In Antiquity

Gurzufskoye Sedlo
"Ancient Chersonesos"of Strabo
"Another Harbor of the Chersonesites"
Kalos Limen
Roman strongholds
The Sanctuary on the Isthmus of the Saki Lake
Symbolon Limen

In the Middle Ages


One knows the "Walls" (Greek "teiche") in the suburbs of Chersonesos from this city's civil oath (III century BC) and the decree in honor of military leader Diophantos (late II century BC). More than a century ago V. V. Latyshchev introduced a hypothesis that in the "Walls" of the civil oath referred to some fortified estates or fortresses in the chora of Chersonesos. Nowadays, this idea is assumed by the majority of scholars.

These settlements were probably located in the remote chora of Chersonesos in the south-west Crimea. Archaeological researches in this region have unearthed tens of ancient settlements and estates of the Chersonesites. Among them there are big fortifications, which were protected with walls and numerous towers. Inside these fortifications there were large yards encircled with dwelling and economical buildings, such as the settlement near "Chayka" ("Sea Gull") sanatorium on the territory of modern Yevpatoriya city. The other type of the settlements that belonged to the Chersonesites consisted of groups of separate fortified or unfortified estates. The sites of this type have been excavated near the present-day villages of Belyaus and Panskoye. Finally, the Greeks established a number of separately standing estates. Let us remember, that in the same region, in the north-west Crimea, there also were large settlements of Kerkinitis and Kalos Limen. Plots of arable land, which were located near these settlements, were cultivated according to the system developed in the chora neighboring to Chersonesos.

In general terms, the excavations in the remote chora have uncovered several cultural layers. The lowest, Greek layer was formed in the V and IV centuries BC. In the III century BC all Greek settlements in the north-west Crimea were taken by the Scythians. The nomads destroyed some of these settlements and populated the others. Thus the second, Scythian cultural layer appeared. A new layer of fires and destructions dates to the late II century BC: according to the decree in honor of Diophantos, this glorious commander drove the Scythians off Kerkinitis and the Walls. However, many scholars suppose that the "walls" in this document referred to something other than in the civil oath! In some scholars' point of view, in the late II century BC the "Walls" was the name of only one fortress, but according to the archaeological data the Scythians deprived the Chersonesites of all their possessions in the chora by that moment. Sometime they are searching for this fortress in the north-west Crimea (sites of ancient settlements of Belyaus and Chayka), sometime in the nearest chora, for example, in the Ancient Chersonesos. However it might be, it is clear that the Chersonesites valued their "walls," otherwise they would not nominate the retaking of this place as one of the outstanding deeds of Diophantos.

© N. Khrapunov.

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