Ancient Greek settlement in Ukraine declared UNESCO World Heritage Site
The Greeks and Romans referred to this area—the territory of the Crimean Peninsula—as Tauric Chersonese, Taurica or Taurida. Founded by the Dorian Greeks in the fifth century as a port city on the Black Sea, Tauric Chersonesos prospered for two millennia, which is evidenced by the sites’ remains dating from the Classical Greek through Medieval periods.
Having become the seventh site in Ukraine to be granted World Heritage status, Chersonesos boasts monumental public buildings and fortifications as well as residential neighborhoods. One of the most unique aspects of the site is its well-preserved vineyards. The agricultural land surrounding the site was divided into hundreds of chora—rectangular plots of land. The vineyards provide insight into ancient agriculture and give us more information about the lives of ordinary people in the Crimean Peninsula and the link that existed between agricultural areas and the urban city. Throughout its long history, the city remained a center of exchange between the populations north of the Black Sea and the Greek, Roman and Byzantine empires. Chersonesos introduced democracy as well as Christianity to the Slavic world, both of which were instrumental in shaping the region’s future.
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