Archaeologists suggest that the inhabitants of the Crimean Peninsula in ancient times could in some cases use ship nails, cut into pieces by weight, instead of copper coins. This was announced by archaeologist Alexei Kulikov at the conference "Acra - an ancient city in the European Bosporus. Ten years of underwater archaeological research."
"The finds both on Acre itself and around it demonstrate a wide range of means of circulation. I want to show you the ingots - these are chopped ship nails. If at first we found them during excavations in ancient settlements and thought that they were just nails, now I ask you collecting them, weighing them - and this can give a very interesting picture of the parallel form of money that revolved around the settlement, "Kulikov said.
He noted that other metal objects, for example, chains, could act as a substitute for money. Such alternative forms, in his opinion, were in use in the first centuries of the Greek colonization of Crimea - from the 6th century BC until the moment they were supplanted by the coin minted in Panticapaeum, the capital of the Bosporus kingdom, which occupied the Kerch and Taman peninsulas on both sides. Kerch Strait. “At first I thought it was purely ours, the Bosporan tradition, but I saw this both in the northwestern Crimea and at the excavations of Tauric Chersonesos,” Kulikov specified.
He explained that an alternative form of money could be used not for ordinary commercial transactions, but in some other situations. "The local population, who lived here before the arrival of the Greeks, was mentally in the Bronze Age and thought in appropriate categories, while there were no sources of copper and bronze here. And they appreciated copper. When we have a large amount of material, we can lay out a row, to systematize finds, to single out groups, and we have a huge number of objects (spinning wheels, arrowheads, etc.) that could be an alternative form of money, sometimes these are objects that had a parallel and utilitarian value, but in the calculation they had value precisely because of the metal, of which they are composed, "the archaeologist believes.
He added that scientists also find a large number of lead weights during excavations of ancient settlements, and there are doubts that they were massively used to weigh expensive spices and similar goods at that time. Most likely, the scales were used to establish the interchangeability between coins and alternative money.
The conference "Acra - an ancient city on the European Bosporus. Ten years of underwater archaeological research" is being held on July 17-18 in the village of Naberezhnoe on the Kerch Peninsula, not far from the place where the ancient city was located. The beginning of the research of Acre is considered to be 1981, when schoolboy Alexei Kulikov found many ancient coins on the shore, pointing out to scientists the location of a small port city on the northeastern tip of the cape, formed by the mouth of an ancient unnamed river and the Cimmerian Bosporus (Kerch Strait). In 2011, systematic research began on the underwater, flooded due to changes in sea level, part of the settlement.
It is believed that the city was founded by immigrants from the Greek city-states of Nympheus or Panticapaeum - the largest cities of the Bosporus state (in ancient times it occupied the Kerch and Taman peninsulas, the Eastern Azov region and the Don delta). Acre was part of the Bosporan Kingdom until the beginning of the 4th century.Most of the territory of the ancient city, with an area of about 3.5 hectares, is currently hidden by the waters of the Black Sea, with the exception of a small western section on a sandy bridge between the sea and Lake Yanysh.