Greek colony along the NW Crimean coast. It was
founded in the late 6th-early 5th c. B.C., perhaps by
Heraklea Pontica, on the site of a pre-Greek settlement.
Kerkinitis came under the control of Chersonesus in the
late 4th c. and enjoyed a period of prosperity. As a center
for the surrounding agricultural area, it provided Chersonesus with grain and had trade relations with the
Scythians of the interior. It also issued its own coins from
the mid 4th to the 2d c. B.C. The Scythians captured it
in the mid 2d c. and occupied it until the early centuries
A.D. (Hecateus, Fr. 153; Herod. 4.55, 4.99).
At its height, the settlement covered an area of 8 ha.
By the late 4th c., stone defensive walls and towers encircled the site. The walls were partially rebuilt and
strengthened in the 3d c. The earliest dwelling, a two-room house with stone walls, a beaten clay floor, and an
adobe hearth, dates to the late 6th-early 5th c. B.C. Other
remains uncovered in limited excavations include a stone
house of the 4th-3d c. with a cellar, a house of the late
3d-early 2d c. with stone walls and floors, a large stone-paved drain cutting N-S across the site and leading to a
stone-lined reservoir, and a round stone structure of the.
4th-3d c., 6.2 m in diameter, whose purpose is not clear.
The necropolis, located NW of the site, had burials of
the late 6th-2d c. B.C. including some rich graves of the
4th-3d c. It is now completely destroyed.
Ellis H. Minns, Scythians and Greeks
(1913) 490-92; M. A. Nalivkina, “Raskopki Kerkinitidy
i Kalos Limena (1948-1952 gg.),” Istoriia i arkheologiia
(1957) 264-81; id., “Torgovye sviazi
antichnykh gorodov Severo-Zapadnogo Kryma (Kerkinitida i Kalos Limen v V-II vv. do n.e.),” Problemy
istorii Severnogo Prichernomor'ia v antichnuiu epokhu
(1959) 183-94; id., “Kerkinitida i Kalos Limen,” Antichnya gorod
(1963) 55-60; O. D. Dashevskaia, “O
proiskhozhdenii nazvaniia goroda Kerkinitidy,” VDI
T. S. NOONAN