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Ancient Ukrainian City of Wine Making

Ancient Ukrainian City of Wine Making

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The ancient city of Tauric Chersonese and its Chora located in Ukraine has been awarded UNESCO world heritage status at the latest UNESCO committee meeting held in Cambodia over the weekend.

The site covers a vast area of over 40 hectares and features the remains of a city founded by Dorian Greeks in the 5 th century BC on the northern shores of the Black Sea.  Archaeological excavations have uncovered houses, streets, squares, temples, workshops, wineries, the mind, and medieval tower fortifications, as well as agricultural lands divided into several hundreds of chora, rectangular plots of equal size which once held vineyards which thrived until the 15 th century. Some particularly interesting features of the ancient city include early Christian monuments and remains from Stone and Bronze Age settlements.

In the 3rd century AD, the site was the most productive wine centre of the Black Sea and was a hub of exchange between the Greek, Roman and Byzantine Empires and populations north of the Black Sea.  After that, the city was continuously inhabited between the 5 th and 14 th century AD, at which point it declined and became abandoned for hundreds of years until its rediscovery by the military in the 20 th century, who used it as a quarantine cemetery.

According to UNESCO, Tauric Chersonese “is an outstanding example of democratic land organization linked to an ancient polis, reflecting the city’s social organization.”  It represents the cultural and trade exchanges between Greek and Roman Empires and the Crimea as well as the Scythian state.

Today, you can walk along the old city’s main street, residential quarters and squares, admire the ruins of the ancient theatre and basilica and see the underground temple-mausoleum.

By April Holloway

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