Monday, 15 August 2016

Black Sea Fortress of Artezian yields treasure

Residents of a town under siege by the Roman army about 2,000 years ago buried two hoards of treasure in the town's citadel — treasure excavated by archaeologists in 2013. More than 200 coins, most bronze, were found along with various items of gold, silver and bronze jewelry and glass vessels inside an ancient fortress within the Artezian settlement in the Crimea. Artezian, which covered an area of at least 3.2 acres (1.3 hectares) was part of the Bosporus Kingdom.
At the time, the kingdom's fate was torn between two brothers - Mithridates VIII, who sought independence from Rome, and his younger brother, Cotys I, who was in favor of keeping the kingdom a client state of the empire. Rome sent an army to support Cotys, establishing him in the Bosporan capital and torching settlements controlled by Mithridates, including Artezian. All was levelled by the Romans and later rebuilt by Cotys I.

People huddled in the fortress for protection as the Romans attacked, but they knew they were doomed. "We can say that these hoards were funeral sacrifices. It was obvious for the people that they were going to die shortly," The siege and fall of the fortress occurred in AD 45.