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KEPOI Kuban.

A Miletian colony founded in the mid 6th c. B.C. on the Gulf of Taman NE of Phanagoria, on the site of a Kimmerian (?) settlement (Strab. 11.2.10; Diod. 20.24; Plin. HN 6.112). At first the city, of mixed population, subsisted on farming and trade with Asian Greeks and local tribes, paying taxes to the Bosporan kings. The inhabitants prospered from the wheat trade between the 4th c. B.C. and the 1st c. A.D., but from the 2d c. A.D. the city was increasingly barbarized by the Sarmatians. The Huns destroyed it in the 4th c.

The Greek city, originally 20-25 ha, covered a small hill and extended down the slopes to the seashore. Much of the coastal part of the site is now under water. Remains of a house of the mid 6th c. B.C. have been found and some of the numerous graves from several necropoleis can be dated to the same period, but other architectural remains date to the 1st c. A.D. or later. From the 1st c. are ruins of a temple in antis dedicated to Aphrodite; the terracotta ex-votos found nearby represent the goddess. The remains of houses from this century reflect the high standard of living. The foundations are of stone, the walls of brick, often imported from Sinope as were the roof tiles; there are traces of water pipes. There are also remains of baths from the 1st c. A.D. and two wine-making establishments (1st-3d c.).

Finds include not only Klazomenai wares, Classical and archaic Attic bowls, terracotta figurines of local manufacture (4th c. B.C.), imported Syrian glassware and Egyptian scarabs, but a headless marble statue 0.53 m high known as the Aphrodite of Taman (1st half of the 2d c. A.D.) and a head of Aphrodite from a workshop near the Pergamon school of the 2d c. B.C.

The Hermitage Museum contains material from the site.


N. I. Sokol'skii, “Kepy,” Antichnyi gorod (1963) 97-114; id., “Sviatilishche Afrodity v Kepakh,” Sovetskaia Arkheologiia (1964) 4.101-18; id. & N. P. Sorokina, “Raskopki goroda Kepy i ego nekropolia V 1957-1963 gg.,” Ezhegodnik Gosudarstvennogo istoricheskogo muzeia, 1963-1964 (1966) 28-49; id., “Vinodelie v aziatskoi chasti Bospora,” SovArkh (1970) 2.75-92; E. Ia. Nikolaeva, “Raskopki gorodishcha Kepy v 1964 g.,” KSIA 109 (1967) 94-100; N. P. Sorokina, “Raskopki nekropolia Kepy v 1962-1964 gg.,” KSIA 109 (1967) 101-7; I. B. Brašinskij, “Recherches soviétiques sur les monuments antiques des régions de la Mer Noire,” Eirene 7 (1968) 105-6.


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