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Figurines of Demeter and Persephone found at construction site in Russia's Anapa


Scientists of the Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences (IIMK RAS) from St. Petersburg, together with members of the archaeological expedition "Kubanarheology" in the Krasnodar region have found ancient terracotta statuettes and a dedicatory relief during excavations at a building site in the coastal resort town of Anapa.


Figurines of Demeter and Persephone found at construction site in Russia's Anapa
Credit: Museum Anapa



In antiquity it was a major seaport (Sinda) and capital of Sindica. The colony of Gorgippia (Greek: Γοργιππία) was built on the site of Sinda in the 6th century BCE by Pontic Greeks, who named it after a king of the Cimmerian Bosporus. In the 2nd and 3rd centuries BCE, Gorgippia flourished as part of the Bosporan Kingdom, as did its guild of shipowners, which controlled maritime trade in the eastern part of the Black Sea. 


Figurines of Demeter and Persephone found at construction site in Russia's Anapa
Credit: Museum Anapa

"On the western outskirts of Gorgippia we found several kilns associated with the manufacture and firing of ceramic wares, dating to between the second half of the 4th century through to the 2nd century BC. One of the pottery kilns survived better than the others and under the collapsed dome, we managed to find the remains of ceramic wares in it," noted the IMK RAS.


Figurines of Demeter and Persephone found at construction site in Russia's Anapa
Credit: Museum Anapa



"Among the items found by the archaeologists were two complete terracotta figurines of Persephone, the daughter of the fertility goddess Demeter. We also found a one-sided bust of Demeter herself next to two red clay bowls in the same oven."


Figurines of Demeter and Persephone found at construction site in Russia's Anapa
Credit: Museum Anapa

"Another interesting find, made nearby, is a reused dedicatory relief in the center of which the goddess Cybele is depicted seated on a throne with a lion cub on her lap. On either side of it are the figures of the messenger of the gods Hermes and Hecate, the patroness of magic and witchcraft, with two torches in her hands.  Such a slab could be installed near some important public building or temple. This is the best quality limestone relief with such a scene known on the territory of the Bosporus."


A number of pottery and tile fragments marked with trademark stamps were also found at the site. 


All finds were transferred to Anapa's Archaeological Museum.


Source: Museum Anapa [November 06, 2020]



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