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Archaeologists will Map Ancient City of Akra Flooded in the Crimea
July 10, 2017 14:05

St. Petersburg archaeologists of the Institute for the History of Material Culture (IHMK), RAS, have embarked on an annual expedition to the Crimea to explore the ancient city of Akra, hidden on the bottom of the Black Sea. This year, the scientists aim at drawing up the topographic map of the ancient city.

"We have the task to make a topographic plan of the city. So far we have a few landmarks, including some complexes in the coastal part, and the rest of the area is terra incognita. This year we have purchased new equipment – the sonars; with their help, we want to work at the depth and go through the underwater part of the city again. If we get interesting objects, we will study them and gradually fill the city's plan with new data,"- the expedition leader and researcher, Sergei Solovyov from the Conservative Archeology Department of IHMC, pointed out.

As a result of the previous expeditions, archaeologists examined two walls and one tower, and found the remains of buildings similar to residential complexes. The researchers found that Akra, a part of the Bosporus Kingdom, was a city surrounded with a defensive wall with towers. As scientists assume, the built-up area began on the opposite side of the street, which ran along the defensive wall.

Underwater examination with sonars will make it possible to study more thoroughly the surviving fragments of buildings, establish their coordinates and, by combining these data with the results of on-the-ground survey, map them. According to Sergei Solovyov, archeologists will try to find in the territory of Akra a cult or public center, which every ancient city had. The remains of objects and inscriptions in such a building can give a clue to numerous questions regarding the history of the city, the scientist explains.

In parallel with the underwater research, on-the-ground works will be continued in the area of the southwestern defensive wall. During last year's expedition, archaeologists investigated its lower part, which dates back to the 5th century, BC.

Underwater City

The little port city of Akra, which was founded by natives of the largest cities of the Bosporus Kingdom - Nymphaeus or Panticapaeum, occupied the northeastern tip of the cape formed by the mouth of an ancient nameless river and the Bosporus Cimmerian (Kerch Strait). The city was a part of the Bosporus state until the beginning of the 4th century.

At the turn of the old and new era, nearly all of Akra was flooded as a result of the transgression of the Black Sea. The territory of the ancient city of about 3.5 hectares is now almost entirely immersed in the sea, with the exception of a small western section on a sandy bridge, which has turned the mouth of the river into the modern lake of Janisz.

Since 2011, the Institute for the History of Material Culture, RAS, ​​has annually organized underwater archeology expeditions jointly with specialists from the State Hermitage Museum and the Black Sea Center for Underwater Research of the Crimea. Volunteers of the Russian Geographical Society have been working here for the second year.

Sources: Http:// 

Author: Vera Ivanova

Tags: Akra Archeological Expeditions Crimea Archeological Monuments  

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