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Trip Planner Europe  /  Crimea  /  Kerch Peninsula  /  Kerch

Kerch

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Kerch is a city of regional significance on the Kerch Peninsula in the east of the Crimea. Population:Founded 2,600 years ago as an ancient Greek colony, Kerch is considered to be one of the most ancient cities in Crimea. The city experienced rapid growth starting in the 1920s and was the site of a major battle during World War II.Today, it is one of the largest cities in Crimea and is among the republic's most important industrial, transport and tourist centres.HistoryAncient timesArcheological digs at Mayak village near the city ascertained that the area had already been inhabited in 17th–15th centuries BC.Kerch as a city starts its history in 7th century BC, when Greek colonists from Miletus founded a city-state named Panticapaeum on Mount Mithridat near the mouth of the Melek-Chesme river. Panticapaeum subdued nearby cities and by 480 BC became a capital of the Kingdom of Bosporus. Later, during the rule of Mithradates VI Eupator, Panticapaeum for a short period of time became the capital of the much more powerful and extensive Kingdom of Pontus.The city was located at the intersection of trade routes between the steppe and Europe. This caused it to grow rapidly. The city's main exports were grain and salted fish, wine-making was also common. Panticapaeum minted its own coins. According to extant documents the Melek-Chesme river (small and shallow nowadays) was navigable in Bosporan times, and sea galleys were able to enter the river. A large portion of the city's population was ethnically Scythian, later Sarmatian, as the large royal barrow (Kurgan) at Kul-Oba testifies.
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