Often, in search of unusual places and new experiences, we are ready to cross the border, the mass of unusual and truly unique attractions are very close, but when we are about them almost nothing is known, and there is little interest in them.
In particular, in the Rostov region, there is the open-air archaeological museum-reserve, which, without exaggeration, is of international importance. In the third century BC the Greek merchants founded the city, in the future it has become the largest trading center in the region. It was named as the river on which it was built, Tanais.
A little history
Tanais was extremely advantageous because of its geographical location, because it is at the junction of the main trade routes, on the border between Europe and Asia. In addition, it is located near the sea shore of Azov and is an important port city (where the Don delta became longer, and the sea withdrew almost a dozen kilometers). All of this contributed to the rapid development and prosperity of the Tanais for eight centuries. In the 5th century BC the city was conquered by the Goths, and years later the domination of the Sarmatians and Genoese was established.
In the beginning, Greek traders traded with olive oil, wine, pottery and textiles brought from Greece and the Bosphorus Kingdom. They were buying grains by themselves, cattle and local bee products, especially fish that was much appreciated, such as sturgeon, which is exported even in the Roman Empire. Along with the trade of handicrafts in development, and agriculture that flourished at the same time. This city is considered as the most northern bastion of the ancient world, which has retained many of its treasures.
Today “Tanais” is really a unique historical and cultural complex, the first of its kind, because at the time of its opening, in 1961, in the Soviet Union there was not a large museum of this type, occupying three thousand hectares, where there are more than two hundred thousand ancient exhibitions, many of which have more than two millennia.
The practice of direct exposure to open sky was launched in Tanais. The recreation of one of the residential buildings in the way it was built by the Greeks is a bold experiment that was successfully completed. All this is done directly on the ruins of the ancient city.
In 1961, Tanais received the status of the first National Historic Park, however, excavations began more than a hundred years before the event. In 1823 it was made by Ivan Stempkovsky, who was considered one of the founders of archeology as a science in the vast Russian empire, who managed to find a place under the sand, where the ruins of the once prosperous city were.
After thirty years, Emperor Nicholas I established a special commission, which took the excavation seriously in order to find riches here, “The Mounds of Don.”
From then until the 1920’s, the ruins of Tanais carefully guarded the prying eyes, and access to it was very limited. But in the years after the Revolution, when property was declared by the entire people, it was seriously injured by the fact that local residents used the remains of the old buildings for the construction of the buildings of domestic use. Only in the middle of the last century, this historical and cultural was once again prized and carefully guarded.
The architecture in Tanais
Excavations and numerous studies have shown that the ancient Tanais was built according to the plan, typical of Greek cities, and completely different from those used in the construction of settlements in the region. The streets here are so narrow that they were sometimes hard to miss by passers-by. Along these lanes a strict rectangular building, with patios, aligned from the interior of the stone and covered with mud was placed. As it corresponds to a port city, that was well protected by an impenetrable wall (three meters of thickness), made of stone.
Today, everyone has a unique opportunity to walk these streets and travel back in a few hours in a completely different era, where absolutely the unusual atmosphere of the Greek city reigned for us today. Explore the surrounding area, which should definitely be visited as well as the local museum, where there is a collection of amphoras and statues of ancient ceramics, various tools and furniture. On the other hand, there are whole rooms in which they recreated with incredible precision the interior of the houses of the city, where the life of its inhabitants is visualized and even their garments are presented.
It will be especially interesting to visit the museum complex for the children, who are expecting not only the emo tours.