Russians destroy UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Ukraine

July 2,2024 784
Russians destroy UNESCO World Heritage Site in southern Ukraine

The Russians in occupied Crimea have partially destroyed Chersonesos, an ancient Greek settlement in the Northern Black Sea region, reported Evelina Kravchenko, Senior Researcher at the Institute of Archaeology of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine, according to Suspilne Kultura.

Chersonesos and its chora occupy nearly the entire territory of Sevastopol. The Chersonese archaeological site, the central part of the complex, remains standing. However, the occupiers significantly damaged a section of the monument located near Sevastopol under old military bases.

“Under international law, Russian archaeologists were supposed to annex this area to the reserve, conduct no research there, and simply preserve it. Instead, they brought construction equipment, excavators, and bulldozers, started stripping away the cultural layer, loading it directly into dump trucks, and simply dumping it in landfills,” explained Kravchenko.

In 2013, Chersonesos was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. “Chersonesos Taurica is one of the few polises that is almost perfectly constructed. It preserves the planning according to the system of the ancient Greek architect and philosopher Hippodamus of Miletus, used as early as the mid-4th century BC. This city planning existed there for 2,000 years almost unchanged. The city only expanded without changing its layout. This is an absolutely unique situation in the history of urban planning,” said Kravchenko.

The Russians erected a new building called “New Chersonesos” on the site of the monument. The archaeological park covers old finds, and a series of excavated objects have gradually been relocated and rebuilt elsewhere. The occupiers also removed a significant portion of the discovered artifacts: frescoes, pottery, household items, and icons.

Cover: Shutterstock

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