Tsarskiy Barrow (Royal Barrow)

Tsarskiy Barrow (Royal Barrow) is one of the most impressive sights in Kerch, the unique memorial of ritual architecture of the forth century ВС. The archaeologist A. B. Ashik excavated it in 1837 and enraptured by its beauty, he called it Tsarskiy Barrow. It was possibly the burial place of Bosporan kings, Leukon I or Paerisades I, it was robbed in ancient times. Early Christians used its burial chamber and the dromos as a refuge during persecutions. They had their secret meetings inside the mound.

The Tatars seemed to be well acquainted with the inner construction of the tomb long ago. They called it «Nar-oba» meaning «the pomegranate burial mound», as the rustic work decorating the dromos walls resembled the grains of this southern fruit. In the middle of the 1860’s, the burial mound was restored and became a guarded sight for tourists. Later on, various stelae, tombstones and several sarcophagi from the Kerch Lapidary Museum were placed along the walls of the dromos and at the entrance into the mound.

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