Ancient Greek colony in Russia had complex system of fortifications
Fortifications in the remote Greek colony 2,000 years ago in Tanais were more complex than previously thought. This is evidenced by the results of recent excavations conducted by archaeologists from the University of Warsaw.
|Defensive wall [Credit: T. Scholl]|
"Our research shows that even at the end of the Greek world settlers built according to standards known from Greece. The fortifications discovered this year were made very carefully, according to typical antiquity standards," explained the expedition leader, Dr. Marcin Matera from the Institute of Archaeology of the University of Warsaw.
|Retaining wall on the outer slope of the defensive ditch [Credit: M. Matera]|
"This system of fortifications meant that getting siege machines to the city walls was definitely difficult," added Dr. Matera.
|Retaining wall; view from the east [Credit: M. Matera]|
"This is a unique project in the entire Greek world also because the bridge is not perpendicular to the fortifications, but positioned at a certain angle - this made things difficult for the troops storming the city if they were a battering ram or other siege weapons," explained the archaeologist.
Powerful fortifications of Tanais were designed to protect the city against waves of nomads coming from the east. The city was mentioned by Strabo, who wrote about its devastation by Polemon (Bosporan ruler) at the end of the first century BC. The revival of Tanais came at the end of the first century AD. After two hundred years, the city completely fell into decline after the invasion of Sarmatians or Goths.
Author: Szymon Zdziebłowski | Source: PAP - Science and Scholarship in Poland [December 19, 2016]