Kerch

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Kerch (Ukrainian: Керч, Russian: Керчь, Crimean Tatar: Keriç, Old East Slavic: Кърчевъ, Ancient Greek: Παντικάπαιον Pantikapaion, Turkish: Kerç) is a city (2001 pop 157,000) on the Kerch Peninsula of eastern Crimea, is an important industrial, transport and tourist centre of Ukraine.

Contents

History

Ancient times

Kerch is one of the most ancient cities of Ukraine. The city spread around the ancient ridge of Mitridates. Archeological digs at Mayak village near the city ascertained that the area had already been inhabited in 17th–15th centuries BC.

Kerch as a city starts its history in 7th century BC, when Greek colonists from Miletus founded a city-state named Panticapaeum[1] on the shore of Kerch Strait. The city was built beside the Mount Mithridat. Panticapaeum, the predecessor of present-day Kerch city, subdued nearby cities and by 480 BC became a capital of the Kingdom of Bosporus. Later, during the rule of Mithradates VI Eupator, Panticapaeum for a short period of time became the capital of much more powerful and extensive Kingdom of Pontus.

The city located at the intersection of trade routes between the steppe and Europe grew rapidly. The city's main exports were grain and salted fish, wine-making was also common. Panticapaeum minted its own coins. A large portion of the population was ethnically Scythian, later Sarmatian, as the large royal barrow at Kul-Oba testifies.

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