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DIOSCURIAS later SEBASTOPOLIS (Sukhuini) Colchis.

A Greek city, covered over by the modern town. It was probably founded by Miletos ca. 540 B.C. on the site of an earlier native settlement dating from the 2d millennium (Strab. 9.2.16,17; Plin. HN 6.5). From the 6th-5th c. the population was both indigenous and Greek. The section inhabited by the Greeks was destroyed by the sea. The city flourished in the 4th-3d c.; its decline coincided with its conquest by Mithridates Eupator in the late 2d c. B.C. A century later the city was conquered by Rome under whom it became a fortified center, and its economy revived. Its decline in the 4th-5th c. was accompanied by the withdrawal of Roman troops, growing pressure from the Las state of Caucasus, and possibly a Hunnic raid.

Most of the remains date from Hellenistic times or later. Aside from the Roman fortress, of which a section still stands, there seem to have been no prominent monuments. Among articles imported in the 6th-5th c. are Greek wares (in particular, Attic bowls with a black glaze), and amphorae from Thasos and Chios; Attic bowls of the 5th-4th c.; stamped amphorae of the 4th c. and amphorae from Sinope and Herakleia of the 4th-3d c. Local wares were produced, especially in the 4th-3d c.

The city minted its own coins in the 3d c. B.C. Attic coins of the 5th-4th c. have been found as well as Hellenistic coins of the Kolchian king Saulakos. Among the few sculptures is a funerary stele of 430-420 of Ionian origin with a relief depicting a seated woman surrounded by her family.


M. M. Trapš, “Nekotorye itogi arkheologicheskogo issledovaniia Sukhumi v 1951-1953 gg.,” SovArkh 23 (1955) 206-27; L. A. Shervashidze & L. N. Solov'ev, “Issledovanie drevnego Sebastopolisa,” SovArkh (1960) 3.171-79; V. A. Lekvinadze, “Oboronitel'nye sooruzheniia Sebastopolisa,” SovArkh (1966) 1.203-10; I. B. Brašinskij, “Recherches soviétiques sur les monuments antiques des régions de la Mer Noire,” Eirene 7 (1968) 114-15; M. P. Inadze, Prichernomorskie goroda drevnei Kolkhidy (1968); G. A. Lordkipanidze, K istorii drevnei Kolkhidy (1970).


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