• Polski
  • English
  • AA+A++
Roman O. Kozlenko lecture from the conference “Olbia in the Hunnic period”

Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of the Polish Academy of Sciences




Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine


presents a lecture from the conference "Olbia in the Hunnic period"


The lecture is posted on the ArcheoTV channel on YouTube.
You can find it here


Author: Roman O. Kozlenko


Title: Olbia and the Sarmatians



During the most recent excavations in Olbia, a number of new tamga-shaped signs were found. Tamgas usually occur on pieces of limestone, bones, ceramics etc. Some of the signs have parallels in Scythian Naples, on a “plate-encyclopedia” from Panticapaeum, in the territory of Asian Sarmatia etc. A number of tamgas are detected for the first time for this region.The excavation in the Upper City of Olbia revealed a unique archaeological complex from the third quarter of the 1st century, with a rich assortment of amphora, red-slipped ware, glass, handmade pottery and Sarmatian weaponry belonging to an elite warrior, probably an equestrian archer, present in Olbia during a time of close military and political relations between Olbia, the Sarmatians and the Roman Empire. During this period, the Sarmatian kings Farzoy and Inismey minted in Olbia gold and silver coins with their generic tamga-sign, and the Olbian ambassadors met the Sarmatian kings (IOSPE I2, 51, 54).Tamgas in Olbia can be attributed to the second half of the 1st and the 2nd centuries AD. These signs appear on objects that are usually accompanied by arrowheads, bow parts, horse bridle elements, buckles etc. Bone arrowheads and quiver hooks have parallels in the Sarmatian burials of the Volga region, which can be associated with the Sarmatian nomads coming into the Northern Black Sea region from the Volga–Don River steppes in the middle or third quarter of the 1st century AD. The data testify to a direct Sarmatian presence in the city of the Roman period.

A series of bone plaques from the Roman period, some with images of a Parthian king, come from Eastern workshops. The object they decorated could have been brought to Olbia by the Sarmatians as suggested by tamga signs with parallels in the Don River basin and Ciscaucasia, native regions of the Alans, who participated in the raids on the Parthian kingdom, and whose burials include among the grave goods products of Eastern origin, especially carved bone plaques of Parthian production, that were imported to the region.