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Ruins of a Time Past

Jon Ayres

Moscow, Russian Federation

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Artist's Description

The Chersonesus of Tauris National Preserve is a monument of world importance. In 1996, it was entered into the UNESCO World Heritage List. Chersonesus was an ancient Greek settlement that existed 2,500 years ago. The ancient city of Chersones that existed on the same site as Sevastopol for about 2 thousand years (from the end of the 5th century BC until the first half of the 15th century AD). Still surviving are parts of its mighty fortress walls and tower, the city gate, fragments of an ancient theatre, plus some streets, yards, wells, and public buildings. Medieval buildings that can be seen include Zenon’s tower, a cruciform temple with a mosaic floor, basilicas, a baptism room, and many others. According to Greek legends, Tauris is the place to which Iphigeneia was sent after the goddess Artemis rescued her from the human sacrifice her father was about to perform. The goddess swept the young princess off to Tauris where she became a priestess at her temple. Here, she was forced by the Taurian king Thoas to perform human sacrifices on any foreigners who came ashore.

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