The current Collection of scientific papers is dedicated to the anniversary of the distinguished Ukrainian archaeologist, scholar and expert in Byzantine history Olena Olexandrivna Parshyna. The book consists of the papers presented at the 13th European Archaeological Association congress, in the session "Ten centuries of Byzantine trade", which was organized in the frames of the congress, and research articles covered a number of principal issues on the history and archaeology of the Byzantine Empire from the 5th to the 15th century AD.
The book comprises articles that cover various aspects of maritime and overland trade and travel throughout the Byzantine Empire and amongst its affiliates. It also considers contacts with "strangers" and locals, goods and spirits and the religious aspects of travel and trade in their archaeological and historical perspectives.
The book is divided into several logical parts: studies of Late Roman and Byzantine amphorae and their contents; studies of glazed pottery and glass acquired from various archaeological sites; archaeological excavations of Byzantine towns and settlements, and theoretical issues concerning divers aspects of Byzantine economy and legislation. The final article provides a brief overview of the Byzantine shipwrecks discovered by underwater archaeologists in the Ukrainian waters of the Black Sea.
The article is devoted to the amphorae assemblage retrieved from Partenit. The first and most extensive archaeological excavations of this medieval site took place in 1985-1988. The scope of archaeological findings covers the period from the 7th to 16th centuries. Most of the archaeological wares belong to household and commercial ceramics. Among the Partenit collection 14 types of amphorae (the 7th – 14th centuries) are distinguished. Epigraphy on finds (scratched graffiti and painted dipinti) is considered in the context of amphora types based on a wide range of analogues. Bulk finds of amphorae of the so-called “Byzantine circle” allows to speak about close contacts between Partenit and Byzantium since the 7th century. The most intensive trade was made in the 10th—11th and the 13th – 14th centuries, wich is illustrative of all Taurica at large. The high percentage of imports is evidence for Partenit being the key port in the region.
Two amphorae of the second half of the 10th – late 11th -early 12lh centuries AD from the archaeological collection of the State Museum of History and Literature of Yalta (YAGOILM) are being published in this article. These vessels belong to the 43rd class of the Chersonessian classification – the so-called “collar type”amphorae. The vessels, which we have analyzed, are similar in their morphology and style. They were, perhaps, produced by different manufacturing centres, as is suggested by their colours and clay compositions. The centre of the production of this type of amphora has not been identified yet. There is, however, strong evidence to suggest that it could be the south-eastern coast of the Black sea. The graffiti are widely spread on the pear-shaped amphorae with the “collar”: they are found on the bodies, handles, shoulders and necks of the amphorae. Further research and publications of the amphorae from the State Museum of History and Literature of Yalta will be able to give more information about the centres of the production of this amphora type and also about trading routes between Crimea and the Byzantine world in the 10th—11th centuries AD.
This paper deals with the main groups of amphorae originating from Byzantium (Amphorae of the byzantine circle – ABC) which occur in the territory of modern Ukraine. Among the eight different groups known here, the majority of finds fall in the groups named after researcher I. Volkov as “trapesund” and “nikeia-trilliya”, or the first and second groups as they are indicated in the article. The rest of the groups are represented by a modest number of finds and are distinguished by morphological characteristics and fabric compositions. Obtained data allowed the author to state that all known Russ variations of amphorae of Byzantine provenance were represented in the South-Russian cities and in a number of settlements. The chronology, distribution and possible ABC amphorae points of production, as well as the role of the South-Russian lands in terms of the import of ABC amphorae and the chronology of these imports are discussed in the article. The author analyzes the graffiti and stamps, and describes and interprets ancient inscriptions, engraved on the amphorae found in Kiev and other Southern-Russ cities. The reconstructions of the vessels based on shards and fragments, which have been found in Kiev, Galich, Vyshgorod, Zvenigorod and other large cities of Kievan Russ are published here.
The expedition of the Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev has been carrying out underwater archaeological excavations of the 13th century shipwreck in the bay at Novy Svet near Sudak. The medieval ship carried a large store of amphorae of various types filled with wine and oil along with a large amount of glazed pottery. The rest of the cargo consisted of a small number of other types of amphorae, pots, jars and other pottery that can be associated with personal belongings. Among rare ceramic finds retrieved from the ship is a Spanish amphora from Valencia.
In this article, the author considers graffiti on the amphorae from south-eastern Crimea dating to the 8lh – early 11th centuries. This publication is based on the examples from excavations, covered features and layers of the medieval Sudak, Tepsen plateau and Kipchak settlements. Analogous materials were drawn from contemporaneous layers of the Bosporus, rural settlements on the Kerch Peninsula, and also materials from the pottery manufactories at Kanakskaya valley and near the village of Morskoe (Choban-Kule valley). The majority of the complexes and settlements belong to the proto-Bulgarian complexes oftheSaltovo-mayatskaya culture and the polyethnic population from Sugdeya of the second part of the 10th to the early 11th centuries AD. In this article, the graffiti are separated by the amphora types. Their typology is based on the separation of the signs by increasing degrees of complexity, that is, the simplest signs, letters, ligatures, words, images etc.
This article is devoted to dipinti in “а/п” style on the light-coloured, narrow-necked amphorae which belong to type “E” according to the classification of D.B. Shelov. Similar marks are one of the most common in the northern Black Sea and Lower Danube regions, and appear only on two types of the light-coloured amphorae – type “E” and type “F”. The highest concentration of these amphorae (marked in “а/п” style) has been found in the Crimean settlements as well as in the delta of the Don. The purpose of this publication is to include Tanais as a new location where such marks are found. Inscriptions consisting of several lines are united by the author into the group “inscriptions in а/п style” by their abbreviations and general commonality. The author states that the majority of the names in the inscriptions are associated with the owners of homesteads and that the ownership of these goods are indicated with the dipinti, or that they received them already bearing the inscriptions of their names as the last recipient of these products. The author connects these inscriptions with the first phases of the trading process – with the loading of the amphorae on to the ship, their being filled with their contents and, perhaps, their unloading at the redistribution centre. Their loading occurred, most likely, around Sinop, where such types of amphorae as well as their contents were produced. This assumption is based on the wide distribution of identical marks, which show similar hands, similar orders in which the inscriptions were made and similar names. Thus, personal markings on the amphorae add a new layer of information to the onomastikon of those settlements where these vessels were found, and also becomes an additional source for studying the ancient history of the Northern Black Sea region.
In this article a Byzantine amphora found in the territory of north-western Crimea is analyzed. According to existing typologies of this category of ceramic container, this represents an early variant of these vessels which date to the second half of the 10th to the first quarter of the 11th century AD. Most likely the vessel is related to a medieval site that is considered to be located on site of the Saki tombolo bringing attention to the question of antiquities of the middle Byzantine period in north-western Crimea.
This article describes the findings from the Lebedian’ settlement, situated on the right bank of the upper course of the river Don in the boundaries of the Lipetzk oblast. Despite the occasional nature of the excavations and the limited archaeological investigation of this site, the revealed cultural layer and archaeological finds of the Pre-Mongolian epoch have allowed the researchers to make a conservative speculation about a medieval settlement here. The archaeological feature, preliminary determined by the archaeologists as a “cellar” had contained both fragmented and complete ceramic vessels. This article offers a report of their description and dating.
Since 1999 the study of a 13th century shipwreck site has been conducted in the Bay of Sudak on the south-western coast of the Crimean peninsula. This bay is situated on one of the major trading routes of the ancient world, on the Great Silk Road between Europe and Asia, mentioned as the seaport Sudak-Limen in the ancient sources. Its crucial role was the connection of such significant points of the Black Sea commercial trade as Trebizond on the southern Black Sea coast, Cherson on the northern Black Sea coast and along the Crimean coast to Tamatarcha to the east. The basic material of the site is the ship’s cargo, presented by the ceramic assemblage. It comprises the jars (pithoi, amphorae etc.), cookware and tableware, glass and glazed pottery. Of particular interest is a small but quite spectacular group of ceramics, the so-called “Oriental Collection”. This is glazed pottery, Kashin ceramic, spheroconical vessels, and cookware of eastern origin. This paper addresses the “Anatolian” or “Seljuk type”of pottery in particular. This type of pottery originates from Northern Anatolia (Amasia), and is known from single samples in the northern Black Sea region: it is presented in assemblages from Chersoneses and Solhat.These analogical comparisons are dated from the 13,h to early 14lh centuries. This corroborates with the dating of the other material groups from the shipwreck, as well as the hoard of silver aspres of Manuel I discovered on site, and could be accepted for our assemblage of the glazed pottery. Preliminary conclusions can be made by evaluating the unique archaeological assemblage in the historical context. The hinterland of Asia Minor, being under Seljuk control, served as a transit zone along the caravan tracks from Syria and Iran to the Black Sea region. From the second half of the 13th century the relations with the sultanate of Rum become more intensive due to the migration processes, as revealed by the archaeological investigations. Taking into account that “Seljuk pottery” occurs very seldom (generally in single examples) on Crimean archaeological sites, and concidering the inscriptions in the ornamental Arabic script on amphorae and cooking utensils from Beirut, we can consider this pottery as personal belongings than cargo goods. The Seljuk vessels could get to Crimea along with people from the Middle East who accompanied ship cargos or people who were involved in the migration process. In general, despite political and religious confrontation in the Mediterranean and Black Sea region in the 13th century, we can assume that a’free trading area’was in effect in the area in question.This is very well supported by the distribution of pottery in the archaeological context.
The Mediterranean city of Acre (Akko) was one of the main ports of the Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem (1099-1291) and evolved into a thriving maritime commercial center, playing an important role in the trade between Europe, the Crusader Principalities in the East, the Byzantine Empire, and the Moslem states. Crusader-period pottery was revealed in the large-scale excavations carried out by the Israel Antiquities Authority in Acre since the early 1990s. Most of the pottery imported to Acre consisted of various types of mainly glazed plates and bowls dating to the 12th and 13lh centuries. Provenience analyses of the finds from Acre show that ceramics were imported from throughout the Mediterranean: Lebanon, Syria, Asia Minor, Cyprus, Greece, northern and southern Italy, Sicily, southern France, Catalonia in Spain, North Africa and China. Categorizing the ceramics found in the excavations at Acre by origin assists in focusing on provenience and seeking a correlation with maritime trade routes. Since similar pottery types as those found in Acre are also found in the main Mediterranean ports, as well as in Mediterranean and Black sea shipwrecks containing homogeneous types of pottery as cargoes, it is assumed that the pottery served for the most part as ‘salable space fillers’or ‘salable ballast’, and its sale could have provided extra income along the route for the ship master or sailors. It was transported, and occasionally distributed, by ships involved in short- and long-distance trade to and among the main port cites as a secondary item and as a consequence of trade of more valuable goods. The origin of the ceramics and the areas to where they were redistributed was found to reflect the Mediterranean maritime trade routes and major ports of the 12th to 13th centuries.
The excavations of a medieval shipwreck in Novy Svet (Crimea) revealed an exceptional quantity of archaeological finds, including amphorae, kitchen and table ceramics and items of glass and wood. The significant collection of ceramic and glass goods from the 13th century, retrieved from the shipwreck, has no analogues in any of the soundly dated archaeological assemblages or covered complexes. The glazed pottery assemblage shines out among the ceramic material.The majority of these vessels are varied in shape, with glaze covering the white slip and are decorated with concentric circles or central spirals in the sgraffito technique. It is this type of glazed pottery that had wide diffusion in the Byzantine world including Crimea and has been shown to extend from Italy to the Levant. The presented paper has two aims. The first one is the classification and typology of the glazed vessels according to their morphological features, and correlating the specific groups of vessels with their corresponding places of origin or, if possible, a single production centre. Furthermore, the attempt is made to localize these centres by finding the closest analogues. The second task of this work is to examine the hypothesis concerning the provenance of the glazed pottery by means of chemical analyses ofthe clays, conducted in theCeramological Laboratory UMR 5138 CNRS at Lyon (France).
The Permanent exhibition of the Museum of Byzantine Culture, which is arranged chronologically and thematically in 11 rooms, includes a considerable number of glass objects. This material is used as a case study, in order to show how archaeological objects can be interpreted in several ways as museum exhibits. Aspects of economic history, like trade, the distinction of local products and the origin of imports can be presented through these objects. But many other, small, private stories can also be told, shedding light on aspects of the private and personal spheres which history and archaeology seldom enter.
Early Christian Church. In this room glass is presented in the form of lighting devices, as well as in the form of composite glass panes and mosaic tesserae, once decorating the walls of Thessaloniki’s churches.
Early Christian Cities and Private Dwellings. In this room metal tools and glass vases connected with glass-working activity are presented along with a series of vessels showing the use of glass as tableware or as containers for cosmetics and ointments. Glass implements, like coin-weights or jewelry, are also presented offering a different aspect of the presence of glass in early Christian society.
From the Elysian Fields to the Christian Paradise. In this room, glass vessels used in burial contexts are presented.They include items placed in graves as grave goods or as part of burial rituals as well as those found atop graves as remains of memorials. Glass jewelry is also presented as a very common means of adornment found in graves.
From Iconoclasm to the Splendor of the Macedonian Dynasty and the Komnenoi. Byzantine Castles. In these two rooms, glass bracelets and beads are presented offering examples of less expensive alternatives available to Byzantine ladies in terms of adornment.
The Twilight of Byzantium. In this room large, close-shaped tableware vessels, occasionally used as unguentaria, are presented, along with a few glass or glass- adorned jewels and costume adornments.
“Byzantium after Byzantium”. The Byzantine Heritage in the years after the Fall of Constantinople. Glass lamps, found mainly in churches and monasteries, along with large tableware vessels and smaller ones devoted to medicaments and ointments found in habitation areas are presented in this room.
This article concerns Byzantine trade and the trade routes along the Tuscan coasts from the 5th to the 8th century AD. The remarkable quantity of Eastern Mediterranean pottery, amphorae and coins found along the Tuscan coast shows that this region was fully integrated in Byzantine trade routes. The main Tuscan Harbours – Luna, Portus Pisanus (the harbour of Pisae), and Vada Volaterrana (the harbour of Volaterrae) seem to have played an important role in the Byzantine political and economic strategies, especially during the Graeco-Gothic war (AD 535-553) and during the Lombard invasion of the region. Independent trade and the Byzantine military annona-trade continued to be intertwined in the North Tyrrhenian sea-routes until the middle of the 7th century. After the conquest of Liguria by the King Rotari (AD 643), the Tuscan harbours were no longer involved in Byzantine military plans, but they continued to be touched by Eastern commercial trade during the early medieval period.
Recent research has demonstrated both from the archaeological and historical point of view the inclusion of Comacchio (Ferrara, Italy) in the mostly unknown formation and development of new settlements that characterized the upper Adriatic Sea between the 6th and 10th centuries AD. The importance of Comacchio as a new town, able to take a fundamental role in the management of the trading relationships on a Mediterranean scale, has to be analysed in connection with the birth of other new urban settlements. Comacchio, as Venice (Torcello, Rialto, Olivolo and Malamocco), Cittanova, Grado and Caorle, is an extraordinary element of novelty and vivacity in historical period traditionally considered critical and stagnant. Apart from their topographic location in a marshy environment, the main feature of these new towns is the enhanced ability of promoting a wide range of commercial activities based on the revenues from the exploitation of the local resources (salt production and fishing). These commercial activities enabled the development of a strong local navigation able to provide constant and efficient transport on the shallow waters of the rivers and lagoons. The new’emerging centres’, often competing against each other, are localized in a political territory that can be considered as a border between the eastern/Byzantine world and the Western Lombard/Carolingian world. The ability to distinguish their relationship with Constantinople apart from the elite of the continental kingdoms provides their fortune in becoming true emporia.
This paper addresses the problem of the economic presence of the Genoese merchants on the north-west coast of the Black Sea in the times of the weakening economic ties of the region with the Far East, and the simultaneous enlivening of the trade with the areas close to the Black Sea coast. The work outlines diverse aspects of Genoese activity in the Black Sea region in reference to its economic and transportational conditions, as well as aspects concerning the organisation of trade. The paper approaches the problem of the development of Genoese regional trade, concentrated in Crimean Caffa. It depicts the policy of exchange between Caffa and other regions, emphasising the mutual relationships of Crimean colonies with trade centres on the Danube. The role of particular goods and resources exported from the Black Sea outposts has been described (grain, wine, skins of fur-bearing animals, honey, wax, timber, fish, salt, alum, mineral resources). Presenting the scale of the Genoese merchants’ involvement in trade activity in the Black Sea region provides a wider context for the economic activity of the citizens of the merchant Republic, concentrated in the Pontus areas in the late Middle Ages.
The main aim of this publication is the examination of the numerous legal documents with information concerning the lives and activities of the Genoese in the Northern Black Sea region during the 13th—15th centuries. The analysis of these documents, among which are the first colonial Statutes, together with the archaeological and historical data, allows the author to investigate and systematize available accounts concerning how the possessions owned by Genoese were established on the coast of medieval Taurika, and the legal status of the territories then controlled by the consuls of Kaffa. The author seeks to define the trajectories of the region’s developing economic relations and key political elements of the formation of states on the Crimean peninsula during the medieval period, to investigate the colonization processes in the Northern Black Sea, and to analyze the administrative system and policy of foreign affairs. The main conclusion of the research is the statement that by the end of the 14th century Genoa constricted its main competitor – Venice -and monopolized the transit trade in the Black Sea. This was leveraged by the favourable political situation in the region, which rested upon military power, financial capacity and diplomacy. The Genoese turned the Taurika littoral into a stable source of enrichment and possibly into the base for the colonization of the north coast of the Black Sea. From the end of the 13th century all legal features of the colonies appeared in these territories under the influence of certain factors, such as the changing managerial structure and development of the colonial law.
In this article authors present a few remarks about the use of exotic spices in the Mediterranean world in the first millennium AD, which spices were in use, where they came from, and what people knew about them. There are not many sources of information on these questions. Authors can however find some interesting indications in a few categories of the literary sources such as: Diocletian’s Edict of Maximum Prices, De recoquinaria, Epistuia Anthimi, the Rule of the Monastery of Saint John Stoudios in Constantinople and a few works of the historians and geographers Zosimos, Ibn ‘Abd al Hakam, Cosmas Indicopleustes and the traveler Al Masudi. Analysis of these sources allows us to determine that knowledge about the origin of the spices in use was very fragmentary, even among the sailors and travelers up to beginning of the Arab sea trade in the 8th-9th centuries.
This article presents the Byzantine shipwrecks discovered by the Centre for Underwater Archaeology of Kiev National University along the shelf of the Crimean Peninsula, in the Black Sea.