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    BRAMA News and Community Press

    BRAMA, Sep 15, 2006, 1:00 am ET

    Managing the Archaeological Heritage at the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos: Problems and Perspectives

    Lecture and slideshow
    Sunday, October 1, 2006, 2 p.m.

    RSVP recommended: or 212-228-0110.

    Photo by Chris Williams

    New York, NY — Managing the Archaeological Heritage at the National Preserve of Tauric Chersonesos: Problems and Perspectives, a lecture and slideshow by Taissa Bushnell of the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas, will be presented at The Ukrainian Museum on Sunday, October 1, 2006, at 2 p.m. The event is co-sponsored by Branch 113 of the Ukrainian National Women's League of America.

    Evidence of the far-reaching influence of ancient Hellenic civilization has been preserved for nearly 2000 years in Chersonesos, an archaeological site on the Black Sea coast of modern-day Ukraine. The advance of urban development, coupled with low levels of financing for programs to safeguard historic properties, has put Chersonesos and similar excavation sites at great risk. Ms. Bushnell, Project Coordinator for cultural heritage management at Chersonesos, argues that increased funding must work in tandem with more sophisticated management methods if archaeological sites are to be preserved for future generations. Her lecture will be supplemented by an extensive slideshow that will acquaint the audience with the extraordinary treasures discovered at Chersonesos and provide an intimate view of the highly prized archaeological landmark.

    The defensive walls of Chersonesos, begun in the 4th century B.C., are the largest standing monument of Classical Antiquity on the Black Sea. The remains of entire city blocks, with residential and public buildings dating from the city's earliest Greek period to its latest Byzantine period, enable archaeologists to study ancient life in all its aspects. Early Hellenic grave monuments found at Chersonesos demonstrate some of the finest examples of Greek painting, while the site's museum boasts one of the best collections of Byzantine ceramics in the world.

    Unofficially named the "Ukrainian Pompeii" - a testament to its survival over the ages - Chersonesos' most unique characteristic is its chora, or ancient agricultural territory, which has survived relatively undamaged. Nowhere else in the classical world has an ancient chora (the economic backbone of the polis, or city-state of ancient Greece) been so well documented. Here one can see the remains of Greek and medieval farmhouses, planting walls, wine presses, division walls, and roads - in effect the entire agricultural system of the ancient Greek population. 

    Listed on the World Monuments Fund Watch List of 100 Most Endangered Monuments on three separate occasions, Chersonesos is currently on Ukraine's Tentative List of sites to be nominated to UNESCO's World Heritage List. According to Ms. Bushnell, the site is facing "unprecedented threats. What time, military conflicts, and even modern wars could not do, private builders and a lack of funding and proper management are doing. The ancient chora is slowly disappearing because of modern urban encroachment."

    The Ukrainian Museum is pleased to host this informative and colorfully illustrated presentation about an ancient Greek outpost located in modern Ukraine. The value of Chersonesos to world history and the study of archaeology cannot be overestimated; the importance of preserving this significant treasure for posterity must not be overlooked.

    About the Lecturer

    Taissa Bushnell is Project Coordinator for cultural heritage management at Chersonesos for the Institute of Classical Archaeology at the University of Texas at Austin. She is also the Executive Director of "Pidtrymka Chersonesu" (Support for Chersonesos), a non-profit organization founded by the Institute of Classical Archaeology in 2001 in Sevastopol to oversee its projects.

    About The Ukrainian Museum

    Now in its 30th year, The Ukrainian Museum's mission is to preserve, interpret, and present the rich cultural heritage of the Ukrainian people. The Museum shares the scope and diversity of Ukrainian culture with the public through exhibitions, research and documentation, educational programs, publications, and community-related events. The Museum was founded in 1976 by the Ukrainian National Women's League of America (UNWLA).

    About UNWLA Branch 113

    The members of Branch 113 of the UNWLA, the founding organization of the Ukrainian Museum, have been friends and supporters of the institution for the past twenty years. During that time they have organized numerous events to benefit the Museum, and some members of the Branch have served on the Museum's Board of Trustees.

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