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General information

Name of the project:

Ethnocultural transformations on the territories of the Eastern Roman Empire in the Crimea.

Goals and objectives

Goals of project: 

  1. To find, on the basis of an extensive analysis, all the sources of breakthrough results in the solution of the problem of comprehensive reflection of ethnocultural transformations on the eastern territories of the Roman Empire in Taurica (Cherson, Mountainous Crimea and Bosporus) in the late 4th to early 13th centuries.;
  2. To determine the common trends of the development of the governance system on thr Byzantine territories of Taurica – from indirect measures with a significant impact of military contingents in the 4th to 5th century to the unification of the last quarter of the 6th century within a special military administrative district with the center in Cherson (ducat, Klimata and themes);
  3. To recreate the process of the propagation of Christianity on the peninsula and the activities of Orthodox Christian diocese;
  4. To provide a characterization of the processes of the assimilation and acculturation of the Roman, Gothic and Alan peoples, which resulted in the formation of the Gothic-Alan Greek-speaking Orthodox Christian ethnicity in the southwestern Crimea.
Project objective: 
  1. To elucidate various aspects of the political, ideological and economic interaction of the Eastern Roman Empire and Cherson, Bosporus, the Alans and Goths of the Mountainous Crimea;
  2. To shed light on the written status of the Crimean Gothic language and trace the acquisition of the Greek language by the Goths;
  3. To reconstruct the everyday life of the inhabitants of Taurica relying on materials of Alan-Gothic burial sites ;
  4. To systematize and introduce into scientific circulation new achaeological material discovered by the key members of the research team in the process of excavations of Byzantine quarters of the town of Bosporus and medieval monuments of the southwestern Crimea;
  5. To expose the dynamics of the Crimean toponymy  in the Byzantine times on the example of Chersonesos-Cherson;
  6. To study the virtual heritage of «Crimean Byzantium» in modern public thought. 
Research directions: History and archaeology.

The practical value of the study

Planned project results:

  1. A comprehensive reflection of all the aspects of the influence of the policies of the Eastern Roman Empire on the ethnocultural transformation in the cities of Kherson and Bosporus in the southwestern Crimea that were part of the empire.
  2. A comprehensive analysis of written sources and archaeological materials.
  3. A characterization of the processes of the formation of ethnoses on the territory of the empire and determining ethnic groups according to the peculiarities of their inherent mortuary ceremonies, their traditional costume, arms, daily utensils as well as a typology of the lodging, settlement planning, economic activity.
  4. A description of the formation of a new border region of the Eastern Roman Empire with the capital in Cherson from late 4th to the early 6th century that includes the Gothic region of Dory and Bosporus. Reviewing the peculiarities of the Byzantine administrative policies in the Crimea (Cherson and its Klimate, theme, Bosporus), mutual influence of the empire and remote regions.
  5. A systematization of new archaeological material discovered by the members of our research team in the process of excavations of Byzantine quarters of the town of Bosporus and a recreation of the economic connections of the major port; a characterization of the everyday life of the Alan-Gothic population of the region, a reflection of the displacement of the traditional Ostrogothic costume  with the Byzantine costume as well as to capture the impact of the Eastern Roman Empire on practically all the aspects of the life of the population of the southern coast of the Crimea on the basis of the results of excavations performed in 2017–2018 in the archaeological complex (temple buildings, the burial ground and the settlement) of Gorzouium.
  6. An illustration of the propagation of Christianity on the peninsula and the activities of Orthodox Christian         dioceses, the history of the Gothic language, the peculiarities of the ethnocultural  processes in Taurica from the 10th to the mid-13th century.
  7. A characterization of medieval jewelry industries and metal processing in the southwestern Taurica and the determination of the impact of manufacturing traditions of the Byzantine Mediterranean on the basis of a combination of traditional archaeological methods and paleoanthropological, archeozoological research and radiocarbon and isotope dating.
  8. Elucidation of the role of the Byzantine Christian civilization in the formation of the Mountain Crimean nation on the territory of the Crimea as a result of the centuries-long process of assimilation that created a common material culture, incorporating components of the cultures of Alans, Romans and Goths. It is namely this population that after the decline of Byzantine Cherson in the 15th century remained the main bearer of the traditions of the Greek-Byzantine culture and Orthodox Christianity on the peninsula unitl its relocation to the Azov region in 1778, which was performed by order of Catherine II.
  9. The publication of the results of the research project in at least 15 articles in journals indexed by the Web of Science Core Collection database, as well as a series of monographs and popular science books by key members of the academic staff.
  10. A new master’s degree program, «The history and archaeology of the Byzantine Crimea» will be developed.
  11. The leading members of our staff will conduct an annual seminar with the topic «Problems of the ethnic history of the Byzantine Crimea» on the grounds of the laboratory  for undergraduate and postgraduate students.
  12. Two scientific conferences with international participation on the topic of the project will be organized.
  13. Three Doctor of Science dissertations and two Candidate of Science dissertations will be defended.
  14. Annual presentations at Russian conferences in the domain of the project.
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