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The antique past
of Krasnodar region:
from ancient times to the present day

When historians talk about antiquity, we immediately imagine the distant cities of Italy and Greece. But ancient history is much closer. In Krasnodar region, on the shores of the Black Sea, there were ancient cities founded during the Great Greek colonization more than 2.5 thousand years ago.
Modern Anapa is located on the site of the ancient city of Gorgippia, which was founded in the 4th century BC. Gorgippia, in its turn, is located on the site of an even more ancient settlement, which was called the Sindh harbor - after the tribe that lived in these places.

Gorgippia was one of the largest cities of the Bosporus Kingdom - a large ancient state, whose borders in the heyday passed through the territory of modern Krasnodar region, the Republic of Crimea, Sevastopol and Rostov region. The city was named after the royal governor Gorgippus, who was the brother of the Bosporan king Leukon I. The population of Gorgippia was engaged in agriculture, the main income of the Black Sea lands was the export of wheat, which was difficult to grow on the stony soil of Greece. Later, residents began to grow grapes, laying down the traditions of Kuban winemaking. On the territory of the excavations of the ancient city two ancient wineries were discovered.

Anapa still has a pavement, which is about 1800 years old, the foundations of residential buildings, a pottery workshop, in which they created cult figurines, as well as the ruins of a trade shop. Locals joke that even a vegetable garden cannot be dug up without discovering some artifact, the most common are clay shards. Now the excavations of the ancient city are located in the very center of Anapa and are open to tourists, and the objects found here are exhibited in the Gorgippia Museum-Reserve, a museum that was created in 1977.
On the steep coast of the sea, in the center of modern Taman, there is a unique historical monument - the ruins of the antique city of Hermonassa. This is the only settlement in which life has been continuously going on for more than two and a half thousand years - since the founding of a Greek colony here in the first half of the VI century BC and up to the present day, thanks to a convenient geographical location and fertile land. Hermonassa, founded by Greek settlers from Mytilene in the VI century BC, later became part of the Bosporus Kingdom, after the invasion of the Huns in the V-VI centuries into the Byzantine Empire, then in the VII century was one of the cities of the Bulgarian Khanate. Since the establishment of the Khazar domination in Crimea and Taman in the VIII century, the headquarters of the Khazar garrison was located on the territory of the settlement in the Tamatarkha fortress. From the second half of the X century the city was the center of the Russian Tmutarakan principality. Subsequently, in the XII century, as Matarch, the city belonged to Byzantium and the Polovtsy. In the XIII-XIV centuries, the Golden Horde khans owned the city of Matluka, and after the Mongol-Tatar period, local Circassian-Adyg princes ruled. The Genoese began to settle in the city in the XIII century, and already in the XV century they called themselves the owners of the city and called it Matrega. In the XVI - mid. XVIII century the city of Taman was owned by the Turks.

According to the "Manifesto" of Catherine II, Taman "for eternal times" became part of Russia. Variants of the name are:

- the Greeks-Aeolians took part in the founding of the city under the leadership of Semander of Mytilene, after whose death his widow Hermonassa began to rule in it. The city was named after her;

- the Greek Ionians of Hermon participated in this, in whose honor the colony got its name;

- the first rulers of the Bosporus came from a noble Mytilene family who moved to Hermonassa. Its name can also mean "Hermes (that is, a trading) island".

By now, a little more than half of its original area has remained of the settlement - its northern part is washed out by the sea.
Torik is an ancient settlement on the shore of Gelendzhik Bay in the area of Tonky Cape.

The first mention is contained in the periphery of the Greek traveler and geographer Pseudo-Skilak, compiled in the IV century BC.

There are several versions of the origin of the inhabitants of Torik:

The founders were the Ionians, an ancient Greek tribe from Miletus (one of the largest and richest ancient city-states located in Asia Minor). The settlers were from Attica, one of the regions of mainland Greece.

In 1971-1974 the surviving part of an antique building of the VI-V centuries BC was discovered, which preserved twenty-one rooms and two corridors with total area of 1540 sq.m. The building was rectangular, including a projecting corner, probably a watchtower. ⠀

Several families could live in the building of Torik, who were in kinship with each other. This is indicated by isolated rooms with exits to the courtyard.

Judging by the remains of large furnaces and slag, the manufacture of metal products played a large role in the economy of Torik. In addition to metalworking, the colonists were also engaged in pottery. Many ceramic molded vessels of various shapes have been found. Weaving, fishing, hunting played a certain role in the economy of the settlers.

Interesting fact: during the excavations of Torik not a single coin was found. It can be assumed that the residents paid with natural products.

Ancient Greek Torik played a great role as the initial station on the route of Greek ships to the Bosporus Cimmerian (Kerch Strait). The ancient settlement Torik existed for about a century. Ancient Torik died in a fire in a conflagration in the middle of the V century BC. This, perhaps, happened after the raid of barbarian tribes, as the excavation found an arrowhead stuck in the wall. The walls of the ancient city were discovered in the 70s during the construction of the beach of the local recreation center.

After excavations, the city was razed to the ground. Now the ancient civilization is buried under modern buildings.