Bunin D.   Хохлова О.С.   Панин А.В.   Ильяшенко С.М.  

The Environment of Ancient Tanais: An Experience of Integrated, Interdisciplinary Research.

Reporter: Bunin D.

This article provides the results of interdisciplinary research of the environment of ancient Tanais. This town was founded at the end of the 1st  quarter of the 3rd  century BC. Over its nearly 800-year history it has experienced periods of prosperity as well as periods of ruin and decline.
Throughout the whole period of the city existence it was surrounded by steppe communities, but the coniferous (pine) pollen was also found. The highest proportion of pollen of cultivated plants and weed (4–6%) is found in the assemblages attributable to the first period of the city life (the 2nd-1st centuries BC). The analysis of microbiomorphs agreed with the pollen data and provided additional data on the wood and reed having been widely used in economical activities in the first period of the city life.
From the middle of the 2nd to the late 4th centuries AD the climate conditions may be considered to be humid and favorable for the bioproductivity. Another wave of aridity was recorded at the boundary of the 4th and 5th centuries AD.
A complex analysis of sediments, opened by drilling, was also performed. Due to the results, at least at the beginning of the 3rd century AD the harbor area of Tanais was situated inside of Don branch – Myortvy Donets.
At the time of foundation, the city could be located at the confluence of the river into the sea, and by the end of its existence it could already be inside the delta. Apparently, in the first centuries AD Myortvy Donets was more watery than it is now, which allowed it to fulfill the functions of the main transport way.
Thus, we can suppose that the middle class of ancient merchant ships could freely enter Tanais harbor.

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