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Settlements and Necropoleis of

the Black Sea and its Hinterland

in Antiquity
Select papers from the third international conference
‘The Black Sea in Antiquity and Tekkeköy: An Ancient
Settlement on the Southern Black Sea Coast’, 27-29
October 2017, Tekkeköy, Samsun

edited by
Gocha R. Tsetskhladze and Sümer Atasoy

with the collaboration of

Akın Temür and Davut Yiğitpaşa

Archaeopress Archaeology
Archaeopress Publishing Ltd
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Oxford OX2 7LG


ISBN 978-1-78969-206-8
ISBN 978-1-78969-207-5 (e-Pdf)

© Authors and Archaeopress 2019

Cover: Sebastopolis, Roman baths.

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Printed in England by Oxuniprint, Oxford

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Preface������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������ iii
List of Figures and Tables���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������� iv

Once again about the Establishment Date of Some Greek Colonies around the Black Sea������������������������������������1
Gocha R. Tsetskhladze

The Black Sea on the Tabula Peutingeriana�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������42

A.V. Podossinov

Archaic East Greek Transport Amphorae: Secure Advances and Muddles. An Assessment�������������������������������52
Pierre Dupont

Western Black Sea

Tekkeköy: Land of Legends from Past to the Future������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������69
Sümer Atasoy

An Epigram for a Sinopean from Tomis�����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������77

Alexandru Avram

Late Classical-Hellenistic Imports at Açic Suat (Caraburun) (4th-3rd Century BC)�����������������������������������������������82

Vasilica Lungu

Northern Black Sea

The Chronology of Arrowhead and Dolphin-Shaped Monetary Signs from Berezan��������������������������������������������99
Dmitry Chistov

Essay on the Economy of Myrmekion in Pre-Roman Times���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������108

Alexander Butyagin and Alexei Kasparov

The Necropolis of Porthmion (from the Excavations of 2004-2013)������������������������������������������������������������������������113

M.Y. Vakhtina and P.G. Stolyarenko

Artyushchenko-1 Settlement on the Taman Peninsula (6th Century BC-4th Century AD)�������������������������������126
Yurii A. Vinogradov

Eastern Black Sea

The Southern Pontic Import Discovered at Classical Period Sites in Ajara�����������������������������������������������������������139
Amiran Kakhidze and Emzar Kakhidze

A Brief Report on the Archaeological Excavations in Gonio-Apsarus, 2014-2017������������������������������������������������145

Shota Mamuladze and Kakhaber Kamadadze

Southern Black Sea

The Traces of the Chalcolithic Culture of Alaca Höyük in the Coastal Settlements of
the Central Black Sea Region of Turkey���������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������157
Hulya Çalışkan Akgül

The Baruthane Tumuli at Amisos/Samsun����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������167
Sümer Atasoy

Evaluations of Iron Finds from the Fatsa Cıngırt Kayası Excavations���������������������������������������������������������������������177

Ayşe Fatma Erol and Ertaç Yıldırım

New Archaeological Expeditions in the Ancient City of Amastris����������������������������������������������������������������������������190

Fatma Bağdatlı Çam, Ali Bora and Handan Bilici Altunkayalıer

The Ancient City of Sebastopolis in the Light of Archaeological Data and Inscriptions������������������������������������208
Şengül Dilek Ful

Politics and Diplomacy in Paphlagonia����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������214

Manolis Manoledakis

A Great Tumulus from Paphlagonia����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������226

Şahin Yıldırım

The Land of Sacred Fire: Amasya – Oluz Höyük�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������244

Şevket Dönmez

An Overview of Iron Age Sites of Zile District����������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������258

Mehmet Özsait and Nesrin Özsait

Evaluation of the Recent Finds at Komana from the Early and Middle Byzantine Period��������������������������������272
Mustafa N. Tatbul and D. Burcu Erciyas

A Group of Glass Bracelets from Samsun Museum��������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������281

Akın Temür and Özkan Özbilgin

Some Observations on the Dating of the Kavak Bekdemir Mosque in Samsun�����������������������������������������������������289

E. Emine Naza Dönmez

List of Contributors�������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������������299

A Brief Report on the Archaeological Excavations
in Gonio-Apsarus, 2014-2017 *

Shota Mamuladze and Kakhaber Kamadadze


The Georgian-Polish joint archaeological excavation of Gonio-Apsarus fort in 2014-2017 has revealed rich and diverse artefacts
and remains of buildings that are a valuable historical source to study the past. The excavations yielded additional materials to
attest and date two construction levels in the Roman cultural layer: 1) the second half of the 2nd to the end of the 3rd century
AD; 2) the first half of the 1st to the second half of the 2nd century AD.

Gonio-Apsarus Fort is situated in the south-western with ceramic tiles or plastered with mortar have been
part of the city of Batumi, on the left bank of the River documented. Work is still underway in this area. A
Chorokhi. The stronghold is built close to the sea on a 5-10 cm charcoal layer has been identified along the
strategically important site (Fig. 1). Gonio-Apsarus has entire length between the floors of the first and second
been described many times. Ancient sources for this site construction levels in the southern and the eastern
have been compiled and discussed in the publications sections of the ditch. Apparently, for reasons unknown
of modern scholars.1 Archaeological excavations have to us, in the second half of the 2nd century the Roman-
revealed rich and diverse artefacts that are a valuable period constructions must have been destroyed and
source. Combining them with written sources made the surface levelled, which was later rebuilt with new
it possible to trace developments from the 8th/7th constructions. Here as well, like everywhere else,
centuries BC almost up to modern times.2 Ottoman waste pits are revealed.3

The Georgian-Polish joint project has been carried on 2. The second section (SWVI and SWIX) is the south-
since 2014. The excavation areas of the fort are divided western part of the fort. A rectangular structure
into three sections: 1) south-eastern part of the fort was revealed (Fig. 3). The wall is preserved in two,
(SOXII sector); 2) south-western part of the fort (SWVI sometimes in three horizontal rows. The building
and SWIX sectors); and 3) north-eastern part of the fort was divided into two – eastern and western – parts
(NO sector). by a relatively thinner wall. Certain parts of the walls
continue into an unexcavated area. The excavations
revealed stone bases with quadrangular holes to
1. In the first (SOXII) sector excavations began in
accommodate wooden columns. Wooden structures
2012 (Fig. 2). Those conducted in 2014-2017 yielded
seem to have prevailed in the architecture of Gonio-
additional materials to separate clearly and date two
Apsarus, stone being used mainly for building the
construction levels in the Roman cultural layer: 1)
foundation and occasionally, the ground floor. The
Upper, with its buildings and archaeological materials,
building must have had a gable roof. Mainly solen-
dated to the period from the second half of the 2nd
type tiles were used for roofing, while in later
century to the end of 3rd century AD; and 2) Lower, also
constructions, both local and Roman, cases of applying
with building remains and materials, belonging to the
grooved tiles appeared. The floor was laid with mortar
period from the first half of 1st century to the second
and ceramic tiles. This construction is supposed to
half of 2nd century AD. So far, it has been impossible
have been a barracks. Excavation finally revealed two
to determine the complete layout. Parts of their walls
Roman cultural layers here: 1) mainly corresponding
go into an unexcavated area. Both are large structures.
to the Roman presence (from the second half of the
Alongside the remains, the remains of a floor laid
2nd century to the end of the 3rd century AD); and
2) earlier remains of the buildings together with the
This work was supported by Shota Rustaveli National Science materials dated from the 1st century up to the second
Foundation (SRNSF), grant no. 217910: Georgian Cultural Heritage
Monuments Protected in the Central Part of Historical Chaneti half of the 2nd century AD.
(Fortifications, Churches, Communication).
See Mamuladze, Kakhidze and Kakhidze 2007: 31-49; Mamuladze et Next to the barrack are remains of the other building,
al. 2016; E. Kakhidze 2008: 309-314; Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski and which was destroyed by the Ottomans. The Ottomans
Kakhidze 2015; Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski et al. 2016; A. Kakhidze and
Mamuladze 2016: 159-72; Kamadadze 2015.
A. Kakhidze and Mamuladze 2004; Khalvashi 2002; Shalikadze 3 
Mamuladze et al. 2017; Mamuladze, Shalikadze and Kamdadze 2017;
2004; Ebralidze 2005; Varshalomidze 2009. Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski et al. 2016; Mamuladzea et al. 2016.

Settlements and Necropoleis of the Black Sea and its Hinterland in Antiquity

Figure 1. Plan and aerial photograph of the fort of Gonio-Apsarus.

built a wooden building. It was burned in the Late (Fig. 4). The floor, covered with fragments of mortar and
Middle Ages. The reason is not clear yet. ceramics, was found. To the south of it, over a large area
(7 x 12 m) the remains of floor covered with mosaics
3. In the third section (NO) the Georgian-Polish joint of geometrical motifs were identified. It was made up
expedition revealed a trace of a Roman-period bath of small mosaic stones produced from local coloured

S. Mamuladze and K. Kamadadze: A Brief Report on the Archaeological Excavations in Gonio-Apsarus

Figure 2. South-eastern part of the fort (SOXII sector).

Settlements and Necropoleis of the Black Sea and its Hinterland in Antiquity

Figure 3. South-western part of the fort (SWVI and SWIX sectors).

S. Mamuladze and K. Kamadadze: A Brief Report on the Archaeological Excavations in Gonio-Apsarus

Figure 4. North-eastern part of the fort (NO sector).

Settlements and Necropoleis of the Black Sea and its Hinterland in Antiquity

stones. At different levels the remains of a hypocaust, of brownish-reddish clay of different sizes. Sinopean
praefurnium and apodyterium have been discovered. examples are also met (Fig. 7.11).
Stratigraphic observations, analysis of architectural
material, and the artefacts point to two stages of Red-glazed pottery is present in fragments (Fig. 5.3-5).
construction. Originally, the architectural assembly Similar pottery was widely spread in the 1st century AD.
consisting of several rooms was used to expand to In the 1st-3rd centuries AD there are different technical
the north. After its reconstruction, the structure was variations.7
reduced and the northern part was almost abandoned.
The appearance of a new bath with a mosaic floor Among the archaeological artefacts of Gonio-Apsarus
was associated with the complete reconstruction of are Sinopean louteria (Fig. 6.5-6) of two types:
the building. Earlier, the remains of the architectural
assembly were located under the mosaic floor. The Type 1: The horizontally unfolded mouth of one of
materials suggest that the site was built at a very early the fragments is roundish (Fig. 6.5). The inner lap is
stage, immediately after the Roman establishment separated from the body with a groove made with
here. The construction was, presumably, built in the a sharp instrument. Louteria with similar shapes
second half of the 1st century AD. It is not known when found in Apsarus are dated to the end of the 1st
exactly the thermae were destroyed for the first time and century and the first half of the 2nd century AD.
then rebuilt immediately. The final destruction of the This type is rare in the eastern Black Sea area.8
thermae took place in the 2nd century AD, probably still
Type 2: There is a relief rib modelled to the mouth
in the time of Hadrian’s rule, perhaps after Antoninus
and body junction on the inside surface (Fig. 6.6).
Pius took power.4
Such types of louteria are dated to the 2nd-3rd
Here we will briefly describe the materials obtained in centuries AD and were widespread.9
The next variety of imported pottery is lamps (Figs.
Amphorae represent the majority of household transit 6.3-4, 7.9-10). The bulk are Pergamene wares. Samian
ceramics. Small size brown-clay (Fig. 5.6-7) amphorae shapes are also found.10
represent the evolutional development of one of the
Another product found in 2014-2017 is small size
versions of Colchian amphorae of the Late Hellenistic
pottery made of different clay (Fig. 7.1-2, 4, 6). It is
period. This type of ceramic was produced locally in
dated to the 2nd-3rd centuries AD.
Apsarus. According to the stratigraphic data, this type
of amphora began spreading if not from the end of the Glass items are represented by fragments of drinking
1st century AD, then at least from the beginning of the vessel mouths, bottom walls and the bottom of vertical-
2nd century AD, and existed up to the first half of the rib bowls, perfume containers and decanter-like
3rd century AD.5 Among imported amphorae we should vessels (Fig. 6.7-9). These vessels were made in western
distinguish fragments of Sinopean manufacture (Fig. Mediterranean workshops. They are dated to the 1st-
5.8-9). Mouth pieces of amphorae of the Byzantine 3rd centuries AD.11 As it is well known, drinking vessels
period are also encountered (Fig. 5.1-2). were spread widely in the ancient world.

Quite often kitchen and table utensils of the Roman Among the archaeological artefacts are glass finger
period are discovered: pots, cauldron-pots and jugs (Fig. rings (Fig. 7.14-15) and a small bronze sculpture (Fig.
5.10-13; Fig. 7.3, 5, 7-8); also clay lids catch attention too 7.1 6). All items are dated to the 1st-3rd centuries AD.
(Fig. 6.1-2). They repeat the shapes uncovered earlier.6
These are the main results of the archaeological
A great part of the finds are of construction ceramics excavations conducted in 2014-2017. The excavation is
(Fig. 7.11-13), the majority being solen-type tiles made to be continued in the future.

Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski and Mamuladze 2017; Karasiewicz- 7 
Ebralidze 2005: 35.
Szczypiorski 2016; Karasiewicz-Szczypiorski et al. 2016; Mamuladze et 8 
Ebralidze 2005: 70, fig. 50.
al. 2016. 9 
Ebralidze 2005: 70-71, fig. 51.
Khalvashi 2002: 35-51. 10 
Ebralidze 2005: 53-66.
A. Kakhidze and Mamuladze 2004: 55-56. 11 
Shalikadze 2004: 17-20; A. Kakhidze and Shalikadze 2009: 57.

S. Mamuladze and K. Kamadadze: A Brief Report on the Archaeological Excavations in Gonio-Apsarus

Figure 5. 1-2 Amphorae of the Byzantine period; 3-5 Red-glazed pottery; 6-7 Brown-clay amphorae;
8-9 Sinopean amphorae; 10-13 Pots, cauldron-pots and jugs.

Settlements and Necropoleis of the Black Sea and its Hinterland in Antiquity

Figure 6. 1-2. Clay lids; 3-4 Lamps; 5-6 Sinopean louteria; 7-9 Glass.

S. Mamuladze and K. Kamadadze: A Brief Report on the Archaeological Excavations in Gonio-Apsarus

Figure 7. 1-2, 4, 6 Small size pottery; 3, 5, 7, 8 Pots, cauldron-pots and jugs; 9-10 Lamps;
11-13 Construction ceramics; 14-15 FInger rings, 16 Bronze sculpture.

Settlements and Necropoleis of the Black Sea and its Hinterland in Antiquity

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