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The paper is devoted to the development of the territory of the Adzhiel natural boundary in the Eastern Crimea in the 18th–20th centuries, according to old and modern maps and comparing the results of maps studying with archaeological surveys which have been conducted in recent years. The Adzhiel natural boundary is the territory adjacent to the Adzhiel gully and its sleeves. It is located 30 km west of Kerch and covers an area of about 100 sq. km, near the eastern part of the Kazantip Bay of the Azov Sea. The natural boundary is an area that played an important role in the antiquity. The Adzhiel gully, which is in the direction of the North-West- South-East is diffi cult to pass, fences off a signifi cant part of the Kerch Peninsula, and was one of the natural defensive lines of the Bosporan Kingdom from the west.

The research of maps of the 18th–20th centuries (for the earlier period, any detailed maps of this territory are unknown to the authors) showed that after the annexation of the Crimea by the Russian Empire at the end of the 18th century there were one or four signifi cant settlements at the end of the 18th century and up to 13 at the turn of the 19th–20th centuries in this area.

At the same time, in the 20th–21st centuries, during the archaeological work, more than two dozen sites, mainly ancient, to a lesser extent medieval, were found on the territory of the Adzhiel gully. In addition, a signifi cant number of spots of pottery fragments, where ancient settlements may also be located, have been revealed. All this suggests that the development of the territory in ancient times was higher, and the population was, probably, larger than in the late Middle Ages and the present.


Archaeology, Eastern Crimea, Adzhiel natural boundary, old maps, antiquity, Middle Ages.

Victor G. Zubarev, Sergey L. Smekalov, Sergey V. Yartsev

Tula State Pedagogical University named L.N. Tolstoy, Tula, Russia

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