Anapa Archaeological Museum

Anapa Archaeological Museum and its collections

The first attempt to establish the Anapa Archaeological Museum dates back to 1909. In the middle of July the city park saw opening of transported and assembled painted crypt “Geroon” excavated the year before by professor of St. Petersburg University N.I. Vesselovsky near Anapa. Soon, in the nearby building Kurhall they opened “The Cabinet of Antiques”, which is based on accidental archaeological finds made in Anapa, including the items stored in the country cottage of N.I. Vesselovsky.
During the Civil War and the transformations which followed the Museum ceased to exist and its collections were lost. For the second the museum in Anapa was opened in 1932, due to the works of the archaeologist and local historian G.F. Tchaikovsky. However, the tragic events of the Second World War, lasted more than a year when the German occupation of the city, led to the fact that the Museum of Anapa had been again ruined.
The third restoration of the museum took place in 1945. The museum was created as the local one. The beginning of the collections was accidental archaeological findings, relics of the war, documents and photographs of the war years.
In 1954‒1956 in Anapa they began excavations of the necropolis Gorgippia ‒ the ancient city that existed at the site of Anapa from the VI. BC to the III. century AD. Archaeological research was protective in nature and was linked with a start of the unfolded, the active restoration of the city after the war. The first archaeological complexes got to the museum’s collection.

Beginning from 1960 the Anapa systematic studies have been conducted in the Gorgippia settlement by the expedition of the Institute of Archaeology of the USSR. The excavations were made by Doctor of History I.T. Kruglikova from 1960 to 1972 and Doctor of History E.M. Alexeeva 1973 and 1996. The Anapa archaeological expedition in addition to the excavations in Gorgippia paid attention to the study of archaeological sites in the territory of the Anapa area. Agricultural estates of the Hellenistic period, fortification of the early Roman time, several rural cemeteries, burial mounds of the Bronze Age and of the ancient times were excavated. Certain parts of the necropolis Gorgippia and monuments of its suburbs were studied by the Anapa museum staff, especially we should note a contribution to the study of the archaeological heritage of Anapa by A.I. Salov.
Thanks to the active archaeological work in Anapa and around the museum funds were regularly enriched by archaeological finds. On the site of the stationary excavation in 1977 the archaeological reserve “Gorgippia” was established with an exposition in the open air and the permanent exhibition of the finds, and Anapa museum, which became its integral part, received the status of the archaeological one.
Currently, the collection of the Anapa Archaeological Museum has over 40 thousand units in storage. More than 14 thousand items belong to archeology and about 10 thousand units are objects of ancient and medieval numismatics.
Of those archaeological materials stored in the Anapa museum, the greater part of the subjects of ancient culture, they are the finds from the excavation site of the ancient settlement and necropolis Gorgippia, settlements and cemeteries of the chora of Gorgippia.
The most numerous collections are of the pottery, in which different categories of pottery a both local Bosporus production and imported from other ancient centers. Only one collection of amphorae is about 100 units, it presents a ceramic container of Chios, Thasos, Rhodes, Kos, Cnid, Sinope and Heraclea. A good collection of ceramic stamps (amphora and tile), black-lacquer (including painted) and red-lacked ceramics, terracotta figurines, lamps.
More than a hundred units has the collection of tombstones, among which are typical ones for the Gorgippia area half-figures and statues kneed tombstones with images. The museum contains more than one hundred of the ancient Greek inscriptions, most of which are fragments of lists of the citizens of Gorgippia. Some epigraphic monuments deserve attention, especially tombstone of the Pelopones man V. century BC (One of the most ancient Bosporus inscriptions). The king Aspurgus rescripts of the beginning of first century BC, the inscription on the reconstruction of the city walls of the I ‒ II centuries BC. From the territory of the Seven Brothers fortified settlement comes a poem dedicated to Apollo Phoebus on behalf of the ruler in the IV. century BC. Bosporus king Leucon the First.
The museum was good collections of antique glassware, beads and metal objects.
The numismatic collection of the museum is known, above all, as a rich collection of ancient coins. Besides individual finds the museum stores antique treasures: hoard of Anapa 1954 (III century BC), Dzhemete hoard (III century BC), Grebenskaya hoard (III century BC), Usatova Balka hoard (III century BC), Rayevskaya hoard (II century BC), Vinogradnyi hoard (II century BC) Kumatyr (II century BC), Fadeevo (II century BC), Fantalovsky (I century BC), Succo hoard (I century BC), Anapa 1978 or Gunyaevsky hoard (II century BC), Anapa 1987 hoard (III century AD), I, II and III Gaykodznorovskaya hoard (IV century AD).
The most interesting and expressive collection of antique items are on display.
In addition to the materials of the ancient times, the Anapa Archaeological Museum contains objects of archeology related to the Bronze and the Middle Ages of the materials of the Bronze Age are of interest two metal tools dated to the second millennium BC. They were found in the vicinity of the Natuhaevskaya settlement. The most representative collections of the medieval burial sites are excavated materials Gostagay necropolis and Andrew Schel.
(Andrey N. Novichikhin)