city of the Scythians from the 3d c. B.C., situated E of
modern Simferopol (Strab. 7.4.7
). It ceased to exist in
the 3d c. A.D. when the Crimea was overrun by Sarmatians, Alans, and Goths.
Although the capital of the Scythian state in the
Crimea, there is evidence in the remains of considerable
Greek influence, and graffiti suggest the possibility of a
permanent Greek settlement in the city. Covering an area
of ca. 20 ha, the city was surrounded in the 3d c. B.C.
with stone walls bonded with mortar. The walls are 2.5 m
thick, later reinforced to a thickness of 11-12 m in some
places, and have been preserved to a height of ca. 2.7 m.
The main gate, in the middle of the S wall, was protected
on either side by towers. There were two other gates.
Architectural remains within the city include a large
stone structure opposite the main gate with two porticos,
columns with Doric capitals, and a tiled roof; a rich
dwelling of the 3d-2d c. with a semi-cellar, tiled roof,
and plastered and painted walls; Hellenistic dwellings
with rooms opening onto paved courtyards.
The city's funerary architecture was monumental.
Most noteworthy is a mausoleum built on a rectangular
plan (8.65 x 8.10 m). Its walls, which consisted of slabs
of stone, have been preserved up to 3 m. Inside were 72
richly furnished tombs, probably belonging to dynastic
kings buried between the 2d c. B.C. and the 2d c. A.D.
A wooden sarcophagus with feet carved in the shape of
fantastic animals is especially remarkable. The sides of
the sarcophagus are decorated with garlands, acanthus
leaves, flowers, and pine cones. Gold rings, earrings, etc.,
and Scythian arms have been found here. The necropolis
has also been excavated, on the outskirts of the city. Cut
in the rock, the tombs are small square chambers containing niches. On the walls are painted friezes depicting
scenes of everyday Scythian life (leaving for the hunt; a
Scythian drawing his bow; also houses and huts). Some
Greek inscriptions have been uncovered (including one
mentioning King Skylurus) and a relief from the 3d c.
B.C. showing Palakos on horseback. The Simferopol
Museum and the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, contain
material from the site.
P. N. Shul'ts, Mavzolei Neapolia skifskogo
(1953); id., “Issledovaniia Neapolia skifskogo
(1945-1950 gg.),” Istoriia i arkheologiia drevnego Kryma
(1957) 61-93; V. P. Babenchikov, “Nekropol' Neapolia
skifskogo,” Istoriia i arkheologiia drevnego Kryma
94-141; N. N. Pogrebova, “Pogrebeniia v Mavzolee Neapolia skifskogo,” Pamiatniki epokhi bronzy i rannego
zheleza v Severnom Prichernomor'e
[Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, No. 96] (1961) 103-213;
A. L. Mongait, Archaeology in the USSR
, tr. M. W.
Thompson (1961) 162-63; E. Belin de Ballu, L'Histoire
des Colonies grecques du Littoral nord de la Mer Noire
(1965) 193-99; O. A. Makhneva, Neapol' skifskii: Putovoditel'
(1968); D. S. Raevskii, “K istorii Greko-Skifskikh otnoshenii (II v. do n.e-II v. n.e.),” VDI
M. L. BERNHARD & Z. SZTETYŁŁO