January 15, 2012 12:52
Kerch Strait — Cimmerian Bosporus ancient Greeks — splits the Crimea and the Caucasus. Upon recommendation of the ancient geographers, there was the border between the two continents — Europe and Asia. The capital of the "European Bosporus" is considered Pantikapaion and "Asian" — Phanagoria.
Phanagoria was founded by some Phanagoria of Greek Theos, who had fled from the Persians to the shores of the Euxine Pontus (Black Sea). Strabo, geographer, I century BC, Phanagoria calls "a major trading center," and "significant policy".
Excavations conducted Bosporan capital from the XIX century, but to this day have not been completed — so great area occupied by the city. The Hermitage has great works of ancient art found by archaeologists in Phanagoria: style vessel in the form of a sphinx, relief with nymphs, carved marble acro bacteria, a sculptural portrait of a noble or Meots Sindh — a representative of one of the local tribes that inhabited the shore of the Bosporus.
But the first monuments of ancient art Phanagoria were found in the water. In the 20 years of the XIX century the fishermen raised networks with two-meter depth of sculptures of lions made of gray marble (now the lions adorn the entrance to the museum of the city of Feodosia).
In calm weather at the bottom of the Taman Bay, on the coast of which are scattered ruins Phanagoria in troubled waters see the outlines of stone structures. In 1858, archaeologist F. Gilles found them remnants of sea pier. However, during excavations on land, it became clear that some Phanagoria is under water: the sea went foundation of a large building, built in the IV century BC Buildings were not under water sea pier or wharf pier, and the remains of fortified defensive wall.
In 1958, underwater archaeological expedition led by Professor V. Blavatsky was able to establish the limits of the flooded parts Phanagoria. At least 17 hectares of "capital of the Asian Bosporus" is under water. In addition, several other ancient cities discovered by archaeologists on the ground, have their continuation in the bottom of the Kerch Strait. Under water was an ancient saying Pantikapeum, the biggest city in the Black Sea (in its place is a modern city of Kerch).
In the northern part of the Taman peninsula were several Greek cities and settlements. One of them — it was called Tiramba — almost entirely absorbed by the water: only for a hundred meters of its remnants survived in the coastal cliff on land.
In the early 80's of the last century Kerch submariners Bosporus archeological group turned up luck. At the bottom of the Kerch Strait, near Cape Taquile, they found a well, an abandoned 2000 years ago, and then gone to the bottom. The bottom line is that the wells after they dry out water, residents are usually used as a garbage pit, where dumped worthless utensils, food debris, broken pieces from metal, wood, etc. Well removed from the found almost entire ancient amphorae, various miniature vessels, wood and bone. Near the well discovered the ruins of walls, dilapidated tower, antique anchor.
At the bottom of the Kerch Strait that connects the Black and Azov seas, found the remains of several ancient cities, but the ancient settlements discovered and in the Sea of Azov, on the bottom of the Gulf of Taganrog.
Flooding Bosporan cities related to the so-called transgression — water levels in the Black Sea. According AM Kondrashov, in his book "Atlantis of the Tethys Sea," "About 2500 years ago, during the Greek colonization of the coast of Pontus Euxine, the level of the Black Sea was below the present by 6-8 meters." Over time, settlements and cities on the shores of Pontus were not only underground, but under water as a result of the continuing occurrence of sea water to the land.
On the Taman peninsula near the old town was Phanagoria Tmutarakan — in ancient times called non Hermonassa. Waters of the Gulf gradually undermined the steep bank on which stood Hermonassa. Ancient buildings collapsed into the water.
The second largest city of the "Asian" Bosporus Hermonassa was founded in the VI century BC The city had erected temples, monumental buildings, swimming pools, altars, fountains. For years, archaeologists have excavated here at Moscow State Museum of Fine Arts named after AS Pushkin and Krasnodar historical-archaeological museum, but only in the mid 80-ies of XX century were made unique discoveries. Among them — the relief created by the Greek sculptor in the IV century BC.
The marble slab shows a Greek warrior. Survived only the left part of the relief: brim obkololis, lacked outstretched left hand, hold, apparently, round shield, obkroshilos in place a long-standing fracture face. Despite this remaining part of the relief is very expressive: the move fell open hoplite short cloak, fastened at the neck zip-fibula.
Another relief was assembled from pieces of limestone slabs. Once upon a time this big plate special split, to pave the area in front of the estate. In the center of the image — the rider. Grabbing his long hair female soldier, he raised over her head with a heavy sword. Xena waved frantically dart, but nothing could save her from the Strike. Slightly higher on these figures, the other a sword pierced someone's chest, arm hanging limply … For interlocking bodies, arms and legs belonging to the figures, remained outside the surviving fragment, horse silhouette stood out on his neck which looked strange upside the head without the body.
The researchers are convinced of the miracle survivor relief of talented local sculptor, who lived at the end of IV century BC, but disputes arose about reading the story Plural relief they dubbed "Amazonomahiey." Much to the relief of the Bosporus does not fit into the story of the myth of the famous battle of the Greeks and the Amazons. Greeks usually fought on foot or in chariots and on horses — the Amazon. Yet here the rider does not like the woman, and the foot soldier with long hair looks like a little man. So who are Hellenes, and who is the Amazon?
And strange heads without torsos haunt archaeologists. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, the Scythians, who lived in the steppes of the northern Black Sea region, it was the custom to bring the chief heads of slain enemies to attest to his bravery in battle. The relief was originally painted in different colors, and the severed head may be "hung" is not in the air, as it seems now, and "fastened" painted harness. If so, the rider can be skiff. But this objection, which must necessarily be skiff with a beard … So the final answer to the question, who is depicted in the Bosporan relief, while not given.
Magnificent works of ancient art made in the land of Taman and bottom of the Kerch Strait, steel ornament famous museums — the Hermitage in St. Petersburg and London's British Museum. They are kept in museums in Moscow, Cambridge, Odessa, Krasnodar, Yalta, Feodosia. But Taman land still gave all his treasures.