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Multidisciplinary approaches to food and foodways in the medieval Eastern Mediterranean

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Sylvie Yona Waksman

Trading goods, trading tastes

Byzantine amphorae of the 10th-13th centuries from the Novy Svet shipwrecks, Crimea, the Black Sea

Preliminary typology and archaeometric studies

Yana Morozova, Sylvie Yona Waksman et Sergey Zelenko

Résumé

Two shipwrecks of the Byzantine period have been discovered in the Bay of Sudak, Crimea, Black Sea. A significant amphorae assemblage has been retrieved as a result of ongoing archaeological excavations in the bay. Our paper focuses on the amphorae of types Günsenin II, Günsenin III and Günsenin XX (10th-11th century and late 13th century, respectively) found at the Novy Svet shipwreck site. Chemical analysis showed that at least some of these three amphorae types came from the same workshop(s). Thus we assumed that these amphorae represent derivative chronological and typological stages of transformation from one shape to another. Here the archaeological typology of the selected amphorae from Novy Svet is presented, and ideas concerning interconnection between shape and dates are discussed, based on the fact that all shapes considered to be attributes for chronological assumptions are presented in one stratigraphic context.

Texte intégral

Introduction

1In the Byzantine world, the Black Sea was one of the key regions for trade and links between the West and the East. Local boats involved in regional trade as well as large ships used for international long-distance trade visited Black Sea ports to deliver goods and commodities, and thus spread traditions and innovations. Among others, Italian vessels regularly visited the Black Sea ports from the mid of the 12th century. As so often, ships were lost at sea, and a famous location for such catastrophes was the northern shore of the Black Sea. Some of these shipwrecks were discovered in Sudak Bay, south-eastern Crimea, by Ukrainian underwater archaeologists from Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev (Zelenko 2008). The wreck-site was called “Novy Svet shipwreck” after the small town of Novy Svet, where the discovery was made.

2During the excavations of the underwater site the researchers determined two shipwreck zones situated close to each other, near the shore of the bay. The layer containing the 10th century archaeological assemblage lies nearer the centre of the bay. The area with the 13th century material is located close to the shore. In some areas the layers of the 10th-11th and the 13th centuries overlap each other over a large portion of the shoreward area. Storms, waves and sediment movements have dispersed elements of each assemblage throughout the others, however the chronological zones are well discernible. The diagnostic material used by archaeologists to define these zones is pottery, amphorae in particular, and coins. Archaeologists are thus confident that at least two shipwrecks have been identified in Sudak Bay. They presumed that one ship was a merchant vessel that sailed between ports in the Black Sea, and that another was an Italian galley, lost in the Bay of Sudak in 1277 during a naval battle (Zelenko 2008, pp. 142‑143).

3The Novy Svet shipwreck site contains large numbers of amphorae, which were part of the ships’ cargoes. The amphorae from Novy Svet are divided into two distinct chronological groups: the first group is dated to the 10th-11th centuries, the second to the 13th century.

4Traditionally we considered that the shipwreck amphorae of the 10th-11th centuries were represented by two types (Zelenko 2001, p. 83); the 13th-century wreck numbered four main types, “limited production” amphorae as well as more types of massive amphora-like vessels (Zelenko & Morozova 2010, pp. 81‑83, pl. 44). In this paper, we focus on three types: type II.BS (“BS” indicates Byzantine Ship), which corresponds to Günsenin II, and types II.LBS and III.LBS (“LBS” indicates Late Byzantine Ship), which corresponds to Günsenin III and Günsenin XX respectively (Günsenin 1990; 2018). The first two types (Günsenin II and III) are among the four main types of medieval amphorae found in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea, as proposed by the Turkish archaeologist N. Günsenin. The distribution of the sites where they have been found corresponds to the patterns of long-distance maritime trade in the regions mentioned. In the following paragraphs we introduce a preliminary typology of this material, together with the results of archaeometric investigations of a selection of samples.

Typological classification of Byzantine amphorae of types Günsenin II, III and XX from the Novy Svet shipwrecks

Type II.BS (Günsenin II amphorae) (fig. 1)

5An amphora with a “collar-like” rim and elongated piriform body is known as Günsenin II type and represents one of the most common amphorae in the Byzantine world. Scholars divide these amphorae into types according to their morphological characteristics and associate changes in shape with the chronology (Yakobson 1979, pp. 110‑111; Günsenin 1990, pp. 26‑28; 2018, pp. 98‑100; Mytz 1991, pp. 83, 87; Mayko 2001, pp. 118‑119; Todorova 2011, pp. 134‑135). Early and late variants are characterized by location and shape of the handles and modification of the rim from being broad, solid and triangular in section to being rectangular and “collar-like”. The later variant of this type is characterized by a large piriform body, the rim is squeezed between high-rising handles and takes the form of a funnel with thin edges. N. Günsenin has distinguished type II, with sub-types IIa and IIb, from transitional type II‑III (Günsenin 1990, pp. 26‑28; 2018, pp. 98‑100). V. Bulgakov in his publication provided a preliminary petrographic characterisation (Bulgakov 2001, pp. 156). I. Volkov attributed them to the “Trilia group” indicating that they could be a production of the Marmara region (Volkov 1996, pp. 93‑94). This type was considered also as type 60 by J. Hayes (Hayes 1992, pp. 75‑76, fig. 26, 4‑5), within the Chersonesos classification as type XXI (Antonova et al. 1971, p. 93, fig. 22‑23) and class 43 (Romanchuk et al. 1995, pp. 68‑70, tabl. 34, 52).

6The distribution of this type of amphora covered all zones of Byzantine agricultural exchange.

Fig. 1 – Novy Svet type II.BS (Günsenin II amphorae), sub-type I: 1‑4; sub-type II: 5‑8; sub-type III: 9‑11.

Fig. 1 – Novy Svet type II.BS (Günsenin II amphorae), sub-type I: 1‑4; sub-type II: 5‑8; sub-type III: 9‑11.

7For example, on the Crimean medieval sites this type represents 75% of the total ceramic finds (Bulgakov 2001, p. 157). Piriform vessels of Günsenin II type were found in the Danube region (Barnea 1967, p. 259), in Bulgaria (Todorova 2011, pp. 134‑135), in Constantinople (Demangel & Mamboury 1939, pp. 46, 148‑149), along the south coast of Turkey and in the Athenian Agora (Günsenin 1990, p. 27, fig. 13‑14), in Crimea (Chersonesos, Partenit, Sudak) (Yakobson 1979, pp. 109‑111; Romanchuk et al. 1995, pp. 68‑70, tabl. 34, pp. 147‑149, tabl. 52; Parshyna 1991, p. 76, fig. 6; Baranov et al. 1997, pp. 38‑45), in Taman settlement and Sarkel (Pletneva 1959, p. 270; 1963; Chkhaidze 2008, pp. 158‑161), along the Dnieper up to the sites of Kievan Rus’ (Ivakin & Stepanenko 1985, p. 90; Zotsenko 2001, pp. 178‑179; Koval 2010, pp. 159‑160, fig. 56.1, ill. 67.3‑4). In 2015 during the underwater surveys off Chersonesos in Balaklava Bay, a sunken ship loaded with amphorae of the transitional type II‑III was discovered by underwater archaeologists (Ginkut & Lebedinskiy 2018).

8Following the typology developed for the ceramic material found on the Novy Svet site, this type received the number II.BS (BS being an abbreviation for “Byzantine Ship”). The type II.BS is divided into three sub-types, which are correlated with the existing classifications.

Sub-type I (fig. 1: 1‑4, fig. 4: BZY598-599)

9This type corresponds to 31 vessels from the Novy Svet excavation, stored in the collection of the Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Kiev University. Six samples (BZY595, BZY598-601, BZY607) were taken for archaeometric analyses (fig. 1, 4).

10The sub-type is associated with an early variant of the amphorae described by A. Yakobson (Yakobson 1979, pp. 109‑110, fig. 68: 3‑4), V. Mayko (Mayko 2001, pp. 118‑119, fig. 1: 1), N. Günsenin (type IIb) (Günsenin 1990, p. 26, and plates XXXVI-XXXVII; 2018, p. 98, fig. 7), and E. Todorova (type II, subtype I) (Todorova 2011, p. 134, fig. 3, pl. I.6).

11The piriform vessels have thick walls. A funnel-like neck ends with a broad, massive, vertical rim which may have one of two shapes – triangular (fig. 1: 1, 2, 4) or rounded (fig. 1: 3). Massive flattened handles are attached in the middle of the neck and on the shoulders. The early variant’s handles do not reach the rim, descending to the shoulder at a right angle. The rim is higher than the upper horizontal line of the handles or it is at the same horizontal level as the arches of the handles. The shoulders are ribbed. The average dimensions are as follows: the diameter of the rim is between 5 and 8 cm, the handle width is between 5 and 7 cm, the widest part of the body is between 24 and 32 cm.

12The color of the fabric varies from red-orange to pale-yellow, and maroon or violet hues also occur. The surface of many of the vessels has a lighter, yellow, pinkish color, possibly a wash or a self-slip. Several examples have linear signs which were applied on the raw clay before firing (fig. 1: 2). Graffiti are present, scratched on walls, necks and handles. Dark-red dipinti are preserved on the necks of several vessels. Many were sealed with pine corks, some traces of which are still preserved. Dates: from the 10th century (Yakobson 1979, p. 109) to the 12th century (Günsenin 1990, p. 26; 2018, p. 98).

Sub-type II (fig. 1: 5‑8, fig. 4: BZY596-597)

13This sub-type may be considered the “classical” form of Günsenin II amphorae. In the Novy Svet collection at the Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Kiev, there are 105 examples of this variant. Six samples (BZY596-597, BZY602-604, BZY606) were taken for archaeometric analyses (fig. 1, 4).

14This sub-type is associated with variants of the amphorae described by A. Yakobson (Yakobson pp. 110‑111, fig. 68: 1), V. Mayko (Mayko 2001, p. 119, fig. 1, 2), N. Günsenin (type IIa) (Günsenin 1989, p. 271, fig. 5‑7; 1990, p. 26, and plates XXXIII-XXXV; 2018, p. 98, fig. 6), and E. Todorova (type II, subtype II) (Todorova 2011, p. 134, fig. 4, pl. II.1‑2).

15It is represented by the examples with an outwardly curved “collar” rim. The handles rise above the rim oval in section. The piriform body presents shallow ribs on the shoulders and on the lower part. The color of the sherds is quite diverse, from light beige and orange-beige to red or brown; a grayish color also occurs. Within this sub-type the vessels can be divided into two groups according to their fabric: the first group is characterized by a hard red or orange fabric with single inclusions, the surface of the walls is smooth and polished (fig. 1: 6, 8; fig. 4: 3). The second group is characterized by soft, porous clay, and by many cavities on the surface and on the handles, due to the use of a vegetal temper such as straw. The color of the fabric varies from light beige to brown (fig. 1: 5). A few examples present signs, applied before firing (fig. 1: 6, 8), and graffiti on the walls, necks and handles.

16Average dimensions: the diameter of the rim measures between 6 and 10 cm, the handle width is between 4 and 6 cm, the widest part of the body is between 22 and 28 cm.

17The finds from Sudak are dated from the 11th century to possibly the beginning of the 12th (Mayko 2001, p. 119), those in Partenit from the middle of the 10th century to the 11th (Parshyna 1991, p. 79), those in Chersonesos from the end of the 10th century to the first half of the 12th century (Romanchuk et al. 1995, pp. 68‑70). The finds from Constantinople are dated to the 11th century (Günsenin 1990, p. 26; 2018, p. 98).

Sub-type III “A transition variant” (Günsenin II‑III amphorae) (fig. 1: 9‑11)

18In the Novy Svet collection there are 41 vessels of sub-type III. One sample (BZY605) was taken for archaeometric analyses (fig. 1, 4).

19Researchers suggest that this form is a transitional variant between the classical shape of Günsenin II and the Late Byzantine Günsenin III amphorae. N. Günsenin distinguished it as “type intermédiaire II‑III”, emphasizing its transitional character (Günsenin 1990, pp. 27‑28, fig. 15, and plate XXXVIII; 2018, p. 99, fig. 8). This variant is distinct in its higher handles, and a reduction of the collar rim, which is almost flat and rounded at the edge. The body of the vessel had become even more elongated, pinched in its lower part and with very close-set ridges (0.2 cm) on the shoulders and broader ribs on the bottom.

20For sub-type III, as for sub-type II, two groups according to surface treatment and fabric are apparent. The first group is orange or red in color, hard with few inclusions and voids caused by vegetal temper; the surface was once polished, some traces of a wash or self-slip are preserved. The second group is characterized by yellow or beige fabric of various hues, mixed with organic material (straw). The surface is not so well finished. Average dimensions: the diameter of the rim measures between 5 and 8 cm, the handle width between 3 and 4 cm and the widest part of the body between 18 and 21 cm.

21This variant of amphorae was widely distributed in Crimea and Kievan Rus, in Asia Minor and the south coast of the Black Sea as well as in Constantinople and the Athenian Agora. The finds from Kiev, Chersonesos and Sudak are dated to the second half of the 11th century; similar materials from the Athenian Agora are dated to the end of the 11th century (Zotsenko 2001, pp. 179‑180; Romanchuk et al. 1995, pp. 68‑70; Mayko 2001, p. 119; Günsenin 1990, p. 28; 2018, p. 99).

Type II.LBS (Günsenin III amphorae) (fig. 2: 1‑5; fig. 5: 1‑11, 12 [BYZ890-892, BYZ903], 13)

22According to the developed typology for the Novy Svet amphorae findings, this type received the number II.LBS (LBS being an abbreviation for “Late Byzantine Ship”). In the Novy Svet collection there are 4 archaeologically complete vessels, 4 bodies without neck or handles, and 65 fragments of this type. The main part of the collection is kept at the Centre for Underwater Archaeology in Kiev. Eighteen samples (BYZ890-898, BYZ903-905, BZY 14‑19), were taken for archaeometric analyses (fig. 2, 5).

Fig. 2 – Novy Svet type II.LBS (Günsenin III amphorae): 1‑5; type III.LBS (Günsenin XX amphorae): 6‑10.

Fig. 2 – Novy Svet type II.LBS (Günsenin III amphorae): 1‑5; type III.LBS (Günsenin XX amphorae): 6‑10.

23The vessels with an elongated piriform body and round bottom are widely known as Günsenin III type. Their vertical handles are long and heavy, ovoid in section. They rise high above the rim (about 6‑7 cm) and curve down sharply to merge with a narrow mouth completed by a small rounded rim. The body is covered in horizontal grooves. Graffiti are present on many of the examples, also white dipinti are present on some vessels (fig. 2: 1‑2). The preserved mouths have traces of the stoppers which sealed the amphorae in the past. In the Novy Svet collections there are few examples of the lower part/bottom filled with resin.

24The colors of the sherds vary from purplish-maroon to orange and violet. The fabric contains little inclusions and some elongated voids – traces of burnt organics (straw admixture), especially in the handles.

25Three complete vessels from Novy Svet range from 50 to 75 cm high. The diameter of the widest part of the body measures between 24 and 29 cm. The outer diameter of the rim is between 5 and 7.5 cm. The width of the handles is about 5 cm.

26This type of the amphora was widely exported all over the Byzantine market and has been found on 12th and 13th century sites and shipwrecks (see Koutsouflakis, in this volume, for an up-to-date distribution of shipwrecks in the Aegean). In the classifications it is defined as type III by N. Günsenin (1990, pp. 28‑30, fig. 16, and plates XXXIX-LII; 2018, pp.100‑102, fig. 9), as type 61 by J. Hayes (Hayes 1992, p. 76, fig. 26: 10‑11), as type XXII and class 48 for Chersonesos (Antonova et al. 1971, pp. 93‑94, fig. 24; Romanchuk et al. 1995, tabl. 34: 167, tabl. 41: 171, tabl. 43: 168, 170, 174, tabl. 44: 169, 173). I. Volkov attributed this type to the “Trilia group”, also including the Gunsenin II type in this group (Volkov 1992, p. 153). Günsenin III type is also known as a Tartousian amphora. About five thousand vertically stacked amphorae were excavated at Tartousa – a 13th century shipwreck found 20 km due north of the coastal city of Tartous, Syria (Tanabe et al. 1988, pp. 34‑40). Together with Günsenin IV, the Günsenin III amphorae found in the cargo of the shipwrecks of Camaltı Burnu (Günsenin 2001, p. 125) are indicative of maritime routes in the Black Sea and Mediterranean regions including the Levant, Cyprus, Greece and Turkey (Stern 2012, vol. 1, pp. 70‑71). Günsenin III type also has a wide distribution throughout southern Russia, on major river routes from the Black Sea, along the Danube and Dnieper, reaching Kiev and as far north as Sweden (Koval 2010, p. 159, fig. 56.2‑10, ill. 67.5‑6; Stern 2012, vol. 1, p. 70).

Type III.LBS (Günsenin XX amphorae) (fig. 2: 6‑10; fig. 5: 12 [BYZ899], 14‑16)

27In the Novy Svet collection there are 37 complete and nearly complete vessels, and many more fragments. Six samples (BYZ899-902, BZY 20‑21) were taken for archaeometric analyses (fig. 2, 5).

28This is a small amphora with a long narrow conical neck, an oval base and a spindle-like body. The thick walls have deep, wide grooves. The high handles are oval in section. They rise above the slightly everted rim. The fabric is bright reddish-brown or orange-red with inclusions of lime, claystone (argillites) and quartz. All amphorae in the Novy Svet collection are similar, with few differences. The height of the vessels from Novy Svet varies from 25 to 37 cm, the average being 33‑34 cm. The inner diameter of the rim measures between 3 and 5.5 cm. This type of amphorae is rarely found on terrestrial excavations, and if so, in monasteries and other religious buildings. These vessels could have served as containers for wine or oil for the benefit of clergy from Constantinople, or contain consecrated oil or myrrh, used in the performance of some sacraments and ecclesiastical functions. This type of amphorae has been reported from excavations in Israel (Acre) (Stern 2012, vol. 1, pp. 70‑71, fig. 4.24), in Crimea (Chersonesos and Sudak) (Yakobson 1979, p. 111, fig. 68.5), and on other sites in the Eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea regions where they are dated to the mid 12th-late 13th centuries (Günsenin 1990, p. 43, and plate LXXIII/7; 2018, p. 116, fig. 31; Koval 2010, p. 159, fig. 57.10‑2, ill. 68.3‑4).

Classification according to chemical analysis of Byzantine amphorae of types Günsenin II, III and XX from the Novy Svet shipwrecks

  • 1 It may be noted that the sample selection pre-dated the typological study, which would explain why (...)

29Samples of Günsenin II, III and XX types of amphorae, belonging to all the sub-types described above,1 were taken from the two Novy Svet shipwrecks, in order to investigate their provenance by chemical analysis. Chemical analysis was carried out using wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence (WD-XRF) in Lyon (CNRS, UMR 5138), following the analytical protocol described in Waksman (2011). As already noticed (Waksman & Teslenko 2010), the alterations in chemical composition usually observed in pottery coming from marine environments (e.g. Béarat 1990; Pradell et al. 1996) are minimized in shallow Black Sea water due to its reduced salinity, thus enabling us to directly compare chemical analyses of samples from Black Sea shipwrecks to those of samples from terrestrial contexts.

  • 2 We would like to thank N. Günsenin for making these samples available to us.

30In the present case, comparative data were available for amphorae of types Günsenin II and III, coming mainly from archaeological sites located in Greece (Thebes and Chalcis) (Waksman et al. 2018), as well as from museum collections in Turkey (Günsenin 1989; 1990).2

31The classification according to the chemical compositions of this comparative material together with the samples from the Novy Svet shipwrecks shows that the latter are included in a main group, and in a minor group having two samples marginal to it (fig. 3). Both groups have already been discussed in previous research (Waksman et al. 2018): the main one was identified as the production of Chalcis in Euboea, whereas the minor one corresponds to an as yet unlocated production site. The latter group differs chemically from the Chalcis group in a number of chemical features, including higher magnesium, chromium, and especially nickel concentrations (tabl. 1), which may be related to ultrabasic components.

Fig. 3 – Classification according to the chemical compositions of amphorae from the Novy Svet shipwrecks (indicated by circles), together with amphorae of the same types found at Thebes and Chalcis (Waksman et al. 2018) or kept in museums in Turkey (Günsenin 1989; 1990).

Fig. 3 – Classification according to the chemical compositions of amphorae from the Novy Svet shipwrecks (indicated by circles), together with amphorae of the same types found at Thebes and Chalcis (Waksman et al. 2018) or kept in museums in Turkey (Günsenin 1989; 1990).

The main chemical groups are underlined, the types of amphorae are indicated either by symbols (Novy Svet material) or together with the chemical groups.

Tabl. 1 – Chemical compositions of amphorae from the Novy Svet shipwrecks, ranked as in the classification fig. 3, together with comparative data.

Tabl. 1 – Chemical compositions of amphorae from the Novy Svet shipwrecks, ranked as in the classification fig. 3, together with comparative data.

Major and minor elements are indicated in oxides weight %, trace elements in ppm (parts per million); m: mean, σ: standard deviation, n: number of samples, l.q.: limits of quantification; elements between brackets, as well as MnO, were not taken into account in the classification.

32From the typological viewpoint, the samples from the Novy Svet shipwrecks show the same trends already observed in Thebes and Chalcis. But they significantly add to our understanding due to the fact that they come from a completely different context – the cargoes of two ships, found in an area fairly distant from the production site.

33Amphorae of type Günsenin II were manufactured both in Chalcis and in at least another production site (fig. 3: main and minor chemical groups). Samples of sub-types I and II are present in both chemical groups, which indicates little correlation between the typological features and the production sites (fig. 4). The same can probably be said for the transitional sub-type III. Although our sampling only includes one sample of this type coming from Novy Svet (in the Chalcis group, fig. 3‑4: BZY605), previous studies showed that they belonged to both chemical groups (Waksman et al. 2018).

34The fact that some of the sub-types appear to cluster in parts of the Chalcis group in the dendrogram (fig. 3) may call for further study. However, there is evidence that the whole chemical group corresponds to the production of the Chalcis workshops lato sensu, whose precise location, organization and evolution through time are still unknown (Waksman et al. 2014; Waksman 2018).

35As for amphorae of types Günsenin III and XX, Chalcis appears to be the only production site for all the samples from Novy Svet (fig. 3, 5). This result lends support to the role of Chalcis, as a provider of this type of amphorae as well as its contents, next to being a provider of the “MBP” table wares whose wide diffusion has already been demonstrated (Waksman et al. 2014; 2018).

Fig. 4 – Samples of amphorae of Novy Svet type II.BS (Günsenin II), classified according to chemical groups: samples from Chalcis (above, main group on fig. 3) and from at least another as yet unlocated production site (below, minor group in fig. 3); sub-type I: BZY595, 598‑601, 607; sub-type II: BZY596-597, 602‑604, 606; sub-type III: BZY605.

Fig. 4 – Samples of amphorae of Novy Svet type II.BS (Günsenin II), classified according to chemical groups: samples from Chalcis (above, main group on fig. 3) and from at least another as yet unlocated production site (below, minor group in fig. 3); sub-type I: BZY595, 598‑601, 607; sub-type II: BZY596-597, 602‑604, 606; sub-type III: BZY605.

Fig. 5 – Samples of amphorae of Novy Svet types II.LBS and III.LBS (Günsenin III and XX), all attributed to Chalcis (main chemical group in fig. 3); examples of Gunsenin XX: BYZ899-902, BZY 20‑21.

Fig. 5 – Samples of amphorae of Novy Svet types II.LBS and III.LBS (Günsenin III and XX), all attributed to Chalcis (main chemical group in fig. 3); examples of Gunsenin XX: BYZ899-902, BZY 20‑21.

Amphorae contents

36Judging by the dominant percentage of piriform amphorae on medieval Crimean sites, these vessels remained the principal marine transport containers for shipping agricultural products in the Black Sea region. They are dominant in the cargoes of the shipwrecks investigated in Sudak Bay near the resort town of Novy Svet and in the coastal waters of Cape Meganom, as well as in a recently discovered shipwreck in Balaklava Bay, loaded with Günsenin II amphorae of the transitional type II‑III (Ginkut & Lebedinskiy 2018).

37During the 13th century, other ceramic containers became common in maritime trade. Günsenin III amphorae were widely used all over the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions, reaching northern areas via Kiev as far as Sweden (Roslund 1997), but this was not so for the small vessels Gunsenin XX. These were found in low numbers mostly in churches and monasteries, which suggests that there were special contents in them (Zelenko 1999, p. 277).

38Wine and olive oil are traditional articles of food which were transported by sea in amphorae. Honey, various fruits, sauces, spices and other bulk products should be included in this “food list”. The Bulgarian researcher E. Todorova considers Günsenin II amphorae to be convenient containers for oils, which were supplied to Danubian military settlements in the 10th-11th centuries, while Günsenin III amphorae were used for wine transportation (Todorova 2012, pp. 31‑32). There is a consensus between researchers on this matter, although research concerning the actual contents of these amphorae is only beginning (Pecci et al., in this volume). In contrast, the contents of Günsenin XX small amphorae have been the subject of much controversy. Initially S. Zelenko suggested that incense (either Myrrhis or Olibanum) for religious rituals was exported from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Black Sea region in these containers (Zelenko 1999; see also Pecci et al., in this volume). However, now we come to the opinion that special kinds of wine for the intinction (the Eucharist) were transported in these thick-walled vessels. Perhaps there was a special wine, consecrated by clergy in one of the important religious centers in Constantinople or in Greece, which would have given it great value, and which was shipped to churches/monasteries on the northern shore of the Black Sea. Or, perhaps it was a sacred component for chrism or myrrh (μύρον – holy anointing oil), a consecrated oil used in the Christian churches in the performance of certain sacraments and ecclesiastical functions.

39Graffiti on vessels can also indicate their content. On one of the piriform amphora of the 11th century (Günsenin II) is a graffito with words that the Ukrainian archaeologist and director of the Partenit excavations E.A. Parshyna interpreted as “λαρόταον μου” (sweet-scented, delicious or dainty), possibly a description of the Byzantine wine within (Parshina & Soznik 2012, pp. 22‑23).

Conclusion

40To summarize, in the context of the Novy Svet shipwreck of the Middle Byzantine period, all known variants of Günsenin II, usually related to different chronological periods and strata in terrestrial excavations, are represented. Whether this fact illustrates particularities of this ship, discovered on the bottom of Sudak Bay, the intentions of its owners and specifics concerning its route or evidence contrary to the conventional opinion on the correlation between shape and date – it is stated that a shape of this type is one of the chrono-indicators for archaeological sites – future research will provide us with more information. On the other hand, the situation concerning the Günsenin III and XX amphorae in the cargo of the 13th century ship is different. They are all identical typologically, within their respective group. While it is thought that the Günsenin II and III amphorae served as containers for wine and oil that were consumed in civil or military-oriented towns and settlements, it is possible that the small Günsenin XX amphorae were intended for coastal churches and monasteries, having special contents for ecclesiastical use.

41All the samples of type Günsenin III and XX that were analyzed show that their origin is the same – Chalcis in Euboea.

42Chemical analyses also show that Günsenin II amphorae were manufactured in at least two production sites, one being Chalcis. The other production represented within our samples is characterized by ultrabasic features, which suggest an origin in a geological environment that included ophiolites. It is particularly striking that the typological classification of the Günsenin II amphorae from the Novy Svet shipwreck does not correlate with the chemical classification; all their sub-types are found in both the main (Chalcis) chemical group and in the other group. Moreover, all their sub-types were discovered in one closed archaeological deposit. This suggests that all variant forms of this amphora could have co-existed over a long period of time.

43The most surprising fact revealed by this research is that, at least twice, ships carrying amphorae from Chalcis sank to the bottom of the Black Sea, in the same bay off the Crimea. This could be evidence for long-term diffusion patterns emanating from this important Aegean harbor.

Acknowledgements and credits

44This study was partly funded by the French National Research Agency (ANR) through the POMEDOR project. We acknowledge the support of the ANR under reference ANR-12‑CULT-0008. Funding was also provided at an initial stage of research through a French-Ukrainian DNIPRO project, supported by the French Ministry of National Education, the French Ministry of Higher Education and Research and the State Agency for the Problems of Science, Innovation and Informatization of Ukraine. Thanks are due to the staff of the analytical facilities, CNRS UMR 5138, Lyon.

Credits for the photos: S.Y. Waksman, S. Zelenko, Y. Morozova.

Credits for the drawings: N. Sokolchuk, M. Tymoshenko, A. Veiber.

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Notes

1 It may be noted that the sample selection pre-dated the typological study, which would explain why the type Günsenin II, and especially the sub-type III, is under-represented.

2 We would like to thank N. Günsenin for making these samples available to us.

Table des illustrations

Titre Fig. 1 – Novy Svet type II.BS (Günsenin II amphorae), sub-type I: 1‑4; sub-type II: 5‑8; sub-type III: 9‑11.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10279/img-1.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 688k
Titre Fig. 2 – Novy Svet type II.LBS (Günsenin III amphorae): 1‑5; type III.LBS (Günsenin XX amphorae): 6‑10.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10279/img-2.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 683k
Titre Fig. 3 – Classification according to the chemical compositions of amphorae from the Novy Svet shipwrecks (indicated by circles), together with amphorae of the same types found at Thebes and Chalcis (Waksman et al. 2018) or kept in museums in Turkey (Günsenin 1989; 1990).
Légende The main chemical groups are underlined, the types of amphorae are indicated either by symbols (Novy Svet material) or together with the chemical groups.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10279/img-3.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 392k
Titre Tabl. 1 – Chemical compositions of amphorae from the Novy Svet shipwrecks, ranked as in the classification fig. 3, together with comparative data.
Légende Major and minor elements are indicated in oxides weight %, trace elements in ppm (parts per million); m: mean, σ: standard deviation, n: number of samples, l.q.: limits of quantification; elements between brackets, as well as MnO, were not taken into account in the classification.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10279/img-4.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 746k
Titre Fig. 4 – Samples of amphorae of Novy Svet type II.BS (Günsenin II), classified according to chemical groups: samples from Chalcis (above, main group on fig. 3) and from at least another as yet unlocated production site (below, minor group in fig. 3); sub-type I: BZY595, 598‑601, 607; sub-type II: BZY596-597, 602‑604, 606; sub-type III: BZY605.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10279/img-5.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 696k
Titre Fig. 5 – Samples of amphorae of Novy Svet types II.LBS and III.LBS (Günsenin III and XX), all attributed to Chalcis (main chemical group in fig. 3); examples of Gunsenin XX: BYZ899-902, BZY 20‑21.
URL http://books.openedition.org/momeditions/docannexe/image/10279/img-6.jpg
Fichier image/jpeg, 1,3M

Auteurs

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, Centre for Underwater Archaeology, 64 Volodymyrska St., Kiev 01601, Ukraine, maritimecua@gmail.com

Taras Shevchenko National University of Kiev, Centre for Underwater Archaeology, 64 Volodymyrska St., Kiev 01601, Ukraine, zelenkocua@gmail.com

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