Inventory of Late Antique and Medieval Ports along the Western Black Sea

Project Leader:

Prof. Dr. Andreas Külzer (Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute for Medieval Research, Division of Byzantine Research, Vienna)

Scholary Co-Workers:

Mag. Dr. Alkiviadis Ginalis (Curator for Late Antique and Byzantine Archaeology at the German Archaeological Institute, Department Istanbul)

Duration:

29 August 2019-28 August 2021

Description:

The project aims to investigate the historical use of the Bulgarian coastline within the wider port networks and maritime connectivity of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. A systematic archaeological study of the topographic evolution of the coast in association to the functionality of port sites and other coastal facilities during Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages shall provide new data on the development of coastal life and especially the nature of agricultural and industrial exploitation in context of maritime commerce. Particularly the continuously alternating relationship between the coast and river landscapes are to be emphasized. Based on written sources, historical accounts and already existing archaeological data, a comprehensive catalogue and database of harbor sites, anchorages and natural environments such as bays or river courses and their estuaries will be created. Building upon this database, the research project emphasizes on the analysis of the paleo geographic environment linked to sea-level changes in areas of pre-selected archaeological sites. By using Orthophotography and 3D shooting, the research project therefore complements the existing information. Latter will eventually be used for the study of network patterns and comparative studies of port hierarchies and interrelated functionalities of coastal infrastructures. This shall provide a new platform for a better understanding of maritime economy as well as social and cultural connectivity throughout the Black Sea region.