MOGARICHEV Yu.M. Suiren Fortress as Described by A. S. Uvarov


Yuriy M. Mogarichev

Doctor of Sciences (History), Professor, Leading Researcher,

Institute of Archaeology of Crimea, RAS,

Simferopol, Russian Federation;

Head of Department of Social and Humanities Education,

Crimean Republican Institute of Postgraduate Pedagogical Education,

Lenina St., 15, 295051 Simferopol, Russian Federation

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Abstract.  Introduction. The article introduces into scientific parlance description of Suiren fortress prepared by A. S. Uvarov within the 4th chapter From Dnieper to Taurida mountains of the 3rd unpublished issue of Studies on antiquities of Southern Russia and Black Sea Coasts, that now is preserved in the State Historical Museum at the department of manuscripts and early printed books. 

Methods. Suiren fortress is one of the most mysterious and unexplored cave towns. The time of the construction of fortification dates back between the 6th and the 12th centuries. By the time of Uvarov visit (1848), the hillfort had been unknown both among researchers and general public.

Analysis. The Suiren Story by Uvarov consists of two unequal parts: brief survey of architectural lasts of the defense constructions and detailed description of the church, located on the second floor of defense tower. The author pays special attention to fresco murals, which had remained by that time. It was de-facto the first detailed overview of the object in historiography (apart from brief survey of P.I. Keppen). Uvarov was accompanied by painter M. Vebel who made sketches of fortress defense lines and identifiable in 1848 fragments of fresco paintings. The description of Uvarov had remained unknown by researchers of the fortress in mid 19th – beginning of the 21st century. On the contrary, paintings of M. Vebel included in so-called ‘unpublished album of A. S. Uvarov’ became a primary source for future generation of researchers because a part of defense wall ruined in the second half of the 19th century and murals had become mostly indistinguishable by mid 20th century.

Results. The publication of the Uvarov description will enhance our understanding about the nature of fresco paintings of Suiren fortress.

Key words: Byzantium, Crimea, cave towns, Suiren fortress, frescos, A. S. Uvarov.

Citation. Mogarichev Yu.M. Suiren Fortress as Described by A. S. Uvarov. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4, Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2018, vol. 23, no. 5, pp. 105-118. (in Russian). DOI:

Лицензия Creative Commons

Suiren Fortress as Described by A. S. Uvarov by Mogarichev Yu.M. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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