Tradition divides the history of Chersonesos into two lengthy periods, the ancient (stretching from the establishment of the city to the division of the Roman empire into the Western and Eastern empires) and the medieval (from AD 325 to the fall of the city). The museum's permanent exhibition follows this standard, both periods also having their subsections. In addition to these two major eras, we have decided to dedicate a few pages to the pre-colonization period, which scholars only recently have begun to study in earnest. It deals with the history of the population of southwestern Crimea before the arrival of the Greek colonists. This field of research is presently being supplemented by new archaeological data as well as information from other paleodisciplines. With these analyses at hand, we will attempt to reconstruct the pattern of prehistoric life on the Heraklean Peninsula. Follow this investigation together with us!
The history of Chersonesos that you will be reading here is based only on the most reliable facts. Attempting to reconstruct the past is in itself problematic as it is revealed to us in fragments, and scholars therefore rightly continue to suggest new hypotheses and challenge generally accepted knowledge.
Researchers utilize the results of archaeological investigations and written sources, such as works by ancient authors, to recreate life in Chersonesos as accurately as possible. Passages from these works will give you a feeling for the epoch. It should be noted that scholars have recently begun to trust ancient written sources to a greater degree than in the past. The Byzantine emperor Constantine Porphyrogenitus in his treatise De administrando imperio gives accounts of numerous legends related to Chersonesos and its outlying areas. Although Theodore Mommsen, the 19th century scholar, called these legends the "Tales of Chersonesos", modern scholarship is not categorically against this source.
If works by ancient geographers and historians contain erroneous information, stones inscriptions are always authentic; they need only be read correctly. This " Stone Archive" of Chersonesos has been investigated by leading epigraphists, which is why it is possible to read the inscriptions today in the original and in translations and to learn about them further in scholarly studies.
While we hope that our website supplies you with sufficient information about Chersonesos, we
realize that questions may still arise. We have provided a special page where you can ask specialists from our
staff any questions about Chersonesos. Please do not hesitate to ask. If an answer to you question exists, you
will receive it!