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Stratum plus. 2013. №6

N. P. Turova (Yalta, Ukraine)

The Christian Cave Complex Iograf in the South of the Crimea

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Pages: 79-105

The first archaeological excavations of the medieval Christian cave complex over Yalta were conducted in 2011—2012. This site is unique for the Southern Coast of the Crimea. It is located in the upper part of the Iograf ridge at an altitude near 1250 m above sea level.
The complex consists of two caves: Iograf I and Iograf II. In the first one, there was a temple known from drawings of the late 19th — early 20th centuries. Now it is completely destroyed.
The excavations in the cave Iograf I allowed to localize remains of the southeast wall of the temple and fully explore the natural niche in the eastern wall of the cave.
Here on the rocky surface were depicted some crosses and inscriptions. The cultural layer yielded numerous items of the personal piety, fragments of ethnographic costumes, fragments of church utensils, etc. These data allow interpreting the niche as a particularly revered place used for votive offerings.
Analyses of the materials from excavation allowed distinguing five stages in the history of the Christian cave complex which started in late 9th —10th centuries and continues to the present day.

Keywords: the Crimea, Yalta, Iograf Ridge, Middle Ages, cave temple, cult objects

Information about author:

Natalia Turova
(Yalta, Ukraine). Crimea Branch of Archaeology Institute, Ukraine National Academy of Sciences. Yaltinskaya St., 2, Simferopol, 95007, Ukraine
E-mail: [email protected]

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