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A Greek city on the N coast of the Black Sea, 5 km NE of Kerch. It was founded by Ionian colonists in the mid 6th c. B.C. (Strab. 7.4.5; Plin. HN 4.86-87; Ptol. Geog. 6.1). In the 5th c. the city issued its own coins, and a sanctuary temple of Demeter dates to the 5th-4th c.

In 480 B.C. it became part of the monarchy of Archeanaktides. In the 4th c. B.C. when the city was at the height of its prosperity, it acquired a rampart and its houses were built of stone and brick (remains of monumental architecture, paved streets, water pipes). Several great wine-making establishments flourished in the 4th-3d c. B.C. Among the traces that have been uncovered are large cisterns, and stamped amphorae from Rhodes, Sinope, Chidos, Chersonesus, and Thasos. Attic wares predominate from the 4th B.C. on (red-figured bowls, West Slope, etc.), the pottery of Rhodes, Alexandria, and Pergamon being the most plentiful in the Hellenistic period. Terracottas were imported mainly from Myrina and Amissos; here the figures of Demeter and Kybele and the great masks of Dionysos are most frequently found. The coins are predominantly Bosporan. From the 3d c. B.C. on the city declined, reviving only in the Early Roman period; it never regained its former prosperity. Its final decline dates from the end of the 1st B.C., and it was laid waste by the Huns in the 4th c. Among the most noteworthy finds are a terracotta statuette of Kybele (0.58 m) and a marble Roman sarcophagus with scenes from the legend of Achilles found near the city. The Hermitage Museum and the Warsaw National Museum contain material from the site.


V. F. Gaidukevich, “Bosporskie goroda Tiritaka i Mirmekii na Kerchenskom poluostrove (Po raskopkam 1932-1936 gg.),” VDI (1937) 1.216-39; id. et al., “Raskopki severnoi i zapadnoi chastei Mirmekiia v 1934 g.,” Arkheologicheskie pamiatniki Bospora Khersonesa [Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, No. 4] (1941) 110-48; id. & M. I. Maksimova, eds., Bosporskie goroda, I: Itogi arkheologicheskikh issledovanii Tiritaki i Mirmekiia v 1935-1940 gg. [Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, No. 25] (1952); id., “Raskopki Tiritaki i Mirmekiia v 1946-1952 gg.,” Bosporskie goroda, II [Materialy i issledovaniia po arkheologii SSSR, No. 85] (1958) 185-218; A. L. Mongait, Archaeology in the USSR, tr. M. W. Thompson (1961) 193-94; id., “Mirmekiiskie zol'niki-eskhary,” KSIA 103 (1965) 28-37; C. M. Danoff, Pontos Euxeinos (1962) 1124-26 = RE Suppl. IX; E. Belin de Ballu, L'Histoire des Colonies grecques du Littoral nord de la Mer Noire (1965) 132-34; I. B. Brašinskij, “Recherches soviétiques sur les monuments antiques des régions de la Mer Noire,” Eirene 7 (1968) 99.


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