A Sub-Geometric Skyphos from Borysthenes

On the Question of Pre-Colonial Ties in the North Pontic Region

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia
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In the Borysthenes collection a fragment of Sub-Geometric skyphos has come to light, which is most likely to have been manufactured in Miletus. The shape of the vessel and the stylistic features of its painted decoration enable us to date it to the second quarter of the 7th century bc. This skyphos, like other vessels in the Sub-Geometric style from barbarian sites in the North Pontic region, was taken there by colonists, who had founded the early apoikiai of Histria and Borysthenes. For this reason, vessels dating from the first half of the 7th century bc cannot be cited as evidence for pre-colonial ties having existed in the Pontic region.

A Sub-Geometric Skyphos from Borysthenes

On the Question of Pre-Colonial Ties in the North Pontic Region

in Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

References

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3

Schlotzhauer 200181-82pl. 6.

6

Schlotzhauer 200180-85pls. 5-7 pp. 101-103 Cat. Nos. 31-40.

9

Scholtzhauer 200169-70 f; on linear decoration and triglyph-metope patterns on Late Geometric vessels of Attic production see Young 1975 212 ff; Coldstream 2003 93; for general information on the decoration and shapes of East Greek Geometric pottery see Coldstream 2008 262 ff.

11

Robertson 19402 ff.

12

Thalmann 197766pl. i2-3.

14

Boardman 1991387 ff.

15

Pharmakowsky 1910227fig. 27.

16

Boardman 1998203-204; see also Tsetskhladze 1994 112; Ivantchik 2005 105. Despite the serious nature of the argument outlined above (all those who work with old collections from Berezan and Olbia held in various museums of the Ukraine and Russia will find themselves up against a similar situation) a vessel of the 8th century bc from Berezan was once again cited recently as proof that seafarers had reached the Black Sea in the 8th century bc: Machinskiï Musbakhova 2009 350; or “on a seasonal basis (?)” between the end of the 8th and middle of the 7th century bc: Machinskiï 2011 418. It is however unlikely that after the arguments put forward by J. Boardman which have been supported by all the leading scholars working on the early period of the history of the colonization of the North-West Pontic region opinions of the above kind will be developed further.

18

Bouzek 199017-18; Graham 1990 52 ff.

19

Bouzek 199018.

20

Boardman 1991389: this opinion was also supported by Alexandrescu 1999 7.

21

Onaïko 196615pl. iii11; Vakhtina 1998 125-127 fig. 2 1 3. M. Yu. Vakhtina did not go as far as identifying the fragments as pottery from any particular centre: she merely drew attention to the arrangement of the decoration typical for that period which had been found at various Mediterranean sites.

23

The cup was published as follows: Onaiko 196615pl. iii12 a-d; Bezsonova 1996 31 fig. 4 3; Daragan 2011 592 fig. v. 53 3; Kerschner 2006 fig. 14.

26

Kerschner 199515figs. 34-37; Kerschner 2006 237-239.

27

Kerschner 199515fig. 10 Cat. No. 26.

28

Kerschner 199516-17figs. 38-39; Kerschner 1997 Cat. Nos. 1-2.

29

Kerschner 2006239244.

30

Knipovich 193493.

32

Vinogradov Domanskiï Marchenko 199077.

34

Rusyaeva 199986-87.

35

Buïskikh 2013229.

36

Ivantchik 2005107.

Figures

  • View in gallery
    Skyphos in the Sub-Geometric style from Borysthenes (AБ/63-699). Photograph and drawing by the author.
  • View in gallery
    Bird-cup in the Sub-Geometric style from the Trakhtemirov fortified settlement (am 701/4734). Photograph and drawing by the author.

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