Responsable : Askold Ivantchik (DR CNRS)

The aim of this international project is to study the problem of interaction between societies of different types and of different levels of complexity in antiquity on the example of two historical and cultural areas - the Bosporus and Northern Colchis. In both areas, since the time of the beginning of the Greek colonization of the Northern Black Sea region, there lived an autochthonous "barbarian" population belonging to various economic and cultural types. During the interaction of societies of different types for seven centuries, on the territory of Bosporus and Northern Colchis till the 1st century BCE, when these lands fall into the sphere of interests of Rome, there was a combination of various forms of co-existence of the centers of "civilization" and "barbarian world". The relevance of the theme of the project (the study of the dynamics of interaction between societies of different types) is determined by two aspects. On the one hand, by now a large research base has been formed, which also includes new material that is not yet introduced to the academic public and does require an interpretation. On the other hand, the development of new research methods allows us to approach the interpretation of this material on a new level. The task of the project is to identify the common and particular features in the processes of interaction of Greeks and barbarians in various geographical, economic and cultural conditions during several historical stages on the basis of a comprehensive analysis of available data. The project is based on the written and archaeological sources, as well as on the data obtained with the help of nondestructive (remote and geophysical) methods. In accordance with this task, the work is carried out in the following fields:

1. Critical analysis of written (literary and epigraphic) sources concerning the forms of relations between Greeks and barbarians on the territory of the Bosporus and Northern Colchis in the period from the 7th to the 1st c. BCE.

2. Study of the interaction between Greek colonists and the autochthonous population of Bosporus and Northern Colchis at the early stage of Greek colonization according to archaeological data.

3. Elicitation of the changes that occurred in the organization and the structure of settlements on the territory of the Bosporan kingdom and Northern Colchis using GIS methods and methods of geophysical exploration. The work plan for the geoinformation part of the project is focused on a comprehensive analysis of all existing data and conducting selective field surveys of those territories where cultural interaction and mutual influence of Greeks and barbarians were of the most intensive nature. It is supposed: 1) collection and analysis of available materials necessary for the project implementation; 2) conducting field works on some key sites on the territory of the Bosporus (Taman peninsula) and Northern Colchis; 3) refinement / construction of models of the development of settlement systems in the studied regions.

4. Archaeological excavation at the site of Balan, identified with ancient Dioscurias in Abkhazia.

The partners of the project are: HSE University (Moscow), Institute of World History of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Moscow), Abkhazian D.I. Gulia Institute for Humanities (Sukhumi), Tbilisi State Univesity.