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Echos du Monde Classique/Classical Views xxxvm, n.s. 13, 1994, 181-205 A QUARTER-CENTURY OF EXCAVAnON AT ÜLBIA PONTICA S. D. KRYZHITSKII, V. V. KRAPIVINA1 Olbia was one of lhe lhree largest ancient states on lhe nortJl coast 01" tJle Black Sea. Its significance lies not only in its important role in lhe ancient history of the region, but also in tlle excellent preservation of the Greek strata. At the present time Uley are, perhaps, the most extensively investigated of any in the region. Olbia was widely known in the ancient world.2 It was visited, apparently, by Herodotus and is also mentioned by olher ancient auUlors such as Strabo, Pliny, and Dio Chrysostom. Olbia was dosely linked by trade with Ule ancient cities of the eastem Mediterranean and Greece-Miletus, Athens, Corinth, Heraclea, 1 The authars would like to express their deep gratitude to Prof. David Howorth of the University of Manitoba far arranging for the publication 01' this report in EMC, and for his assistance with translating the text into English. 2 Political change in the former Soviet Union is rapidly breaking down Lhe intellcctual apartheid 01' the post-war period and making Olbia and oLher Black Sea sites increasingly accessible. A Icss welcome consequence is thc collapse of funcling for archaeological work and its publication. Language too remains a problem. Most 01' the items in the bibliography at the end 01' this article are in Ukrainian or Russian. English-speaking readers are perhaps best advised to start with the survey articles on archaeology in the Black Sea by J.G.F. Hind in Archaeological Reports, mosL recently in 39 (1992-93) 82-112. Along with much else he gives skeletal references to irnportant articles in Western-Ianguage periodicals such as DHA and Klio and notes the launch 01' two new journals, Das Schwarze Meer and Fmm Scythia to lhe Caucasus: A Journal 01 Ancient Civilizalions. Last year also saw the publication of a reporL on North Coast sites by MJ. Treister and Yu. G. Vinogradov in AJA 97 (1993) 521-63. which draws on the latest material supplied by the excavators 01' the various siLes. There are few relevant monographs. E.H. Minns, Scylhians and Greeks (1913. reprinted 1971) remains useful, although hopelessly out 01' date archaeologically. E. Belin de BaHu, Olbia (Leiden 1972) is only to be used with "extreme caution" (I-lind JHS 94 [1974] 251-52). A. Wasowicz, Olbia pontique et son territoirc: l'amenagement de l'espace (Paris 1975) was more warmly received (she had worked at Olbia), but as the tiLle indicates her aims were somewhat restricted. J. Vinogradov, Olbia, Xenia 1 (Konstanz 1981) offers a short historical essay in German (reviewed by AJ. Graham in Gnomon 55 [1983] 461-62). His views are argued at greater length with fuH epigraphic and numismatic documentation in the Political History 01 the Olbian Polis (in Russian) Iisted in the bibliography. For the future, the recently established Polis Press in Odessa plans to publish translations of significant new and recent works, but unfortunately, for economic reasons, only on a subscription basis. Most excitingly, Dr. Kryzhitskii and his colleagues are in the final stages of writing the comprehensive account of Olbia and its history thaL we have long awaited. It is to be hoped thaL an English version will quickly find a publishcr. 181 182 S. D. KRYZH1TSKll, V. V. KRAPIVINA Chios, Thasos and others; it also became a member of the Athenian maritime league. The special significance of Olbia also lies in the fact that the city was located in the midst of native tribes, Scythians in particular, and later Sarmatians and tribes of the Chemyakhov culture. With all of these there existed close ties, which were cultural and ideological as weIl as political and economic. In short, here it is possible to investigate the complex questions pertaining to the interaction between the ancient and barbarian worlds and their reciprocal influence in different areas of life and culture. Tbe excavation of Olbia offers long-term prospects. Here, in contrast to the other large ancient centres on the north coast of the Black Sea, there was no later reoccupation of the ruins, which have...


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