"The Scythians live from Athenaion to Kyta. Further, the Cimmerian Bosporos starts... From Theodosia to the deserted harbor of Athenaion or the harbor of the Scytho-Taurians are 200 stadia or 26 2/3 miles; there is a safe station for ships. From Athenaion or the harbor of the Scytho-Taurians to Lampas are 60 stadia or 80 miles..." - that is what the Anonymous Black Sea Circle Navigation said in the second half of the VI century AD (Anon. PPE 76, 78).
This way, the port of Athenaion was located somewhere between Theodosia and Lampas, on the south-east coast of the Crimean peninsula. By the moment when the circle navigation was compiled it had already been deserted. A comfortable and safe harbor was located nearby.
Taking all the mentioned in the circle navigation distances into account, the scholars have determined the location of Athenaion on the coast of the bay, which is now called that of Sudak, near the city of the same name. There they have found a site of the III-IV centuries AD settlement and numerous artifacts: great deal of amphorae fragments, few hoards of Bosporan coins, and even a part of a Greek inscription, which might be dedicated to gods.
It is interesting that although the source called Athenaion the "harbor of the Tauro-Scythians," its name itself forced one to think about some relation to Athens. The greatest center of the ancient Greece, Athens practically did not establish its own colonies. It is possible that the town on the Crimean coast made a treaty with Athens in the late 5th century BC, during the great Periklos' famous expedition to the Black Sea, and received the new name after the "big brother". Or, as in case of Neapolis, the Greeks just re-made some barbarian name of this town in their own manner?
© N. Khrapunov.