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Program history

The History of Collaboration of the National Museum in Warsaw in the project "Monumnts of the Cimmerian Bosporus" 

1993 
The first collaboration agreement between the museums was signed. The Ukrainian side was represented by prof. Eleonora Yakovienko, the head of the Kerch Museum, whereas the Polish side was represented by prof. Włodzimierz Godlewski, head of the National Museum in Warsaw. 

1994 
Mr. Alfred Twardecki was appointed to manage the Polish part of the project by the National Museum in Warsaw. After receiving an invitation from the Kerch Museum and the Pushkin Museum, he participated in the excavations of Panticapaeum (Kerch), in a project run by the Pushkin Museum, Moscow, and directed by prof. Tolstikov. 

2002 
Mr. Alfred Twardecki participated in the international conference Bosporan Readings, held in Kerch (publication of inscriptions). Since then, employees of the National Museum in Warsaw participate regularly in this annually held conference. 

2003 
The framework for future cooperation is established; current participants are joined by the Charity Foundation „Demetra”. 

2004 
The collaboration agreement between the museums was extended in March. The Ukrainian side was represented by Mr. Piotr Ivanienko, the head of the Kerch Museum, and Dr. Viktor Zin'ko, head of the „Demetra” Foundation. The Polish side was represented by Mr. Ferdynand Ruszczyc, head of the National Museum in Warsaw. Mr. Alfred Twardecki was designated the coordinator of the project of cooperation with the Kerch Museum. 
-The head of the Kerch Museum visited Warsaw in March 
-The head of the „Demetra” Foundation, together with the scientific director, visited Warsaw in June. 
- In late May and June, prof. Witold Dobrowolski, the curator of the Ancient Art Gallery at the National Museum in Warsaw, together with Mr. Zbigniew Godziejewski, head of the Ancient Art Conservation unit (collaboration in conservation project) and Mrs. Sabina Grzegrzółka (the Megarian bowls research project) visited Kerch. 
-Mr. Alfred Twardecki visited Kerch in July and August (research on Greek inscriptions; coordination of the project) 
- The head of the National Museum, Mr. Ferdynand Ruszczyc, visited Kerch in September. 

2005 
- The head of the „Demetra” Foundation and its scientific director visit Warsaw, the agreement for 2005 is signed. 
- Mrs. Sabina Grzegrzółka visited Kerch (research on Megarian bowls) 
- Mr. Alfred Twardecki visited Kerch (research on Greek inscriptions) 
- Mr. Zbigniew Doliński visited Kerch (photographs for publications) 

2006 
- Mr. Alfred Twardecki gives a lecture on Polish excavation projects in the Crimea in the Polish Institute in Moscow. 
- The head of the „Demetra” Foundation and its scientific director visit Warsaw (exhibition; publishing collaboration). 
- Mrs. Sabina Grzegrzółka visited Kerch (research on Megarian bowls) 
- Mr. Alfred Twardecki visited Kerch (research on Greek inscriptions) 
- Mr. Grzegorz Wyrzykowski visited Kerch (photographs for publications) 

2007 
- Mrs. Nina Kuchervska, head of the conservation unit at the Kerch Museum, visited Warsaw (conservation internship) 
- Mrs. Sabina Grzegrzółka visited Kerch (research on Megarian bowls) 
- Mr. Alfred Twardecki visited Kerch (research on Greek inscriptions; coordination of the project) 
- Mrs. Katarzyna Rachuta, art conservator at the National Museum in Warsaw, visited Kerch (art conservation internship) 
- Head of the Kerch Museum, as well as the head of the „Demetra” Foundation and its scientific director visited Warsaw in December. On the 20th of December, in the presence of His Excellency ambassador of Ukraine in Poland, Oleksandr Motsyk, and prof. Przemysław Nowogórski, the head of the Department of National Heritage at the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, an agreement for extending the collaboration project was signed. The Ukrainian side was represented by the head of the Kerch Museum, Mrs. Natalia Galchenko, and Dr. hab. Viktor Zin'ko, head of the „Demetra” Foundation. The Polish side was represented by Dr. hab. Dorota Folga, head of the National Museum in Warsaw. 

2008 
-Mrs.Irmina Zadrozna conducted a chemical analysis of the samples of the fresco from the so-called Demeter Tomb at Kerch. 
- Mrs. Sabina Grzegrzółka continued her research on Megarian bowls, the publication is planned for 2009. 
- Mr. Alfred Twardecki, in cooperation with Ukrainian partners, prepared the first volume of grave stelae with Greek inscriptions from the collection of the Kerch Museum. 
- The Polish Archaeological Mission „Tyritake”, run by the National Museum in Warsaw and directed by Mr. Alfred Twardecki, launched the excavations on the site of the Greek settlement of Tyritake. The Polish Mission is a part of the „Bosporan City Tyritake” project directed by prof. Viktor Zin'ko. 
- In November, Mrs. O. L. Gunchina, head of the conservation unit at the Kerch Museum, came to Warsaw for a two-weeks long training internship in art conservation. 
- In September, Mrs. E. Parandowska, an expert on conservation of stone monuments, delivered a presentation on stone conserving techniques at Kerch.

2009

- Sabina Grzegrzółka – continuation of preparations for the Megarian bowls publication (published in 2010)

- Alfred Twardecki – final editing of the first volume on funerary stelae (with Greek inscriptions) from the collection of the Kerch Museum

- second excavation season of the "Tyritake" Polish Archaeological Mission, National Museum in Warsaw (23 July - 26 August, report)

Work conducted under the project resulted in presentations given by its participants at public fora:

- Alfred Twardecki – paper presented at the international conference "The Bosporan Kingdom" held on 23-26 March at Sadbjerg Manor (Denmark) by the Danish National Research Foundation's Centre for Black Sea Studies (Aarhus) and Deutches Archaeologisches Institut

Alfred Twardecki, Sabina Grzegrzółka – papers presented during the 10th Bosporan Readings international conference (Kerch, Ukraine)

- Alfred Twardecki – multimedia presentation of cooperation with the Kerch Museum during Ukraine Culture Days (Krakow, 27-28 April)

- Alfred Twardecki – multimedia presentation of the Tyritake Archaeological site during the IV young cadre conference (Institute of Archaeology, University of Warsaw, 7 May)

- Alfred Twardecki – paper presented during the PTH Conference on Ancient History (Warsaw, 23-25 September)

2010

- 19 May – 5 June – visit by Alfred Twardecki to Kerch: paper presented during the 11th Bosporan Readings international conference (Kerch, Ukraine), preparations for an excavation campaign and preliminary agreements concerning an exhibition planned to be held in the National Museum in Warsaw (NMW) in 2013, “Tyritake – crossroads of cultures” as well as collaborative publications, research and conservation work.

- 7-12 June – a visit to NMW by Prof. Victor Zin'ko, director of the Demetra Foundation, and Dr. Elena Zin'ko. A detailed cooperation plan for the upcoming year was worked out during their stay.

- 22 July – 29 August – the third season of excavations by the "Tyritake" Polish Archaeological Mission NMW

- 23-26 August – visit by the director of NMW to Kerch. During the visit, the director reviewed work performed by the “Tyritake” mission, archaeological sites in the area and the collections of the Kerch Museum. A press conference was held, during which an annex to the cooperation agreement regulating cooperation in 2010 was signed.

2011

- 10 February – presentation of the latest joint Polish-Ukrainian publication S. Grzegrzółka „Megarian” Bowls from the Collection of the Kerch History and Culture Reserve – published under a cooperation program between National Museum in Warsaw (NMW) and the Kerch Museum. The presentation, which took place in "Je" bookstore in Kyiv, was held under the patronage of the Polish Institute and the Embassy of the Polish Republic in Kyiv. A reception for invited guests was held at the embassy in the evening.

- 23-27 May – the 12th Bosporan Readings annual international archaeological conference was held in Kerch. The subject of the conference was “the Cimmerian Bosporus and the Barbarian World in Antiquity and the Middle Ages. Interpenetration of Cultures.” It was dedicated to the 185th anniversary of the Kerch Museum of Antiquity. This year, due to the particularly celebratory character of the conference, the NMW was also invited to help organize the event. Several members of the expedition presented papers, and Alfred Twardecki moderated a portion of the proceedings.

- 19 July – 26 August – the third season of excavations by the "Tyritake" Polish Archaeological Mission NMW.

- 26 July – 9 August – the photographic exhibition “Tyritake – Ancient City on the Edge of Civilization” was displayed in University of Warsaw Library in cooperation with the "HUMANICA" Inter-faculty Scientific Society for Research and Protection of Cultural Heritage (UW).

- September – October – the photographic exhibition: “Tyritake – Ancient City on the Edge of Civilization” was presented at the UW Institute of Archaeology during “Traces of the Ancient World” archaeological workshops.

12-18 October – visit to NMW by Prof. Victor Zin'ko, director of Demetra Foundation, and Dr. Elena Zin'ko. The results of cooperation in 2011 were summarized, and the cooperation plan for 2012 was worked out during the visit.

- 14 December – opening of the photographic exhibition “Ancient Kitchen Area of the Bosporus (Tyritake, 3rd-4th century AD)” illustrating the results of the “Tyritake” Archaeological Mission NMW for 2011. The exhibition was held on the premises of the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy and organized jointly by the Academy and NMW, with the support of the Polish Institute in Kyiv. The exhibition was open until the end of February 2012.

2012

- 29 February – Alfred Twardecki presented the results to date of National Museum in Warsaw (NMW) archaeological research in Tyritake at a seminar conducted in the University of Warsaw’s Institute of Archaeology by Dr. Tomasz Scholl.

- 30 March – closing of the exhibition “Ancient Kitchen Area of the Bosporus (Tyritake, 3rd-4th century AD)”, which had been inaugurated 14 December 2011 in the Kyiv-Mohyla Academy. The exhibition generated great interest among people in Kyiv as well as archaeologists from all over Ukraine.

- 24-28 May – the 13th Bosporan Readings international conference was held, this year devoted to the architecture of the Bosporan Kingdom. Four members of the "Tyritake" mission participated in the proceedings: Alfred Twardecki, Inga Głuszek, Wojciech Terlikowski and Marcin Matera. Alfred Twardecki presented two papers; Marcin Matera and Inga Głuszek presented one apiece.

- 6 June – a cultural cooperation agreement was signed in the National Museum in Warsaw between the Ministry of Culture of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea and the NMW, as well as a cultural and archaeological cooperation agreement (continuation of excavations in Tyritake) between the Institute of National Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine and NMW.

- 14 July – 2 August – archaeological campaign in Tyritake. The most interesting finds were made during the last days of the expedition. The most important were the skeletons of three horses. Preliminary report.

- 9-14 August – an official visit to Crimea by Dr. Agnieszka Morawińska, Director of the National Museum in Warsaw, at the invitation of Ms Alona Plakida, Minister of Culture of the Autonomous Republic of Crimea. During her stay, Director Morawińska also visited the NMW excavations in Tyritake. Report.

- 2-16 August – the exhibition “Ancient Kitchen Area of the Bosporus (Tyritake, 3rd-4th century AD)” was on display in the University of Warsaw Library. The exhibition was organized by the National Museum in Warsaw and the "HUMANICA" Inter-faculty Scientific Society for Research and Protection of Cultural Heritage (UW).

- 14 August – a photographic exhibition illustrating 5 years of NMW excavations in Crimea was opened in Kazimierzowski Palace, University of Warsaw. The exhibition was closed 2 October 2012.

- 27-30 August – the 14th International Congress of Greek and Latin Epigraphy was held in Berlin. Alfred Twardecki presented the poster “Epigraphy of the Bosporan Kingdom”, which portrayed the results of work conducted under the Kerch program.

- 20 December – inauguration of the project’s new website. The site’s graphics were changed to meet the new visual identification requirements of NMW, and its structure was rearranged to make it more user-friendly.

2013

- 20-24 May – the 14th Bosporan Readings international conference was held in Kerch. The leading topic of the conference was “Archaeological object in the context of history". Alfred Twardecki delivered two lectures: “New Greek inscription and graffito from Tyritake” and the “Polish Archaeological Mission in Tyritake, 2012 season”. The new scientific council of the annual conference was appointed at the end of the proceedings; it included Alfred Twardecki.

- 16 July – 26 August – the 6th excavation campaign of the “Tyritake” Polish Archaeological Mission NMW took place. Excavations in the field were conducted 21 July to 24 August. A total of 52 people participated – 28 from the Ukrainian side, 10 from the Russian side and 14 from the Polish side. The work included exploration in archaeological squares 3-13, 15, 17-19; also, five new squares (5x5 m) were set up, with exploration being initiated in four of them (25-28). The total area of Excavation no. XXVII, where the Polish mission is conducting its work, now covers 675 m2. Preliminary report

 

- 27-28 November – the international scientific conference Tyritake – Antique Site at Cimmerian Bosporuswas held at the National Museum in Warsaw. The conference served to summarize the results of excavations conducted at Tyritake for over the past 100 years, with a special emphasis on the work conducted by the “Tyritake” Polish Archaeological Mission, which has been excavating the site of this ancient city since 2008. The conference was planned to include 5 working sessions with the participation of 21 researchers from Poland, Ukraine, Russia and Germany. In the end, 18 researchers participated, with one lecture delivered in absentia. All the sessions were held in the movie theatre on the premises of NMW. The conference began with an address by Ms Dorota Janiszewska-Jakubiak, Deputy Director, Department of Cultural Heritage in the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, who read a letter addressed to conference participants by Deputy Minister Małgorzata Omilanowska. Next to speak was Dr. Piotr Rypson, Deputy Scientific Director of NMW, and Professor Gleb Ivakin, Deputy Scientific Director of the Institute of National Archaeology of the Academy of Sciences of Ukraine. The lectures in the first part of the proceedings summarized the results of excavations conducted so far by the Polish mission and the first inferences and conclusions that can be drawn from them, mainly in reference to the city’s oldest period during the archaic era and its latest period under Byzantine rule. The next set of lectures presented the results of research into particular categories of artefacts found during the excavations at Tyritake as well as comparative materials from excavations conducted at Tanais, Olbia and on the Taman peninsula. The results of conservation work carried out in the "Polish" excavation were also presented by participants of the conservation mission of the Warsaw University of Technology, which is collaborating in the expedition with NMW. The latter part of the proceedings featured presentation of the results of paleobotanic, paleozoologic and chromatographic analyses conducted on samples collected by the Polish mission during excavations. These techniques enabled researchers to determine what the inhabitants of ancient Tyritake ate. Ms. Svitlana Myronchuk, First Secretary of the Ukrainian Embassy in Poland, attended the closing of the conference. The conference was accompanied by a photographic exhibition, held at NMW, that portrayed the last six years of work performed by the Polish mission. A publication in English that includes the lectures delivered at the conference is planned.

- January – December – continuation of preparatory and editorial work on a successive volume of Greek inscriptions from the collection of the Kerch Museum (“Funerary Stelae of the 5th – 3rd century BC”), whose publication in a bilingual edition (English-Russian) is planned for 2015. 

2014

This year was affected by the events in Crimea and Ukraine.

- 1 February – 31 July – Dr. Alla Kotina (Kerch) was a visiting scholar at the National Museum in Warsaw (NMW) on a fellowship awarded under the Gaude Polonia program. During her stay, she learned about how the NMW functions, the rules for planning and organizing exhibitions and the collection of Bosporan terracotta in the NMW’s collection.

- 8 March – the head of the project made the decision to suspend, for an indefinite period of time, the archaeological mission in Tyritake (Kerch, Crimea) as well as to suspend cooperation with scientific and cultural institutions in Crimea. 

- May – in consultation with Ukrainian partners, it was decided to continue the program under altered terms and conditions. NMW’s strategic partner in the project became the Institute of National Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine (INA NASU). The decision was also made to continue collaborative publishing projects and hold talks to determine a new site for joint archaeological exploration. Olbia was chosen as the site.

- 5 June – signing of an agreement between INA NASU and NMW on the schedule of joint activities planned for 2014.

- 12-27 July – visit by Alfred Twardecki in Olbia.

- 1-5 December – visit in Warsaw by Prof. Gleb Ivakin, deputy science director of INA NASU, and Prof. Alla Bujskikh, head of the INA NASU mission in Olbia. During the visit, cooperation plans for 2015 were discussed, including the start of NMW excavations in Olbia. The two parties agreed that the excavations would depend on the situation in Ukraine and assurance of security for members of the Polish mission as well as further funding of the project by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

- 5-16 December – study visit by Alfred Twardecki in Kyiv. Continuing editorial work on joint publications was performed during the visit.

- 16 December – “Tyritake, Antique Site at Cimmerian Bosporus” was published under the NMW imprint as part of the project and funded by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage.

2015

- the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage suspended funding of the project. As a result, work on the project was limited to the elaboration of materials from previous years and preparations for future publications.

2016

- the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage resumed funding of the project in a new formula: the project’s name was changed to "Antiquities of the Black Sea", which reflects the current status of research interests held by persons participating in the project.

- 25-30 April – visit by Alfred Twardecki in Kyiv. The rules of cooperation under the program were agreed with the leadership of INA NASU, with a special emphasis on the NMW excavations in Olbia. Also, a framework plan for archaeological activities to be pursued until the end of 2018 was agreed.

- 31 May – 5 June – visit by Professor Alla Bujskikh in Warsaw. The final details of cooperation under the project between NMW and INA NASU were settled. Signing of an agreement to launch NMW excavations in Olbia in collaboration with INA NASU. Dr. Alfred Twardecki was appointed head of the Polish expedition; Prof. Alla Bujskikh was appointed by INA NASU to lead the Ukrainian expedition.

- 6 July – 20 August – first excavation season of the Polish Archaeological Mission NMW in Olbia. In accordance with the agreement with our Ukrainian partners, the Polish mission excavated the heretofore unexplored grounds of the Roman citadel, which lies near Ukrainian excavation R 25. The Polish excavation was assigned the number R 23. The strategic goal of the Polish excavations is to delve into the unexplored portion of a small plateau, on which the remains of a Roman citadel and Greek city are located. This will make it possible to reconstruct – in conjunction with the results of earlier Ukrainian excavations – the entire area occupied by the Roman fort, which had previously been one of the highest-elevation sections of ancient Olbia. After a geophysical survey of this area, the mission initiated excavations. The excavated area covered 100 m2, from which the humus layer and mixed subsoil layers were removed. According to the plan, work was finished for the season after reaching the latest cultural strata. The first season’s work in Olbia was mainly intended to get acquainted with the specific conditions of the site as well as to refine procedures for documenting artefacts uncovered during excavations as well as the excavation work itself. This is extremely important due to the necessity of compiling parallel documentation in Polish (for NMW) and Russian (for INA NASU). Both objectives were accomplished. During the excavations, 342 separate artefacts were obtained, including 48 coins spanning all the periods during which Olbia existed as a Greek colony, Roman fort and Chernyakhov Culture settlement. Several thousand pieces forming artefact assemblages were also classified. These included several dozen fragments from late antiquity initially dated to the late 4th – early 5th century AD. This is one of the more important scientific findings of the 2016 research season, because it confirms that a settlement functioned in Olbia until the beginning of the 5th century AD – not, as some researchers previously believed, until 375 (invasion of the Huns).

- 30 October – 5 November – visit by Professor Alla Bujskikh in Warsaw. During the visit, the year’s archaeological campaign was summarized from an organizational standpoint, a review of the scientific findings based on the year’s excavations was begun, as was work on the excavation report. It was decided that surveying work and drone photography must be conducted in order to create an orthophotographic map of the Roman citadel and, thereafter, the entire area of the city.

- 6-12 November – visit by Alfred Twardecki in Kyiv. Continuation of work on the excavation report. Alfred Twardecki began a query in the INA NASU archive for the purpose of reviewing unpublished reports on excavations that had been conducted in Olbia by INA NASU over the last several decades.

- 20-26 November – visit by Alfred Twardecki in Petersburg. Participation in the international conference “The Bosporan phenomenon. Bosporan elites and their culture” (22-25 November), where he delivered the lecture “Evidence of foreign citizens in Bosporan inscriptions”. During the conference, the rules for the final publication of the excavations conducted by NMW until 2013 in Tyritake (Kerch), then indefinitely suspended, were discussed with our Crimean partners. The entirety of excavation materials and preliminary archaeological reports on the work conducted in Tyritake are published on the project website: http://blackseaproject.mnw.art.pl.

- all separate artefacts found during the 2016 excavations will be published by the end of 2016 in the database included on the project website