Programm Annual Report 2016

- the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage resumed funding of the project in a new formula: the project’s name was changed to "Antiquities of the Black Sea", which reflects the current status of research interests held by persons participating in the project.

- 25-30 April – visit by Alfred Twardecki in Kyiv. The rules of cooperation under the program were agreed with the leadership of IA NASU, with a special emphasis on the NMW excavations in Olbia. Also, a framework plan for archaeological activities to be pursued until the end of 2018 was agreed.

- 31 May – 5 June – visit by Professor Alla Bujskikh in Warsaw. The final details of cooperation under the project between NMW and IA NASU were settled. Signing of an agreement to launch NMW excavations in Olbia in collaboration with IA NASU. Dr. Alfred Twardecki was appointed head of the Polish expedition; Prof. Alla Bujskikh was appointed by IA NASU to lead the Ukrainian expedition.

- 6 July – 20 August – first excavation season of the Polish Archaeological Mission NMW in Olbia. In accordance with the agreement with our Ukrainian partners, the Polish mission excavated the heretofore unexplored grounds of the Roman citadel, which lies near Ukrainian excavation R 25. The Polish excavation was assigned the number R 23. The strategic goal of the Polish excavations is to delve into the unexplored portion of a small plateau, on which the remains of a Roman citadel and Greek city are located. This will make it possible to reconstruct – in conjunction with the results of earlier Ukrainian excavations – the entire area occupied by the Roman fort, which had previously been one of the highest-elevation sections of ancient Olbia. After a geophysical survey of this area, the mission initiated excavations. The excavated area covered 100 m2, from which the humus layer and mixed subsoil layers were removed. According to the plan, work was finished for the season after reaching the latest cultural strata. The first season’s work in Olbia was mainly intended to get acquainted with the specific conditions of the site as well as to refine procedures for documenting artefacts uncovered during excavations as well as the excavation work itself. This is extremely important due to the necessity of compiling parallel documentation in Polish (for NMW) and Russian (for IA NASU). Both objectives were accomplished. During the excavations, 342 separate artefacts were obtained, including 48 coins spanning all the periods during which Olbia existed as a Greek colony, Roman fort and Chernyakhov Culture settlement. Several thousand pieces forming artefact assemblages were also classified. These included several dozen fragments from late antiquity initially dated to the late 4th – early 5th century AD. This is one of the more important scientific findings of the 2016 research season, because it confirms that a settlement functioned in Olbia until the beginning of the 5th century AD – not, as some researchers previously believed, until 375 (invasion of the Huns).

- 30 October – 5 November – visit by Professor Alla Bujskikh in Warsaw. During the visit, the year’s archaeological campaign was summarized from an organizational standpoint, a review of the scientific findings based on the year’s excavations was begun, as was work on the excavation report. It was decided that surveying work and drone photography must be conducted in order to create an orthophotographic map of the Roman citadel and, thereafter, the entire area of the city.

- 6-12 November – visit by Alfred Twardecki in Kyiv. Continuation of work on the excavation report. Alfred Twardecki began a query in the IA NASU archive for the purpose of reviewing unpublished reports on excavations that had been conducted in Olbia by INA NASU over the last several decades.

- 20-26 November – visit by Alfred Twardecki in Petersburg. Participation in the international conference “The Bosporan phenomenon. Bosporan elites and their culture” (22-25 November), where he delivered the lecture “Evidence of foreign citizens in Bosporan inscriptions”. During the conference, the rules for the final publication of the excavations conducted by NMW until 2013 in Tyritake (Kerch), then indefinitely suspended, were discussed with our Crimean partners. The entirety of excavation materials and preliminary archaeological reports on the work conducted in Tyritake are published on the project website:

- all separate artefacts found during the 2016 excavations will be published by the end of 2016 in the database included on the project website.