Advances in Ancient Black Sea Studies: Historiography, Archaeology and Religion. The Proceedings of the International Symposium, Constanţa, August 20-24, 2018
This volume collects 26 papers authored by lading experts from nine European culntries. It presents a wide range of the latest advances in the study of the ancient Black Sea in Greek and Roman times, with a focus on scholarly traditions, archaeology and religion. All the contributions address current debates about texts, epigraphy, numismatics, and iconography, as well as archaeological discoveries. They provide oppotunities to share perspectives, new methods and grameworks for future research. At the same teime, this book is in line with the efforts in recen years to bridge the large gap between the scholarly traditions of West and East in order to absorb, interpret and integrate the constant flow of new information about the Black Sea region into mainstream western classical scholarship.
The expressions ‘Late Scythian culture’ and ‘Crimean Scythia’ are modern concepts. The first term appeared soon after 1946, and it was intended to designate the material culture of the Scythians, supposedly superseded by the Sarmatians in the 3rd century BC and later replaced by the Slavs, thus making a direct historical bridge from Scythians to Russians. The Late Scythian culture consisted of two enclaves, the Crimean-Dnieper and the Thracian one. The Crimean-Dnieper enclave was represented by two slightly different variants located in the Crimea and in the Lower Dnieper region. The term ‘Crimean Scythia’ was invented in late 1980s – early 1990s, and reflects the idea of the formation of a new separate Scythian statehood in the Crimea. According to the predominant point of view, the Late Scythian culture of the Crimea was constantly transforming in the course of the ‘Sarmaticization’ process. This position seems to be unsustainable. In fact, some migrations to the Crimea from the North Pontic steppe or the Caucasus could have likely occurred. However, the newcomers (‘Sarmatians’?) certainly had a much lesser effect on the functioning of the social networks and the economic and cultural appearance of the ‘Crimean Scythia’ than the proximity of the ancient centres and geopolitical aspirations of the world hegemonic powers.