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
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
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
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
M. L. BERNHARD & Z. SZTETYŁŁO