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Archeologists unearth Roman-era manor, ancient Greek ‘Barbie dolls’ in Crimea

November 16, 17:45 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Researchers have unearthed the remains of a countryside manor, dating back to the Roman era, and household items, including terracotta figurines

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© Ruslan Shamukov/TASS

MOSCOW, November 16. /TASS/. Researchers from the Institute of Archeology at the Russian Academy of Sciences have unearthed the remains of a countryside manor, dating back to the Roman era, and household items, including terracotta figurines, the Institute’s press service said, adding that the researchers called the figurines "Hellenistic Barbie dolls."

"Such manors are common for that period of time, this one shows what the everyday life of an average resident of the Bosporan Kingdom was like," said Sergey Vnukov Doctor of Historical Sciences and the expedition leader. "During our excavations, we came across neither expensive foreign items, nor gold and silver coins, no luxury items, but we did find crockery, various tools, inexpensive jewelry and figurines, particularly puppets made of terracotta, which can be called Hellenistic ‘Barbie dolls’, because they were children’s toys," he added.

The manor, discovered 15 kilometers from the city of Kerch, dates back to the mid-first century A.D. At the time, the Bosporan Kingdom included eastern Crimea, the Taman Peninsula and the downstream areas of the River Don. The state had already recovered from a period of wars and conflicts and was going through an economic boom.

"Slightly well-off landlords and tenant farmers lived here, sort of a countryside middle class of that era," Vnukov explained. "They might have had a few house slaves and could have been able to afford hiring casual workers to cultivate their land, but they were in no way like large Roman landowners," he emphasized.

The archeologists also unearthed a dwelling site dating to the mid-Bronze Age, revealing fragments of crockery, pieces of stone tools, remnants of buildings, gravesites and several anthropomorphic steles.

The Crimean expedition of the Institute of Archeology was launched in the spring of 2017. The goal is to conduct archeological research along the Tavrida highway that is currently being constructed.

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