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BYZANTINE SHIPWRECKS EXPLORED BY THE CENTRE FOR UNDERWATER ARCHAEOLOGY IN THE BLACK SEA

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This article is a brief overview of 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.
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  I. I. Morozova (Ukraine), J. A. Albertson (USA) BYZANTINE SHIPWRECKS EXPLORED BYTHE CENTRE FOR UNDERWATERARCHAEOLOGY IN THE BLACK SEA  This article presents the Byzantine shipwrecks discovered by the Centre or Underwater Archaeology o Kiev National University along theshel o the Crimean Peninsula, in the Black Sea. Key words: Byzantine shipwreck, underwater archaeology, the Black Sea, Crimea.  The Black Sea played a critical role in maritime trade, bringing peoples and cultures together. Since the BronzeAge both small boats and large ships, loaded with cargos and people urrowed the Sea. The height o ancientmaritime trade was reached during the Greek Colonization in the 7 th 3 rd centuries BC and continued during theByzantine Epoch. Ater the all o the Eastern Roman Empire, its successor Byzantium maintained its status asa thallocracy. From the 5 th until the beginning o the 7 th century AD the Byzantine eet dominated the entireMediterranean.In this century the Slavs began launching maritime campaigns rom the northern shores o the Black Sea,reaching Mediterranean, Adriatic, Aegean waters. Comparatively, on the western edge o the Mediterranean theArabs began launching invasions on both land and sea. Beginning in this period, Byzantine seaaring took onan increasingly military character, and rom the 7 th to 11 th centuries several signicant naval battles were oughtbetween the Byzantines and the Slavs. The Slavs’ eet was so dreadul or the people o Tsarigrad (Constantinople) that the Black Sea was at timesreerred to as the “Russ Sea”. In the 11 th century the Crusades were launched, and eets rom the Maritime Republicso the Italian peninsula became the main trade and naval orces in the Black Sea waters.When the Byzantines lost control over the Bosporus in the 13 th century, the Black Sea appeared to be open ormerchants rom Western Europe, most o all or the Venetians, Pisans and Genoese.By virtue o experienced and adventurous Italian negotiators and seaarers, maritime trade in the Black Seaduring the 13 th to the 17 th century turned rom local to international in scope. Venetian and Genoese galleys calledat the ports o Caa, Tana, and later Sudak. In this way regular navigation in the region was established.In summary, rom the 5 th to the 15 th century military and merchant ships periodically crossed the Black Searom Constantinople and Synop to Cherson, Sudak and other Crimean ports. Along the Crimean coasts, local boatsbrought goods to the ports o smaller towns. The sea trafc was quite intense, and within this prolic businesslosses inevitably occurred.For instance, as it ollows rom a historical source, in AD 766 the Emperor Constantin V Copronim lost almosthis entire eet o 2,600 ships because o storm near the Varna shores   [ 6 , с. 97]. “Two thousand six hundred sunkenchelandia  this is a highly attractive gure or any underwater explorer”, writes M. Lazarov, a Bulgarian author o the book “Lost Flotilla” [ 6 , с. 97].But even i it was assumed that in a navigable season at least one ship could be lost in the Black Sea, then morethan two thousand vessels could rest on the sea oor, and only a ew o them have been discovered and are beingstudied by scientists.As illustration o this, a joint American research team discovered our ships o the 4 th 6 th centuries AD near the Turkish city o Synop. The primary investigation was conducted by the means o ROVs and side scan sonar [ 15 ]. The outstanding excavations at Yenikapi, Turkey revealed to the world a medieval port o Constantinoplesituated on the European part o Bosporus, where scientists unearthed not only warehouses and piers with a largeamount o archaeological material, but also thirty two vessels rom the 5 th to the 11 th centuries o various sizes andunctions [ 13 ].At present, at least six shipwrecks o the Byzantine period are known to lie o the shores o Crimea in depthsaccessible by scientic and archaeological divers.From the rst days o its oundation to the present, underwater archaeologists rom the Centre or UnderwaterArchaeology o the National Taras Shevchenko University o Kiev have been conducting extensive surveys in thesouth-eastern Crimea in order to localize and map the locations o possible shipwrecks and other underwaterarchaeological sites.  1000 років візантійської торгівлі (V–XV століття) 209 Various shipwreck sites as well as the remains o ancient settlements along the southern coast o the Crimeahave been inspected. Underwater exploration was carried out in the waters o the harbour o Chersonesos, onthe shel between Gurzu and Alushta, in the Bay o Sudak, between the Capes o Meganom and Ai-Foka, in theharbour o the ancient settlement o Kimmerik in the territory o the Opuk nature reserve, in the waters o theKerch Peninsula and at the opposing tip o the Crimean Peninsula  the Cape o Tarhankut. The oldest Byzantine archaeological material was ound in the waters near the Cape o Plaka. The cape o Plakais situated on the southern coast o the Crimean peninsula, where the harbour o Partenit/Lampad was established. This harbour, mentioned in ancient texts [ 7 , с. 89, 108-109], was the extremity o an important maritime traderoute in the Black sea connecting the Crimea to Sinop. The Shipwrecks at Cape Plaka Cape Plaka is a monument o nature. Situated on the south coasto Crimea, it is a low cape to the east o Ayu-Dag. It is a unique, ungi-orm rock resembling an owl in prole, eaturing abrupt slopes runthrough by numerous cracks. Near the cape lie a group o smallislands o the same srcin, called the “Bird’s Rocks”. In ancient timesa ortication and a light-house called the Lampados , mentionedby ancient geographers [ 1, c. 69], was situated on the cape. Themedieval settlement and trading post o Partenit was located nearbyto the west.In 1993 the remains o wreck sites at Cape Plaka were discovered.A concentration o large ragments o medieval amphoras, two o which were complete, was ound between the rocks. A ragment o alead sheathing was also recovered. The frst shipwreck  (Fig. 1) was discovered on the eastern side o the Cape, at a depth o 10 m. It carried a cargo o amphoras, mainlyo two types: LRA1 and carrot amphoras o the Sinopean type. AllLRA ragments ound at Plaka belong to amphoras with cylindricalbodies. The clay is light yellow, light red or cream-colored. Someragments rom the Plaka shipwreck contain the remnants o resinlinings. All examples o “carrots” are quite homogenous in type;they have a tapered body with two loop handles. The handles areattached to the middle o the neck and are oval in section. A highrounded neck with a heavy knobbed or beak shaped rim ares to the horizontal ribbing o the body. The conicalbases are o two types  one tapering and one rounded and hollow inside. The vessels are made o pale-pinkishclay, and the outer surace is covered by a brown patina with organic impregnations as a result o long-lastinginteraction with its seawater environment.Chemical analyses or both types were made atthe Ceramological Laboratory in Lyon (France) by Dr.Y. Waksman. The shipwreck has been dated to the 7 th  century AD according to ceramic evidence [ 14 ]. The second shipwreck  (Fig. 2) at Plaka Cape wasdiscovered to the west o Cape Plaka, lying on the sea bedat a slope ranging rom six to ten meters. It consisted o sixtyamphora-jars, in ragments, o the 9 th to 11 th centuries AD.Some o the upper parts retained traces o cork stoppers. The assemblage was comprised o two types o pottery. The rst, considered to be o Taman production, is quitecommon in the Black Sea and was transported all over theregion [ 8 , c. 52-59; 9 , с. 161-162]. They possibly containednaptha and served as containers or its transportation [ 5 ]. The second type o amphora ound on site is a local vessel,called the Prichernomorskii type.Fig. 1. Amphoras rom Cape Plaka.Fig. 2. Vessels rom Cape Plaka.  Morozova I. I., Albertson J. Byzantine Shipwrecks explored by the Centre or Underwater Archaeology in the Black Sea 210 The third shipwreck  was located on the eastern edge o the Cape. Amphoras, plain and coarse ware, black slip pottery o the Classical and Hellenistic periods represent the archaeological material present, which has beenpresented in several articles [ 1 , c. 66-67]. Shipwrecks near the Adalary Rocks Between Alushta and Gurzu, on the south coast o Crimea is the world renowned youth camp “Artek”. Directlyin ront o the camp, the   Adalary Rocks islets rise rom the sea to heights o 35 and 48 m. They were explored bythe CUA team and a joint Ukrainian  Polish expedition in 1995 and 2006. Potentially several shipwrecks o ancientand medieval srcin were ound. Amphoras, pithoi, and table and kitchen pottery, together with anchors and millstones o medieval srcin were discovered. Most o the material lies on the eastern side o the rocks [ 3 , с. 99-103]. Shipwrecks   in the Bay o Sudak: Cape Meganom  The Sudak region is well known due its historicalimportance during antiquity and the medieval period.Medieval Sudak rose to become one o the major tradingand crat centres in the 8 th century AD, and dominated theentire region rom the Genoese colonization until the endo the 15 th century. During that time and even more sorom the beginning o the 14 th century, the internationaltrade o the entire Black Sea region was conducted viaSudak. Over the centuries it has been known by manynames: Sygdeya to the Greeks, Surozh to the Russians,Sugdak or Soltak to the Eastern traders, and Soldaya bythe Genoese.Cape Meganom lies to the east o the Sudak ortress. Itis a mountainous “peninsula on the peninsula”, by ar themost outstanding cape in all Crimea, possesing severalsmaller capes o its own as well as valleys and a marvellousvariety o coastal landscapes.An archived document o the 15 th century, “A Petitionby Francesco Lomellini to Doge Giano di Camporegosoand the Council o Elders o Genoa” notes the loss o two Venetian galleys sunk near Cape Meganom [ 4 , c.44-45]. In 20012002 and rom 2005-present time CUAhas been carrying out surveys o the seaoor in searcho the aorementioned ships. While they have not yetbeen ound, three sites with medieval pottery have beendiscovered. The frst site: a shipwreck  (Fig. 3). An archaeological material spread was discovered during the rst surveyo the western coast o the Meganom Peninsula in 2000. The material lies beneath the sand 100 m rom shore atan average depth o 8 m, between stones at the bottom o small slope along the seaoor. Fragments o amphoraswere concentrated in a rather small zone and belonged to the same time period, the 10 th 11 th centuries, as ananchor ound there [ 2 ].By now three shipwrecks containing similar goods are known rom the Serce-Limani wreck in MediterraneanSea, where amphoras o the 11 th century were an essential part o the cargo [ 10 ] and two shipwrecks dated to the10 th to 11 th centuries near the Cape o Tekmezar in the Sea o Marmara, where they comprised the main cargo o the vessels [ 11 ]. The second site is located on the eastern side o Cape Meganom. Fragments o amphoras and an anchor wereindicated at a depth o eight to ten meters among stones in an area about 300 m 2 . The third site is located on the western side o Cape Bogaz. The archaeological material, comprising ragmentso amphoras was located at a depth o eight meters and lying among stones. The material spread was about 200 m 2 .Fig. 3. Amphoras rom Meganom.  1000 років візантійської торгівлі (V–XV століття) 211  The analysis o retrieved underwater archaeologicalmaterial and the data gathered during the expeditionsallowed us to assume that several, approximately twoor three, medieval anchorage sites have been locatedat the Capes o Meganom and Bogaz. Most likely thearchaeological material entered the sea while the shipswere at anchor to allow the crew to rest to rell on water(there was a resh water spring on shore in the vicinity)and to shelter themselves against the western andeastern gales. The residual eight amphora ragmentscomprise a wide chronological period ranging romthe 6 th to the 13 th century   [ 3 , с. 154-155]. Shipwrecks in the Bay o Sudak: Novy SvetThe frst shipwreck  (Fig. 4) site was discoveredduring the underwater archaeological exploration o the shel area in the western part o the Bay o Sudak,near the small resort town o Novy Svet. Four coins o the Byzantine Emperor Isaak the Second Angel (11851195) ound on site indicate that the date o the wreck sitemay be the late 12 th century AD. Two types o amphoras are were ound there: The rst type is known as the Günsenin type I. It is characterized by a ribbed, spherical, oval body and thick handles, which are attached under the rim at the neck o the vessel. There are two variations o the neck  someare very short, while others are o medium height. The clay that was used or this type is either pale-brown orpale-red in colour. Most o the grafti scratched into the clay take the orm o Greek letters. Amphoras o thistype are dated between the second hal o the 10 th  century and the rst hal o the 11 th century AD [ 12 ]. The coins ound on site, however, give a later date the beginning o the 12 th century. The second type isknown as the Günsenin type II and is characterizedby a pear-shaped body with a rounded bottom. Onthe body, there are two distinctive ridged zones,contrasting with the otherwise smooth surace. Oneo the zones is located at the lower join o the handle,the other is placed close to the bottom. Large handlesare attached at the neck directly under the rim, thenalign with or even rise above the collar. Furthermore,two o the recovered amphoras were marked by a pairo stamps. The stampon theshoulder has an open ended oval border ormed by a wide and shallowline, and another smaller circular stamp was placed on the vessel’s neck.Grafti consisting o Greek letters and geometric signs have also beenound. Amphoras that were uncovered rom the sand were still sealedwith their srcinal pine cork stoppers. This type o vessel was widelydistributed throughout the Mediterranean and the Black Sea basin. Mostresearchers date this type rom the second hal o the 10 th century to thebeginning o the 12 th century.In addition, an shipwreck o an earlier period is possibly locatedbelow the Bay o Novy Svet. “Amphora-Jars” (Fig. 5) together with vesselso Prishernomorskyi type (Fig. 6), a production o local workshops, wereound. This pottery is dated to the 9 th to the early 11 th centuries AD.Another important shipwreck o the late medieval period is so locatedhere as well  a shipwreck rom the 13 th century AD, o Italian srcin witha cargo o Late Byzantine amphoras and glazed pottery. At present, thisFig. 4. Amphoras rom Novy Svet.Fig. 5. Amphora-jars rom Novy Svet.Fig. 6. Prishernomorskyi type ampho-ras rom Novy Svet.
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