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Mountain Crimea

The metals poverty and insufficient communication with the metallurgical centers led to the fact that stone tools, especially at the early stage of development of the Taurus culture, played the leading role. Large deposits of chert, fine-grained Sandstone and diorite in the mountainous regions of the Crimea in abundance offered the necessary material. Were made from flint inserts for sickles and all sorts of knife-like plates; there are also polished stone axes with abahami. Bone produced arrowheads, harpoons, needles. To metal, apparently, treated as a rare gimmick, and more often used for decorations. Judging by the numerous finds at the settlements, the Taurians existed bronze casting: bronze were made of the hryvnia, bracelets, plaques, rings, pins. Iron products is very small, their number increases slightly only at a late stage of development of the Taurus culture.

The oldest (about VIII century I. E.) known in the Crimea fortified settlements of t Uch-bash is located in Inkerman on Kamenolomni ravine (between the left Bank of Black river road and the road to Sevastopol). In dwellings and settlements of grain pits found many grains of wheat, barley, beans and peas. The grain was stored in large, similar to the pithoi thick-walled vessels of local manufacture. Taurus-building differ clearly expressed peculiarity: a wall of rough stones, piled up dry, often adjacent to the rocks, as if forming a single whole with the mountainous landscape. Sometimes they have a tower ledges without internal cameras. Tauri culture developed in conditions of mountain and forest scenery, in the situation of the tribal system and sustainable practices: it featured a lot of character, the archaic, the relative insularity and conservatism.

Tribal organization among the Taurians remained until IV-III centuries BC, although already from the time of Herodotus, there were shifts in their social and economic development – progress construction activities have intensified in the fight against the enemies military organization. At the head of tribes, each of which occupied a special territory, were leaders, whom the Greeks called basilevs – kings. Since the end of II century BC and later Tauri repeatedly performed together with the Scythians against the Chersonese, and against Bosporus, and the Romans who sought to bend them to his power. Probably in these times was unification of the tribes into temporary military alliances to reflect a stronger enemy. This is evidenced by the continuous formation of a chain of fortifications on the passes. Ancient writers testify to the courage of the Tauri in their fight with aliens and the originality of their military techniques: according to the Roman historian Polien, they were digging the road in your rear to prevent retreat.

Available data on the everyday practice of the Taurians speak of them as backward people, standing on a relatively low level of socio-economic development. However, what little we know about him, at the same time, suggests that before us – a small remnant of once numerous people, possessing a unique culture. It is thought that such relics is part of an archaic cult of the goddess virgin, with human victims (it is characteristic that according to the myth of Iphigenia, the Greeks “learned” the goddess Artemis in Taurus, which, perhaps, worshipped their ancient ancestors); treat them with the megalithic tradition, and, finally, the recently identified remains of Taurus place names.

The spread of megalithic structures, including menhirs – the vertically set stone blocks, stone circles – stone circles, associated probably with the cult of the sun, dolmens – stone boxes, which served primarily for burials, the cyclopean walls of huge stones, falls on the III – beginning of II Millennium BC and in Western Europe before: it covers the coastal areas of the Mediterranean and the black sea, including the Crimea and Western Caucasus. The earliest megalithic structures in the Crimea date back to Kamienski culture: then the dead were buried in stone boxes of huge slabs usually covered with geometrical paintings. On top of the tomb mound was sprinkled, usually lined with stone slabs on the ground. There is an assumption that Gold hill and walked along the shaft of bulk date back to III Millennium BC and only later were repeatedly renewed. Many features of Kamienski culture were inherited brands.

The t existence of ancient megalithic culture remained throughout the I Millennium BC by the end of which she has been deteriorating with increasing contacts with a more dynamic Greek and Scythian cultures. In the last century mountain and coastal Crimea was a rare picture of the abundance of these monuments, especially stone boxes, sometimes called the Crimean dolmens. Unlike the Caucasian dolmens is a Grand ground constructions made of solid stone slabs with a circular opening in a vertical wall face, the Crimean dolmens smaller and usually hidden under an earth embankment.

Production and the art of stone played in the culture of the Taurians a big role. Great work required the construction of burial mounds. Their distance from the closest Deposit of the stone is often higher than a mile. Here villaveces and transported stone slabs for boxes of length 2 m, height over 1 m, a thickness of 25-30 cm, weighed roughly 2 tons. To chipping a block from the parent rock, it was necessary to choose layered structure of the stone, to find a relatively easily detachable parts, which, apparently, was split by means of wedges made of hard wood. Then the plates were set up on wooden rollers and delivered to the burial ground. Processing them on the spot, gouging grooves, where the inserted cross wall, were stone and later metal tools. In the construction of stone boxes was attended by the whole family. In the same box can sometimes encounter up to 30-45 burials with weapons. Inventory of the graves is quite poor: bronze ornaments, stone tools, cowrie shells, paste beads; with the V century BC the iron akinak swords, iron knives and the bit that indicates connections with the Scythians.

The Greeks civilized relations with the local barbarians – brands – was not quite simple and straightforward. There is good reason to assume that the Greeks-colonists borrowed some local agricultural experience; but beyond that they were influenced by the Tauri and in its spiritual life, perceiving their main cult of the goddess. Chersonesan oath, after Zeus, Gaia, Helios named the Virgo – Taurus main deity, who was considered the patroness of the city. In the Chersonese were her temple and statue, and in 100 stages (about 17.7 km) from the town, at Cape Parthenion, according to Strabon, there was her sanctuary. In honor of the goddess feast – Parfenov. The inclusion of local deities in its Pantheon for the Greeks was really frequent. However, Virgo has occupied a leading place in this Pantheon she was considered the patroness of the city, and in the III century BC was proclaimed Queen Basilissa of Chersonesos! Of course, there’s a political explanation of this fact is the new title of the goddess was consecrated by the collegial Board of elders. But why for this purpose chosen the local goddess? And here it is time to think about the peculiarities of the spiritual world of the ancients, assuming that the barbaric authority of the local deity could influence the imagination of the Greeks because he was descended from the once common for residents pribaltijskij source, with the most archaic layer of his they found it at the local Taurian soil.