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Monday, 30 September 2013 10:14



Scientific Report

Project PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054

January – December 2012


A. Joint scientific goals:


1. The National Symposium “Poleis in Pont and Propontis in Hellenistic and Roman times”, a key intermediate activity (as reflected in the proposal), contributed to the successful accomplishment of the stated project goals. The event was organized on September 27-28 with the participation of all team members and a number of guest specialists. The main purpose of this activity was to present the partial project-related research outcomes, with the subsequent publication of the presented studies in a collective volume. By organizing this meeting at the Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Parvan” in Bucharest we managed to increase our national and international visibility, thus reaching a stated project goal of attracting and involving a larger number of Romanian and foreign scholars. The agenda and abstracts of presentations can be found on the project website ( in both, Romanian and English. Together with the project director, the following team members were responsible for organizing the above-mentioned symposium: Iulian Bîrzescu, Florian Matei-Popescu, Florina Panait Bîrzescu and Adrian Robu. The former is currently in charge of editing the collective volume of studies presented at the above-mentioned scientific event.

2. Foreign study visits. Ten foreign study visits were undertaken in order to accomplish the stated project goals – Belgium (Diana Stah), Germany (Victor Cojocaru, Ligia Ruscu), Italy (Andrei Opaiţ), Slovenia (Sever Boţan, Costel Chiriac), Ukraine (Livia Buzoianu, Victor Cojocaru). Of a particular standing was the common field trip to Turkey, from September 29 to October 10, attended by the following team members: Iulian Bîrzescu, Sever Boţan, Costel Chiriac, Victor Cojocaru, Lucian Munteanu, Florina Panait Bîrzescu, Ligia Ruscu. During this period many important historical and archaeological sites on the coast of northern, western and central area of Asia Minor (Heracleea, Amastris, Sinope, Amisos, Amaseia, Gordion, Aphrodisias, Hierapolis, Dydima, Miletus, Priene, Ephesus, Claros, Smyrna, Pergamum, Troy, Kyzikos etc.) were visited. This initiative proved to be extremely important for a better understanding of the external relations of the Greek cities from the Black Sea area. Please note that this team visit was included under the heading of study visits, mobility flows chapter. The provisions of art. IV paragraph (2) of OUG 26/2012 restricts the number of people traveling abroad to a maximum of two. Under these conditions and still willing to accomplish this field trip with the participation of all team members, we decided to offer a salary increase to researchers who had to undertake this visit, so that they would be able to cover on their own these travel costs. The exact dates of the field trip can be found in the in expenditure record sheet.

3. Domestic study visits. In order to gather data necessary to accomplish project goals, ten domestic study visits were undertaken  (institutions and archaeological sites in the country) – George Bilavschi (Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Parvan”, Bucharest, Library of Romanian Academy in Bucharest), Victor Cojocaru (National Museum of History and Archaeology of Constanta, Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Parvan”, Bucharest, “Babes-Bolyai” University of Cluj), Andrei Opaiţ (Eco-Museum Research Institute in Tulcea, Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Parvan” in Bucharest, archaeological site Ibida, Museum of Archaeology in Mangalia), Ligia Ruscu (National Museum of History and Archaeology of Constanta). The exact dates of these study visits can be found in expenditure record sheet.

4. Presentations at international congresses and symposia (dissemination). Eighteen project-related presentations were made by project team members during the following scientific conferences: International Symposium “The Romans at the Black Sea during the Time of Augustus. The Evidence of Literary, Archaeological and Numismatic Sources”, Tulcea/Romania, June 6-9 (Livia Buzoianu: Éducation et culture à Tomis [co-authorship M. Bărbulescu], Costel Chiriac: An Early Roman Imperial Intaglio at Ibida [Moesia], Andrei Opaiţ: Amphora as proxy of the Pontic and Mediterranean globalization [1st BC3rd AD], Ligia Ruscu: Grants of Roman citizenship in the Western Pontic Greek cities under Augustus); International Symposium “Mégarika. Nouvelles recherches sur les cités de la Mégaride et les fondations mégariennes du Pont-Euxin: Archéologie, Épigraphie, Histoire”, Mangalia/Romania, July 8-12 (Livia Buzoianu: Les terres cuites d’Albești d’époque hellénistique. Les représentations de culte [co-authorship M. Bărbulescu], V. Cojocaru: Un espace dorien pontique d’après les décrets de proxénie); “XIV Congressus internationalis epigraphiae Graecae et Latinae”, Berlin/Germany, August 27-31(Victor Cojocaru: Die Ausführung von Standbildern oder Porträts von Honoranden in Ehreninschriften aus dem pontischen Raum), “19th Congress of the International Association for the History of Glass”, Piran/Slovenia, September 17-21 (Costel Chiriac & Sever Boţan: Hellenistic and early Roman glass from the east Carpathian area [II century B.C. – II Century A.D.] – poster); International Symposium “Imperialism and Identities at the Edges of the Roman World”, Belgrad/Serbia, September 20-23 (Ligia Ruscu: On the establishment of Roman rule on the Western shore of the Black Sea); “The 28th Congress of the RCRF”, Catania/Italy, September 23-27 (Andrei Opaiţ: Defining more Roman amphorae in the Athenian Agora: too much history, too little typology - poster, Andrei Opaiţ: Imperial stamps on early Byzantine amphorae [co-authorship Ch. Diamanti] – poster); International Scientific Session “Pontica 2012”, Constanţa/Romania, October 10-11 (Livia Buzoianu: Three unpublished fragments of ISM II, 44 [co-authorship M. Bărbulescu], Costel Chiriac & Sever Boţan: About early Hellenistic and Roman glass vessels from the East-Carpathian area (2nd B.C. – 2nd A.D.), Victor Cojocaru: Statues and portraits as a means of honoring in the honorary inscriptions of the Pontic area, Lucian Munteanu: New rescue archeological research at Niculițel [co-authorship G. Nuţu & D. Paraschiv]); International Symposium “Oltenia. Cultural Interferences”, Craiova/Romania, October 17-19 (Livia Buzoianu: Possibilities of dating in archeology based on amphora stamps); International Symposium “Banquets of Gods, Banquets of Men. Conviviality in the Ancient World”, Cluj/Romania, November 23-24 (Mădălina Dana: "Le banquet des sophistes": représentation funéraire, représentation sociale sur les stèles de Byzance aux époques hellénistique et romaine, Victor Cojocaru: Ladung zu Opfer und Bankett als Auszeichnung der Fremde im pontischen Raum und der Pontikoi in der Fremde).

5. Publications (Dissemination). The collective volume comprising the works presented at the Symposium from September 27-28 started to be prepared for print. The work is going to be issued by a Romanian publishing house accredited by CNCS. It represents a partial accomplishment of the assumed project goals. Editors of this collective work are Florina Panait Bîrzescu, Iulian Bîrzescu, Florian Matei-Popescu and Adrian Robu. Victor Cojocaru, as coordinator of the PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054 project, elaborated an introductory chapter to this work. In addition to this, nineteen studies and three extensive critical reviews were accepted for publication. Accurate information in this regard can be found on the project website ( Please note that all above-mentioned studies indicate the name and number of the funding contract as follows: “This work was supported by a grant of the Romanian National Authority of Scientific Research, CNCS – UEFISCDI, project number PN- II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054”.

6. Website (dissemination). Project website ( was continuously updated. It can be accessed in Romanian and English, containing information about the project, team members and more detailed information on project-related activities. The website can be accessed through all major search engines (Google, Yahoo, Ask, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Yippy, Dogpile, Yandex, The Internet Archive, etc). The two main menus acquired such search buttons as Publications and Useful Weblinks, each of them corresponding to specific items in Romanian and English. At the same time, the other menus were improved and complemented with new files translated to Romanian and English (e.g. Activities - Symposium 2012 - Timetable and Summaries; News – Symposium 2012 and Symposium 2013). Team members in charge of project webpage updating, translation to and from English, and checking the English and Romanian versions of the texts are George Bilavschi, Diana Stah, Adrian Poruciuc and Ligia Ruscu.

B. Individual scientific objectives (we are briefly presenting the degree to which the stated project objectives have been accomplished. Please note that more data can be found on the project website, including the abstracts of presentations made at the National Symposium mentioned above):

· to obtain an overall picture of the external relations of Pontic Greek cities through exhaustive research – repertorying, mapping, commenting – the epigraphic and literary information (Victor Cojocaru, Alexandru Avram, Ligia Ruscu, Mădălina Dana, Adrian Robu, Livia Buzoianu). The study on inter-Pontic relations, including the relations with non-Greek populations in hinterland, was completed. The main results were presented during the national symposium in Bucharest (six papers) and will be published in the collective volume (six extensive studies). Many of the research problems related to this topic were reflected in papers presented during conferences and international symposia mentioned above. Our research findings will be published in the proceedings of these scientific events or in professional journals with a high national and international visibility. As for the extra-Pontic relations, the completion of this research is linked to the international symposium in 2013 and we will return to this aspect later (see below).

· to identify a possible model for the integration of the west coast of Pontus in the Roman Empire (Dr. Florian Matei-Popescu). We selected unpublished epigraphic material and analyzed numerous sources related to the following aspects: the beginning of Roman rule in the western part of Pontus, legal statutes of the Greek cities in the Roman Empire, the presence of the Roman army and the Roman military personnel in the region, the presence of Roman citizens communities (conventus civium Romanorum) and the emergence of new settlements in territories of Greek cities or their neighborhoods, other aspects related to the problem of integrating this space in the Roman Empire. The research focused mainly on issues linked to legal statutes of Greek cities in the western Pontus as part of provincial Roman frame. The main research findings are reflected in a paper submitted for publication – Legal statutes of west-Pontic Greek cities in the Roman Empire.

· to prepare a comprehensive study regarding ceramic containers used for the import and export of certain products: olive oil, wine, fish products (Dr. Andrei Opaiţ). The stated project goals were accomplished through participation in excavations and processing of ceramics available in museum storage facilities. Dissemination of the results was made through participation in national and international congresses and symposia. Since these scientific events have already been mentioned earlier in this report, we are going to mention here only the sites and archaeological materials processed: Ibida archaeological site (Slava Rusa), storage facilities of the Eco-Museum Research Institute in Tulcea, the National Museum of Bucharest, the Institute of Archaeology “Vasile Parvan” in Bucharest, the Archaeological Museum of Mangalia. During the work in museums were processed materials from the excavations of Troesmis, Mălăieşti Popeşti, Histria – the ‘Zona Sacră’ area, Ibida, Callatis – Roman baths. The results we obtained allowed us to elaborate a comprehensive study ready for publication – Considerations on the production and consumption of wine and fish products in the west Pontic areas (1st B.C. – 3rd A.D.).

· to make a comprehensive study regarding the production and trade of glass vessels in the Black Sea area in Hellenistic and Roman era (Costel Chiriac & Sever Botan). Due to a number of study visits (funded from sources other than the present project), we managed to complete a good part of the bibliography on the history and archeology of northwestern Pontic space, mainly related to glass vessels found in the Greek colonies from the northern part of the Black Sea. Hand in hand with research activities, we made photographic recordings, technical data processing and drawings of the accessible archaeological material available in the museums in the following counties: Constanţa, Tulcea, Brăila. Our research findings were reflected in the papers presented in several national and international scientific events, as well as in the study on Hellenistic and Roman glassware from Pontus. Between production and import.

· to elaborate a comprehensive study regarding tiles production workshops in the Black Sea in the context of Hellenistic coroplastic and establish the relationship between the Pontic workshops and models of the Aegean world (Iulian Bîrzescu). We made a number of study visits and field trips to museums and museum facilities where tiles from the Greek colonies of the west and south coast of the Black Sea were available: Constanţa, Mangalia, Varna, Balchik, Istanbul, Amasra, Sinop, Samsun, Amasya. The obtained results were presented during national and international symposia and a study ready for publication has been elaborated – Tiles with zoomorphic representations from Greek colonies sanctuaries of the Black Sea area.

· to elaborate a comprehensive study regarding the Pontic colonies relations with the Aegean world as reflected in the sculptural art (Florina Panait Bîrzescu). Our research focused on sculptural art of the Pontic cities, namely the origin and way in which statuary iconographic patterns were spread in the Black Sea area. Studying sculptural representations of deities allowed gaining new data necessary for understanding Pontic cities cults. In this respect, several field trips were undertaken to a number of museums in Romania: Histria, Constanţa and Mangalia (funded from sources other than the present project), as well as to some important museums and archeological sites in Turkey (funded from the current project). The results were presented at the national symposium in Bucharest and will be published as a study – Iconographic models common to representations of deities in the Pontic cities.

· to elaborate a comprehensive study concerning the movement of goods in the western Black Sea basin, as reflected by the “commercial type” seals found in the Greek towns the area in Roman times (1st – 3rd centuries A.D.), since they are relevant to the connections with the micro-Asian world (Costel Chiriac). We analyzed the main sources related to history and archeology of the North-West Pontic area in general and those related to Roman commercial lead seals in particular. The latter is a less studied topic with few research sources addressing this subject. Thus, it was necessary to identify, study and consult the main sources available in some national and foreign libraries in order to develop a broader perspective on the degree to which this category of materials from the Western part of the Roman Empire have been studied. Ultimately, these findings would make possible a comparison with the similar findings in the Ponto-Danubian area. In addition to the above-mentioned activities, we made photographic recordings, technical data processing and drawings of available archaeological material.

· to elaborate a comprehensive study regarding trade relations of the West coast cities in Roman times based on numismatic discoveries (Lucian Munteanu). Thus, we focused on the connections of the west coast Greek cities (Histria, Callatis, Tomis) with the barbarian world (Getic, Thracian, Scythian, Bastarnic) in the Hellenistic period. We managed to create a database that comprises systematized information on coins issued in these centers, metals used to produce them, as well as data on coins found in isolation or in hoards. By analyzing several categories of sources (most of them numismatic, along with archaeological, epigraphic and literary) we managed to identify and define the non-commercial ways in which Greek coins could fall into the hands of the barbarians: tribute (singular or annually), payments foreseen by some treaty of alliance, redemption of the captives, military payments to mercenaries, diplomatic gifts or robberies. Against such a background we studied the complex social, political or religious connotations acquired by some of the coins found in the barbarian environment. Our research findings were presented at several national and international scientific events and made possible the elaboration of a study ready for publication – Connections of west-Pontic Greek cities with barbarian populations in the Hellenistic period. Numismatic evidence.

The successful contribution of George Bilavschi and Diana Stah deserves a special mention. Both offered ongoing assistance to the project Director in issues related to project management. They contributed to the accomplishment of the remaining project objectives and prepared the ground for farther collaboration of team members in larger projects. What we mean here is capitalization  on current project achievements, PN-II-ID-PCE-2011-3-0054, and apply for a H2020 project (SC6 – Europe in a changing world [inclusive, innovative and reflective societies], SC7 – Secure societies [protecting freedom and security of Europe and its citizens], MSCA). At the same time, we focused on the changing dynamics of the European Research Policies and their potential short- and middle-term impact on opportunities to reach future resources for our current research endeavors. At this point, we have already initiated a dialogue with some national and foreign partner institutions on the possibility to implement a European-funded project that could bring the research directions of the current project to a new level. Likewise, we count on a similarly efficient cooperation we have had so far with the administrative staff of the Romanian Academy, the Branch of Iaşi.

To conclude with, we believe that – in full compliance with the objectives for stage 2012 – we managed to make a number of important steps towards achieving the main goal of our project – the publication of a collective work, which would reflect, in a more complex and compelling way than before, the external contacts maintained among the urban Pontic communities. As pointed out in the proposal, such a work would facilitate our future participation in an international dialogue on the Greek polis during Hellenistic and Imperial era. One such dialogue has already been initiated. The best proof in this respect would be the effort made during this stage to organize an International Symposium on “Interconnectivity in the Mediterranean and Pontic World during the Hellenistic and Roman Periods” which is going to take place in Constanta/Romania, on July 8-12, 2013. Sixty researchers from 16 countries in Europe, Asia and North America have already confirmed their participation. The list includes numerous internationally known researchers (see project website for more details).


                                              Project Director,


Dr. Victor Cojocaru

Last Updated on Tuesday, 29 July 2014 07:44



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