MAIKO V.V. Byzantine Iron Processional Crosses of Eastern Taurica


Vadim V. Maiko

Doctor of Sciences (History), Director,

Institute of Archaeology of Crimea of the Russian Academy of Sciences,

Prosp. Akademika Vernadskogo, 2, 295007 Simferopol, Russian Federation

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Abstract. Introduction. A special category of Byzantine Christian liturgical objects is the iron crosses with an elongated lower beam. Scientists have established that they were used by the population of the provincial-Byzantine settlements of southern Taurica for a variety of liturgical purposes. Based on this, almost all discovered objects are divided into types and produced in a relatively narrow chronological framework. For eastern Taurica, such products were not analyzed and were not compared with southern coastal materials, which make this work relevant. The source base of the work consists of 8 iron crosses, which could not be used as pectoral. Five different-time products were recorded during excavations of medieval Sugdeja. Two objects were found during excavations of the Otuzy 2 settlement (8th – 10th centuries) on the border of the Sudak and Feodosia regions. One cross comes from excavations of the settlement of Artesian in the Leninsky district. Only three of these crosses are published.

Methods and materials. Standard methods of comparative stylistic analysis were used.

Analysis. A careful analysis of the archaeological contexts of object discovery and the most striking analogies allow us to distinguish several chronological groups that differ in both morphology and origin.

Results. The obtained data allow us to distinguish three chronological groups of crosses from the turn of the 9th – 10th centuries and until the first half of the 15th century. All of them differ not only in morphological features, but also in functional purpose. Despite this, most of the iron crosses considered could be used as processional crosses.

Key words: eastern Taurica, iron crosses with elongated lower beam, chronology, analogies, functional purpose.

Citation. Maiko V.V. Byzantine Iron Processional Crosses of Eastern Taurica. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 4. Istoriya. Regionovedenie. Mezhdunarodnye otnosheniya [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. History. Area Studies. International Relations], 2022, vol. 27, no. 6, pp. 21-29. (in Russian). DOI:

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Byzantine Iron Processional Crosses of Eastern Taurica by Maiko V.V. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

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