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The Archaeological Collection of the Yalta Historical-Literary Museum

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image of Ancient Civilizations from Scythia to Siberia

Founded in 1892 and now containing ca. 11,000 pieces, the Yalta museum draws on pre-Revolutionary private collections, especially of Classical objects obtained locally and abroad, as well as on objects associated with the Mountain and Southern regions of the Crimea, acquired more systematically as a result of archaeological excavations and chance finds in the region. The most important pre-Revolutionary collection, that of Grand Prince Alexander Mikhajlovich, still contains-despite the destruction of WW II-more than 50 amphoras and 500 other ceramic pieces, especially of Archaic Corinthian and Samian ware. The museum houses many finds from pre-War excavations, e.g. from the Balim-Kosh site (ca. 20,000 Neolithic artefacts) and from the Roman legionary fortress at Charax. The creation after WW II of an Archaeological Department of the Museum has led to a 5-fold increase in the size of its collection. This now includes finds from late classical and early medieval burial grounds (Aj-Todor, Alushta, Druzhnoe, Verkhynaya Oreandal, the Gothic necropolis near Goluboj Zaliv, and the Mesolithic complex of Cape of Trinity I. The most important addition has been of more than 5000 objects from the sanctuary excavated in the past decade at the pass of Gurzufskoe Sedlo, which was in use from the Stone Age to the late Middle Ages. Its heyday was 1st cent. B.C.-1st cent. A.D. and from this period date the overwhelming majority of finds of bronze and silver statuettes, glass, metal instruments, ceramics, arms and coins. Such material provides a rare insight into all of the main phases of Crimean history and coins and other objects from the site have formed the subject of a recent exhibition in the museum.


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