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"UKRAINIAN POMPEII" MEDIEVAL KHERSONES REVISITED

10/29/99
LECTURE/SLIDE PRESENTATION

The Ukrainian Museum is offering a series of lectures under the general heading "Recent Archaeological Discoveries: Treasures of Ukraine's Ancient Past." The current lecture in the series features Dr. Olenka Pevny, art historian with the Associate Director's Office for Special Exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, who will speak and show slides on a timely topic with reference to Ukrainian archaeology the excavations at Khersones on the Krym (Crimea) peninsula in Ukraine.

Medieval Khersones: Archaeological Excavations is the title of the lecture, which will be held on Friday, October 29, 1999 at 6:30 PM in the English language and repeated in the Ukrainian language, on Sunday, October 31st at 2:00 PM. The lecture will be held at the Museum, 203 Second Avenue, (between 12th and 13th Streets) New York, NY. Admission is by donations and refreshments will be served following the lecture.

Dr. Pevny received a Ph.D. in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University. Her research is focused on Medieval Eastern Europe, particularly Ukraine, Belarus' and Russia, where she has carried out extensive on-site work. In 1997 Dr. Pevny, as Research Assistant for the Glory of Byzantium exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, managed the participation of Eastern European countries in the exhibition and authored the essay "Kievan Rus", as well as twenty-five entries in the exhibition catalogue.

Chersones
"Ukrainian Pompeii" - Medieval Khersones, Krym (Crimea), Ukraine.

Beginning in January 2000 Dr. Pevny will be a visiting Assistant Professor of Art History at Columbia University and in the following year, a Mellon Post-Doctoral Fellow in the Humanities at Emory University in Atlanta, GA.

The ancient past of the present-day territory of Ukraine has always been of great interest to archaeologists and historians alike throughout the world. This vast expanse of land situated on the crossroads of the Old World between eastern and Western Europe saw the birth and demise of many cultures that left significant traces of their existence testifying to their greatness or folly. Ukraine's independence has opened the doors for Ukrainian American scholars to return to the land of their forefathers and participate in the discovery and study of these various cultures, that in the far distant past played a vital role in the evolution of their heritage.

Dr. Olenka Pevny first took part in archaeological excavations on the site of medieval Khersones within the National Preserve of Khersones Tavriis'kyi, in 1997, then again in 1998. Situated outside the modern city of Sevestopol' on Krym, the Preserve is a major archaeological site of world significance, covering a territory of approximately 1500 acres. Dr. Pevny explained that the Preserve is dedicated to the preservation, maintenance, excavation and study of the remains of the ancient Greek colony of Khersones, which was founded in the 5th

century B.C. It quickly developed into the major city on the Krym peninsula and managed to maintain this role through two millennia, defending itself from such steppe people as the Taurians, the Scythians, the Sarmatians, the Goths, the Huns and the Polovtsi. It continued its existence while incorporated into the Pontic Kingdom, the Roman Empire, and then Byzantium. The city was destroyed by the Golden Horde invasion in the late 14th century A.D.

Although there are numerous ancient and medieval sites along the Black Sea coast, Dr. Pevny went to say, few are of comparable historical or archaeological importance. The archaeological remains of Khersones present a complete picture of the development and life of a Greek town from the Classical through the Medieval period. She pointed out, that an article in the November 25, 1997 New York Times referred to Khersones as the "Ukrainian Pompeii."

In her lecture Dr. Pevny will speak about the medieval remains of Khersones, detailing some of the finds that have been unearthed at various sites since excavations began in 1820, under the patronage of the Russian Tsars. She will also discuss some of the current work being done there by archaeologists of various nationalities other than Ukrainians, such as Polish, Russian, Austrian and American, as well as share her own experiences.

This lecture program is supported in part by a grant from the New York Council for the Humanities.

For further information, please contact the Museum at 212 228-0110; Fax: 212 228-1947; E-mail: UkrMus@aol.com. Also, we invite everyone to visit our web site: www.brama.com/ukrainian_museum.

Museum hours: Wednesday Sunday, 1 5 PM

New York State Council on the Arts

The Museum's operations and programs are funded in part by the New York State Council on the Arts.

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