Подводная археология, публикации

Info -- Updated 01:48 GMT+2,  Воскресенье, 5 мая 2002 г.  • Добавить URL

Searching for an ancient port

Sergey Zelenko,
Kiev University

"The Land of Blue Hills" - that's how the name of Koktebel place is being poetically translated from Turk language. Thousands of people spend their holidays in this beautiful part of Eastern Crimea every year. It has its own charm, which cannot be found in any other part of the world. A nice bay with a long and wide beach cosily rests along the coastline. The sea with soft sand at the ground is backed by fantastic outlines of mountains, scorched earth of the hills and huge vineyards. But actually the main exotics of this place is the volcano mountain mass called "Kara-Dag". Famous writer Konstantin Paustovskiy called this place a real "geologic poem".

Koktebel has its own history. The year of its foundation is not clear yet, but the results of archaeological excavations proved that in the 8th century A.D. there was a big middle setting on this territory. Later it became a merchant sea city inhabited by ancestors of Tavres and Scyphs, who mixed with Greeks, Sarmats and Alans from Bosphorus. In the 10th century A.D. this setting was ruined by the tribe of Pechenegs. Active life returned here back in two or three centuries, and on the old maps it was marked as Venetian harbor of Caliera. Later it became a Tatar setting Koktebel holding "7 households and 36 inhabitants"- according to the 1889 census. Famous Russian scientist, medical doctor professor Edward Yunge was the first, who has foreseen the future of Koktebel. Later on a famous poet and artist Maximilian Voloshyn, who glorified the legendary country of Kimeriya, moved to this place. His house here became a kind of literature and cultural center for so many famous poets, writers and artists (Ivan Bunin, Valeriy Bryusov, Alexey Tolstoi, Fyodor Shalyapin, Marina Tsvetayeva, Kornei Chukovskiy, Illya Erenburg et al.).

In 1997 in Koktebel harbour an underwater archaeological expedition of Taras Shevchenko Kyiv University started its research. Researchers of Black sea came here in order to find Scyphian-Tavric port of Aphineon. This group of underwater archaeologists had already experience researching Adalar cliffs - the place of ancient shipwrecks, and locating ancient port of Lampas near Ayu-Dag mountain. Students, post-graduate students and experts from different Kyiv institutions are the members of this research team. Interest in underwater research, which could be realized in the scientific underwater archaeological center of Taras Shevchenko University, brought all those people together. Also in a research season of 1997 post-graduate students from The Institute of Nautical Archaeology of the University of Texas Greg Gidden, Kristin Romey and Taras Pevny participated in the expedition. They got acquainted with the results of scientific research of their Kyiv University colleagues in Crimea and also shared their experience working in underwater research expeditions of Texas University. Local amateurs Serhiy Kotelnikov and Vasyl Kuzminov were assisting the expedition at the research site.

"Periplus Ponti Euxini " - one of oldest sailing directions brought us the name of this port - Aphineon - and the distance of 200 stades from it to the city of Feodosiya. Estimations bring us closely to Kara-Dag mount area. And now only actual archaeological material will show the exact place of the ancient port.

Poor weather conditions last summer did not allow to start underwater research timely and to have enough diving missions. Although, our archaeological experience allowed us to explore an underwater ridge, where an old pier was situated. In a bay under the plateau of Tepsen we also managed to locate places with middle ceramics material. A place of the 7th-8th century shipwreck with a cargo of amphorae was found at the bay entrance. On the ground surface our underwater swimmers traced an area with a number of broken middle amphorae. Not far from this place they also saw an anchor sticking out of the ground sand. The coastline was also surveyed with the "White's Electronics (UK) Ltd" metal detector (Spectrum XLT), which gave us positive results in this field test. All the found archaeological materials were handed-over to the museum of "Kara-Dag" National Park. This year we plan to continue our researches in this area.