Rus Articles Journal

And you know about Tanais?

In the Rostov region, in 35 km from Rostov-on-Don and absolutely near x. Nedvigovka is the real ancient city - Tanais. It is the Russia`s first archaeological reserve and one of the largest. Excavation is conducted with the middle of the last century there. And Tanais in the 19th century was open. It is the real museum of antiquities under the open sky consisting of the ancient settlement and a necropolis. Of course, there is also a traditional exhibition museum which is constantly replenished with finds of archeologists.

Being a teenager, I was with the class at excursion there. At that time there it was a little dug out. But it how to tell: by the standards of archeologists such volume - already decent result. Archeological excavations - difficult, slow and laborious work. The museum of ancient finds was small too. What did not change since then, so it is an ancient hut and the Roman bridge (but it is reconstruction). Recently I was there already with the daughter`s class. The hut on the place, in it is the center. Boys nearly took out it on themselves: before dispersed, raged, someone got into this center. Fresh air so worked on children or the special atmosphere of Tanais?

In general, there it is quiet and silent. When we left to excavation, I was dumbfounded: it was dug out much more than when I was there last time. No, I heard that work goes more cheerfully, but that dug out so much! Across all territory of excavation there passes now the strong wooden bridge from which it is very convenient to study the ancient settlement from above. Scales impress.

I at forums met some responses that was expected much more supposedly from a trip to Tanais. So only the ignorant skeptic who is not knowing can say that to dig out antiquities and to dig a hole in a kitchen garden - absolutely different things. I was interested in due time in archeology (wanted even to study as the archeologist, but it did not develop) therefore I know: to dig out such volume - huge work. Each handful of the earth is investigated very carefully. And in general, dig not shovels, but small sovochka. Here also imagine. But bad responses of unit. The majority, of course, are very happy with excursion in Tanais.

From above the plan of the dug-out part of the city which was based by Greeks in the 3rd century BC is a little clear. In the 1-3rd centuries AD Tanais was a part of the Bosporsky kingdom. Trade was a primary activity of tanait. Also inhabitants actively were engaged in fishery and various crafts. According to one data, the city was destroyed almost completely in 237 by Ghats, and in one and a half centuries is restored by Sarmatians. Herodotus considered Sarmatians as descendants of amazons and Scythians. According to other data, Sarmatians appeared in the city in the 2nd century AD, and in the 3rd century Tanais died as a result of the fire. The last is established by archeologists as a result of researches of parts of a laying of houses and various household items. Nevertheless in the 4th century life returned to Tanais, but in the 5th century. the city finally became empty. Who only did not live on this earth at various times: Greeks, Alana, Scythians, amazons, Sarmatians, Polovtsian tribes... In the territory of the city - the museum there is a Polovtsian sanctuary consisting of two stones - idols.

Tanais was put on the high river bank Dead Donets (inflow of Don). By the way, Tanais is an and ancient (Greek) name of the river Don. From three parties the city was surrounded with a deep ditch. As material for construction served in the basic limestone. The laying was made on clay solution. In the yards there were wells for collecting rain water. Houses are located a little chaotically, without accurate planning. However many have quite correct rectangular shape and densely adjoin to each other. In places there are narrow passes. Archeologists established that some houses were two-storeyed and with spacious rooms.

My rich imagination instantly provided me a set of pictures: here citizens, men and women, go on these small streets. Everyone is busy with the business. Women stand and stir. Are praised by prosperity, husbands and children? Or complain to each other? Perhaps swear? By the way, about children: here they play then, there. Interestingly, what they had games: children`s and innocent or they copied behavior of adults? It is unlikely severe living conditions of that time left the right for the childhood. It was necessary to mature since the birth at once.

And how women looked? Modern technologies allow to recreate appearance of the person on his remains. In the museum there is the woman`s bust. It has a beautiful face with the correct lines. Strong shoulders speak about its strong, stately figure. There are data that Sarmatian ladies not only gave birth to children and in economy were engaged, but also were at war, if necessary, near husbands. Or instead of them. And even governed. Well, full-fledged persons were, with a vote, so to speak. There is a set of legends and data of the ancient historians connected with Tanais. As well as at any archaeological object.

All in the exhibition museum of 148 556 historical values got in the territory of Tanais. In the museum not all are presented, but generally originals though there are also copies as some originals are difficult identified. In the museum it is possible to see the various ancient weapon: swords, a spear, darts, knives, tips of arrows, kernels for catapults, and also fighting arms. There is a reconstruction of the obsidional car and a huge arbalest. Household items are very different: jugs, millstones, vases, drinking bowls, cups, bowls and many other things. There are even beautiful vessels from glass for aromas and various jewelry. Coins of different eras are presented in a separate exposition. In the territory of the ancient settlement even amphoras with oil were found. Most likely, there was a beacon which lit at the dark nights a way to vessels.

Actually there still to dig and dig. If only funds were allocated. Archeologists assume that only the tenth part of Tanais is dug out. By the way, today persons interested to work there weight. And it is absolutely free. Generally it is students among whom there are also foreigners. Young people like to participate in archaeological expeditions, it is incredibly interesting. Excavation is at a loss also the fact that around inhabited settlements. But still it is enough empty seat for opening. And who knows that they will find tomorrow.

In the last two years archeologists did huge work. Dug out 737 burials and 103 more objects. These burials were made from the middle of the 2nd century BC on the VI-VII century AD. Unfortunately, more than a half of graves were plundered still in the ancient time. Nevertheless it was succeeded to find 2481 subjects. These invaluable treasures will fill up Tanais`s museum, and not only: the part of finds, as well as from last expeditions, will be sent to other museums of the country.

Under the open sky constantly something happens in this museum: the performances showing life of ancient tanait. Or holidays different. It is possible to visit the master - classes on ancient crafts. And it is possible just to wander on excavation, to touch stones to which it is a lot of centuries and to try to imagine how here everything occurred in those ancient times.

Now Tanais has the status of the memorial estate. But its territory, unfortunately, is badly protected therefore the ancient city “is slowly taken away“ by locals for the economic needs. In general, I do not understand some people. Really they do not understand value (to be exact, “pricelessness“) similar objects? On such finds mankind history how it is possible to be so indifferent is restored?