KRASNODAR, March 22. /TASS/. A part of a unique terracotta statue has been found at the Crimean bridge construction site during underwater diggings near the Ak-Burun Cape, Sergei Olkhovsky, head of the underwater unit of Russia’s Academy of Sciences, said on Wednesday.
"As far as we know, this unique artifact discovery is the first of its kind in the northern Black Sea area, such objects have never been found here before. In order to figure out what it was used for, when and where it was made, we will cooperate with the leading ancient Greek art experts and will also carry out a laboratory test of the clay," the Crimea Bridge information Center quoted Olkhovsky as saying.
Mass production of terracotta artifacts began in the sixth century BC. Usually, figurines not more than 40 centimeters tall were made. However, the fragment unearthed during the current diggings, is believed to have been part of a bigger sculpture.
Two diver teams are operating in the area where the artifact was found. The divers are manually digging in order to diminsh the risk of damaging valuable objects. The archeologists plan to conclude the excavation near the Ak Burun Cape by this summer. Meanwhile, the unearthed artifacts will be handed over to the Eastern Crimean Historical and Cultural Museum and Reserve.
The Crimea Bridge information Center elaborated that for more than 2,000 years, the Ak Burun Cape area of the Kerch Bay had served as the main shipping conduit and base on the trade route connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Azov. Some of the transported ceramics were thrown into the sea after being damaged, so large deposits of ceramic objects made in various historic periods were formed near the local piers. A significant volume of sediments containing ceramics were later swept by the sea’s currents to shallow areas of the Ak-Burun Cape thus forming a build-up of ceramic fragments that experts have been closely examining after the construction of the Crimea Bridge had begun.