An ancient Greek colony along the NW Crimean coast. It was founded
in the late 6th-early 5th c. B.C., perhaps by Heraklea Pontica, on the site of
a pre-Greek settlement. Kerkinitis came under the control of Chersonesus in the
late 4th c. and enjoyed a period of prosperity. As a center for the surrounding
agricultural area, it provided Chersonesus with grain and had trade relations
with the Scythians of the interior. It also issued its own coins from the mid
4th to the 2d c. B.C. The Scythians captured it in the mid 2d c. and occupied
it until the early centuries A.D. (Hecateus, Fr. 153; Herod. 4.55, 4.99).
At its height, the settlement covered an area of 8 ha. By the late 4th c., stone defensive walls and towers encircled the site. The walls were partially rebuilt and strengthened in the 3d c. The earliest dwelling, a two-room house with stone walls, a beaten clay floor, and an adobe hearth, dates to the late 6th-early 5th c. B.C. Other remains uncovered in limited excavations include a stone house of the 4th-3d c. with a cellar, a house of the late 3d-early 2d c. with stone walls and floors, a large stone-paved drain cutting N-S across the site and leading to a stone-lined reservoir, and a round stone structure of the. 4th-3d c., 6.2 m in diameter, whose purpose is not clear. The necropolis, located NW of the site, had burials of the late 6th-2d c. B.C. including some rich graves of the 4th-3d c. It is now completely destroyed.
T. S. Noonan, ed.
This text is from: The Princeton encyclopedia of classical sites, Princeton University Press 1976. Cited Nov 2002 from Perseus Project URL below, which contains bibliography & interesting hyperlinks.
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