The Art of the Northern Black Sea Region

This Gallery is devoted to the archaeological research carried out by staff of the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts.

In PANTICAPAEUM the systematic academic research was embarked upon in 1945 by the joint Bosporan Expedition of this Museum and the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the USSR Academy of Sciences (now Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences). It was set up on the initiative of Professor V.D.Blavatskii. Between 1959 and 1976 the expedition was headed by I.D.Marchenko who headed the Archaeology Department of this Museum. Now, since 1977 until today, it is leded by V.P.Tolstikov, currently head of the Museum's Department of Art and Archaeology in the Ancient World. These excavations have not only made it possible to found a unique section in the Museum's collection, where visitors can see a considerable range of exhibits in the new display, but also to give scholars access to most valuable materials relating to the history and architecture of the Bosporan capital. Excavations have revealed – and made it possible to reconstruct – a considerable part of the acropolis at Panticapaeum, an account of which was given by the ancient geographer, Strabo. Another author from antiquity, Diodorus of Agyrium in Sicily testified to the fact that the residence of the Spartocids – the basileia – had stood on the acropolis. But essentially the information available about the acropolis of the Bosporan capital was limited by those data. For this reason the results of excavations carried out by the Bosporan Expedition have been extremely important, since they have made it possible for the first time to establish the stages in which Panticapaeum took shape.

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Masterpieces of Ancient Art