The Phanagorian Uprising of 63 BC

Abramzon Mikhail G., Kuznetsov Vladimir D.

In 2007–2008 excavation of a large building destroyed by fire and discovered in 1999 were continued in Phanagoria. Among the objects found were golden rings, three hoards of Bosporan and Pontic coins of the epoch of Mithridates VI Eupator, many silver and bronze coins of high value from Panticapaeum, Phanagoria, Sinope and Amisos covering a period from the last quarter of the 2nd c. BC to the end of the Mithridatic time. In 2007 two hoards were found, one of them consisting of Panticapaean tetrachalkoi of 100–75 BC, the other of Panticapaean and Phanagorian tetrachalkoi of the late 1st c. BC and Pontic obols of 100–85 BC. In 2008 the third hoard was found; it included 67 coins, of which 63 could be preserved after the cleaning. Two of them are made of silver and were coined in Phanagoria, the rest of the coins are bronze and come from Bosporus and Pontus. The earliest coins of the hoard are of the type Apollo’s head – gorytos dated to the 200–120 BC; the latest ones are the coins from Amisos of 100–85 BC. 53 pieces are of Panticapaean coinage, 8 of Phanagorian, and 2 were coined in Amisos. Other coins found in the building apart from the hoards are: Panticapaean drachma of 120– 110 BC and hemidrachm of 100–75 BC, three Phanagorian silver coins of the type Artemis – pomegranate flower of 120–110 BC, a tetradrachm of Mithridates VI Eupator of 95/96–86/85 BC, an anonymous obolus of the late 2nd c. – 63 BC and tetrachalkoi from Amisos and Sinope of 100–85 BC and 85–65 BC. The authors assume that the date of the three Phanagorian hoards found in 2007–2008 and two contemporary hoard from Patraeus found in 1950 and 1998 in a thick ash layer should be connected with the measures which Mithridates Eupator took against the Bosporans in 63 BC, when a detachment sent by the king besieged the insurgent Phanagoria where the king’s children were in the citadel set on fire by the Phanagorians (App. Mithr. 108).

Keywords: Panticapaeum, Phanagoria, Sinope, Amisos, Mithridates VI Eupator, archaeology