1. Area of nominated property 001 (Area of the city of Tauric Chersonese)
44° 36' 39" N / 33° 29' 29" E
2. Area of nominated property 002 (Chora's area in the Yukharina Gully)
44° 33' 01" N / 33° 28' 12" E
3. Area of nominated property 003 (Chora's area in Berman's Gully)
44° 31' 26" N / 33° 30' 03" E
4. Area of nominated property 004 (Chora's area on the Bezymyannaya Height)
44°31' 34" N / 33° 32' 48" E
5. Area of nominated property 005 (Chora's area in the Streletskaya Gully)
44°34' 15" N / 33° 28' 39" E
6. Area of nominated property 006 (Chora's area on the isthmus of the Mayachny Peninsula)
44° 33' 44" N / 33° 24' 32" E
7. Area of nominated property 007 (Chora's area on Cape Vinogradny)
44°31' 10" N / 33° 28'12" E
The Tauric Chersonese was founded in the Northern Black Sea region during the Great Greek colonization in the 5th century BC and existed without interruptions for 2000 years (through the 14th century AD).
Originally a little trading post around the harbour installations in Quarantinnaya Bay, it had developed by the early 4th century BC into a classic ancient Greek polis, a democratic republic with a slavery system. Apart from the city itself, the polis of Chersonese included its agricultural hinterland (chora).
Winemaking and production of related wine materials in the chora largely determined the comprehensive develop:dent of the Chersonese state, which grew between the middle of the 4th century and the first half of the 3rd century BC into a major winemaking centre of the Black Sea region. The location of the Tauric Chersonese at a crossroads of two Black Sea routes, together with the abundance of convenient harbours, provided excellent conditions for transit sea trade, which developed here in the second half of the 4th and the 3`d centuries BC.
In the mid-2" century AD Chersonese became a strategic outpost of the Romans in the Northern Black Sea region. Between the late 3rd and the first half of the 4th century AD the Chersonese troops took part in the wars against the Bosporus Kingdom together with the Roman Empire. This enabled•Chersonese to control the vast areas in the southwest of Crimea that were inhabited by Goths and Alani, then the federates of the Roman Empire.
After the breakdown of the Roman Empire in 395 AD, Chersonese was for Rome and Byzantium nothing more than an allied city. At the turn of the 5th and 6th centuries AD, it became a provincial city of the Byzantine Empire and remained so all through the early Middle Ages, used by the metropolis as the northernmost outpost at its frontiers with the 'barbarian' world and as a place of exile for political and religious oppositionists. At that time the city functioned as a major commercial port responsible for the turnover of commodities between the north and the south by way of trading handicrafts and other goods for agricultural products.
In the last quarter of the 4th century AD, Chersonese was already the centre of a separate Christianity eparchy, as is suggested by the signature of Eucherius, the bishop of Chersonese, under the resolutions of Ecumenical Council II (381 AD). As far back as the late 6th century, Chersonese became a Christian religious centre not only for the inhabitants of the city and the nearby area. An important historical event for Cherson and its theme was the so-called `Khorsun campaign' of Prince Vladimir of Kiev launched in the 10th century AD. Therefore, the importance of Cherson for the spread of Christianity in Kievan Rus can hardly be overestimated. From the mid-13th century AD onwards, Cherson repeatedly fell victim to nomadic raids, which brought fires and devastations. Difficult political and economic conditions of the time brought about gradual decline of the city, although life in Cherson and in its chora continued up till the mid-15th century AD.
The remains of the ancient city of Tauric Chersonese and its chora are located on the Heraclean Peninsula, which is situated in the southwest of the Crimean Peninsula in the Northern Black Sea (the present-day city of Sevastopol). The Tauric Chersonese and its chora occupy most of the Heraclean Peninsula. Their area of more than 10000 ha. The property consists of two main parts: 1) the Chersonese city — remains of the ancient city of Tauric Chersonese and 2) the Heraclean chora — agricultural hinterland of Chersonese.
After the decline and desolation of the city in the 14th - 15th centuries AD its area was for many centuries out of use. Most of the ancient city area has however remained free of any development or economic activities, which helped to preserve the integrity of the ruins of the ancient and medieval city on an area of more than 40 ha with urban quarters based on a city planning system invented by Hippodamus of Miletus.
Over more than 150 years of archaeological research, around 10 ha of the area has been explored, with numerous archeological items dating from the ancient and medieval periods excavated and museffied (defensive fortifications, street network, public buildings, religious constructions, residential quarters, city mansions and others).
The Tauric Chersonese chora includes all the land plots that were owned and used by the citizens of the polls (private lands) and the city community (communal lands and sacred places). Still, it was the Heraclean Peninsula uniformly demarcated in the second half of the 4th century BC with a network of roads and division walls into more than 400 equal plots 26.5' ha each that remained the most important part of the demarcated Chersonese chora. In fact, the whole demarcation layout of the Heraclean chora was based on a system introduced by Hippodamus of Miletus, which made it possible to regularly demarcate lands on an area of more than 10000 ha.
Around 1/2 of the near Chersonese chora remains undeveloped, only some part of it being used as farmland or forestland. The landscape is still intact on an area of no less than 2000 ha, with traces of the ancient chora demarcation clearly visible in the space photos of the area. Within this area, particularly well preserved are the protected sites containing ancient testimonies — remains of ancient roads, division walls, vineyard planting walls, farmstead ruins and others — which are sufficient to get an exhaustive idea of the Heraclean chora of the Tauric Chersonese: in the Yukharina Gully (on the area of around 150 ha), in the Berman's Gully (on the area of around 20 ha), on the Bezymyannaya Height (on the area of over 17 ha), in the Streletskaya Gully (on the area of over 15 ha), on the isthmus of the Mayachny Peninsula (on the area of about 14 ha), on Cape Vinogradny (on the area of over 8 ha).
Justification de la Valeur Universelle Exceptionelle
The polis and chora of the Tauric Chersonese are an outstanding example of an ancient architectural and technological ensemble consisting of the city and its agricultural hinterland, which was established as a result of varied economic and commercial activities of Greek colonists between the 4th and 3rd centuries BC and existed uninterruptedly for nearly 2000 years. The Chersonese and its chora are exceptionally well preserved examples of an ancient settlement, land-use and landscape formed in the specific natural environment of southwestern Crimea.
The city of Chersonese is the only example of archaeological ruins of an ancient city still extant in its integrity in the Northern Black Sea area, a city which was an important political and economic centre of the region in the period of Greek colonization as well as during the formation and decline of the Roman and Byzantine Empires between the 5th century BC and the 14th century AD. After the city was abandoned in the 15th century AD, its area lay uninhabited, which helped to preserve the remains of its fortifications, housing, utility and religious structures as well as the city layout based on the so-called Ilippodamian' system in their integrity.
The extant Tauric Chersonese chora sites on the Heraclean Peninsula are basically fragments of the city's agricultural hinterland laid out on a regular basis in the 4th century BC, namely demarcated into more than 400 equal lots on an area of 10000 ha. A distinctive feature of the Chersonese chora is the fact that it was demarcated based on the planning model introduced by Hippodamus of Miletus, thus constituting an ensemble integrity of urban planning and land use within the boundaries of the city and its surroundings. The ensemble combination of the ancient urban and farmland layouts as well as the principles on which the plots were distributed among the citizens of the Chersonese polis bear a unique testimony to the democratic values of the ancient Greek society as embodied in the monuments of this ancient city and its chora.
In addition to that, the Tauric Chersonese was an important political, economic and cultural centre of the Black Sea region and played a decisive role in the dissemination of Christianity in Southeastern Europe, particularly in Kievan Rus.
(ii) In the ancient and medieval world, the Tauric Chersonese as an ancient Greek colony and outpost of the Roman and Byzantine Empires was the remotest point of contacts between the Mediterranean civilizations and the 'barbarian' population of Southeastern Europe. Lying at a crossroads of the ancient trade routes, the city was subject to continuous influences of the various cultures of the southwest, north and east. For over 2000 years, the inhabitants of Chersonese and its chora kept on exerting enormous influence on the neighbouring cultUres, playing a decisive role in the Hellenization of Scythians and Sarmatians as well as the Christianization of Goths, Alani and East Slays. In turn, the penetration of barbarian practices into the everyday lives of the citizens of Chersonese resulted in a unique syncretistic cult of Virgin Parthenos, which gradually became part of their ancient pantheon.
(iv)The ruins of Tauric Chersonese are an example of an urban ensemble whose regular layout was done in the 4th century BC on the basis of the system developed by Hippodamus of Miletus and remained almost unchanged until the decline of the city in the 14 century AD and are exceptional in terms of their integrity and state of preservation. The city's ancient housing remains and archaeological layers illustrate its development stages and continuity of its urban structure and its way of life from the classical period to the late Middle Ages.
(v)The agricultural landscape of the Chersonese chora on the Heraclean Peninsula, which took its shape between the 4th and rl centuries BC as focused primarily on grape growing, is an outstanding example of a land allocation system of an ancient polis that went in line with a similarly organized Hippodamian urban planning system. At the same time, the Chersonese chora bears an exceptional testimony to ancient land cultivation technologies as well as its inhabitants' lifestyles embodied in the numerous remains of division walls, vineyard planting walls, traffic arteries, water pipelines, farmsteads and fortification complexes. The chora of the Tauric Chersonese illustrates the cross-temporal and cross-cultural continuity in the use and development of its cultural landscape from the 4th century BC to the 14th century AD.
(vi)The Tauric Chersonese was directly associated with important historic events that took place in the area of contacts between the ancient and medieval civilizations and the ancient population of the Black Sea region. Particularly important was the role the Tauric Chersonese played in the dissemination of Christianity among the barbarian peoples of Southeastern Europe, particularly among Alani, Goths and East Slays. It was in Chersonese that Prince Vladimir of Kiev was baptized in 988, which eventuated in the Christianization of the whole of Kievan Rus at the end of the 10th century.
Satements of authenticity and/or integrity
The Tauric Chersonese and its chora are an outstanding example of an ancient site whose ruins have been subject to natural archaelogization and are mostly intact. This is largely due to the fact that the Heraclean Peninsula was not actively occupied or used for any economic purposes between the second half of the 15th and the 19th centuries.
Archaeological explorations have revealed large fragments of ancient ruins both in the urban area and in the chora of Chersonese. The explored remains have been partly conserved in order to be preserved for the future and exposed in their authentic form.
The numerous archive materials (maps and descriptions of the Heraclean Peninsula made before it was exploited for any economic purposes) as well as archaeological explorations make it possible to accurately reconstruct the layouts of the Tauric Chersonese and its chora as an integral ancient city planning and land use complex.
Comparison with other similar properties
The ancient city of Tauric Chersonese is an outstanding example of an ancient city planning practice that was further developed in the Byzantine period. Numerous archaeological monuments of Chersonese have a lot in common with some other monuments in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions.
The integrity and variety of cultural layers within one area makes Chersonese similar to the famous Troy. Troy however went out of existence back in ancient times and therefore contains hardly any medieval layers.
The city planning model developed by Hippodamus of Miletus can be seen in the layouts of many ancient centres in mainland Greece, on Greek islands as well as in Asia Minor, namely in Miletus and on Rhodes. Unfortunately, only fragments of their layouts have survived to this day, the rest having been destroyed by later reconstructions.
Standing out among the public buildings of ancient is the city theatre. Its proportions, its horseshoe shape and the design of its scene make it similar to the Hellenistic period theatre in Priene, though the one in Chersonese is smaller. What deserves to be mentioned is that the theatre in Chersonese is the only known ancient theatre in the Northern Black Sea region with all its numerous ancient settlements.
By the late 4th to the early 3rd centuries BC, a system of fortifications had been established in Chersonese, which was rearranged and supplemented in later centuries. The Hellenistic period walls reinforced by round towers were mostly made of rusticated quadras without any bonding mortar used. This technique was widely employed in such famous coastal Greek city in Asia Minor as Pergamum. A peculiarity of the fortification system in Chersonese is its state of conservation, obviously the best among the aforementioned site.
The most important feature making Chersonese stand out among the rest is however the fact that it existed for two thousand years running. As is well known, most ancient cities went out of existence at the turn of the ancient period and the Middle Ages, with Byzantine cities reemerging in the abandoned ancient settlements only as late as the 9th or even 10th century. In contrast, Chersonese was among a few cities whose history was remarkable for its continuity.
No less important is the exceptionally well preserved layout of the Chersonese chora, which follows the principles of the city layout, thus constituting an integral ensemble of the city and its agricultural hinterland. '
Traces of an, ancient land cadastre are also well presented in the ancient city of Pharos on the Starigrad Plain on the island of Hvar in the Adriatic Sea (present-day Republic of Croatia). The Starigrad agricultural landscape however differs from the one in Chersonese in a number of essential features. First and foremost, Starigrad has hardly any extant remains of the ancient chora apart from its demarcation, with only a few of the original Hellenistic structures still there after continuous land use. In fact, the division walls of the Pharos chora that are still visible today were subject to numerous reconstructions in medieval and modern times and therefore cannot be regarded as authentic. It should also be noted that only very fragmental remains of ancient Pharos have survived to this day, the ancient city having been destroyed by later development of the city of Starigrad.
A farming system with roads, defensive towers, terracing walls, tombs and farmsteads has been discovered in Lybia on a plateau between the city of Cyrene and the Mediterranean Sea. Traces of the road network found there suggest that there, too, a cadastre land distribution system was used, with '60 x 60 m as a basic distribution unit and demarcation itself dated to the 4th or 3rd century BC, i.e. to about the same period as the one in Chersonese. It must however be noted that the site in Cyrene has never explored archaeologically, the only source of any conclusions regarding the size of the Cyrene chora and the character of its layout being aerial photos.
It is therefore safe to say that the chora of the Tauric Chersonese is a unique example of an extant demarcated colonial Greek agricultural landscape still readable and still having all of its original elements — division roads, division walls, vineyard planting walls, farmsteads and fortifications.