia 4, 83-97.
Papuci-Wadyka E., T.N. Kokorzhitskaia
2004 Greek Amphorae from the Polish-Ukrainian Excavations at Koshary,
Odessa District (Fourth and Third Centuries B.C.) a First
Presentation, [in:] Transport Amphorae and Trade in the Eastern
Mediterranean, Acts of the International Colloquium at the Danish
Institute at Athens, September 26-29, 2002 J. Eiring, J. Lund (eds.),
Athens (Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens, vol. 5), 313-324.


Papuci-Wadyka E., Redina E. F., with collaboration of Stelmach S.

forthcoming The Black glaze pottery from the Polish-Ukrainian excavations
at Koshary (Black Sea coast, Odessa district). First presentation, [in:]
' , 2005,
[7th Scientific Meeting on Hellenistic Pottery, Aigio 2005], Athens.
Parovich-Peshikan M.
1974 Nekropol Olvii ellinisticheskogo vremeni, Kiev.
Petrenko V.G.
1978 Ukrasheniia Skifii VII-III vv. do n. e., Arkheologiia CCCP, Svod
Arkheologicheskikh Istochnikov, D 4-5, Moskva.
Polin S.V.
1984 ProsarmatskezavoiuvanniapivnichnogoPrichornomoria,Arkheologiia
43, 24-34.
Polin S.V., Simonenko A.V.
1990 Rannesarmatskie pogrebeniia Severnogo Prichernomoria, [in:]
Issledovaniia po arkheologii Podneprovia, Dnepropetrovsk, 76-95.
Redina E.F., Chochorowski J.
2001 Koshary, [in:] Ancient Greek Sites on the Northwest Coast of the
Black Sea, T.L. Samoylova (ed.), Kiev, 139-154.
Simonenko A.V.
1993 Sarmaty Tavrii, Kiev.
Skoryj S.A.
1993-1994 Die Frage der Beziehungen zwischen der Bevlkerung der
Schwarzmeersteppen und der Bevlkerung der Walsteppen im
Dneprgebiet im 5. bis 4. Jh. V. Chr., Acta Archaeologica Carpathica,
XXXII, 1993-1994, 151-166.
Skoryi S.
1998 Osnovy arkheologicheskogo datirovaniia Bolshogo Ryzhanovskogo
kurgana, MSROA XIX, 119-137.
Skoryi S.
2003 Skify v Dneprovskoi Pravoberezhnoi Lesostepi (problema vydeleniia
iranskogo etnokulturnogo elementa), Kiev.


Skudnova V.M.
1988 Arkhaicheskii nekropol Olvii, Leningrad.
Smirnov K.F.
1964 Savromaty. Ranniaia istoriia i kultura Sarmatov, Moskva.


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PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Maciej W. Czech
Krakw, Poland

Prospects of archaeological underwater research

of the Black Sea basin
The Black Sea is an inland sea, part of the Atlantic Ocean, between South-Eastern
Europe and Asia. The Kerch Strait links it with the Azov Sea and the Bosphorous Strait
(through the Marmara Sea) and the Dardanelles with the Mediterranean. It may not
look too impressive on the map compared with the neighbouring Mediterranean Sea,
but in objective terms, its area of 420,300 square kilometers is still huge territory. Its
depth reaches 2211 meters. In the summer, temperature of the water near surface is an
average 22-25 degrees centigrade; however, during winter it is 6 to 11 degrees centigrade,
although in the north it could fall to zero. Such rivers as the Danube, Dniester, Dnieper,
and Boh drain into the Black Sea.
While reading this geographical data, one may think that the Black Sea is just
a warmer, shallower, and smaller brother of the Mediterranean. But it is important that
in the ancient times it had quite a different reputation. Greek seamen called it axenos,
which means inhospitable. Their bad opinion was due to very strong storms in this
area. Tribes living on its coast were believed to be very dangerous (Ballard 2001, 55). It
should be remembered that in ancient times sailing on this distant sea always involved
big risk. A voyage without a compass in bad weather was positively dangerous. In the
Roman period, its reputation was much better. The Black Sea was called than Pontus
Euxinus (Piotrowicz 1993, 2 ff.), which could be translated as a hospitable sea. It was
much better known thanks to increasing settlement in the area.
With a long history of maritime activity in this region and big variety of civilizations
on its coast, it became a paradise for underwater archaeological research. However,


sometimes there is a convergence problem between data from underwater finds and land
excavations. Scientists do not always compare data from one part of the site, excavated
by the divers, with information from another explored with traditional techniques.
It can lead to false conclusions, because it makes for our data being incomplete.
Thanks to extensive activity of archaeologists on the coast of the Black Sea, we know
of intensive settlement in this region for about three thousand years.1 During all that
time, the sea was a major factor consolidating the whole area. It is known that rivers
in the ancient times were very important commercial routes in Central and Eastern
Europe. As a consequence, during the ages the Black Sea served as a bridge between
Europe, Central Asia, and the Mediterranean region. Cultural development in this area
was so fast because of maritime transport. Data from research of ports and wrecks are
very important in enlarging our knowledge of the history of this place, most of the
information coming from underwater exploration. In past decades, Ukrainian and
Russian scientists began to use underwater techniques. Still, this is just an early stage.2 At
the same time, political changes in Eastern Europe made it possible for scientists from
Western countries to start exploring the area. In recent decades we also obtained better
techniques and tools that can be used in the underwater archaeology. Development
of advances in diving equipment, vehicles, and search tools have made deeper surveys
The condition of underwater archaeology in the Black Sea countries is relatively
good. Regional governments and explorers understand that such explorations are crucial
to uncovering the past. The Underwater Archaeology Exploration and Training Center
of the University of Kiev has conducted regular underwater surveys in the Ukraine
since 1991 (White 1994, 98). At an early stage, researchers identified the ancient port
of Lampas mentioned in Periplus Ponti Euxini by Pseudo-Arrian in the 2nd century
Another center that works in the Black Sea region is the Maritime Archaeology
Institute. In cooperation with the Americans, the Institute was able to establish
a Museum of Underwater Archaeology in Bodrum where some highly interesting
artefacts are exhibited.4
Ancient seafarers did not know that the Black Sea was peculiar. In fact its waters
became salty only 7500 years ago. Previously, it was a lake about 1/3 smaller than the sea


http://nautarch.tamu.edu/projects/crimea/crimea.htg, 13.III.2006
As above.
As above.
As above.


nowadays. Its shore was about 150 metres lower than now. Conditions changed when
the level of water rose. The waters of the Marmara Sea cut the Bosphorous valley. In the
opinion of many scientists, this accident was described in the Bible and by many ancient
writers (Pitman, Ryan 1998, 55). Specimens of seabed sediment and mollusk shells
also prove it. A direct result of that is the distribution of layers in the waters. The layer
between 0 and 90 metres is oxygenated; between 90 and 200 metres, it is mixed, and
below 200 meters it is very salty with no oxygen (Ballard 2001, 55-56). There are big
temperature differences in the Black Sea that cause movement of water. The oxygen from
the surface does not penetrate to the seabed. The layer close to the seabed is built mostly
of hydrogen sulphide. The phenomenon was observed in many lakes around the world
where lack of oxygen and decay of organic matter results in production of poisonous
gases. This process is anomalous for the sea5, affecting archaeological exploration. First
of all, a changing coastline can be a source of information about the placement of ancient
settlements. Willard Bascom6 discovered a second important factor. He proved that the
lack of oxygen in water has a great impact on preservation of timber. That is why wrecks
and cargoes in Black Sea waters are remarkably well preserved (Ballard 2001, 60).
The theory remained unproved for many years. According to most underwater
archaeologists and maritime historians, sea routes in ancient times ran near the coastline.
In their opinion, ancient seafarers sailed only within eyeshot of land. They were right in
many cases. Evidence to prove this can be found in many ancient sources. It is obvious
that navigators had to visit different ports during their trip.
The latest research, including that conducted by Robert Ballard7, has proved
the presence of archaeological remains also in deeper layers, lacking oxygen. In such
conditions, remains are better preserved, the best example being wreck D (Turkey)
(Ballard 2001, 68).
Another interesting search took place in close to the ancient Greek port of Sinope.8
At the beginning it was an only settlement on the Black Sea coast, but later colonists
began to settle across the sea (Ballard 2001, 64-65).
When the Black Sea project was announced, the area began to attract the attention
of underwater archaeologists. In 1988, a group of divers, properly equipped and headed
by David Mindell from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, arrived in the area.
Hard as they worked, they found no remains of ancient sites.

http://www.nationalgeographic.com/blacksea, 13.III.2006
As above.
Exploration headed by R. Ballard near Turkish Sinope, Black Sea Project.
http://www.museum.upenn.edu/Sinop/SinopIntro.htm, 13.III.2006



The people involved in former project came back in 2000 on board the North
Horizon ship. This time, the first ancient remains were found in September. It was
a kind of building, lying about 100 metres into the land. The exploration team decided
not to explore the site. Instead, they decided to find as much archaeological sites as
possible. In fact they were right. Two days later they discovered the wreck of a ship, many
ancient amphorae, an iron anchor, and timbers. The wreck was identified as a Byzantine
merchant ship from the 4th century A.D. A second wreck was found during the same
night. This ship was dated at the Greco-Roman era. Another vessel that was discovered
during the same expedition had been built between the 4th and 6th centuries. The last
wreck found by the archaeologists was perfectly preserved, with every part of the hull
and the mast standing vertically 10 meters high. Experts concluded that it was very old:
they dated it at ca. 410-520 A.D. It seems to be the best-preserved wreck ever found.
It is greatly possible that information obtained during examination of this wreck will
prove of key importance for our knowledge about ancient ships. Based on presented
material, we may conclude that the Black Sea played an extremely important role. The
Roman Pontus Euxinus seems to be very hospitable for underwater archaeologists.

Ballard R. D.
2001 Potop, National Geographic Polska 5 (20).
Piotrowicz L.
1993 Atlas Historii Staroytnej, Warszawa-Wrocaw.
Pitman W., Ryan W.
1998 Noahs Flood , Simon and Schuster.
White P. T.
1994 Crimea: Pearl of a Fallen Empire, National Geographic 8.


. ,
, ,
, ,
, .


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Krzysztof Kaczanowski,
Andrzej Kosydarski, Elbieta Niedwiecka
Krakw, Poland

Results of 1998-2004 anthropological studies

at an ancient burial site at Koshary (the Ukraine)
[Pls. 7-10]

Anthropological studies were conducted by the authors researchers from the

Department of Anthropology of the Jagiellonian University in the area of the Koshary,
Ukraine, necropolis in the years 1999,1 2000, 2001, 2003, and 2004. The authors
were invited to participate in field work by two cooperating institutions: the NANU
Archaeological Museum in Odessa and the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian
University in Cracow.2 The Archaeological Museum in Odessa gave the authors
permission to work out and publish the results of anthropological investigations.
The present project studied 157 skeletons dating from the 6-4th century B.C. whose
state of preservation varied but was mainly poor.
All the burials under analysis included skeletons. This in contrast to some earlier
studies where a few crematory3 graves were found.
The most frequently found types of burials are niche graves composed of an entrance and a lateral niche where a body was placed, and the entrance was blocked with
big slabs and stones. Another type of graves is represented by large chamber tombs (socalled catacombs) with a deep entrance shaft and a big grave chamber cut in the ground.
A third type includes shallow cavity graves, generally gravely damaged by erosion or

In 1999, skeletons were examined that had been extracted in previous years, mainly in 1998.
The authors wish to thank Dr. Vladimir P. Vanchugov, Director of the Archaeological Museum in
Odessa, and Dr. Evgenia Fiedorovna Redina, as well as the Polish investigators: Prof. Ewdoksia PapuciWadyka and Prof. Jan Chochorowski, who invited them to field collaboration, while the Odessa
Museum facilitated the authors participation in field studies.
Oral information from Dr. Evgenia Fiedorovna Redina.



farming. They all represented the poorest kind of burial (Chochorowski et al., 1999,
2000, 2001; Redina et al., 1999, 2001; Papuci-Wadyka et al., 2003, 2004).
As has been mentioned above, the state of preservation of the skeletons varied due
to the following reasons:
natural destruction of skeletons, especially those buried in shallow graves,
numerous robbery diggings, both in historical times and in our age,
destruction (crushing) of skeletons (catacombs and niche graves) upon sudden
collapse of grave vault.
During field and laboratory investigations, both cranial and facial skeletons
were described and measured in detail, and basic measurements of bones of the
postcranial skeleton (extremity bones) were taken to permit evaluation of live body
Due to the damage (weathering) and brittleness of bones, measurements were
made whenever possible before, during or immediately after discovery, still on the
burial site. Age at the moment of death and sex of adult individuals were determined
on the basis of anatomical traits according to Martin`s method (Malinowski,
Boiow,1997). If needed, anatomical-anthropological observation was contrasted
with archaeological sex indicators. Such a procedure permitted the authors to divide
individuals of the early juvenile age Juvenis in respect of sex (Pl. 7:1).
The burial site, which appeared related to the Greek culture, showed traces of
Greco-Scythian contacts, indications including grave furnishings. Therefore, a future research issue to be explored by the authors, apart from the classic anthropological and anatomical description and the biological condition (pathology, demography) of the population, will be the question whether bone remnants permit
distinguishing skulls belonging to Greek colonists (i.e., the anthropological Mediterranean type, possibly Armenoid) and to the Scythian population (most probably the Nordic type), or possibly to a mixed type. Of equal importance will be an
attempt to capture possible influences of other anthropological formations.
These ambitious plans seem difficult to implement, since, of the 256 graves discovered in the Koshary necropolis, the archaeologists were able to handle remnants
of 157 skeletons in a varied state of preservation. In fact, the number of graves in
which at least fragments of skeletons had been preserved was lower, as there were
graves in which 2 persons had been buried. Most frequently, such double graves contained children or an adult and a child.


The majority of skeletons were poorly or even very poorly preserved. No

measurements or morphological observations could be carried out on many of them,
nor could their age at the moment of death be accurately assessed (hence the adult
age category in Pl. 7:1), nor could the sex of the dead individuals be determined (cf. in
Pl. 7:1 sex unspecified). Naturally, grave furnishings were not always present and even
when found, they did not necessarily offer clues about an individuals sex.
Therefore, despite the fact that 256 graves were discovered, of which 157 contained
preserved skeletons or their fragments, the series under study is not necessarily

I. Demographic remarks
Among more than one hundred skeletons, 67.5% are those of adult individuals
starting with the age category Juvenis/Adultus. When persons dead at the Juvenis age
are included in the adult category, the percentage of those who survived adolescence
amounts to 72%, according to the original data (Pl. 7:2). However, only a few of them
provided a basis for detailed anatomic-anthropological description and anthropological
It is noteworthy that the number of skeletons of adult individuals recognised as male
skeletons (N=41) is lower than the number of female skeletons (N=55). However, it
seems premature to talk about a distorted sex ratio. The in situ knowledge of the burial
site and individual graves permits the authors to assume that the distorted proportion
of the sexes is secondary, a consequence of frequent robbery diggings in mens graves,
which usually contained rich ornaments.
According to the original material (Pl. 8:1), childrens death rate4 only slightly
below 30% indicates an average-to-poor biological condition of the population. As has
been accounted for in a successive analyses, the fact to face is that the number of dead
children was actually larger.
If the age of death is considered separately for men and women (Pl. 7:1), a higher
percentage can be seen of deaths of females than of males in the age categories
Juvenis, Juvenis/Adultus, Adultus (females: 58.2%, males: 47.9%). When the age
category Adultus/Maturus (regarded as a life period of final procreativity) is included,
a comparison of the age of death in a theoretical reproductive period shows the following
sex-dependent mortality ratios: females 80.0%, males 55.5%.

In Pl. 8:1 there are data showing the distribution of deaths adjusted for children according to
Henneberg`s theoretical assumptions (Henneberg, 1977).



It is also noteworthy that the male death rate, starting with the age category Maturus, is larger than in the female group (women 10.9%, men 31.8%). This phenomenon
probably reflects a large number of female deaths in the reproductive period.
Among skeletons of the general adult category, with known sex and at an age
defined as that of death, the percentage of male and female deaths was similar. All
individuals deceased at a mature age whose age at death could not be more precisely
determined constituted 17.0% of all those deceased at an age above the Juvenis age
category. It should be noted that in a majority of cases the authors included a not
old notice in the description, which should be understood as skeletons without senile changes, hence belonging to neither the Senilis age category nor, although this is
highly likely, even to the Maturus/Senilis age group.
The number of bodies at the Senilis age is extremely small, even surprisingly so,
compared with other burial sites. The very low number of individuals who reached
old age seems even more baffling as the preserved skeletons or their fragments do
not show any morbid symptoms. Only cranial injuries (two skulls with arrow heads
stuck in them) could be observed. The short lifespan in women may probably be
a consequence of perinatal deaths, while in men it might be due to the hardship
and dangers of warriors or sailors life. Based on an analysis of the death age of all
individuals, when 18 adults had been included in the estimation in proportion to all
age categories starting with Adultus, a death rate was compiled (Pl. 8:1).
In the diagram, the following parameters were included:
Dx number of bodies in age category x;
dx proportion of bodies in age category x;
lx proportion of individuals reaching age x;
qx probability of death at age x;
Lx number of years reached by individuals at age x;
Tx number of years to be reached by all individuals at age x;
exo life expectancy for individuals at age x.
In Fig. 4, Henneberg`s adjustment for children was taken into account (Henneberg,
1977). The data included in the diagram (adjusted for children) show that the number
of buried individuals exceeded 210, which does not agree with the number of grave
cavities found, i.e., 256. It should thus be assumed that the missing ones were adults
graves, which is in line with field observations. Many a time, supposed grave cavities
were found to be empty of skeleton remnants. Cavity dimensions clearly indicated
a large, mature body size.


In Pl. 8:1, the do-14 index of 29.30% after correction (Pl. 8:2) permitted the authors
to suppose that the number of individuals who did not reach the age of 14 was 48.08%,
i.e., almost a half of the population.
Plates 8:1-2 show a very low value of life expectancy for persons aged 20 (eo20),
hardly reaching 13 years. Such a small value of the eo20 index points to a very poor
biological condition of the population. This phenomenon is hard to understand and
account for. On the other hand, indisputable facts are a very small proportion of
individuals at old age, a large number of infantile deaths, and short life expectancy
(eoo=19 years; Pl. 8:2).
No comparative data for the Black Sea Basin at that period have been available so
far. It may, however, be of interest that much earlier (2000-1600 B.C.) in Lerna, the eo20
index equalled 15.8 years (Angel 1969). At the same location, from which colonists
may have come, the Rpot index (a potential reproduction index) equalled 0.66, while for
Koshary it was only 0.55. The Jbo index (biological condition index) was similar at those
two locations and equalled 0.30 for Lerna and 0.28 for Koshary (Pl. 8:2).
For a similar chronological period, but a completely different cultural area from
Polish territory, the biological condition parameters were higher than those for Koshary.
The latter remark only states the fact but does not provide a basis for a comparative
analysis (Machnikowie, Kaczanowski 1987; Kaczanowski, Niedwiecka, 1992).

II. Head and face propor ons. Body height. Typological remarks
The present study investigated only those skeletons for which at least one head or
face index could be calculated and live body height could be estimated.
In both sexes (Pl. 9:1-2), the body height was markedly differentiated, and in the
male group it exceeded the average. In females, two skeletons showed a live height
defined as average. In males, body height variability scale was very small; in the female
group, one skeleton revealed a considerably smaller body height (grave No. 173: body
height = 146.5 cm). In the male group, lower body height (162 cm) was found for
a skeleton (not in the case of a low-height individual, though) from grave no. 246. The
cranial and facial skeleton indices are markedly differentiated in comparison with the
body height index.
In the male group (Pl. 9:1), the main head index for the general structure of skulls
in a majority of cases describes them as long or extremely long; only in two cases (graves
Nos. 38 and 79) do index values define them as average-headed.
In the female group (Pl. 9:2), the variability scale is still larger, as it ranges from
hyperdolichocephalus (grave No. 74) to hyperbrachycephalus (grave No. 244; cephalic


index = 87.7). Between these two extreme values of skull proportions, there are
intermediate ones: dolichocephalus or mesocephalus. Facial indices: the complete upper
and nasal indices in both sexes characterize the skulls under examination as narrowheaded (stenocephalus) with narrow noses. It is noteworthy that the face and nose of
a skull from grave No. 34, whose indices characterise the face as being medium-to-wide,
diverge from the prevailing image presented above.
In both sexes, the value of the orbital cavity index usually corresponds to that of
definitely low or distinctly high orbital cavities, whereas intermediate forms of the
orbital cavity are rare.
Due to the vast variability scale of all the index values, acceptance of their median
values seems to be unfounded.
Taking into account the estimated live body height, individual index values, as well
as the knowledge of morphological traits (based on personal observation) permitted
the authors to conclude that the anthropological elements are represented by the
Mediterranean element the male series (graves Nos. 54, 57, 100, 107) and the female
series (graves Nos. 58, 74, 123, 157, 205, 210, 221), as well as by the Nordic element
the male series (graves Nos. 35, 38, 79, 246) and the female series (graves Nos. 196,
The values of the main head index and orbital cavities in the female group (graves
Nos. 173, 244) point to components of the Armenoid element.
The fact that on the basis of cranial indices individual skeletons are attributed to
the Mediterranean, Nordic, or Armenoid elements does not fully agree with their body
height. It should be stressed that even if the cranial and facial skull indices correspond
with the principles of the Nordic race (female grave No. 222), or the Armenoid race (female grave No. 244); in both these cases a small body height partly disagrees with this
assumption. It should be borne in mind that body height is a highly ecosensitive trait;
besides, low height may be a consequence of developmental disturbances and cannot be
uncritically accepted as a racial trait.
Before the research concludes and enough material is obtained, no final conclusion
can be reached; however, one fact already seems unquestionable: the variability scale of
skull index traits referring to both male and female series, accepted for the Koshary necropolis, clearly points to the presence of two basic anthropological forms. One shows
characteristics of Mediterranean Basin inhabitants (the Mediterranean type), while the
other indicates the Nordic type (perhaps Scythian). And last but not least, it seems remarkable that female skulls (graves Nos. 173 and 244) have been classified as the Arme58


noid type. Both these above-mentioned skulls have very high orbital cavities and short
heads. Similar index values have been found for a male skull (grave No. 79).
With regard to some indices, the presence of forms showing intermediate
morphology (between the Mediterranean and the Nordic types) cannot be regarded as
proof of the biological merging of two anthropological formations; it should rather be
accepted that each of those groups may show great variability. Hence the issue at stake
is not necessarily the presence of intermediate forms, but rather intra-group variability
which makes the direction of distribution of the variables under analysis create the
impression that intermediate forms are likely to exist.

Acsadi G. J., Nemeskeri
1970 History of human life span and mortality, Akademiai Kiado,
Angel J. L.
1969 The Bases of Paleodemography, American Journal of Phisical
Anthropology 30, 3, 427-437.
Chochorowski J., Papuci-Wadyka E., Redina E.F.
1999 Polish-Ukrainian Archaeological Research of Ancient Settlement and
Necropolis in Koshary, Odessa district. Preliminary Report, Studies
in Ancient Art and Civilization 9, 55-63.
2000 Polsko-ukraiskie badania wykopaliskowe zespou stanowisk z okresu
antycznego w miejscowoci Koary koo Odessy, MSROA XXI,
2001 Polsko-ukraiskie badania wykopaliskowe zespou stanowisk
z okresu antycznego w miejscowoci Koary koo Odessy, [in:]
Z archeologii Ukrainy i Jury Ojcowskiej, J. Lech i J. Partyka (eds.),
Ojcw, 495-514.
Papuci-Wadyka E., Chochorowski J., Redina E.F.
2003 Zesp stanowisk antycznych (osiedle i nekropola) w Koszarach koo
Odessy po trzech latach bada, streszczenie referatu wygoszonego na
posiedzeniu naukowym Komisji Archeologicznej O/PAN


w Krakowie 27 lutego 2001 r., Sprawozdania z Posiedze Komisji

Naukowych PAN XLV/1, stycze-czerwiec 2001, Krakw, 1-4.
Papuci-Wadyka E., Chochorowski J., Redina E.F., with contribution by: Bodzek J.,
Machowski W., Nosova L.V., Kokorzhitskaia T.N.
2004 Koshary grecka osada nad Morzem Czarnym w wietle picioletnich
bada polsko-ukraiskiej ekspedycji (1998-2002), PORTOLANA.
Studia Mediterranea 1, Krakw, 47-64.
Henneberg M.
1975 Notes on the reproduction possibility of human prehistorical
populations, Przegld Antropologiczny 41, 1, 75-89.
1977 Proportion of dying children in paleodemographical studies, Przegld
Antropologiczny 43, 105-114.
Henneberg M., Piontek J.
1975 Biological state index of human groups, Przegld Antropologiczny
41, 2, 191-201.
Kaczanowski K., Niedwiecka E.
1992 Analiza demograficzna populacji kultury uyckiej z Kietrza.
Cmentarzysko ciaopalne, [in:] Kaczanowski K., Kurnatowski K.,
Malinowski A., Piontek J., Zaludnienie ziem polskich midzy XII Iw.
p.n.e. a IV w. n.e. materiay rdowe, prba oceny, Warszawa.
Machnikowie A. J., Kaczanowski K.
1987 Osada i cmentarzysko z wczesnego okresu epoki brzu na Grze
Klin w Iwanowicach, Wrocaw.
Malinowski A., Boiow W.
1997 Podstawy Antropometrii. Metody, techniki normy, Warszawad.
Winiewska E., Szybowicz B.
1989 Badania nad struktur populacji grupy Tarnobrzeskiej, [in:] Grupa
Tarnobrzeska Kultury uyckiej (Muzeum Okrgowe w Rzeszowie),
Rzeszw, 503-525.



. 1998-2004 .

1998-2004 .
157 , 256 . ,
, . (. 7:1-2),
(. 8:2).
. .
: , , :
( ?), ,
, , - . .


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Marta Kania
Krakw, Poland

Daily Life in Ancient Koshary:

Some Comments (Part 1)1
[Pls. 11-13]

The Greek cities that colonized the Black Sea coast were guided by three main purposes:
searching for fertile lands to grow crops, seeking metal resources, and finding new markets
for their goods. During a few centuries of Greek colonization, within the whole territory
of the northern coast of the Black Sea, lots of agricultural settlements were set up in
addition to the big political and cultural centres such as Tyras, Olbia, and Chersonesos.
Such settlements, constituting the economic hinterland of their metropoleis, engaged
mainly in agriculture, animal husbandry, and fishing. Their inhabitants also pursued crafts,
producing basic items and tools for everyday use at the farm and in the home. Luxury
goods and wheel-made pottery were imported from metropoleis or other centers located
within the trade network, quite often from Greece (Kryzhitskii, Krapivina 2001, 27-28).
The same probably applies to Koshary. The archaeological research carried out in
the ancient settlement since the 1950s has allowed the hypothesis that this settlement
constituted a part of the economic hinterland of Olbia that comprised the lower Boh
and Dnieper river basins. The Greek settlers chose the place by the estuary of the
Tiligulskii Liman for its favourable geo-political conditions that could ensure economic
development and functioning of the settlement. The Liman provided fresh water and
was a renowned route leading inland. The sea, well known by merchants and fishermen

The present article and the poster presented at the conference were prepared on the basis of research
carried out from 1998 to 2005 by the Polish part of the expedition team working at Koshary (Trenches
IV, VII, and VIII). The discussion constitutes an attempt to summarise the results of the said excavations
and proposed initial research hypotheses. Photos in this article by W. Machowski, E. Papuci-Wadyka,
R. Saboski.



from this area for at least two centuries, provided sustenance and allowed trade
contacts.2 The fertile lands assured excellent conditions for cultivation and the steppes
reaching beyond the horizon were suitable for pasturage. The stable relations with the
local people (nomadic tribes) gave a chance for peaceful existence of inhabitants.
Reconstruction of daily life in Greek settlements in the Black Sea area is quite difficult. Archaeological material often preserves exceptional objects, not in daily use.
Thanks to figurative art and vase painting we have at our disposal material illustrating
daily activities of Greek oikumene inhabitants. Among many subjects pictured, there
are also scenes showing people working the land or engaged in threshing and gardening.
Iconographic sources indicate that land cultivation involved use of the harrow, plough,
and hoe, used also in gardening. Crops were harvested with sickle and scythe. Threshing took place directly in the field or on a specially prepared threshing-floor within the
settlement; flails or sticks were used (Tabasz 1977, passim; Koshelenko, et al. (eds.)
1984, 154-155).3
Crops were the most sought-after product in Greek trade, and growing was the main
task of settlements on the Black Sea coast. Aerial photographs of the Koshary site, taken at
the end of the 20th century, revealed the presence of roads and arable fields surrounding
the settlement in ancient times (Bruyako et al. 1991, 37-43).4 Unfortunately, after many
years of agricultural work in the area surrounding the site, it is impossible to identify
any structures connected with farming, for example walls or enclosures marking field
borders. The only traces of land cultivation and crop growing were preserved fragments
of metal artefacts, probably agricultural tools and implements,5 and stone seed grinders

The first Greek outpost in the northern part of the Black Sea coast was set up as early as the mid-7th
century B.C. on the Berezan peninsula (now an island), a few dozen kilometres from the present village
of Koshary (Koshelenko et al. (eds.)1984, 33; Kryzhitskii, Krapivina 2001a, 11). Trade was certainly
one of the most important activities of Koshary inhabitants; they traded with Greek colonies on the
Black Sea coast, mainly with Olbia - the metropolis, and also with Heraclea Pontica, Sinope, Thasos,
Chersonesos Tauric, and Greek centres located further, Knidos or Rhodes. Luxury goods were imported
from Asia Minor or from Athens (Chochorowski et al. 2000, passim; Redina, Chochorowski 2001, 145147; Papuci-Wadyka, Kokorzhitskaia 2004, 313-324; Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2005, 208; 219- 228).
For agricultural economy, tools, and organisation of work in the ancient Greek household, see also:
Czarniecka 1958, 62-91. The ancient Greeks setting up their colonies in the Black Sea area brought not
only their customs and culture, but also methods of work, including cultivation and breeding methods.
Thus, its seems plausible that the described implements and tools were analogical in all territories of
Greek oikumene.
The authors are of the opinion that land cultivation was the basis of the economy of the ancient
settlement at Koshary. Photographs showed also that the layout of the settlement consisting of rural
homesteads is analogical to the land arrangement known from the Olbian chora area (Bruyako et al.
1991, 43). The photographic material was not available to the present; it is kept in a Kiev archive (verbal
information from Ms E.F. Redina the director of the Ukrainian expedition).



found in the settlement (Pl. 11:1). Most likely, amphorae were used to transport grain.
It was kept in storage pits under the floor of dwellings as well as in stone storage vessels6
or big earthenware.7
Grain was dried on clay plates covering a hearth or in special chambers adjoining the
central hearth. Hearths adapted to grain drying are known from many sites on the Black Sea
coast, including Olbia, Tanais, or Kozyrskovo Gorodishche (Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984,
155; Anokhin (ed.) 1989, 72). In Koshary area, the most often discovered hearths were
small, covered with flat, medium-sized pebbles and additionally reinforced with a vertical
stone slab (Pl. 11:2-3). It appears that they served mainly for cooking, not for drying grain.
In this context, the construction of the big two-chamber hearth explored in the seasons
2003 and 2004 in Trench VIII (squares 2-3-4) seems to be exceptionally interesting. On
the walls of both chambers distinctive traces were identified of clay used for coating and
polishing the inside (Pl. 12:1). In one chamber there was a shelf placed directly above the
central hearth (1.5m above the floor) made of small stones laid flat. The hearth, separated
from the adjacent chamber by vertical stone stabs, consisted of layers of stones, pebbles, and
clay; highly fired layers of black and dark-red daub have been excellently preserved till today
(Pl. 12:2). The walls of the second chamber of the furnace bear traces of fire: the big, neatly
cut stone blocks making up the southern wall of the construction, distinct red and black
trails and fired clay were noticed. It is interesting that on the surface surrounding the whole
hearth structure, a layer was identified of hard, compact, light clay (Russian omazka). An
initial hypothesis was formulated that this place may have served as a special barn floor for
threshing grain, and the hearth could be used to dry grain and maybe also to dry manually
formed clay artefacts that were placed on the shelf above the hearth.
The aforementioned storage pits were used in agriculture and food production.8
Originally, the pits probably served as a depository for grain or other food products,

For interpretation of the metal findings discovered on the site, see below.
In the Russian-language literature they were called (Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984, 154).
Such clay vessels, called pithoi (sing. pithos), were sometimes 1.5m high and their capacity could be a few
hundred litres. They were usually partly buried in the ground in order to facilitate access to the products
stored inside: provisions of grain, dried fruit, dried meat, or salted fish. Such vessels could also serve as
freshwater containers. In Olbia, a storeroom was discovered where a dozen or so vessels of this kind were
placed. A similar room was revealed in Koshary in the part of the site explored by the Ukrainian expedition;
in the so-called House of the Pithoi, six big vessels were discovered, partly buried in the ground, which
probably served for storing food supplies (Trench III, rooms XXVI and XX from the so-called House of the
Pithoi, dated to ca. the 1st half of the 4th century), (Koshelenko et al. (eds.)1984, 154, 227; Chochorowski
et al. 2000, 187; Redina, Chochorowski 2001, 143; Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2005, 199, Fig. 3).
In Trench IV (consisting of 16 squares, each 5x5m), almost 50 objects of this type were discovered and
explored in the course of the excavation campaign 1998-2002.



and after emptying, they functioned as a dump for waste such as leftovers, potsherds,
mollusc shells, damaged tools, and items used by craftsmen (Fig. 1). The pits on the
Koshary site have the shape of an elongated bell or pear, characteristic for this type of
objects (Fig. 2). So far, no stone walls reinforcing the upper part of the pits have been
identified; such walls are known from sites within the Olbian chora.9 The pits dug out
under the dwelling floor are ca. 1.50m deep, but sometimes they could reach a depth of
more than 2m. One pit explored in the season 2002 (Trench IV, square 16, pit No. 48)
is exceptional. In one of the fill levels we revealed a layer of flat stones surrounded by
stone blocks constituting a circular enclosure. In one stratum of the pit, a large group of
stone fishing net weights10 was unearthed.
Due to poor state of preservation of metal relics found in the material from the
settlement, no remains of agricultural tools and implements could be identified.
Most, indeed almost all metal artefacts are relics preserved fragmentarily only and
highly corroded. The exceptions are small items used probably in building (bronze
rivets and iron nails) as well as pieces of iron and bronze pins (Pl. 12:3). Ploughs,
harrows, and two-sided hoes of different sizes were found intact or in pieces in many
sites on the Black Sea coast. They date to as early as the archaic period. Farming tools
and implements such as scythes and iron sickles used to reap crops were found in
Olbia, and also in Berezan, Panskoe, Tanais, Kimmerikon, Iluratum, and many other
places (Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984, 154, table LV, 10-18 and 19-32). In Nikonion,
metal relics have been poorly preserved, but some of them may be identified as tools
(Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984, 30; Sekerskaia 1989, 31-33, Fig. 17, 1-7; Anokhin
(ed.) 1989, 70-72, 136-137, Fig. 28). Although no well-preserved tools and
implements used for land cultivation have so far been found at Koshary, it cannot be
assumed that they were not in use, considering the fact that agriculture was probably
the main activity of the local inhabitants. It can be supposed that highly corroded
pieces of iron and other metal artefacts of nondescript shape (lead lumps or bronze
and iron plaques) found in large quantities in the material from the settlement
are items or tools used in agriculture and gardening as well as in house building and

In many sites pit walls were covered with stone slabs coated with clay and fired. Pits designed for
storage could be even more than 6m deep and 4m in diameter; such big pits are known, inter alia,
from Olbia. The entrance to a pit was covered with stone slabs (Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984, 154-155;
Anokhin (ed.) 1989, 76, 137 and Fig. 65).
Pit No. 48 is so far one of the bigger and, at the same time, completely different from objects previously
excavated in Trench IV. Its outline was drafted in the season 2001; the pit was explored in the season
2002. For a description and interpretation of the object and the relics revealed in the fill, see: PapuciWadyka et al. 2005, 202-203, Figs. 6, 7.



Fig. 1. A pit (No. 20) designed for waste (crushed amphora pieces, a piece of roof le),
Trench IV/6.

animal husbandry.11 Equipment for threshing crops was usually made from organic
materials bones or wood, which have not survived to this day.
It poses some difficulty to determine whether a specific bronze or iron artefact was
made by local artisans or imported from other centres. It seems reasonable to assume
that agricultural tools and implements belong to the category of products manufactured
locally; in the case of Koshary it is likely that, as in Nikonion, some tools were imported
from Olbia (Sekerskaia 1989, 66-67).
The settlement being part of Olbias economic supply zone, the main activities of the
inhabitants included animal farming. Animal enclosures and stone water troughs are
typical objects revealed in many homesteads within the Black Sea region. Animal bones
found on the Koshary site, most often in waste pits and sometimes in the structures
The information concerning the relics presented in this article is provided on the basis of the
unpublished excavation annual reports prepared in 1998-2005 under the direction of Prof. E. PapuciWadyka in the Institute of Archaeology, Jagiellonian University in Krakow. Identification of metal
artefacts is, as it was mentioned earlier, very difficult; analysis and interpretation of the findings can be
based on assumptions only. From the excavations conducted in Trenches IV, VII, and VIII, 38 pieces
of unidentified iron artefacts and 14 pieces of lead items were recovered. Preliminary interpretation of
the better preserved relics functions allowed identification of 2 pieces of iron pins, 9 iron nails (or their
fragments), 7 bronze nails, 2 bronze rivets, 4 pieces of bronze pins, and 3 pieces of iron objects, identified
as fragments of knives.



Fig. 2. Drawing of a pear-shaped pit No. 47, Trench IV/15-16 (by A. Sabat; Digital
visualiza on E. Pohorska-Kleja).

of dwellings, indicate that the inhabitants engaged in animal husbandry. Pens directly
adjacent to homesteads or located within their premises were identified in Trench IV
(among others, in House No. 2).
Preliminary analysis of bone material from Trenches IV, VII, and VIII shows that
mainly cattle, but also sheep and goats were bred; horse, pig, and poultry breeding was
of less importance. Single pieces of canine bones were found too dogs were probably
used for herding and worked as guards of homesteads. Cattle breeding predominated in
animal husbandry; cattle provided milk and meat, it could also be used in farming land
(draught, fertilizer) and, to a lesser extent, for haulage. Sheep and goats were commonly
bred in the fertile steppe regions surrounding the Black Sea basin. They were relatively
easy to keep and important for the economy of Greek cities since they provided milk as
well as high-quality wool (Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984, 158-159; Anokhin (ed.) 1989,
138). Hunting satisfied dietary requirements and demand for hide: the bone material
from Koshary attests that mainly deer and fox were hunted. However, game bones are
relatively sparse.
Many fishing net weights as well as mollusc shell and fishbone dumps found in the
Koshary settlement constitute evidence that, apart from land cultivation and animal
husbandry, its inhabitants were engaged in fishing as well. The prevailing way of fishing,
known from the archaic times, was casting a weighted net with so-called angling (fish
hooks). An analysis of material obtained from the waste pits at Koshary showed that in
addition to fish (mainly the sturgeon), crabs, mussels, and oysters were gathered.


The fishing net weights found in the pits and within the limits of homesteads
were produced mainly from intentionally polished stones (pebbles) in which holes
were made. Stone weights are usually oval-shaped; some of them were modelled on
the longer side in the shape of the number 8 in order to make winding a line easier,
without a need to drill the weight through. In the course of surveys carried out in the
season 2002, the fill of Pit No. 48 contained 11 weights made of flat, polished stones of
similar size (Pl. 13:1-2). In addition to stone weights, weights made of appropriately cut
potsherds (mainly amphora bellies) were unearthed (Pl. 13:3). It is supposed that the
scrolled lead plates, appearing in relatively large quantities in waste pits and in the mixed
material from trenches surrounding stone structures, also served for weighting fishing
nets (Pl. 12:4). The angling is evidenced by the presence of small metal hooks a few
centimetres long (Pl. 12:4).12 Similar relics made of stone, large potsherds, iron, and
bronze have often been discovered in many sites in the Black Sea region (Koshelenko et
al. (eds.) 1984, table LIX, 2-13; Anokhin (ed.) 1989, 76, 138).
The importance of seafood in the diet of Koshary inhabitants is evidenced by many
mussel shells and fishbone dumps, and numerous sherds of pottery used for eating fish
dishes, unearthed within the settlement as well as in tombs.13 It is very likely that the
settlement inhabitants caught fish not only for their own needs, but also, like other
settlements belonging to the Olbian chora, part of catch was traded and exchanged.
Identification is still disputable of the place where fish were stored and prepared for
transportation. As salted fish was one of the most important goods traded in the Greek
world, in many settlements in the northern Black Sea region special stone cisterns were
constructed for fish salt-curing. The fish were usually cleaned and stored in special
containers covered with cement mortar or in big amphorae ready for shipping. The
salt used for fish curing was easily available as there were many salinas in the Black Sea
area.14 In many sites, including Chersonesos, Bosporus, Olbia, and Tiritaka, several
dozen cisterns for fish salt-curing were found (Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984, 159-161;
Sekerskaia 1989, 66). So far, no objects of this kind have been found at Koshary.

Methods of fish catching in the Greek world in ancient times were described in: Gaidukievich 1952,
59, Fig. 67; Tabasz 1977, 320-326, Figs. 52-53; also: Koshelenko et al. (eds.) 1984, 159, table LIX,
2-13; Anokhin (ed.) 1989, 76; 138. Research in the Polish part of the Koshary site prodduced 23 stone
weights, 7 weights made of lead scrolled plate and 1 weight made of an amphora sherd. Additionally,
1 iron and 2 bronze hooks were found. So far, no floats or hooks made of bone were unearthed, which
were sporadically discovered on other sites in the region concerned (Peters 1986, table VII, 163-164).
Mainly so-called fish-plates, characterised by a small hollow in the centre of a vessel bottom, designed
for sauce or oil (see: Kowal, 2005, 87-93; see also Kowal, p. 74-94).
For more on salinas see: Wsowicz 1966-1967, 244-245; also: Tabasz 1977, 326.



The heyday of the settlement in Koshary lasted approximately from the 2nd half of the
4th century to the 1st half of the 3rd century B.C. It corresponds to the period of the highest prosperity of its metropolis, Olbia. Abandonment or increasing depopulation of the
settlement is connected with a political and economic crisis that developed in the mid3rd century B.C. in Olbia.15 Undoubtedly, this crisis affected the functioning of many
settlements located within the area between the BohDnieper and the Dniester Limans,
including the settlement in Koshary.
Analysis of the archaeological material from the sites belonging to the Olbian chora
from the 4th to 3rd centuries B.C. shows that the main occupation of its inhabitants was
land cultivation (crops) and animal husbandry, mainly cattle breeding. Fishing also played
an important role in the economy. But it should be emphasized that many aspects of daily
life in ancient Koshary still remain unexplained. Until now, the research carried out by the
Polish part of the expedition has nor produced many constructions connected with, for example, fish processing, fresh water storage, or metal production. The archaeological survey
conducted within the settlement shows that it belonged to the Olbian chora; therefore it
can be supposed that many architectonic and economic solutions in Koshary correspond to
those discovered in the metropolis as well as in many other settlements being part of its economic hinterland. It seems right to assume that daily life at Koshary had a similar rhythm
and was organised in the same way as in many Greek colonies in the Black Sea region.

Anokhin V.A. (ed.)
1989 Selskaia okruga Olvii, Kiev.
Bruyako I.V., Nazarova N.P., Petrenko V.G.
1991 Drevnie kulturnye landshafty na iuge tiligulo-dnestrovskogo mezhdurechia po dannym aerofotosiemki, [in:] -, 37-44.
Chochorowski J., Papuci-Wadyka E., Redina F.E.
2000 Polsko-ukraiskie badania wykopaliskowe zespou stanowisk z okresu
antycznego w miejscowoci Koszary koo Odessy, MSROA XXI, 185-201.

So far, no trace has been found of invasion, destruction, or fire which could end the settlements
existence (see: Papuci-Wadyka et al. 2005, 234; see also: Redina p. 142-160).



Czarniecka Z.
1958 Technika produkcji poywienia rolinnego na obszarze egejskim do
pierwszych wiekw naszej ery, Archeologia X, 62-91.
Gaidukevich V.F.
1952 Raskopki Tiritaki 1935-1940, IA 25, Moskva-Leningrad.
Koshelenko G.A., Kruglikova I.T., Dolgorukov V.S. (eds.)
1984 Antichnye Gosudarstva Severnogo Prichernomoria, Arkheologiia
CCCP, Moskva.
Kowal A.
2005 The Greek Grey Ware fish-plates from the Black Sea region, tudes
et Travaux XX, 87-93.
Kryzhitskii S.D.
1993 Arkhitektura antichnykh gosudarstv severnogo prichernomoria,
Kryzhitskii S.D., Krapivina V.V.
2001 Olbia Pontica, [in:] Samoilova T.L. (ed.) 2001, 15-70.
2001a The Earliest Settlement on the Island of Berezan, [in:] Samoilova
T.L. (ed.) 2001, 11-14.
Papuci-Wadyka E., Kokorzhitskaia T.N.
2004 Greek Amphorae from Polish-Ukrainian Excavations at Koshary,
Odessa District (Fourth and Third Centuries B.C.) a First
Presentation, [in:] Transport Amphorae and Trade in the Eastern
Mediterranean, Acts of the International Colloquium at the Danish
Institute at Athens, September 26-29, 2002, (Monographs of the
Danish Institute in Athens 5), Eiring J., Lund J. (eds.), Athens, 313-324.
Papuci-Wadyka. E, Redina. E.F, Bodzek. J, Machowski. W, Nosova L.V, with
contributions by Kokorzhitskaia T.N., Kania M., Kowal A., Leniak-Bochnak A.,
Woniak M.
2005 Koshary. Greek settlement on the Northern Black Sea coast. PolishUkrainian excavations in the 2001-2003 seasons, tudes et Travaux
XX, 193-234.


Peters B.G.
1986 Kostoreznoe delo v antichnykh gosudarstvakh Severnogo Prichernomoria, Moskva.
Redina E.F., Chochorowski J.
2001 oshary, [in:] Samoilova T.L.(ed.) 2001, 139-154.
Samoilova T.L. (ed.)
2001 Ancient Greek Sites on the Northwest Coast of the Black Sea, Kiev.
Sekerskaia N.M.
1989 Antichnyi Nikonii i ego okruga v VI-IV vv. do n.e., Kiev.
Tabasz Z.
1977 Gospodarka wiejska, [in:] Historia kultury materialnej staroytnej
Grecji. Zarys, vol. 2, Wrocaw, 247- 343.
Wsowicz A.
1966-1967 Uwagi do zagadnienia salin i przemysu solnego na terenach
nadczarnomorskich w staroytnoci, Archeologia XVII, 244-245.


( 1)

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PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Aleksandra Kowal
Krakw, Poland

Grey ware from the Koshary site

During the Great Colonization, the coast of the Black Sea was settled by the
Greeks. This process started in the 8th century and continued until the 6th century
B.C. A dense system of colonies was developed in the Propontis and the Pontic region. These colonies provided Greece with basic food products, such as grain and fish,
whereas Greek crafts, including pottery, were imported. In addition to vessels imported
from metropoleis, local Pontic pottery production provided goods for the settlers. Different techniques as well as various types of clay were used to make pottery divided into
various categories and groups. One of those groups, which is the subject of this paper, is
so-called grey ware. The characteristic grey colour of this type of products was obtained
in the second and the last (reductive) stadium of firing (Krzywiec 1954, 12; Rye 1981,
114-117; Jones 1986, 751-767).
Trying to determine the general chronological framework of grey pottery
distribution, it should be mentioned that different groups of this category of vessels
appeared in the Bronze Age and continued to be in use util the Roman period. In this
paper, however, the author would like to focus on the Greek period (from the 8th to the
1st centuries B.C.) with special emphasis on the Classical and the Hellenistic periods.
Grey-coloured vessels can be found in the entire area of the Greek civilization.
However, in the Black Sea region, where grey ware was much more widespread in
comparison to other regions of the Hellenistic world, the situation was exceptional. It
seems that in the case of some pottery groups from the Black Sea region, we can talk
about a certain specialisation and individuality of pottery production with regard to
Greece itself, especially in relation to groups belonging to grey ware. There is a hypothesis


suggesting separate Pontic pottery production of grey ware that was connected with
large-scale trade within the Pontic region (Bozkova 1997, 8-9). This could be considered
as evidence that a separate economic microsystem, based on local natural resources,
existed in the area of the Black Sea and that it was adapted to colonial community needs
in every respect, based on the local raw materials, characteristic only of the Black Sea
region. In newly colonized territories (e.g. in the West, in Italy and Sicily) the Greeks
had almost identical conditions as in their earlier settlements, but in the lands located on
the Black Sea coast, the conditions were completely different. Geomorphology, climate,
mineral resources, fauna and flora were significantly dissimilar. The other important
reason contributing to creation of a separate Pontic economic microsystem was also the
influence of barbarian communities living in the neighbourhood, mainly with Thracian
and Scythian culture models, especially their customs and production.
Olbia, located on the northern coast of the Black Sea, together with its whole
economic countryside (chora), is one of the sites where the occurrence of grey ware
on a mass scale is characteristic. It is believed that the complex of ancient sites near the
modern village of Koshary, where excavations are being carried out by a joint PolishUkrainian expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the Jagiellonian University
in Cracow and the Archaeological Museum of the Ukrainian National Academy of
Sciences in Odessa, should be also regarded as belonging to the Olbian chora (PapuciWadyka et al. 2005, 193-234; see Redina, p. 142-160).
The site described in this paper is situated near the modern village of Koshary,
midway between modern Odessa and ancient Olbia (around 40 km to the east of
Odessa). It is a complex consisting of a settlement, a burial ground and an open-air altar
on the western bank of the Tiligulskii Liman (the ancient Axiakos River). It occupies
a high promontory and the neighbouring plateau, now situated some 700 m from the
coastline. The main part of the complex was the settlement located at the top of the
promontory. Steep slopes marked the western and southern limits of the settlement;
to the southwest, there was a deep ravine. An open-air altar in the shape of a mound
formed by ashes remaining from sacrifices the Russian zolnik on the south-eastern
edge of the promontory, was discovered in the course of archaeological research. The
necropolis occupying a vast plateau constitutes the north-western part of the complex,
located at the top of the cape.
The pottery from the site in Koshary, presented in this paper, is hardly known
(see: Kowal 2001; Kowal 2005). Most of the relics come from the Polish-Ukrainian
excavations carried out from 1998 to 2005; the material which was discovered during


the earliest research conducted by the Russians and, after that, Ukrainian archaeologists
was taken into account to a much lesser extent. The grey ware presented in this paper
consists only of vessels with grey and black slip, as well as of potsherds without slip
(kitchen ware).
The body of pottery from Koshary is generally mat, grey or dark-grey with
characteristic green and yellow hue. Similar to Olbian grey ware, all vessels from
Koshary (whole pots as well as sherds), have characteristic inclusions: mica and various
quantities of limestone and quartz particles. Almost the whole surface of a vessel was
coated with dark-grey, almost black slip that imitated black glaze and was polished. The
percentage of surface coating varies from a thick layer on the whole vessel surface to thin
stripes covering only a part of it.
In the grey ware from the Koshary site we can distinguish three main forms of open
pottery: bowls, plates and cups.

The bowls can be divided into the following types:

Incurved rim bowls (Fig. 1:1).

This vessel shape is the most numerously represented, after fish-plates, among all grey
ware found in Koshary. All potsherds of this kind have a rim more or less incurved and
relatively thick walls. Incurved rim bowls of various categories of pottery (black glazed,
colour-coated ware, plain ware, grey ware etc.) from the late Classical and the Hellenistic
periods are found on almost every site. However, there is no precise definition of this
form, since its shape and proportion changed with time. Generally, it appears that such
vessels evolved from shallow forms (5th c. B.C.) to deeper (4th c. B.C.) to biconical
(3nd2rd c. B.C.) (Hayes 1991, 26-27; Rotroff 1997, 156-164). Large quantities of
incurved rim bowls were found in the settlement and in the zolnik area within the
Koshary site.

Incurved rim bowls with one horizontal handle rising up above rim
level (one-handlers) (Fig. 1:2).
The relics from the site at Koshary belonging to this group are preserved fragmentarily.
We have only three potsherds with a complete profile, while the rest of sherds are upper
parts and handles with a piece of rim. The basic form of this vessel is generally similar
to the previous form. The rim is more or less incurved. The distinctive feature is one
horizontally placed handle attached to the edge of the rim rising slightly above rim



Fig. 1. 1 Incurved rim bowl; 2 Incurved rim bowl with one horizontal handle rising
up above rim level (one-handlers); 3 Out-turned rim bowl; 4 Thick and flattened rim
bowl; 5 Bowls with rim bevelled inwards and grooves near the edge; 6 Plate with
a flat and wide horizontal edge (drawn by author).

level. The handle is semi-circular with an oval cross-section and rises approximately 2.5
cm above the edge. The ring-shaped foot of a vessel is not high. Just as in the previous
group, this group of bowls appears also in the settlement and in the zolnik area, but,
interestingly, we did not find them in the necropolis area. On a few objects we can
observe perforations, presumably traces of mending. Vessels from Koshary definitely
correspond to the Olbian group, regarding form and production technique, although
an almost identical form of a bowl with a horizontal handle, similar to skyphos,
belonging in black-glazed ware, was popular in Athens from the 6th to the 5th centuries
B.C. (Sparkes, Talcott 1970, 196, Fig. 8, Nos. 726-769). They reached their peak of
popularity in the period from the 4th to the 3rd centuries B.C. (Rotroff 1997, 151). All
Olbian vessels from Trench I were found in contexts of the second half of the 3rd and
2nd centuries B.C. (Knipowich 1940, p. 156). On the basis of these discoveries, we can
date our group of bowls to the period between the 3rd and the 2nd centuries B.C.


Out-turned rim bowls (Fig. 1:3)

This type of bowl has a moderately thick out-turned rim, sometimes slightly flattened, gradually becoming a belly, which in the middle of the belly or close to the base
has slight or more sharp angularity. In the material from Koshary presented in this paper there are only six pieces of upper parts of such bowls. The rim is always curved out
and more or less flattened. The angularity is usually situated approximately 3 cm below
the rim. Unfortunately, no vessel with a complete profile was found. Bowls of this form
are medium-sized; the rim diameter is between 16 and 20 cm. A majority of such vessels
were discovered mainly in the zolnik area and in the settlement.
Similarly shaped bowls were widely seen in the Hellenic world, especially among
black-glazed ware and different categories of local pottery (colour-coated ware, red
slipped, plain ware etc.). In Athens, out-turned-rim bowls were produced as early as the
5th century B.C., during the 4th century B.C. and throughout the whole Hellenistic
period (Sparkes, Talcott 1970, 198; Rotroff 1997, 156-160). Due to their wide range
of territorial distribution and the lack of characteristic features in Koshary vessels, it is
difficult to set more specific time frames than the period between the 4th and the 3rd
centuries B.C.

Thick and fla ened rim bowls (Fig. 1:4).

Bowls of this type are regularly shaped with their round walls turning outside; the rim
is thicker outside forming a cylindrical edge. All the preserved sherds from the Koshary
site have almost identical dimensions (1819.5 cm in diameter) and were discovered in
the settlement layers. Olbian bowls of this type were found in mixed layers consisting
mostly of material dated to the second half of the 3rd century and 2nd century B.C.
(Knipowich 1940, pp. 156157). Similar grey ware bowls were found in Pantikapaion
almost exclusively in layers from the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. (Kruglikova 1957,
pp. 120121). Based on the above-mentioned analogies, we can date these vessels from
Koshary to the period between the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C.

Bowls with a rim bevelled inwards and grooves near the edge (Fig. 1:5)
This is a small group consisting of five sherds of bowls, with the rim bevelled inwards.
They are decorated outside with two grooves just below the edge. Since these vessels are
very poorly preserved, it is difficult to determine their dimensions and the shape of the
foot. Vessels of similar form, especially regarding decoration, are characteristic of local
West Pontic workshops, localized along the TyrasIstrosOdessosApollonia line.
This form of vessel is typical of as early as the 5th century B.C.; however, they reached


their peak of development in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. (Alexandrescu 1977, 124126). This type of bowl was very rare in Olbia.

At Koshary, as on other sites, especially dating to the Hellenistic time, plates
were among the most numerous and most popular forms of tableware. The analysed
material was divided into two main types: plates with a flat and wide horizontal edge
and, the most characteristic, fish-plates.

Plates with a flat and wide horizontal edge (Fig. 1:6)

This kind of ware has an oblique wall and a ring-shaped foot. The edge is flat and wide.
Later vessels, though, have a slightly convex, but still horizontal edge. According to T.N.
Knipovich (1940, 155), both types of vessels were found in Olbia in layers dated to the
3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. The author emphasised that in plates from the 3rd century,
thickening and schematisation can be noticed, but for later artefacts (from the 2nd century B.C.) it is not always easy to determine the basic form of a given object. Plates with
a flat and wide horizontal edge have thin walls. They are typically of high quality of the
body and slip and carefully produced. Usually, the body is light grey with greenish hue
typical for Olbia. Traces of reparations, such as perforation, are sometimes noticeable. Diameters are 18-21 cm. Sherds of plates with a flat and wide horizontal edge were found in
the zolnik and the settlement area. Due to similar form and features of the body and slip
to Olbian examples, this type of vessel can be regarded as an Olbian product.

Fish-plates (Fig. 2:1).

A fish-plate is one of the most characteristic forms of the Late Classical and Hellenistic pottery. Its main distinctive feature is the so-called central depression (central well,
cavity, central cup), designed to hold sauce, oil, vinegar, salt etc. A vessel of this kind is
a shallow, massive dish about 25-30 cm in diameter, slightly elevated, with a high vertical and downturned rim, massive foot and deep central depression. No typical fish-plate
has been found in the Koshary site, at least not in the grey ware pottery group. However, the most numerously represented form of Koshary grey ware is a fish-plate. Out
of 396 analysed sherds, 107 are certainly fish-plates. This might be connected with certain specialization of the Koshary settlement. Since fish-plates were originally used to
serve seafood, it may be assumed that a significant number of those plates at Koshary is
evidence that the settlement specialised in fishery. This theory is confirmed by the presence of fishing hooks, as well as many shells and fish bones. A majority of fish-plates are




Fig. 2. 1 Fish-plate; 2 S-shaped profile cup with one handle; 3 Jug with rim bevelled
outwards; 4 10 Jug with a moulding below the rim; 5 Jug with horizontal grooves on
the neck; 6 Jug with flaring rim edge (drawn by author).

preserved fragmentarily, mainly as rims and ring-shaped feet with a central depression.
Two intact plates were found in graves in the necropolis as grave equipment. Virtually
all fish-plates found in the Koshary site belong to the grey-slipped pottery category.
Many of them were mended; perforation might be made to tie up the parts together, so
vessels could be used again. One particular sherd has traces of being reused but for a different purpose. It is a foot with a central depression; its surface that connects the foot
with the disc was intentionally smoothened. In this way, a new vessel resembling a small
bowl or a cup was created which could serve for example as a saltcellar. Another sherd
preserved fragmentarily is a foot with a central depression and an incised graffito on the
bottom the Greek letters HP, probably the signature of the potter or the owner.


The fish-plates from Koshary can be divided into two separate types depending on
form. The basic determinants are the shape of the rim and the way the central depression
is formed.
Type 1 Fish-plates with a protrusion (wall) surrounding a central depression.
Most fish-plates from Koshary belong to this type. The vessels have a rim in the form
of a thick edge slightly turned outside, more rarely without turning. The inside part of
the rim, close to the edge, is frequently decorated with two grooves. This type of fishplate is relatively deep. The vessel surface is inclined at a 30 angle. The characteristic
central depression is separated by a high protrusion, a ridge, differently shaped. Such
a protrusion is sometimes turned inside and slightly thicker, resembling a small cup
attached to a vessel, and sometimes it is straight and bevelled inside. The ring-shaped
foot of this type of plate is relatively high and sometimes slightly profiled.
There is an exceptional similarity in form of all vessels of this type found at Koshary
to objects belonging to the same category discovered in Olbia. All vessels of this type
found in Koshary should no doubt be classified as the peculiar Olbian fish-plate with
a ridge surrounding a central depression. Some fish-plates were found in Olbia in
relatively early layers, dating to the 2nd half of the 4th century B.C., and others in layers
from the 3rd century B.C. (Knipovich 1940, 161-162), so similar dating of the fishplates from Koshary seems to be correct.
Type 2 Fish-plates with a central depression in the form of a simple cavity.
Not all fish-plates from Koshary show direct analogies with the uniform Olbian
type. Some plate sherds (mainly rims) have thick walls and one groove close to the rim;
in this case the rim is quite wide, thick and turned outside. Such a form corresponds to
classical fish-plates with a wide rim turned outside and with a central depression in the
shape of a simple cavity. A few fish-plates preserved fragmentarily a foot with a central
simple-cavity depression, not separated from the rest of the plate, as well as a sherd of
a plate with a central depression in the shape of a simple cavity separated from the rest
of the plate by one groove, with a rim turned outside, decorated with one groove close
to the rim may be linked to this type. It is possible that the transitional form between
this type and the one described previously is represented by a sherd of a vessel in the
form of a foot with a central depression separated from the rest of the plate by a small
protrusion and a groove. The technological details indicate evident similarity to Olbian
plates (Kowal 2005, 88-93).
All vessels described by the author are relatively big plates, 20-28 cm in diameter
(mostly 24-26 cm) and 5-7 cm high. In the Koshary site, fish-plates similar to those


described above were found in the settlement and within the zolnik area, whereas many
rim and foot fragments were discovered in the necropolis. What is interesting, they are
present not only in graves, but also in their fills and in the piatna, i.e. oval patches of
different sizes, which probably are the remains of funeral banquets or places of sacrifices
for the dead (for more on which see below).

S-shaped profile cups with one handle (Fig. 2:2)

The so-called S-shaped profile cups with one handle can also be classified as open
vessels from Koshary. The Koshary inventory includes two pieces of this shape. Their
dimensions are as follows: rim diameter approx. 6 cm; height 5 cm. The body is
dark grey, fine-grained and dense. No analogies with Greek-origin pottery were found.
Most likely it is a form whose prototype should be sought among hand-made pottery
of Thracian or Scythian origin. Similar cups are known in hand-made Olbian pottery
dated to the 4th century B.C. (Marchenko 1975, 70-72). This vessel type from Koshary
possibly corresponds also to so-called S-profile cups with one handle elevated above the
rim, known from Istros and other colonies in the western part of the Pontic region, as
well as from the Thracian and Scythian areas.
In closed vessels, much more typological differentiation could be noticed than in
open vessels. The main and the most diverse form is a jug; in addition to that, the big
lekythoi, a table amphora, and so-called chytridion belong to grey ware. Moreover, we
have obtained some sherds of closed vessels to which we do not have good analogies.

This type of closed vessel, popular tableware at the time, is the most numerous group
of closed vessels and has the most varied forms among the grey ware found in Koshary.
A few forms of jugs have been distinguished as follows:

Jugs with a rim bevelled outwards (Fig. 2:3)

These jugs, according to M. Parovich-Peshikan (1974, 97-98), are the exclusive
products of Olbian manufacture, although they were widespread in Pontic cities. He
classified this kind of jug as Type 2 based on the material originating from the Hellenistic
Olbian necropolis. All vessels belonging to the described form, from Koshary, Olbia
and other Pontic areas, show extraordinary similarities. This type of vessel is rather small
(usually 10-14 cm high, more rarely 20 cm). It has a long neck slightly widening upwards
and a rim leaning outwards. The belly is usually wide and slightly flattened. The ringshaped foot is short and thin, 4-8 cm in diameter. The handle is always attached to the


rim and to jug shoulders. The handle has the characteristic shape of a question mark
and often has a protrusion on the outside. It is very interesting that such jugs are found
strictly in grey-body pottery without any red shades. Similarly to the above-mentioned
fish-plates, the resemblance and consistently high standard of the whole group could
be evidence of their Olbian origin and that they possibly were produced in workshops
which specialized in production of such vessels.
In material from Koshary we have nine intact vessels belonging to this type, which are
a frequent and characteristic element of grave equipment found in the necropolis. Pieces of
this form are often discovered in grave fills, too. The remaining sherds come from the settlement and the zolnik area. It is, after fish-plates, the most numerous form found among
grey ware in the Koshary site. Seventy-two pieces and intact vessels classified into this
group have been preserved. This form is typical of almost all Pontic area colonized by the
Greeks, but its mass distribution is confirmed only in Olbia and its sphere of influence.

Jugs with a moulding below the rim (Fig. 2:4)

These jugs, apart from the previous form, make up the most numerously represented
type of jugs in the Koshary site. This type was already classified during excavations carried out in Olbia in the years 19351936, led by T.N. Knipovich, as grey ware with
dark grey, almost black slip in layers dated to the 3rd and 2nd centuries B.C. Such jugs,
in contrast to the previous type, are also found among red-slipped pottery with red
body, although in smaller quantities. A form with a moulding below the rim was described in greater detail by M. Parovich-Peshikan as a jug with a long, cylindrical neck.
The handle is flat, bent at a right angle, one end attached to the shoulder, the other to
a characteristic protrusion below the rim (Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 96-97, Fig. 87/4
1-4). It seems that most vessels from Koshary, which have similar form, should be assigned to this Olbian type (Type 4 of Olbian grey ware).
In the analysed material from Koshary, all jugs not classified as the described
type possess one basic and distinctive attribute, the moulding below the rim. The
differentiation of other features allows their division into at least two subtypes:
jugs with a thicker oval rim slightly opening outwards and a moulding below the
rim; it is quite a homogeneous group in shape and rim diameter (approx. 1112 cm);
jugs with a cylindrical neck, an out-turned edge and a moulding below the rim;
rim diameter: approx. 8-12 cm.
We also possess two fragments of handles fixed to remnants of necks with a protrusion
which seem to be pieces of jugs belonging to this type. All these pieces were found in the
settlement and in the zolnik area.


The described type of jug, unlike the previous type, was more popular in the northern and western parts of the Pontic region. Given the appearance of the body and slip of
Koshary vessels and the closest above-mentioned analogies, these jugs are most likely of
Olbian production and seem to date to the end of the 4th or to the 3rd century B.C.

Jugs with horizontal grooves on the neck (Fig. 2:5)

Unfortunately, no intact vessels of this type came up at Koshary. Sherds from
Koshary belonged to the vessel form with a relatively wide rim (10-12 cm in diameter)
and a slightly thicker edge turned outside. Small horizontal grooves go down the neck.
The neck has an S-shaped profile, the narrowest in its middle section. Considering
the similarities of bodies and other technological properties, it seems that this kind of
vessel from Koshary is of Olbian origin, although such form was also characteristic of
Western Pontic workshops (two pieces of Koshary jugs show close analogy to a vessel
from Istros dating to the 5th century B.C., cf. Coja 1968, 316, Fig. 7/2). Such jugs were
a distinguishing mark of Pontic grey ware production. Since jugs with grooves on the
neck were especially popular in Olbia during the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. (ParovichPeshikan 1974, 9697), vessels from Koshary could be dated accordingly.

Jugs with a flaring rim edge (Fig. 2:6)

Pottery material from Koshary contains one almost intact vessel of this kind and
a few sherds. A small jug (height: 12.6 cm; rim diameter: 6.4 cm) has a rim in the shape
of a flaring funnel slightly profiled (one groove on the edge). The narrow neck is joined
with a slender and high belly; the foot is short, ring-shaped. The handle is attached directly to the rim and to the belly in its widest part. With respect to form, this type of jug
is also similar to some of the above-mentioned jugs with a moulding below the rim; it
differs only from some of them by the absence of moulding. The described type, regarding form, corresponds also to jugs with a flaring rim and a spout (see below).
A form with a similarly shaped rim is also know from Athens (dating to the end of
the 5th century; see Sparkes, Talcott 1970, Fig. 13/1586) and from Pantikapaion, from
layers dating to the 4th and 3rd centuries, as well as from Elizavetovskoe Gorodishche
(Kruglikova 1957, 122-123, Fig. 6/6). Based on the quoted analogies, we can generally
date the described type to the period between the end of the 5th century and the
beginning of the 3rd century B.C.

Jugs with a flaring rim and a spout gu us, askos, feeder (Fig. 3:1)
Two almost intact vessels of this type belong to grave inventory found in the
Koshary necropolis. These vessels are of a small size (rim diameter: 4-4.5 cm; height:


Fig. 3. 1 Jug with flaring rim and spout guttus, askos, feeder; 2 Jug with rolled
flaring rim and handle rising above rim edge; 3 Lekythos; 4 Amphora with twisted
handles; 5 Chytridion; 6 Lopas (drawn by author).


10.6-10.8 cm) and almost identical in form. Both come from childrens, most probably
babies graves (unpublished grave No. 211 for which see Papuci-Wadyka et. al. 2005,
222-23, Fig. 38; see also aczek p. 111-119). Their characteristic features are: a flaring
rim and a profiled belly (with one groove). The neck is short and smoothly joins with
a wide belly. The distinctive spout with an opening for pouring liquid or drinking is
attached to one side of the belly. The handle is attached directly to the rim and the
belly, perpendicularly to the spout. Vessels of the described form clearly correspond to
a specific group of grey ware found above all in childrens graves, characteristic for Olbia
and its economic hinterland, as well as for many other Pontic sites (Parovich-Peshikan
1974, 85-86, Fig. 81/46). It is possible that putting vessels of this type into childrens
graves was part of some initiation rite.

Jugs with a rolled flaring rim and a handle rising above rim edge (Fig. 3:2).
In the analysed pottery material from Koshary, a flaring rim is typical of vessels with
more or less thicker edge of rim, oval or flattened. Vessels of this type are characteristic
for the period from the end of the 4th century to the beginning of the 3rd century in
Pantikapaion (Kruglikova 1957, 123-124, Fig. 6/7, 11) and Olbia, in the Archaic (6th
c. B.C.) and Classical periods (first quarter of the 5th century B.C.) (Kozub 1974, 63,
Fig. 32/1).

Lekythoi (Fig. 3:3)

This type of vessel was very popular from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period.
Lekythoi served as toiletry vessels to store oils and perfume. They were also connected
with funeral rites and were often put into graves. Lekythoi found in the Koshary site are
usually medium-sized, with a rounded, relatively high belly and a short neck. This shape
of vessel has a flat foot, sometimes slightly concave, rarely clearly separated, ring-shaped.
The rim is turned outwards, sometimes right below the rim there is a small moulding.
The rim is almost always profiled inside in a characteristic funnel-shaped way. The
handle is attached directly to the rim and to shoulders in their widest part. Sometimes
a handle is attached fixed to a moulding just below the rim. The described type of vessel
from Koshary is generally rounded and not high (average height approx. 1012 cm).
Most of these vessels were found in the settlement and in the zolnik area, and the rest
in the necropolis, as items of grave equipment.
The form of the described lekythoi derives from archaic, rounded Deianeira
lekythoi. Such vessels were also very popular in the Classical and Hellenistic periods
(Sparkes, Talcott 1970, 152; Rotroff 1997, 169). Lekythoi with a rounded belly and


a short neck, of size similar to our objects, were also discovered among grey ware from
Olbia as a common item in grave inventories and date to the period between the end of
the 4th and the beginning of the 3rd centuries B.C. (Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 106-107,
Fig. 92). Vessels of this shape were very popular in the Pontic region.

Amphora with twisted handles (Fig. 3/4)

In the course of the excavations carried out in Koshary before the Polish-Ukrainian
expedition was formed in 1998, one intact amphora had been discovered similar to
those decorated in the West Slope style, although without a painted design. It is a rather
big vessel (height: 36 cm), with two twisted rope handles attached to the neck below the
rim and to the belly at the widest point. On the neck, in the place of attachment, there
is a moulding. Additionally, on the neck, below the handle, there is another moulding
and a groove. The rim of the amphora has the form of a profiled funnel-shaped edge
turned outside. The ring-shaped foot is of medium height. It is a quite slender vessel,
although the belly is slightly carinated. The amphora was covered with black slip.
West Slope style amphorae were produced in Athens in the period from the 230s
to the middle of the 2nd century B.C. (Rotroff 1997, 258) and were often imported,
copied and imitated. The amphora from Koshary corresponds to West Slope amphorae
mainly by its characteristic twisted rope handles.
Kitchen ware was in use from the Archaic to Hellenistic period. The shapes of this
kind of ware did not often change for centuries due to their utilitarian character. These
vessels were used mainly for cooking. Kitchen ware was not covered with slip. The
characteristic red discolouration caused by contact with fire is often visible on the body
of this category of pottery.
Kitchen ware used for simmering, characteristic for the Greek culture, can be
divided depending on forms typical also of the pottery material from Koshary. They
are as follows:
chytra a big, squat vessel, without a separate foot, with one handle and a chytridion,
a miniature version of a chytra;
lopas a vessel with a lid, without a separate foot, with a slightly pointed bottom,
two horizontally or vertically positioned handles, with a characteristically formed edge
inside the rim serving as a support for a lid.

Chytridion (Fig. 3/5)

There is one object of this type in the inventory from Koshary. This chytridion is
a small vessel with a rounded bottom and a rounded belly, with a narrowing instead of


a neck and one handle attached directly to the rim and to the belly at its widest part.
This vessel constitutes the only example of decoration regarding the grey ware from
Koshary: three slip spots evenly spaced on the shoulder of the vessel. The chytridion
was found in the necropolis in the first years of excavations and was an item of grave
inventory (grave 24). This type of vessel was popular mainly between the 2nd half
of the 4th century and approx. 270 B.C. and is found in the whole area of the Greek
civilisation (Rotroff 1997, 215-216). Similar vessels were characteristic of childrens
graves in Olbia dating to the Hellenistic period (Parovich-Peshikan 1974, 100, Fig.

Lopas (Fig. 3/6)

A lopas is a relatively shallow pan, a variety of the chytra with a lid and two
handles. In the material from Koshary there are pieces of lids and main parts of
lopas-type pans. The lid of a lopas closely resembles a bowl or a plate turned upside
down. The knob of the lid is mainly formed in the shape of a protrusion surrounding a small depression, more rarely without a depression. The edge of the lid is
simple, in the shape of an oval thickening.
The main part of the material consists of flattened vessels without a separate
foot, with walls bevelled conically or towards the bottom. The rim is slightly thickened; inside the vessel it forms a protrusion which supports the lid. Two handles
are usually positioned horizontally, less often vertically, and are attached to the narrowest part of the neck and to the belly at its widest girth.
The body of this type of vessel is most often grey or light grey with greenish
hue, sometimes reddish, fine-grained or medium-grained, porous. A characteristic
strong burn is often visible, as are changes in the core, a result of long exposure to
fire (reddish core centre). The significant difference between vessels under discussion and other grey ware pots is clearly visible, as they were not coated with slip.
Lopades are common on almost every Greek site. In Athens, such vessels were
present mainly in the 5th and 4th centuries B.C. There is evidence of their existence
in the Hellenistic period (Rotroff 1997, 216). Vessels almost identical in form to
objects from Koshary discovered in the Athenian Agora date to the last quarter of
the 4th century B.C. (Sparkes, Talcott 1970, 227-228). Similar vessels were found
in Olbia dating to the period between the end of the 4th century and the beginning of the 3rd century B.C. (Kozub 1974, 63). Considering similarity in form and
technology, vessels of this kind from Koshary should be dated to the 4th and the
beginning of the 3rd century B.C.


Storage amphorae (ca. 70 per cent) and hand-made pottery (up to 15 per cent) make
up the most of pottery material belonging to movable findings discovered in the Koshary
site. High and very high quality pottery tableware constitutes approx. 10 per cent of the
material from the site. The above-described grey ware, compared to all pottery material
from the Koshary site constitutes approx. 6.2 per cent and black-glazed pottery 1.7
per cent. For example, Trench IV (16 squares with a total area of 400 square metres)
excavated in the settlement between 1998 and 2002, yielded approx. 17,261 sherds of
storage amphorae, approx. 3802 sherds of hand made pottery, approx. 1064 sherds of
grey ware, 406 sherds of red body pottery and 294 sherds of black-glazed pottery.
Thus, grey ware is the most numerous category of high and very high quality
tableware from Koshary. At the same time, this pottery category is relatively poorly
diversified in shape, which is generally characteristic of this ceramic category. Only
three basic forms of open pottery can be distinguished: bowls, plates and cups,
whereas closed pottery forms include jugs, amphorae, lekythoi and kitchen ware,
with jugs prevailing. The relatively high quantity of preserved fish-plates may be
evidence of the specialisation of the settlement in Koshary. Since fish-plates were
used for serving seafood, it can be assumed that, with their great number, the diet
of the inhabitants was based mainly on seafood products. Such an assumption may
form the basis to formulate a theory that the settlement in Koshary specialised in
fishing (see the article by M. Kania, p. 62-73).
The most numerous and the most varied material from Koshary was found in the
zolnik area (approx. 40 per cent of all material studied by the present author). Most
artefacts from the zolnik are heavily damaged, mostly burnt, which may suggest
that these objects were thrown into fire during sacrificial rituals. Moreover, lots of
potsherds from the zolnik and the settlement have drilled perforations which are
traces of mending or converting damaged pottery into other vessels. It may provide
evidence that the community inhabiting the settlement in Koshary was not very
rich and could not regularly afford to buy pottery products. As there probably was
no local wheel-made pottery supply, they must have been quite expensive.
In the necropolis, in addition to the intact or almost intact examples of grey
ware, mainly jugs with the rim turned outwards (and a few other forms like jugs
with a spout, lekythoi, amphorae and chytridion), which are almost invariable
elements of grave inventories, sherds related to funeral rituals were found in
features near graves. Such features are the above-mentioned piatna (Russian): oval
patches distinguishable on the surface by darker soil colouring. They seem to be


places where funeral banquets or other ceremonies connected with the cult of the
dead took place, whereas pieces of vessels found there were probably left after such
ceremonies. It is typical that most vessels discovered in such sacrificial places were
fish-plates with a ridge around a central depression and jugs with out-turned rim.
They constituted the most characteristic and popular Olbian products in grey ware
and apparently were very popular also at Koshary. Apart from the above-mentioned
shapes of vessels, such ritual places produced less popular bowls with incurved rim
and other bowls. Sherds similar to those found in the piatna were discovered in the
ditch surrounding the burial mound explored in 1998.
Presence of only the most basic forms of grey ware vessels (and also red clay
pottery) and absence of traces of local wheel-made pottery products suggests the
status and role of a site, in this case Koshary, as a small Greek settlement, an element
of the countryside, chora, surrounding a big city centre (polis). In this instance, the
nearest centre of this kind, with opportunities and potential, linked economically
(Olbian coins findings) with the settlement in Koshary was Pontic Olbia. The theory
that the settlement in Koshary belonged to Olbias zone of direct influence is also
confirmed by the fact that the grey ware found at Koshary was mostly produced
in Olbia. The presence of such forms of vessels, like the bowls with a rim bevelled
inwards and grooves near the edge, may be evidence of some relations between
Koshary and western Pontic colonies, and the presence of S-shaped profile cups
with one handle and S-shaped profile jugs proof of links with groups following
the Thracian or Scythian cultural model.
Analysis and comparison between artefacts from Olbia and Koshary clearly
shows that the grey ware from Koshary site was, in most cases, produced in Olbia.
A substantial part of the described relics can be classified as light-grey or grey body
pottery with a typical greenish hue characteristic for Olbian grey ware. In addition to
identical body colour, most objects have also standard Olbian inclusions mica and
particles of calcium and quartz. Although there can be some doubt regarding Olbian
origin of some potsherds, no such uncertainties exist for two of the most popular
forms of vessels found at Koshary: fish-plates with a protrusion surrounding a central
depression and jugs with a rim turned outwards. Both forms are so typical for the
environment of Olbia at that time that we can even talk about a specialisation in their
production. Analysis of grey ware from Koshary reveals that it was a small settlement
which did not develop its own wheel-made pottery, thus this place was completely
dependent on the nearest pottery production centre, which was Olbia.


Alexandrescu P.
1977 Les modles grecs de la cramique thrace tourne, Dacia 21, 113-139.
Bozkova A.
1997 A pontic pottery group of the Hellenistic age (a survey based on
examples from the bulgarian Black Sea coast), Archeologia Bulgarica
1 no. 2, Sofia, 8-17.
Coja. M.
1968 La cramique grise dHistria lpoque grecque, Dacia 12, 305329.
Hayes J.W.
1991 Paphos III: The Hellenistic and Roman Pottery, Nicosia.
Jones R.E.
1986 Greek and Cypriot Pottery: A review of scientifique studies. Athens.
Knipowich T.N.
1940 Keramika mestnogo proizvodstva iz raskopa I, Olviia, vol. I,
Kiev, 129-170.
Kowal A.
2001 Grecka ceramika szara ze stanowiska Koszary (Ukraina, Obwd
Odessa), [in:] Studia Archaeologica. Prace dedykowane Profesorowi
Januszowi A. Ostrowskiemu w szedziesiciolecie urodzin, E. PapuciWadyka, J. liwa (eds.), Krakw, 197-200.
2005 The Greek Grey Ware fish-plates from the Black Sea region, tudes
et Travaux XX, 88-93.
Kozub J.
1974 Nekropol Olvii V-IV st. d.n.e., Kiev.
Kruglikova I.G.
1957 Remesliennoe proizvodstvo prostoi keramiki v Pantikapee v VI-III v.
d.n.e., MIA 56, Moscow, 96-138.


Krzywiec R.
1954 Technologia rzemiosa garncarskiego, Wrocaw.
Marchenko K.K.
1975 Klasifikatsia lepnoi keramiki Olvii vtaroi poloviny IV piervoi
poloviny I v. do n.e. KSIA AN SSSR, 1975, 70-72.
Parovich-Peshikan M.
1974 Nekropol Olvii ellenisticheskogo vremieni, Kiev.
Papuci-Wadyka. E, Redina. E.F, Bodzek. J, Machowski. W, Nosova L.V, with
contributions by Kokorzhitskaia T.N., Kania M., Kowal A., Leniak-Bochnak A.,
Woniak M.
2005 Koshary. Greek settlement on the Northern Black Sea coast. PolishUkrainian excavations in the 2001-2003 seasons, tudes et Travaux
XX, 193-234.
Rye O. S.
1981 Pottery technology, Washington.
Rotroff S.
1997 The Athenian Agora XXIX, The Hellenistic Pottery: Wheelemade
table ware, Princeton.
Sparkes B. A., Talcott L.
1970 The Athenian Agora XII, Black and Plain Pottery of the 6th, 5th, and
4th centuries B.C, Princeton, New Jersey.


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PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

[. 14-16]

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Valentina Vladimirovna Krapivina

Kiev, Ukraine

Recent Investigations in the Southern Part

of the Upper and Lower City of Olbia

Archaeological investigations in Olbia in the past years were carried out, as earlier, in the
most nature-affected parts of the city (landslides and erosion of soil). Besides, excavations were
made on sites especially damaged by looters before 2003, when guards were posted in Olbia.
Salvage excavations in the south-eastern part of the Upper City of Olbia, which is ruined by
soil erosion (sector R-25), have been made since 1982. They now cover more than 3500 square
meters. The investigation has shown that life in this part of Olbia continued from the second
quarter of the 6th century B.C. till the end of the third quarter of the 4th century A.D. Different
kinds of structures from all periods from the Archaic to the Late Antique were revealed
here: fortifications, streets, places of worship, dwellings, workshops, etc. Some dugouts and
semi-dugouts of the second-to-third quarters of the 6th century B.C. were excavated in recent
years. Especially interesting are three complexes from that period which were connected with
metal production. Now they are the earliest known workshops in Olbia. There are also remains
of pottery production from the 6th century B.C.
Most of the objects revealed in the past years are dated at the end of the 3rd to the 4th century
A.D. Discoveries include a large public building from the late 3rd century A.D. which was built
using lime mortar. On pavement level, the glass head was found of a sea deity with an open
mouth. It was done in high relief, probably of local manufacture. It might have been part of
a marble stele of an interior fountain. The western wall of the building was erected on top of
earlier masonry which belonged to an older house which had been rebuilt to form part of the
south-eastern defense wall. A fragment of a Roman military diploma was found here. It is the
first find of a military diploma in Olbia and the second on the northern Black Sea shore.
Three building periods have been preserved in layers from the 4th century A.D. Houses
were situated on terraced slopes. They were rather large, rectangular, sometimes with two
floors, combining dwelling and workshop rooms. Their yards often had stone paving with
drains. A large metal workshop from the 4th century A.D. was revealed. Evidently Olbia had
no fortification walls at the last stage of its life. Stone blocks from the eastern fortification wall
were discovered in the wall of a dwelling from the end of the 4th century A.D. In any case, Olbia
preserved Classical traditions till the end of its life.
Salvage excavations were held in sector L-1 to the north of the house of the praetorium. Its
area is now nearly 140 square meters. A wide road from the 4th century A.D. was unearthed at
a depth of 0.200.45 m below modern ground level. Excavation revealed remains of stone yard
paving and ruins of winery from the turn of the 3rd century A.D. under the northern part of
the road. In the southern part of the sector, ceramic paving, opus spicatum, was uncovered which
had been built according to a Roman technique, except for fragments of tiles. It is the first such
instance in Olbia.


Two wineries from the 2nd 3rd centuries A.D. were excavated on the eastern slope of
Zayachya ravine (sector R-21). They were situated 15 meters below the fortification wall of the
citadel. The southern winery was in a very good state of preservation and was fully investigated.
The northern one was situated 29 meters from the southern wall and it was mostly ruined.
Probably that could be explained by use of the opposite slope of the ravine for viticulture.
Salvage excavations were also held in the southern part of the Lower City of Olbia. Sector
NGF-SV is situated to the south-east of sector NGF. Its area is nearly 500 square meters. There
were revealed two main levels here: from the turn of the 3rd century A.D. and the turn of the
4th century A.D. The first period is represented by two streets, the ruins of a metal workshop
and two rooms of a house in which a lot of coins and bone items were found.
The second period Late Antique is represented by the ruins of a large square which
covered a street and a workshop of the previous period. The square had a system of stone and
ceramic drains and a cistern for gathering water to prevent flow of water onto the lower terrace.
Sector Klif-1 is situated on the bank of the Lower Bug estuary, on the level of ground water.
Its area is nearly 80 square meters. There were revealed paving of the street of the first centuries
A.D. and a supporting wall of the lower terrace. Under this street, the cellar of a stone house
from the first half of the 5th century B.C. was revealed.
Sector Klif-2 is situated to the north-east of sector Klif-1. Its area is nearly 150 square meters.
On the upper levels, poorly preserved ruins of fortifications from the 1st 3rd centuries A.D.
were revealed, previously opened in sector NG. The lower level is represented by some cellars of
a stone house from the 5th - 4th centuries B.C. They all are situated on the level of ground water
and mostly covered by it. This provided clues about dating the building of the Lower City of
Olbia with stone houses.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Grzegorz aczek
Krakw, Poland

Bone amulets from tomb No. 211 at Koshary, Ukraine

[Pls. 17-18]

A special place among ancient objects discovered by archaeologists is reserved for

items that served as amulets for their owners and, according to beliefs, had magical
properties to protect them from all sorts of evil powers, misfortunes, diseases and accidents.
Among many items of daily use such as tableware and household utensils, tools,
weapons, jewelry, coins etc., PolishUkrainian archaeological excavations in Koshary1
also provided items made of bone: whorls, awls, knife handles, small arrowheads,
game dice and others.2 An interesting category are objects that may almost certainly
be described as amulets. Excavations in 2003 were especially interesting in this aspect
they resulted in discovering a tomb in the Koshary necropolis that was marked
as No. 211 (Pl. 17:1) and at first glance did not stand out from other burial places
(PapuciWadyka et al. 2006, 370, Fig. 44). The tomb was in the northeastern part of
the Koshary necropolis. It was part of a group of tombs forming a sort of ring (by now
its southwestern part has been discovered and documented) around a location where
offerings were made that probably were connected to the deceased buried nearby. The
location was identified as a black circular spot with remains of broken vessels inside.
Two burial places marked as Nos. 209 and 210 were discovered in proximity to tomb
No. 211 and were all excavated at the same time. Wider and more detailed conclusions
regarding possible connections (or lack of connections) between the burials in question

Cf. Redina, p. 142-160. I am grateful to Ms. E.F. Redina for making the objects available to research.
A detailed study of all the bone items that were discovered during the excavations in Koshary is now
being prepared by the present author.



Fig. 1. Stone wall of tomb No. 211 (Drawing G. aczek, digital visualiza on
E. Pohorska-Kleja).

may only be announced after further detailed studies of the whole group of tombs
localized around the abovementioned offering place.
The form and construction of tomb No. 211 was typical of burial sites discovered in
the necropolis excavated by our team. It represented the type of graves most common
in Koshary, the socalled niche grave, oriented along an EW axis. The grave niche was
to the north of an entry shaft (as in the majority of niche graves in Koshary) and the
entrance to the niche was blocked by a sort of stone obstruction consisting of a double
layer of large, flat limestone boulders (a limestone conglomerate, with an addition of
smaller stones of the same type (Pl. 17:2, Fig. 1). The niche itself is an oblong burial
chamber measuring 1.85 m in length, from 0.7 to 0.8 m in width and 0.7 m in height
(at the entrance) (Fig. 2). Human remains belonging to a child who at the moment of
death was about 612 months old were discovered inside.3 The remains were placed
in the eastern part of the burial chamber, which was relatively big for such a small
child. Almost an entire set of burial offerings was also grouped in that part. The head
of the deceased also most probably pointed to the east. Some of the skull bones were
preserved (among others the frontal bone, parietal bone, temporal bone and mandible
with some teeth which was the main basis in establishing the age) and remains of an

I am grateful for this information to Prof. K. Kaczanowski and Mr A. Kosydarski from the Anthropology
Department of the Jagiellonian University, who are running detailed anthropological studies of human
remains from the necropolis in Koshary.



upper limb. The remains apparently lack any preserved lower limb bones and there is no
trace of pelvis, spine, rib or sternum bones which should be located in the central part of
the burial chamber, according to an analysis of how the remaining skeleton parts were
placed. There is an intriguing disproportion between the empty central and western
parts of the burial chamber and the eastern part. During the exploration, no traces of
robbery or another opening in the niche were discovered, while traces of intensive animal
penetration (small and medium mammals) were clearly visible. It is possible that animal
activity accounts for the stated condition of the skeleton and caused misplacement of
some small items in the grave (Pl. 17:3).
As mentioned above, especially rich burial equipment was placed in proximity
to the remains which consisted of gifts for the deceased for his further travel in the
netherworld (Pl. 18:1). It is worth mentioning that child graves with any burial
equipment whatsoever are very rare in the Koshary necropolis and such a rich set of
burial gifts would have been exceptional even if discovered with remains of an adult
person. The burial equipment consisted of jewelry two silver bracelets ending with
decorations in the shape of snake heads and a set that probably is a remnant of a necklace.
It consists of two bone pendants and two round beads of glass paste. One bone pendant
is cicadashaped while the other is shaped as a miniature twosided comb. A rich set
of ceramic vessels was also placed in the tomb. An amphora from Thasos island was
placed horizontally on an NWES axis at the eastern wall of the chamber. To the east
of the amphora, one glass paste bead was discovered. To the west of the amphora, at
its bottom part, there was a black glaze kantharos imported from Athens, while at its
upper part a vessel of pale clay in the shape of a flask was placed. Further to the west,
skull bones of the deceased were discovered and next to them a small jug with a spout
of grey clay.4 Between this vessel and the remains of the skull, a bone model of a comb
was discovered. The cicada figure, on the other hand, was found about 30 cm to the
northwest of the skull bones. One bracelet together with a second bead was placed
in the central part of the chamber while a second bracelet was the furthest to the west.
Those three last items (bracelets and glass paste bead) as well as the bone cicada were
probably not lying in situ, which is suggested by a substantial distance and spread of
those items from the rest of the grave deposit. Those objects could have been moved
there as a result of the animal penetration inside the niche the objects are relatively
small and such a displacement is theoretically possible.

For further information regarding grey ware from Koshary see A. Kowal p. 74-94.



Fig. 2. Grave No. 211 horizontal view and crosssec on (Drawing G. aczek, digital
visualiza on E. Pohorska-Kleja).


The most interesting aspect of this burial from our point of view are obviously
the bone objects that may be interpreted as amulets. The cicada figurine, depicting
a reposing insect, is very well preserved, made of animal bone of a bluishgrey color,
measuring approx. 25 mm in height and 10 mm in width, which is more or less the
insects natural size. The comb model measuring 17 mm in width and 13 mm in height
has 8 teeth on each side and was made from a type of bone similar to that of the first item
described above and was also very well preserved (Pl. 18:2). Both items have small holes
in their upper part, which probably served to attach a string or band made of an organic
substance, since no trace of it was left. As mentioned above, the cicada figurine as well
as both beads of glass paste were found at a certain distance from the place where the
bones of the deceased were placed, and were probably relocated and therefore give no
clues as to what was the original character of the whole set and only the miniature comb
found near the skull bones may suggest that originally it was a form of a necklace.
It may be assumed that the custom of placing miniature combs in graves, especially
with childrens burials, also existed in other parts of the Black Sea coast region. A very
similar, almost identical item, a model of a twosided comb made of bone, was discovered in a childs grave that was dug into the northwestern part of a barrow near Kalos
Limen (a Greek colony in the northwestern part of the Crimean Peninsula), which
may most probably be dated to the turn of the 4th century B.C. or the beginning of
the 3rd century B.C . The comb was placed near the skull, in proximity to some bronze
beads which had probably made a whole necklace together with a comb (Smirnov 1952,
187192). Similarities to the tomb in Koshary seem quite significant and further prove
our assumption that the set of pendants and clay beads was originally a necklace. The
deceased from Kalos Limen was also provided with two bracers or bronze bracelets,
resembling in shape those found in grave No. 211 at the Koshary necropolis.
The custom of placing cicada models with the deceased in their graves, which is visible in Greek colonies on the northern shores of the Black Sea, is most probably derived
from Greece (Attica, Peloponnesus). The models were made of bone, but also of different other materials, such as clay or gold (Hoffmann 1997, 115116).
A cicada was regarded by ancient Greeks as a symbol of immortality. It was believed
that it was born of itself of earth and dirt, which may have been caused by its peculiar
birth cycle (Hoffmann 1997, 115). The insect places its eggs underground, where the
larvae are hatched (a transitional form of the cicada), which for a long period, even
up to a few years, live underground, feeding on tree root juices. It is also underground
that a transformation into an adult form takes place and it is only then that cicadas go


outside, as fully shaped, adult insects which may look as if they were born of the earth
(Stank 1972, 117).
A cicada was also believed to be a companion of human souls departing to the otherworld (as a sort of psychopompos a guide to the world of the dead) (Hoffmann 1997,
117). According to a Greek myth, Tithonos, the son of Laomedon, king of Troy, was
turned into a cicada. Earlier the goddess Eos (Dawn) fell in love with the beautiful youth
and her love was returned. To keep her lover forever, she asked Zeus to give Tithonos
immortality. Unfortunately, Eos forgot to ask for eternal youth for her earthly lover, so
in the course of time he grew old (although he ate nectar and ambrosia, the food of the
gods, with his rosyfingered bride) and he was no longer attractive to the goddess. Eos
was bored with the feeble old man and abandoned him in a chamber in her palace on
the edge of the Earth and later turned him into a cicada, at least to preserve his beautiful
voice when the beauty of his body was long gone (Graves 1982, 138139).
A very interesting discovery was made in Olbia that allows us to properly analyze
the pendants from grave No. 211 from Koshary. During excavations in the area of
the Olbian agora (in the eastern part) in the 1950s, a figurine depicting a cicada and
a miniature comb model were found together with other pendants made of animal
bone and beads of glass paste (Pl. 18:3). The items were discovered in the remains of
a building then interpreted as a house and a store which had been destroyed around the
turn of the 4th century B.C. The building consisted of seven chambers located in a line
along an NS axis, which made it very long and narrow. In each chamber, large amounts
were discovered of coins and other types of items (such as ceramic vessels, ornaments
and jewelry), which probably were being sold or traded in that building (to put it in
modern terms, the building was a sort of a shopping mall or gallery where each chamber
was a separate store offering a different sort of goods). The abovementioned amulets
were discovered in chamber No. 5, located approximately in the middle of the building,
which in terms of form, size and other features was similar to all the other chambers in
this building ( Levi 1956, 5386). This may be proof that such items were available to
buyers in Olbia as well, at approximately the same time that the child from the grave in
question was buried. It is also possible that the items were produced there workshops
in the city were developed to a considerable extent and specialized in producing objects
of animal bone of different sorts from strictly utilitarian (such as awls, knife handles,
spindles, whorls, combs) to ornaments and jewelry (Krizhitskii et al. 1999, 210). The
above items from the Koshary necropolis may have been purchased in Olbia or may
have been brought from that city to Koshary by merchants. The buyers, probably


parents or relatives of the child buried in grave No. 211, presented the child with this
pendant, which did not bring luck to the little owner. Most probably we will never find
out if the child was sick and the amulet was to help with the healing, or if it had been
purchased earlier, or maybe they were bought at the moment of death and placed in
the grave on that occasion to accompany the child in its road to the other world the
cicada was a funerary symbol after all. It is also uncertain whether the custom of placing
miniature combs was connected to some sort of funeral rite or the little owners (after all
both examples were found in child graves) had such amulets on them when they were
alive and after death the items were placed in their graves. Based on the materials I have
gathered up to now, I support the view that the items were funerary gifts the cicadas
chthonic character in particular may point to that, while finds of miniature combs are
now only known from tombs, not counting the discovery from Olbia, which probably
was connected to a place such items were manufactured, sold or traded.
Grave No. 211 from the Koshary necropolis is dated to the end of the 4th century
B.C. based on Athenian black glaze vessels (according to PapuciWadyka). This
dating is confirmed by similar finds from the mound burial near KalosLimen and
from the Olbian agora which were mentioned above. The Olbian provenience of
the bone pendants from Koshary described above proves close relations between the
settlement and the nearby metropolis and may be an additional argument (apart from
others, e.g. coins) to prove that the site excavated by our team was part of an agricultural
background chora of Olbia.

Appel W.
2001 Hymn do Afrodyty, [in:] Hymny Homeryckie V, W. Appel transl.,
Toru, 215-240.
Graves R.
1982 Mity greckie, H. Krzeczkowski transl., Warszawa.
Hoffmann H.
1997 Sotades. Symbols of immortality on Greek Vases, Oxford.
Krizhitskii S.D., Rusiaeva A.S., Krapivina V.V., Leipunskaia M.V., Anokhin V.A,
1999 Olvia. Antichnoe gosudarstvo v severnom prichernomore, Kiev.


Levi E. I.
1956 Olviiskaia agora, MIA 50, Moskva, 53-86.
Papuci-Wadyka E, Redina E.F, Chochorowski J., Bodzek J, Machowski W.
2006 Greek Settlement on the Northern Black Sea coast. Polish-Ukrainian
excavations in Koshary (Odessa Province): Third preliminary report
Seasons 2000-2003, Recherches archologiques de 1999-2003, 354-374.
Smirnov G.D.
1952 Raskopki skifskogo kurgana bliz gorodishcha Kalos Limen, VDI 4,
Stank V.J.
1972 Wielki atlas owadw, Warszawa.


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PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Mariusz Mielczarek
Toru, Poland

Archaeological Excava ons at Ancient Nikonion


Nikonion is a small Greek city founded on the left bank of the Tyras (Dniester) river.
The stronghold covering remains of the ancient Nikonion is located ca. 500 m to the
north-west of the village of Roxolany, in the Ovidiopol region (Odessa province).
Ancient written sources referring to Nikonion are extremely scanty, practically
confirming the existence of the Nikonion on the left bank of the river, where the Tyras
joints the Black Sea.
Systematic excavations of Nikonion were begun in 1957. Joint excavations by the
Archaeological Museum in Odessa and the Nicolas Copernicus University in Toru
were begun in 1995.
During last five years archaeological research concentrated in two regions of the
stronghold, in the north-western and in northern part of the mound. In the northwestern region the excavations took place along the bank of the river. Remains discovered
during the excavations consist of houses dug into the ground, dated to the earliest phase
of the city, fragments of houses dated to the 5th-4th centuries B.C. and of remains of
buildings from the early Roman period. The excavations in the northern part of the
mound were connected with the investigation of the defence system of the city.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

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Avram A.
2001 Les territoires d`Istros et de Callatis, [:] Problemi della`chora`
coloniale dall`occidente al Mar Nero, Taranto, 596, 605, 608.
., ., .
, [:] ,
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7, 122137.
1984 , [:]
, .. (.),
K, 7479.
1991 , [:] , 5261.

1966 ,
5, 149162.
., .
1985 , [2ed. 1994].
Klejman, I.
2001 Defensive structures on the territory of Tyras, [:] North Pontic
Archaeology, Colloqvia Pontica 6, G.R. Tsetskhladze (ed.), Leiden
BostonKln, 5366.
1996 , [:]
, . (.), , 142147.
Mielczarek M., Okhotnikov S., Sekunda N. (eds.)
1997 Nikonion. An Ancient City on the Lower Dniestr, Toru.
(VIIII . ..), , , 101122.
1990 VIV . .,. .
(VIIII . ..), [:]
, . (.), ,
1996 , [:]
, , 7879.
1997 Tyras i Nikonion. wiat kolonii greckich u ujcia Dniestru, Toru.
2000 , .
2001 Settlements in the Lower Reaches of the Dniester (6th 3rd
Centuries BC), [:] North Pontic Archaeology, Colloquia Pontica
6, G.R. Tsetskhladze (ed.), LeidenBostonKln, 91115.


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, [:]
, . (.), , 246252.
. . ()
1997 , .
., A.
, [:] , 4452.
1988 VII . .., .
1989 , .
Sekerskaya N.M.
2001 Nikonion, [:] North Pontic Archaeology, Colloquia Pontica
6, G.R. Tsetskhladze (ed.), LeidenBostonKln, 6790.
1993 , K.
1979 , [:] ,


Sergei Borisovich Okhotnikov

Odessa, Ukraine

Ancient settlements in the Lower Dniester area (6th c. B.C. 3rd c. A.D.)

Greeks dwell at the mouth of the river, who are called Tyritae.
Herodotus, The Histories [4.51]
For ancient Greeks, the northern coast of the Black Sea (Pontus Euxinus) constituted the
boundaries of oikumene. Nevertheless, the fertile lands, waters abundant in resources (fish and
seafood), opportunities to trade with local tribes all those factors encouraged foundation
of cities in this area Greek colonies (apoikiai), which became one of the most important
phenomena in the history of the steppes on the coast of the Black Sea. For the period of 1000 years
of their history, they played an important role in the socio-political and cultural development as
well as in mutual relations between the Greek and barbaric civilisations inhabiting this area. The
ancient Tyras in the lower Dniester basin was one of the regions of the Greek colonisation.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Andrzej Pydyn
Toru, Poland

Preliminary results of archaeological underwater

survey in the northern part of the Black Sea
basing on the example of Olbia
The paper will summarize the preliminary results of an underwater survey conducted by the Department of Underwater Archaeology of the Toru University on
the ancient site of Olbia. The research on this site was conducted on a limited scale
and requires further intense work. The involvement of the Department of Underwater
Archaeology in surveys on the northern coast of the Black Sea started with a project at
Nikonion. Already in 1962, V.D. Blavatskii carried an underwater investigation on this
site and suggested that the submerged part of Nikonion had a big potential for underwater archaeology. Unfortunately, an evaluation conducted more than 30 years later by
the Department of Underwater Archaeology of the University of Toru indicated that
the scale of destruction of the site caused by the river and the erosion of the cliff was so
significant that further underwater surveys were extremely difficult to continue. Shortly
after the work at Nikonion, a kind invitation provided by the Institute of Archaeology
of the Ukrainian Academy of Sciences in Kiev gave an opportunity to carry preliminary
underwater surveys in Olbia. The work took place in two seasons in the years 2003 and
2004 (Kola, Szulta 2003; Kola, Gronek 2004).
The ancient city of Olbia was one of the biggest and richest towns on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Parallel to the development of the Upper City of Olbia,
a Lower City was built. This part of town was associated with a harbour existing
there and generally with other river and water-oriented activities. Furthermore, during different chronological periods, the area of the Lower City had been incorpo135



Fig. 1. A general map of Olbia (a er Kryzhitskii, Krapivina 1994, 186).



rated into the defence system of the town (Fig. 1). Probably at the end of the 3rd
century B.C. or at the beginning of the 2nd century B.C., a catastrophic landslip
destroyed most of the Lower City. The devastated part of Olbia was abandoned
for at last a few decades and would never again reach the same scale of occupation.
Nonetheless, different types of settlements associated with harbour activities must
have functioned there until the final abandonment of Olbia (Kryzhitskii, Krapivina
1994, 186).
Already at an early stage of archaeological research in Olbia it was noticed that
a significant part of the Lower City together with the harbour and the eastern defence system had been flooded by the water of the Boh River (Fig. 2). The need for an
underwater survey was realised by Prof. S.D. Kryzhitskii, who in the period between
1971 and 1977 directed a project that aimed to provide topographic and stratigraphic information about the submerged area. As a result of that work, some large visible
stone remains were planned to be explored. Two stone structures running east-west
were interpreted as two phases of the northern wall. The one located further north
was suggested to belong to the pre-Getic period. The other located further south to

Fig. 2. A map of the submerged part of the Lower City of Olbia (a er Kryzhitskii, Krapivina
1994, 194).



Fig. 3. A map of the stone structure discovered during the underwater survey
(a er Kola, Szulta 2003).


the post-Getic period (or generally to the first centuries A.D.), when the size of the
town shank significantly. The plans made in 1970s also suggested a localization of
the eastern boundary of the Lower City. The place called the landing stage was
described as remains of a defensive complex of the first centuries B.C.
The important information gained during that early survey was the localization of
two fields of amphora sherds. The first field was dominated by pottery dating to the
4th century B.C. (70% of all fragments). In the second field, amphorae and kitchen
and table ware were found, broadly dating to the period between the 1st and 4th
centuries A.D. The amphora fields were interpreted as remains of the harbours warehouses or even living quarters (Kryzhitskii, Krapivina 1994, 195).
The underwater archaeological survey in Olbia resumed in 2003 and 2004. Its first
main objective was to relocate the stone structures planned during the earlier surveys
and to define the location of the eastern wall. At this stage of work, a powerful water
gun was used to uncover the stone structures. At the beginning, the area of research
concentrated between the remains of the so-called northern wall from the first centuries A.D. and the so-called quay. The survey was conducted in the section located
from 130 to 200 meters from the current shore of the Liman. The only regular structure
discovered in this part of the site was a wall 60 cm broad and 75 cm high that ran for
a few meters. This structure was found 60 meters south of the so-call northern wall.
The next stage of the survey concentrated in the area located east of Trench XV
from the Lower City. A spectacular concentration of stones that formed a 5-7-meterwide wall was discovered 30 meters away from the current shore. This stone structure
runs parallel to the shore and was found at a distance of more than 70 meters. It was
made of regular stones of various sizes. In its southern part, the wall may join with structure XXVI described by Kryzhitskii as a landing stage (Fig. 3). A majority of archaeological artefacts discovered during the survey were dated to the 4th century B.C. Nonetheless, many other finds from different chronological periods were collected during
the underwater research. For example, a well preserved wooden timber from a ship of
Ottoman origin should be dated to the Middle Ages.
Based on the example of Olbia, and to some extent Nikonion as well, one can distinguish some peculiar features of underwater archaeology of ancient cities located in
the mouths (limans) of major Pontic rivers.
Shallow water (often no deeper than 2 meters)
Low visibility (often less than 0.5 meters)



Significant pollution of the water (which makes work difficult or even impossible)
Large areas to investigate (that make work difficult to manage)
Limited number of reference points
Chronological complexity
Continuous erosion of submerged and on-land archaeological sites
Relatively high cost of underwater surveys

The solution to at last some of the problems mentioned above can be found in new
advanced technologies recently available to archaeology. A GIS and total station can
provide a very powerful tool to map large complex areas in a short time. It can be particularly useful in shallow waters like those in Olbia. Different remote sensing techniques
can help in search for regular stone structures covered by sand and rubble. One can only
hope that some of these technologies will be used in the field.

Kola A., Szulta W.
2003 Sprawozdanie z archeologicznych bada podwodnych przeprowadzonych w limanie rzeki Boh w Olbii na pnocnym wybrzeu Morza
Czarnego w dniach 17-29.08.2003 roku (not published).
Kola A., Gronek S.
2004 Sprawozdanie z archeologicznych bada podwodnych przeprowadzonych w limanie rzeki Boh w Olbii na pnocnym wybrzeu Morza
Czarnego w dniach 01-15.08.2004 roku (not published).
Kryzhitskii S.D., Krapivina V.V.
1994 A Quarter-century of Excavations at Olbia Pontica, Classical Viev
38, 181- 205.


, 2003
2004 . , , ,


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

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Chochorowski J., PapuciWadyka E., Redina E. F.
1999 The Polish Ukrainian Excavations at Koshary; Odessa District.
Preliminary Report, Studies in Ancient Art and Civilization 9,
2000 Polskoukraiskie badania wykopaliskowe zespou stanowisk z okresu
antycznego w miejscowoci Koary koo Odessy, MSROA XXI,
185 202.
1974 . ,
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274 275.
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PapuciWadyka E., Chochorowski J., Redina E.F. et al.
2004 Koszarygrecka osada nad Morzem Czarnym w wietle picioletnich

bada polskoukraiskiej ekspedycji (19982002), PORTOLANA.

Studia Mediterranea 1, Krakw, 4764.
PapuciWadyka E., Kokorzhitskaia T.N.
2004 Greek Amphorae from the PolishUkrainian Excavations at
Koshary, Odessa District (Fourth and Third Centuries BC) a First
Presentation, [:] Transport Amphorae and Trade in the Eastern
Mediterranean, (Acts of the International Colloquium at the Danish
Institute at Athens, September 2629, 2002), Eiring J., Lund J. (eds.),
(Monographs of the Danish Institute at Athens 5), Athens, 313324.
PapuciWadyka E., Redina E.F., Bodzek J., Machowski W., Nosova L.V.
2005 Koshary. Greek settlement on the Northern Black Sea coast. Polish
Ukrainian excavations in the 20012003 seasons, tudes et
Travaux XX, 194234.
PapuciWadyka E., Redina E.F., in collaboration with Stelmach S.
forthcoming The Black glaze pottery from the PolishUkrainian
excavations at Koshary (Black Sea coast, Odessa district). First
presentation, [:] '
, 2005, [7th Scientific Meeting on Hellenistic Pottery,
Aigio 2005], Athens.
Redina E. F., Chochorowski J.
2001 Koshary, [:] Ancient Greek Sites on the Northwest Coast of the
Black Sea, Samoilova T.L.(ed.), Kiev, 139154.
.., PapuciWadyka E.
. , 20002001 .,
, 240242.
.., PapuciWladyka E., Bodzek J.
2007 , [:]
. , , 261265.

1996 , [:]
, . II, . , 68-73.
. .
2007 ,
4, 95101.


Evgenya Fiedorovna Redina

Odessa, Ukraine
Ewdoksia PapuciWadyka, Jarosaw Bodzek, Wojciech Machowski
Krakw, Poland

The ancient archaeological complex at Koshary:

results of investigation

Greeks settled on the northern coast of the Black Sea, colonizing the new territory in the late
5th early 4th centuries B.C. In addition to two major regions of Greek colonization such as the
Lower Bug (with Olbia) and Lower Dniester basins (with Tyras), Hellenic settlements appeared
also on the Tiligul-Dniester interfluvial area located between these rivers. Greek settlements
mentioned by ancient authors in this region, on the coast west of Olbia and the Borysthenes
river, include the city of Oddesos (this is a second ancient Odessos; the first, identified with
modern Varna in Bulgaria, is older, it was established in c. 610 B.C.). At the beginning of the
19th century, some researchers (such as A.S. Uvarov, I.A. Stempkowskij or V.I. Goshkievich),
attempted to locate the city of Odessos (after which modern Odessa took its name) and other
settlements mentioned by ancient authors. The first archaeological investigation in the Tiligul
area began in 1950, when the archaeologist L.M. Slawin discovered an ancient Greek settlement
near the present-day village of Koshary. In 1954 E.A. Symonovich, for the first time, linked it
with the Odessos mentioned above. From 1967 to 1992 (with many breaks), the research was
conducted by E.I. Diamant, E.A. Levina and E.F. Redina.
For the past eight seasons, that is since 1998, archaeological excavations at Koshary have
been conducted by a joint Polish-Ukrainian expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the
Jagiellonian University and the Archaeological Museum of the Ukrainian National Academy
of Sciences in Odessa. Archaeology students from the Jagiellonian University and Odessa
University have been gaining field experience through participation in the excavations.
The complex of ancient sites near the modern village of Koshary is situated around 40 km to
the east of Odessa, on the western side of the Tiligulskii Liman, the ancient Axiakos (mentioned
by Pliny the Older, Naturalis Historia IV, 82), about halfway between modern Odessa and
ancient Olbia. The main part of the complex was a settlement (small town) located on the top of
the promontory, accompanied by an open-air altar (Russian: zolnik) and, to the northwest, by a
fairly large necropolis. The Koshary site, which presumably belonged to the chora of Olbia, one of
the most influential Greek city colonies on the Black Sea, lends itself perfectly to comprehensive
research. The present Polish-Ukrainian project aims at determining the nature of the Koshary
complex and its position within the Olbian chora, as well as in the polis of Olbia itself. Another
objective is to define the character of the relations between the Greek colonists and the native
tribes, chiefly Scythians.
From the scientific point of view, the site offers an excellent opportunity for complex analysis.
Annually in the eight-year-long project at Koshary, the Polish-Ukrainian archaeological team

worked in the town, the zolnik, and the necropolis. During the eight yearly campaigns about
1200 m2 were researched in the town (Trenches III, IV, VI, VII and VIII), about 350 m2 in and
around the zolnik (Trench V), and more than 7000 m2 in the necropolis, revealing almost 270
structures. Research confirmed the settlements time span as reaching from the end 5th/early
4th to about mid-3rd centuries B.C. The detailed aims of our research are to determine the
borders of the settlement, the character of its planning system, relations between the town and
its suburbs, as well as the planning and characteristics of the necropolis.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

[. 24-25]

. , , , ,
(47 ), .
, ,
, ,
, (Plin., IV, 82). ( )
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tuer tur ,
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185). .
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(Ovid., Epist. IV, 10, 50).
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, .
, (Ptolem., III, 10,8).
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22 ( 1997, 6162).
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1901; 1913).
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, 1975; , 1978; , 1988;
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1961; 1963; 1987; 1980). 65 .
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( 1999).
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1978; 1981; 1982; 2005; , 1993),
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( 2005, 230235)
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1949 , [:] , .1, ,
, 147-244.
Avakian G.
1924 tiri nou din Tyras: mnusi de amfore, igle i crmizi cu tampile,
CNA, 4950.
1927 tiri nou din Tyras: graffiti, CNA, 6768.
1931 Spturile de la CetateaAlb, ACIMB 3, 47-104.

73 . .., .
2006 , [:]
, , 30-33.
1999 , .
1949 - , 2, 39-52.
1952 . 1947 ., 4., 59-64
1955 19491950
., 5, 111-122.
1966 , M 5,
.., ..
1985 , Ke.
1979 , [:]
, , 54-75.
1997 , [:]
, , 53-66.
.., ..
1978 ,
25, 83-96.
.., ..
2004 o , [:]
, , 8-31.

.., .., .., ..,

.., ..
1999 . , .
1961 1958 ., 84, 67-70.
1984 . , [:]
, , 90-103.
Mateevici N.
2004 Importul amforelor greceti n sec. VI nceptul sec. II a. Chr. Autoref.
al tez. doc. n ist., Chiinu [unpublished doctoral thesis, Kishyniov].
Nicorescu P.
1924 Scavi e scoperte a Tyras, Ephemeris Dacoromanum 2, 378-415.
1927 La campagne de Philippe en 339, Dacia 2, 22-28.
1933 Fouilles de Tyras, Dacia 3/4, 557-601.
1977 IVIII . .. ,
1987 VII . .., .
., .
2004 , [:] Tracians
and Circumpontic world, Chiinau, 190-216.
1980 VIV . .. , [:] ,
, 84-96.
2005 , [:] XII, , 23-235.
.., ..
1991 ,
2, 6-16.

1978 IV I . .. , [:] , ,
1981 VI .
.., [:] , , 51-63.
1988 VII . .., .
2005 ,
[:] ,
, 220-229.
.. ..
1982 (IVI . ..),
, , 141-150.
.., . ..
2002 (
19961999 .), [:] Tyras Cetatea Alb / Belgorod Dnistrovskyj,
Bucureti, 159-190.
.., .
2002 , [:]
, , 109-114.
.., . .., ..,
2003 2002 .,
20012002, 249-252.
1993 , .
1957 ,

1960 , 4, 173-179.
1960 , 10, 78-83.
1963 , [:] , , 40-50.
1901 , 23, 33-61.
1913 1912 ., 31, 92-101.


Tatiana Lvovna Samoilova

Odessa, Ukraine

TyrasBelgorod Exploration:
Last 10 years of research of the BelgorodTyras expedition

The ancient Tyras and the remains of the medieval city built directly over it constitute one of
the most important monuments from the earliest and medieval times in Ukraine. With regard
to stratigraphy, this monument is one of the most complex archaeological objects since on the
remnants of the ancient city the medieval city of Belgorod-Akkerman together with the fortress
of Akkerman is situated, and the modern city buildings cover a part of the ancient site.
Since 1996, after a break lasting several years, archaeological surveys of the ancient city
have been continued by the Belgorod-Tyras expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the
National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, which is carrying complex research regarding the
ancient Tyras, as well as the medieval Belgorod. Ancient objects and cultural layers have been
explored, together with medieval architectural remains in the Central Trench and inside the
fortress. New sections of the defensive walls in the southern part of the trench and in the section
located west of the previously uncovered northern part of the defensive construction system were
revealed. Dwelling houses from the early and late Hellenistic period, buildings from the Roman
times, including the notable construction in the form of a peristile a courtyard 400 square
meters in area as well as remnants of a building from the late antiquity were unearthed. The
research of the latter led to refutation of the opinion predominant in professional literature that
the material culture of Tyras was barbarised in this period of time, because the above-mentioned
buildings were constructed in accordance with the ancient architectural tradition.
The exploration of layers from the ancient period was preceded by excavations which revealed
Turkish, Moldavian and probably early Byzantine objects. In 1998, the remains were uncovered
of a building (No. 10) dating to the period after the Hun invasion. On the ruins of this building,
houses from the Golden Horde times were erected, which presents evidence that this building
was demolished before the Golden Horde khan's rule over this region. The stratigraphy of the
specific section and the artefacts found in the fill of the building dated to the period between the
6th and the 9th centuries suggest that the site of Tyras was inhabited in the early medieval period.
In the course of the surveys conducted from 2004 to 2005, the remains of mighty ancient walls
(possibly defensive) in a low terrace were discovered. The wall stretches between the Central
Excavation and the Liman. In addition to that, the remains of an ancient structure within the
fortress were uncovered.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008


[. 26-30]

50- XX
. (, ).
. , 1995
(Scholl, 1998; Arseniewa, Scholl 1999, 2000 [2001],
2002, 2002 [2004]; Scholl 2004; Scholl 2005).

. 1. , .. .

1999 XXV (. 26:1).

, .. (, ) .
60- XX
( 1970; idem, 1972.). ..
: VI, VII, IX, XIII (. 1). VI VII
, .
: .
, .
: ,
, , (. 26:2), ;
, .
, (insulae),
, . ( 2002,

. 2. IX ( . : . ).

. 3. , . .

IX XIII ( 1969, 104-135): ,

3 , (. 2). .

1 (. 26:3).
, 22 , 3 .
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: ,
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). , 1999
625 .. ,
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, . .

. .


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29:2). 0.6 , 0.8 ,

. , 0.2 ,
II III . ..
( , 0.5 )
(. 29:3), . . 1999 12 .
(.. ),
. Doerner Institut ,
, , , . 500 .
, , 5 x 3 (. 30:1),
. , , II ..
(. 30:2). ,
. I . ..,
- ,


: , , . ,
I . ..
, . , , I . .. ,
, (. 10). ,
100-105, ,

J. Koller, U. Baumer.


. 10. ,
, . .

, IV-V . ..
(. 30:3).

, , , , (
30 ), ,
. ,
, .3
. ,
, . . ,
D. 3


.. .

, , ,
, .
, . ).

, [:] . 10
8-12.10.2005 . , Warszawa.
Arseniewa T., Scholl T.
1999 Tanais trzy lata bada nekropoli zachodniej, wiatowit 1 (42),
fasc. A, 15-16, pl. 1-6.
2000 [2001] Sprawozdanie z kampanii wykopaliskowej przeprowadzonej
na terenie zachodniej nekropoli Tanais w sezonie 1999 , wiatowit
2 (43), fasc. A, 13-16, pl. 2-11.
2002 Sprawozdanie z kampanii wykopaliskowej przeprowadzonej na
terenie tzw. zachodniej nekropoli Tanais w sezonie 2000 , wiatowit
3 (44), fasc. A, 17- 19, pl. 2-15.
2002 [2004] Sprawozdanie z kampanii wykopaliskowej w Tanais przeprowadzonej w sezonie 2002, wiatowit 4 (45), fasc. A, 13-20, pl. 1-11.

(1958-1963 .), [:] -,
, 104-135.
2002 (

2001 . c- .
, 18, 163-170.
Scholl T.
1998 Tanais 1996 wykopaliska nekropoli zachodniej pierwszy sezon
bada, wiatowit 41, fasc. A, 190-193.
2004 Polish excavations at Tanais, Novensia 15, 239-245.
2005 The fortifications of Tanais in the Light of Warsaw University
excavations, tudes et Travaux XX, 247-259.

1970 III-I . .., .
1972 , .


Tomasz Scholl
Warsaw, Poland

The Western part of Hellenistic Tanais in the light

of the Warsaw University Excavations

Since 1996, the Warsaw University have been conducting systematic archaeological research
in Tanais. We form part of the Lower Don Archaeological Expedition headed by Tatiana
Arseneva, from the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Moscow.
Since 1999, the research has concentrated in Trench XXV. The aim of our investigations is to
study the area located directly outside and inside the western defensive wall of the so-called
Hellenistic (Western) Tanais. Recent excavations by our expedition proved surprising in many
respects. We uncovered a defensive ditch running in front of our wall, a bridge with a unique
structure of a combination of wood and stone, and an access road to the bridge. On the broken
Hellenistic defensive wall and ditch, we uncovered part of a childrens necropolis with a few
burials in amphorae.
For the last two seasons we also have been digging in the area of the so-called Turkish
Rampart, just above the entrance (the main gate) to the town. Unfortunately, there are the
remains of Gothic settlement there.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008


, .
. , ,
. , ,
, .
. ,


, ..
, ,
, . ,

() ,
, , -
, ( 1913, 249;
1936, 251; 1953, 351; 1993, 5)
, ..
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( 1953, 328-362). .. , .. , .. ,

( 1953, 68), ( 1953,
550) () .
.. , , , ,
( 1953, 351).
, ..
60-80- .. , .. , .. ,
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9; , , 1986, 51-54; , 1987, 42-46).
. -

. , .. .. ,

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, .
, .
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(, , , 1986, 125-132),
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. .. (1991, 24).
, ,
, kill sites
(.. , .. ); , (.. , .. ), -
. , ,
, .. , ..
, .. ,

. -
, ,
( 1991, 22-23; 1990, 25-26;
1993, 3-7).
2 ( 1993, 3-7).
1. 700 . ,
40 -,
( ,
, , ..) , (, , , ,
.). (
) .
10 000 . ( 1989,
61-62; , , 1992, 10-23).
2. 500 . . , . , .
, (
1 000 1 . ), , ,
. 35-40 .
, .
, . 4 , , .. , . 1,5

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0,5 . , , 9 194

1992, 43-49). 15 - 17 ( .. ),
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4,5 .
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, 1989, 80).

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? ,
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.. (1953, 251-252) , , ,
, . .

. (VI-V . ..)
() ( 1913, 229;
1936, 251).
.. :
, ,
, . ,
, ,
. ,
, , ,
: .
, ,
. ,
(,1936, 251).
, ,
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. ,
, , (): , , , , ).
, .

2 ?
. , , ,
. .. : ,
, V . ,
... ( 1913, 235).
, , , (Kourtessi-Philippakis 1986, 43;
Kozowski (.) 1982, 62).
( ) (
1982; , , 1989).
(. 1953, 251). ,
, .
, , ,
( 1979; 1979; 1992).

- .

- .

( 2000; Stanko 2003).
, - ,

, . . ,

- , [:] : , , , .
1953 , 40, , .
1968 - , .
1968a , [:] , .
1991 , [:] : , , , .

1979 . , .
1953 , .
1913 , , .
Kozowski J.A. (.)
1982 Excavation in the Bacho Kiro Cave (Bulgaria). Final Report, Warszawa.

Kourtessi-Philippakis G.
1986 Le paleolithique de la Grce continentale, Paris.
, [:]
, .
.., ..
, [:] ,
1991 (
II), [:] : , , , .
.., .., ..
1986 , .
1952 ,
, 2.
1953 , .
, [:] .
, .
Stanko V.N.
2003 First Cattle-breeders of the Azov-Pontic Steppes, [in:] Prehistoric
Steppe adaptation and the Horse, Cambridge.
.., .., ..
1989 , .

.., .., ..
1992 (
), [:]
, .
1979 , .
1936 , [:] 4-5.
.., ..
1986 , [:]
- , .


Stanko Vladimir Nikiforovich

Nikolaev, Ukraine

The bison feast in the early cultures of South-Eastern Europe


The paper treats the issue of the appearance and development of the bison (bos) cult in the
ancient societies of the Balkans and the Northern Black Sea shore. The earliest evidence of this
cult is traced on the Upper Paleolithic sites of the North-Western Prychernomore (Amvrosiivka,
Anetivka 2). Excavations on those sites provided a firm basis for a reconstruction of the rite and
ceremony of the bison feast. The author deals with the cult evolution in the course of drastic
changes in the material culture and subsistence strategies of the prehistoric inhabitants of SouthEastern Europe predicating upon the archaeological complexes from the Neolithic till Medieval
times. The shift from hunting to producing economy was accompanied by a transformation of
the cult from hunters worship one to rites of herders and farmers but with a number of traits
preserved. The general trends in the primitive peoples world perception form the context of the
exploration of 6th-5th c. B.C. Athenian boufonia genesis on the soil of much more ancient beliefs
and rites.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

II . .., , ,


, , . ,

.. ( 1965,
63-85), .. ( 1961-1963, 75-91). ..

( 1975, 1 93-206). ..
II . .. -
( 1985, 33-53).
XII-X . ..
1976, 202-204; 1985, 42-45; 1986, 149; 1990,
70- . ( . 1927, . 6),

( 1971, . 2,31)
( 1975, . 7).
. 1980 .

.. ( 1987, . 1, 3).
. ( 1984, . 2, 4) (1990, . 35, 13) .

. ( 1990, .
35, 12). , , ..
. 1984-85 .
( 1986,
381; 1985, 512-513).
, 10 ,
. ,
. - . . . 41 (VinskiGasparini 1973, 114). . 34
, 11 (Bouzek
1969, 37, Fig.11). 11 (VinskiGasparini 1973, 119), , , 3-4 (VinskiGasparini 1973, 120).
(1 2 ),
(. 1).

, , .

. 1. (
. 3). I ; II .

, , ( 1986,
149; 1985, 42-45; 1990, 110-112),
, , -

6 3 .
, , .

(. 3:1-3)
(. 3:4-5). , ..
( 1985,
45). , ,
, Bogenfibeln. ,
( 1985, 45). ,
(. 3:3,10).
(. 55) (. 3:7, 9).
(. 1)
(. 3:8).
, .. ..
(1975, 192-206; 1985, 33-53),
, .
-, . ,
40 4 . . -
(Vinski-Gasparini 1973, tab. 89, 7). .
(Vasi 1999, 15-16, Taf. 2, 18, 20, 21).
(. 14)
(. 3:4-5) ,

(. 4:1). . ,
(. 4:2-4). ..

( 1985, 46). ,
, (. 3:11; 4:3).

II (, )

. 2. .


. 3.
1-10 ; 11-13

1 ;
2 , . 2, . 2;
3 , . 5, . 1;
4 , . 14;
5 , . 7, . 1;
6 , . 2, . 1;
7 , . 3, . 1;
8 , . 1;
9 , . 55;
10 , . 32, . 2;
11 ;
12-13 I (), . 4
1-8, 10, 11 ; 9, 12, 13 .

(Mller-Karpe 1959, 198, Abb. 32, 7; Taf. 4, H, 5; 6, 9).

(Mller-Karpe 1959, 208, Abb.43).
(. 4:6),
, , 4 12
(Schaeffer 1948, 113-114, pl. XXII, 15).
. (Schaeffer 1948, 115).

(Enchiuk V. 1987, 91, fig. VII, 87),
(. 4:5).
, ,
. , - ,

, , , . (Bouzek
1985, 155-156, fig. 80, 7, 8).


( 1991, . 3, 1, 2).
IV ,
. 0.4 .
8.7 9.2 (. 3:12-13). .. ..
. .., ..
( 1991, 206-207).
(6 2 ),
XII-X . .. , ,

. , ,
, ,
II .
.. . ,
. , ,
. ,


, , ..

(Snodgrass 1973, 210-213; Bouzek 1985, 152-157; 2002, 651-655).
XIV . .. , ,
- ,
. , , XII-X .
- , , , .

. ,

, 212

, (Snodgrass 1973, 213; 1982, 127-132; 1992, 168-172).

, -
- II . .. ,
. , , ,
, ,
, . . ,
, , ,
, ,
, ,
, (Snodgrass 1973, 210-213).

. 4. , , .
1 - ( . -),
2 ,
3 ,
4 ( . ),
5 ( . ),
6 ( . ).

, . 4- (. 4:1-4) , -
(Vasi 1999, 16).
. , ,
. ,
, II
. .., , .


, ,
. , ,
, .
, ,
. , ,
, ,
a, ,
(Karageorghis, Jacovou 1982, 136-137, fig. 4; Jonson 1980, 35).
. ,
, , .
, .
( 1991, 163). ,

, ( 1997, 164-166).
. -, ,

(- 1991, 159).
, , .
, , ,
- . ,
, , ,
, .

1986 , 1984 ., 381.
1987 . , 1985 .,
Agulnikov S.
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IV, Bucuresti.
, 1, C. , 165-173.
2002 .
(III I . ..), . .
.., .., ..,
1986 , .

Bouzek J.
1969 Homerisches Griechenland, Prague.
1985 The Aegean, Anatolia and Europe: cultural interrelations in the
second Millennium BC, Praha.
1990 - ,
.., .., ..
1992 - ,
1997 -
( ), [:] . ( , 60- ..
), , 154-167.
Vanugov V.P.
1996 Das Ende der Bronzezeit im nrdlichen Schwarzmeergebiet. Die
Belozerka-Kultur, Eurasia Antiqua, 2, Berlin, 287-309.
Vanugov V.P., Subbotin L.V.
2001 Noi complexe ale culturii Belozerka n zona dintre Nistru i Dunre/
New Complexes of Belozerka Culture in the Dniester Danube
Interfluve Thraco-Dacica XXI, 1-2, 163-176.
1987 . ,
[:] , , 107-126.
Enchiuk V.
1987 Deporitul de bronzuri de la Dridu, Thraco-Dacica VIII, 1-2, 72-91.
1967 , .
Jonson J.
1980 Maroni de Chypre, Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology LIX,

Karageorghis V., Jacovou M.

1982 Cypro-Geometric material from Palaepaphos, Report of the
Department of Antiquities Cyprus, Nicosia, 123-137, pll.
.., ..
1991 I (), 1, 197-209.
- .
1991 , 1, 156-160.
. 1961-1963 .,
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report in Archive of the Institute of Archaeology NAN Ukraine, inv.
no. 4973],
1971 , [:]
, 177, 73-91.
Mller-Karpe H.
1959 Beitrage zur Chronologie der Urnenfelderzeit nrdlich und sudlich
der Alpen, RGF, Bd. 22, Berlin.
1975 , [:]
, , 193-206.
, .
Otroenko V.V.
1998 DieWestbezienhungenderBelozerka-Kultur,[:]DasKarpatenbecken
und die steuropaische Steppe, Mnchen, 353-360.
1985 -
, 4, 33-53.

Schaeffer C.
1948 Stratigraphie compare et chronologie de l`Asie Occidentale,
Snodgrass A.M.
1973 Metal-work as evidence for immigration in the Late Bronze Age, [:]
Bronze age Migrations in the Aegean, London.
1965 , 1, 63-85.
1976 , .
1982 , [:]
, , 89-144.
1984 . ,
[:] - ,
, 24-32.
1927 . 1917-1927, . 8, .
1929 , , . 9, ,
1991 , , 1, 162-166.
Vasi R.
1999 Die Fibeln im Zentralbalkan, Prhistorische Bronzefunde, Abt.
XIV, Band 12.
Vinski-Gasparini Ks.
1973 Kultura polja sa arama u Sjevernoj Hrvatskoj, Zadar.


Vladimir Petrovich Vanchugov

Odessa, Ukraine

The oldest fibulae from the Black Sea coast


Thirteen fibulae, including violin bow and bow fibulae, are known from regions located on
the northern coast of the Black Sea. They belong to the oldest finds of this kind not only in the
territory of Ukraine, but also in all Eastern Europe east of the Carpathian Mountains. They can
be dated to the period between the 12th and 10th century B.C. Ten objects are made of bronze
and three of iron.
Ten fibulae from Belozerska culture burials appear to be among the most important
chronological determinants. The grave equipment which accompanies the fibulae is typical for
rich burials: bronze temporal pendants in the shape of a circle, fasteners, bell-shaped pendants,
knives, as well as glass and amber beads numbering between one or two and 216 objects. Pottery
decorated with ribs was found nearly in all complexes. Fibulae were discovered in burials of elite
members of a Belozerska culture community in burial mounds as well as in flat burial grounds.
In three cases, the fibulae were accompanied by gold jewellery typical for the graves of people
of the highest social status. Anthropological research revealed that fibulae constituted elements
of women's and childrens attire in the Belozerska culture. Until now, no mens grave inventories
with fibulae have come to light.
Two types of Belozerska culture fibulae can be distinguished: two-loop violin bow fibulae (6
items) and bow fibulae (3 items). Considering extensive distribution of bow fibulae, which were
analysed by V.V. Otroshchenko and G.I. Smirnova, we shall focus on the most typical group of
two-loop violin bow fibulae. A review of professional literature confirms that they belong to
one of the rarest types of early fibulae from Southeastern and Central Europe. A few analogies,
quoted by such researchers as K. Vinski-Gasparini, R. Vasi, H. Mller-Karpe, and C. Schaeffer,
come from the territory of the former Yugoslavia (4 items), Sicily (Pantalica II 810 items),
Syria (Hama two items) and Romania (one item). Accordingly, the concentration of violin
bow fibulae in the Black Sea region seems not to be accidental. The popularity of this type of
fibulae in the Pontic region is also evidenced by two iron artefacts found in the graves in the
Saharna I (Cygleu) burial ground of the Saharna culture in Moldova, dated to the end of the
10th century B.C. Thus, the concentration of two-loop fibulae in the studied considered area,
which substantially differ from the Balkan and Mediterranean analogies, and their long presence
in the period between the 12th and 10th centuries B.C. form the basis for distinguishing them
as the local, Black Sea variation of violin bow fibulae. It should be emphasised that analogical
fibulae are not known from other complexes in Eastern Europe, including the Caucasus.


PONTIKA 2006 2006

Recent Research in Northern Black Sea Coast Greek Colonies

(Proceedings of the Interna onal Conference, Krakw, 18th March 2006)
Krakw 2008

Michael Vickers
Oxford,Great Britain

Amiran Kakhidze
Batumi, Georgia

Pichvnari 1967-2005;
recent work in a Colchian and Greek settlement
[Pls. 31-32]

Pichvnari lies on the Black Sea coast of Georgia, at the confluence of the Choloki
and Ochkhamuri rivers, some 10 km to the north of the town of Kobuleti in the Ajarian
Autonomous Republic. Major settlements began at Pichvnari in the Middle Bronze
Age At the end of the 2nd millennium B.C. iron working seems to have started at the
Choloki-Ochkhamuri confluence (Khakhutiashvili 1987), and in the pre-Classical
period (8th-7th cent. B.C.) dune settlements appeared along the shore line to the west
of the Pichvnari settlement, with occupation levels up to 6 or 7 metres deep.
Pichvnari (which means the place of the pine trees in Georgian: the ancient name is
unknown) became progressively more important from the Early Classical period, and in
the Classical and Hellenistic periods it was one of the major urban centres of the eastern
Black Sea littoral, with close trading, economic and cultural relations with other centres of
the Classical world. The urban settlement, which lay a little way inland, occupied an area of
up to 100 hectares (Fig. 1: I, II, VII). Three major cemeteries, directly related to the urban
settlement, have been brought to light. Lying to the west of the settlement site, beyond the
Choloki (which will have been navigable by ships in antiquity), these cemeteries occupy
an area of perhaps 20 hectares. One is what has been called a Colchian necropolis of
the 5th century B.C. (Fig. 1:III), the other a 5th-4th century B.C. Greek cemetery (Fig.
1:IV), and the third belongs to the Hellenistic period (Fig. 1:V). The cemeteries belong
to the period mid-fifth century to mid-third century B.C., after which the site remained
unused until part of it was employed as a cemetery again in the 4th century A.D. Much
of the necropolis area is covered with tea bushes, the remains of what was in former times


a flourishing tea plantation. This is slowly reverting to nature, and a good deal of clearance
has to be undertaken before excavation can take place.
The work of the Pichvnari Expedition, organised from the Batumi Archaeological
Museum and the Batumi Research Institute, ceased at the time of the break-up of the
Soviet Union (results summarised in Tstetskhladze 1999), but it was possible to start
again in 1998 with the collaboration of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, and work
has continued each year since then. The co-directors have been Amiran Kakhidze, Director of the Batumi Archaeological Museum and until recently Rector of Batumi State
University, and Michael Vickers, Professor of Archaeology in the University of Oxford,
and Curator of Greek and Roman antiquities at the Ashmolean Museum. This, the first
ever joint British-Georgian excavation, has been generously supported over the years by
the British Academy, the British Institute of Archaeology at Ankara, the Seven Pillars
of Wisdom Trust, the Oxford Craven Committee, a Jesus College, Oxford Research
Grant, the Department of Antiquities at the Ashmolean, and with private donations. Preliminary reports have been published in successive issues of Anatolian Archaeology since
1998 (Vickers, Kakhidze 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001a, 2002, 2003, 2004b), an article on
the 1998 season appeared in Anatolian Studies for 2001 (Vickers, Kakhidze 2001b), and
a monograph covering the work of the 1998-2002 seasons, Pichvnari 1, was published in
2004 (Vickers, Kakhidze 2004a), Pichvnari 2, dealing with work in the Greek cemetery
between 1967 and 1989, is in the press, and Pichvnari 3, on work done since 2004 is in
active preparation. The Pichvnari webpage was created in 2005 by Agnieszka Frankowska
of the University of Toru: http://home.jesus.ox.ac.uk/~mvickers/Home%20page.htm,
and has since been updated.

Fig. 1. Pichvnari, plan.



The se lement
Early work in the area of the
settlement was not easy, in that it took
place in a copse, where the trees were
deep-rooted. The upper level produced
the tip of a Late Roman wine jar. The
underlying Hellenistic layer included
pithos fragments and tiles from Sinope
and Heraclea Pontica (Vickers, Kakhidze
2004b, Figs. 300ff ). Fragments of
imported (mostly Sinopean) and locally
Fig. 2. Amphora fragments from the
made amphoras characterised the next
se lement at Pichvnari.
levels (Fig. 2), and in a level datable
by fifth and fourth century B.C. pottery were found hard-packed misshapen lumps of
fired clay that were probably the remains a wooden structure destroyed by fire. Much the
same profile was obtained in a trench dug in more open ground, where we were able to
go deeper, as far as the eighth or seventh century B.C. wooden foundations of houses,
a level at which a wooden plough and a Colchian bronze axe were found. It had been
hoped to date these foundations dendrochronologically, but they are of beech, and the
dendrochronological profile of beech is as yet unknown (thanks are due at this point to
Professor Peter Kuniholm of the Cornell Dendrochronology Laboratory for his help in
this matter). Spindle-whorls (Fig. 3), loom-weights (Fig. 4), grindstones, net weights, and
whetstones, in addition to a large number of ceramic finds, attested to the way of life of the
Colchian inhabitants. There is no indication as
yet as to where the Greek population of ancient
Pichvnari may have lived.

The Colchian Cemetery

The Colchian cemetery is situated to the
west of the Pichvnari settlement, on a natural
elevation, called Napurvala by the local
residents, on the left bank of the Choloki. To
the west of the 5th century B.C. Colchian
cemetery lies a Greek necropolis of the 5th
and 4th centuries B.C. The precise dimensions

Fig. 3. Spindle whorls from the

se lement at Pichvnari.


are as yet uncertain. There

is some disagreement as to
whether the evident differences
between the more or less
contemporary cemeteries are
the result of ethnic distinctions
(Kakhidze 1981) or the result of
socio-economic differentiation
(Braund 1994, 114).
The 5th century B.C.
Fig. 4. Loom weights from the se lement at Pichvnari.
Colchian cemetery occupies
a large area. The hill slopes from the south-east to the north-west. Burials are found
almost everywhere. Intermittent field work has been carried on here since 1966, and 232
burials had been studied before 1989, and 115 since. The inventory of burial complexes
constitutes the principal source for the study of Colchian history and culture of the
Classical period; in particular evidence for trading links with Greek centres.
Some 50 cm below the regular ground level, and beneath layer of lose earth is a layer
of hardened sandy soil into which the outlines of most of the burials cut into the natural
earth could clearly be seen. Most burials are simple pit burials in which the deceased were
laid in a crouched position (Pl. 31:1). A feature of the acid soil is that nothing organic
survives, whether bones, wood or textiles. Both imported and local pottery occur among
the grave goods, and they are frequently placed near the head. For example, Burial 234
found in 2005 included an Attic black-gloss bolsal (one handle of which was broken
off ) and a locally made Colchian jug. A peculiar feature of burials at Pichvnari, in both
Colchian and Greek cemeteries is the presence of the custom of Charons obol, whereby
a coin or coins might be placed in the mouth of the dead. Such coins are most frequently
the locally produced kolkhidki, triobols, with a human head on the obverse, and a bulls
head on the reverse, made on the Persian weight standard (Doundoua 1982; Braund
1994, 118-121; Vickers, Kakhidze 2004b). Very occasionally the metal might react with
the enamel of the teeth, allowing the latter to survive intact (Pl. 31:2). Jewellery also
occurs. A notable example is the pair of gold penannular earrings made along the lines of
Achaemenid bracelets, with highly stylised lions heads at the finials.
Wooden coffins are unusual in the Colchian cemetery (and when they were used,
the only indication of their presence is in the shape of iron nails, very occasionally
bronze, Fig. 5). The iron was analysed at the Research Laboratory for Archaeology and


the History of Art in Oxford, and found to be exceedingly pure with other elements
only existing as traces (Broadgate [in:] Vickers, Kakhidze 2004). There is in fact a lot of
evidence for iron smelting in the area of Pichvnari (Kakhutiashvili 1987) and it is likely
that iron was a major export commodity from the emporion at Pichvnari in antiquity.
Iron corrosion products allowed for the identification of the wood (pinus sylvestris),
and for an estimation of the thickness of the wood of the coffins (between 2.6 and 5
cm). Infant burials in re-used amphoras are more frequent in the Greek cemetery. One
was found in the Colchian cemetery for the first time in 2005.
Our knowledge of Colchian pottery has greatly increased thanks to the recent
excavations at Pichvnari. Most Colchian vessels are jugs with biconical or rounded
bodies, a flat bottom and a conical or straight neck. The decoration might consist of
a series of small impressed circles or ovals, or incised almond or fern-shaped motifs.
Occasionally there are vestigial rivets (Fig. 6), which bespeak a metal origin for at least
the forms concerned (Vickers, Gill 1996, 108, 111, Fig. 5.4.). Jugs with spouted handles
are also prominent in the Colchian ceramic repertoire (Fig. 7). Most known 5thcentury B.C. specimens come from Pichvnari, and are distinguished by their careful
craftsmanship (Kakhidze 1979, 101-102). They would appear to have affinities with
Achaemenid silverware.

The Greek necropolis

In what is a unique site anywhere on the Black Sea coast, the graves of indigenous
peoples and Greek colonists occur close to each other; evidence of a close and
peaceful relationship throughout the Classical period (or, if one prefers, allows for

Fig. 5. Iron and bronze (r.) nails.



Fig. 6. Colchian jugs of Pichvnari type, the one on the le with ves gial rivets.

the observation of social differentiations within a society that was already multiracial) (Braund 1994, 114). If the Greek cemetery really is Greek, it is important
not just for Colchis, but for the eastern Black Sea and the Classical world in general,
for no other necropolis of potentially Greek ethnicity is known in Transcaucasia.
The individual burials are very well preserved, allowing the accurate study of the
burial customs employed. The Greek colonists seem to have chosen a sandy coastal
zone for their cemetery, and the earliest burials (of the mid-5th century B.C.) are to
be found here. In the later 5th century B.C. the Greek necropolis extended to the
east, towards the Colchian necropolis, and to the south. 150 graves were found in
the earlier classical cemetery before 1989, and 273 since; and 35 in the later classical
cemetery before 1989, and 90 since. The area was used intensively, but no cases of
reuse of graves have been found. A great deal of archaeological material has been
discovered in the burial complexes and on ritual platforms (or areas for burial feasts
[Pl. 31:3; cf. the dark patches on Fig. 8]), constituting a valuable historical source for
the study of the trading, economic and cultural contacts of ancient Colchis within
the Classical world.


In the 5th-century B.C. Greek necropolis a loose sandy layer is followed by hardened
sandy soil; nails and amphorae in the coffins are often the first things to appear. After
recording, individual burials are studied to gain information about the burial customs
employed. The first burials to be excavated in 1967 (Fig. 8) were among the richest to have
been found. The largest grave (Burial 1) contained, in addition to several amphoras and
pieces of bronze sympotic furniture, a fine Attic red-figure calx-crater decorated with the
Rape of Helen and the Departure of Triptolemus (Fig. 9). The latter has been attributed
to the hand of the so-called Niobid Painter(Kakhidze 1973; Sikharulidze 1987, 60-66).
This and other graves contained silver phialai (Fig. 10). There were relatively fewer ritual
platforms in the areas explored in later years than there had been among the richer burials
found earlier to the west. The area appears to have been used for the burial of the relatively
poor, thus lending some weight to Braunds hypothesis concerning social differentiation.
Most of the burials have the head to the east, in accordance with Greek custom. The
dimensions of the graves tended to be between 2.10m and 2.20m long, and coffins in
them between 1.50m and 1.70m. The dimensions of the coffins could be established,
even though actual wood did not survive, thanks to the iron nails which were preserved
in their hundreds. Nails were found overlying some burials, perhaps indicating a wooden
roof of some kind.
The arrangement of goods in the burials followed a regular pattern. Some objects
(e.g. ceramic jugs) were placed above the burial, or else buried outside the coffin (most
commonly amphoras, usually Thasian [or Peparethan], often at the eastern end). Within

Fig. 7. Colchian jug with spouted handle.



Fig. 8. The Greek cemetery, excava ons in 1967.



Fig. 9. The discovery of Burial 1 in 1967.

the grave objects might be placed at the feet, by the hands or at the head. Attic squat
lekythoi were frequently found, as were bolsals (Fig. 11) and other imported black-gloss
wares (Fig. 12), the earliest dating to the mid-fifth century B.C. Grey-ware jugs (Fig.
13), perhaps from Olbia, occur regularly, as do locally made ceramic wares. Glass vessels
are frequent. Jewellery might include gold. Silver (Fig. 14), bronze or iron bracelets,
earrings and finger rings. Glass beads abound in some graves.

Fig. 10. Silver phialai from the Greek cemetery.



Fig. 11. A c black-gloss bolsals from Pichvnari.

There were silver coins in the mouths of the deceased in the Greek cemetery too;
again mostly kolkhidki. Some coins were found pierced and had clearly been used as
pendants. They include coins of Apollonia, Theodosia, Panticapaeum and Nymphaeum (Kakhidze 1974; Kakhidze, Iashvili,Vickers 2001).
Many polychrome core-formed glass vessels have been found over the years in the
Greek, Colchian and Hellenistic cemeteries. New finds include an alabastron, with
a dark olive ground and spiralling blue decoration (Pl. 32:1); an amphoriskos with an
opaque brown ground and opaque yellow and turquoise blue decoration (Cf. Grose
1989, no. 104). The core-formed glass vessels found between 1998 and 2003 were the
subject of an Oxford masters thesis (Schroeder 2004). Strigils were unknown in the
eastern Black Sea area until they began to be found at Pichvnari in the 1960s (see Fig. 9).
Subsequently iron strigils were found in 4th-3rd century burials Takhtidziri, Inner
Kartli (Gagoshidze 1997,16-17), and in 1998 another, bronze, example was found in
the earlier classical cemetery at Pichvnari (Burial 174).
A most remarkable grave (Burial 261 [Pl. 32:2]) was discovered in 2005 that contained
no fewer than five core-formed glass vessels: two alabastra and three amphoriskoi, all of
them made of the customary dark blue glass with opaque yellow turquoise decoration


Fig. 12. A c black-gloss amphoriskoi from Pichvnari.

that evokesalbeit at a distancelapis lazuli, except for one of the amphoriskoi that was
off-white with purple decoration, a colour scheme that probably evokes murrhine ware,
or fluorspar (Tressaud, Vickers forthcoming). In addition to the glass vessels, there
were: an Attic lekythos, a squat lekythos, two silver earrings of a kind common in the
Black Sea region (Cf. Vickers 2002, pl. 12), a small gold ingot and semi-precious stones
mounted on gold wire as pendants, a silver finger ring, and a bronze mirror. It is not
often the case that burials at Pichvnari
can be differentiated according to the
sex of the occupant, but it is likely that in
the case of Burial 261 we are dealing with
a young girl (the dimensions are smaller
than those of surrounding graves).
Some burials have a ritual platform of
their own, occurring mostly to the northeast or east. The burnt and charred layers
contain fragments of local pottery as well
as Attic black-gloss cups, skyphoi, bolsals,
bowls and salt-cellars, some bearing
Fig. 13. Grey-ware jug from the Greek
graffiti. The funeral meal seems to have


been a regular practice, and it is often

the case that there was more pottery
on a platform outside a graveeither
ritually or accidentally smashed
than there was in the nearby burial.
Especially noteworthy is a bowl with
stamped decoration dating to the
first half of the 4th century, perhaps
the second quarter. Its most notable
feature is a graffito reading Dionusios
Leodamantos: Dionysios son of
Leodamas. Mrs Elaine Matthews of
the Oxford-based Lexicon of Greek
Personal Names kindly notes that The
distribution of the name Leodamas is
interesting. A sprinkling through the
islands (LGPN I), but 10 at Thasos; 7
in Athens; none in IIIA and 1 in IIIB
(Thessaly) i.e. basically none on the
mainland or the west; 1 Thracian, but
a group of 7 in Olbia; 5 in Miletos, 4
others scattered in Kyzikos, Kolophon
(Vickers, Kakhidze 2001; 2004).
Notable discoveries in the
Hellenistic cemetery to the south
Fig. 14. Silver bracelets with stylised animalof the classical cemeteries included
head finials from Pichvnari.
a grave containing a large number of
lead weights for a fishing net, probably indicating the occupation of the deceased; and
in another grave was found a large silver ring with a portrait of Berenice I on the bezel;
in yet another was found a coin of Sinope with a counterstruck owl.

Necropolis of the 4th century A.D.

An unexpected discovery was that part of the 5th century Greek cemetery had been
reused in the Roman period. Seven burials of the 4th century A.D. were found overlying
5th century Greek graves. Unlike them, they contained no iron nails; hence, presumably,
they lacked coffins.


Most Pichvnari burials of the 4th century A.D. have the head to the west, with
a slight north or south inclination. The burial pits are long and rectangular with
rounded corners, and lie about a metre below the modern surface. A covered clay vessel
seems to have been placed at the west end of the grave subsequent to internment. The
arrangement of the grave goods within the burials followed a particular order: glass
vessels were placed above the head and a flint whetstone near the right hand. Clay
vessels lay above the head, or at the feet. Glass beads were worn at the neck. Coins
were either in the mouth or in the right hand. Iron axes, iron knives, fibulae and
decorated finger-rings might lie on either side. Iron spears were usually to the right of
the body, and on one occasion to the left. The material found in the graves finds ready
parallels in other sites in the eastern Black Sea, such as Tsikhisdziri (Inaishvili 1993,
96-97) and especially at the contemporary Tsebelda complex (Inaishvili 1993, 9697). The most important object, critical for the dating of the re-use of the Pichvnari
necropolis, was a red-gloss plate from Burial 179. Many parallels exist at Tsikhisdziri
(Inaishvili 1993, Fig. 32.2), Bichvinta and Sukhumi (Lordkipanidze 1962, 244-245,
Fig. 12), and on the north shore of the Black Sea (Chersonesus, Phanagoria, Kepoi,
Tyritake, Tanais, Kytaion, etc.) (Belyaev 1962: 32 Fig. 1.4; Arsenyeva 1981, 45, Fig.
1.5, with references). The type is thought to come from Pergamum, and to have begun
at the end of the 3rd or early 4th century A.D. The majority of known examples are
dated to the 4th century, although production seems to have continued into the 5th
Further evidence for the re-use of the necropolis in late Roman times came in
2005, when a grave of the fourth or fifth century A.D. was discovered in the area of
the Colchian cemetery on Napurvala Hill. It produced a pair of gold pendant earrings
inlaid with red glass, a strip of base gold set with three glass or garnet beads, and a gold
ring decorated with wire-work and set with a glass or garnet stone. Every year produces
new surprises.

Arsenyeva T. M.
1981 The red-glazed pottery from Tanais of the end of the 4th-beginning
of the 5th century A.D., KSIA AN SSSR [Brief Reports of the
Institute of History] 168, Moscow.


Belyaev S. A.
1962 The red-glazed pottery of Chersonesus of the 4th-6th centuries A.D.,
[in:] The Classical History and Culture of the Mediterranean and the
Black Sea Region, Moscow (in Russian).
Braund D.
1994 Georgia in Antiquity, Oxford.
Doundoua G.
1982 Les kolkhidki, Dialogues dhistoire ancienne 8, 53-60.
Gagoshidze I.
1997 Archaeological excavations at Takhtidziri (Kareli district), [in:]
Caucasian Archaeology: most recent discoveries and prospects,
Tbilisi (in Georgian).
Grose D. F.
1989 The Toledo Museum of Art: Early Ancient Glass, New York.
Gunba M. M.
1978 New Relics of the Tsebelda Culture, Tbilisi (in Russian).
Inaishvili N.
1993 The Tsikhisdziri archaeological remains of the 1st-6th century A.D.,
Remains of South-Western Georgia 21 (in Georgian).
Kakhidze A.
1973 The red-figure crater of Pichvnari, Bulletin of the Georgian Academy
of Science 69 (2), 27-31.
1979 The Eastern Black Sea Littoral in the Classical Period, PhD thesis,
Tbilisi (in Georgian).
1981 The Eastern Black Sea Littoral in the Classical Period, Batumi (in
forthcoming Pichvnari 2, The Greek Cemetery 1967-1989.
Kakhidze A., Iashvili I., Vickers M.
2001 Silver coins of Black Sea coastal cities from the fifth century B.C.
necropolis at Pichvnari, Numismatic Chronicle 161, 282-8.


Khakhutaishvili D.
1987 Iron Production in Ancient Colchis, Tbilisi (in Russian).
Schroeder H.
2004 Ancient Greek Glass from the Eastern Black Sea Littoral
a Provenance Study, MSc in Archaeological Science thesis, Oxford.
Sikharulidze T.
1987 Attic painted vases from the Pichvnari cemetery (5th 4th centuries
B.C.), Remains of South-Western Georgia 16, 51-108, pls. 37-52.
Tressaud A., Vickers M.
forthcoming Ancient murrhine ware and Its glass evocations, Journal of
Glass Studies.
Tsetskhladze G.R.
1999 Pichvnari and its Environs, Besanon.
Trapsh M.M.
The culture of the Tsebelda necropolis, Works 3 Sukhumi (in Russian),
Vickers M.
2002 Scythian and Thracian Antiquities in Oxford, Oxford.
Vickers M., Gill D.
1996 Artful Crafts: Ancient Greek Silverware and Pottery, 2nd edn, Oxford.
Vickers M., Kakhidze A.
1998 Pichvnari, Georgia, Ajarian AR, 1998, Anatolian Archaeology 4,
1999 Pichvnari, Ajarian AR, Georgia 1999, Anatolian Archaeology 5,
2000 Pichvnari, Ajarian AR, Georgia 2000, Anatolian Archaeology 6,
2001a Pichvnari, Ajarian AR, Georgia 2001, Anatolian Archaeology 8,
2001b The British-Georgian Excavation at Pichvnari, 1998: the Greek and
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2003 Pichvnari, Ajarian AR, Georgia, Anatolian Archaeology, 9, 25-6.
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- , , 10 . , 400
, .
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, , .
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, . 2004 , Ashmolean
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. ,
, 1989 , . , ,




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