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Larysa Sedikova, National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos, Summer Fellow 2009

Trade Connections of Chersonesos (Cherson) in the Eighth–Fourteenth Centuries on the Basis of Ceramic Finds

The ancient city of Tauric Chersonesos, founded by the Greeks in the fifth century BC, is one of the most famous Antique and Byzantine sites of the Black Sea North Region. The study of mass finds, primarily pottery, allows the tracing of the cultural and economic connections of the city in the medieval period. My research focuses on imported transport-ware and tableware excavated in Chersonesos. My search for analogies was substantially successful through the study of new literature from the Dumbarton Oaks Library.

Thus, according to pottery finds, Constantinople and its environs along with the Don River and Azov Sea regions were the main trade areas for Cherson in the eighth-eleventh centuries. The Middle East is represented by individual finds. From the twelfth century through the first half of thirteenth century, while metropolitan pottery still predominated, a considerable percentage of imported wares came from the Aegean region. In the early thirteenth century, a collection of Asia Minor pottery, probably Syrian, appeared in Cherson. Part of pottery also originated from the Muslim countries. It is possible that imported fourteenth-century finds associated with Constantinople, Trebizond, and eastern Crimea reached Cherson through the neighboring Genoese fortress of Cembalo. The discovery of new regions exporting pottery to Cherson allows broader consideration of the nature of its cultural and economic relations during the eighth–fourteenth centuries. The results of this research will be published in a series of articles.

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