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 Vladimir Anatolyevitch Gorontcharovskiy*
Iluraton: A Fortress of the 1st- 3rd centuries AD on the European Kimmerian Bosporos1

In the first centuries AD a number of fortresses were constructed to the west of Panticapaeum, the capital of the Bosporan kingdom. Iluraton is the best known and best preserved archaeological of them all. It is located 17 km to the southwest of Kertch near modern village of Ivanovka (former Kermesh-Kelechik) and covers about 3 hectares. The thickness of strata on the site is not uniform. Near the defensive walls they reach 3,5 m, but in the centre of fortress the thickness lessens to 0,6 m. The excavation trenches on the site of the fortress have traditionally been designated in Roman numerals (Fig. 1).

Figure 1. Plan of the site of Iluraton (excavations 1947-2000).

Owing to the extraordinary condition of all elements of the fortification system and building complexes, this small town deserves special attention, because it allows to explore not only the problems of fortifications of this date, but also various aspects of its inhabitants' life. The name of the town, undoubtedly of Barbarian origin, is first given to us in the work of Greek geographer Claudius Ptolemeus (Ptolem. Geogr., III, 6). The first person to identify the settlement at Ivanovka as Iluraton was V.F.Gajdukevic (Gajdukevic V.F., 1950, p. 203). This identification is accepted by the majority of scholars (See: Zubarev V.G., 1998, p. 117), though no confirmatory inscription has been found yet.

1 The research was carried with the support of the grants of Russian Scientific Foundation of Humanitics (№ 04-01 -00141a and № 04-01 -000164a).

* Vladimir Anatolyevitch Gorontcharovskiy is a senior researcher at the Department of the History of Classical Culture and head of Bosporan archaeological expedition. Excavations: Ukraine: Bosporan cities Iluraton (1972, 1976, 1978-1994, 1999-2000) and Porthmeus (1973, 1975), Greek settlement on the island of Berezan (1986-1987, 1996), rural settlement Geroevka 1 near Nymphaeum (1986-1992); Russia: Seven Brothers fortified settlement (2001-2004), Gorgippia (2002-2003).
Address: Institute of the History of Material Culture, Dvortsovaya nab. 18, Saint-Petersburg 191186, Russia
Fax: 007 (812) 5716271

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