Ukrainian Soldiers Discovered a Trove of Ancient Greek Urns While Digging Trenches in Odessa

The ancient amphorae were transferred to a museum.

Soldiers discovered ancient amphorae in Odessa, Ukraine. Photo courtesy of the 126th Territorial Defense.

Ukrainian soldiers discovered a trove of ancient Greek urns in Odessa while preparing military fortifications against the Russian invasion.

The Ukrainian 126th Territorial Defense was digging trenches in the Black Sea port city when members unearthed a cache of 2,500-year-old amphorae, ancient ceramic vessels with narrow necks that were used for storing and transporting liquids and dry goods.

The unit announced the find, which dated to the city’s time as a Roman settlement called Odessus, on Facebook. Despite the ongoing warfare, which prevents formal archaeological excavations of the site at this time, the soldiers were able to transport the artifacts to the Odessa Archaeological Museum.

“Ukrainian soldiers dug trenches and found ancient amphorae. They have already been transferred to the museum,” said Yana Suporovska, a journalist from Kyiv, as reported by Heritage Daily. “We are not Russians; we preserve our history.”

Many Ukrainian cultural sites have become casualties of Russian aggression since the invasion began on February 24. At least 127 sites of cultural importance  have been damaged to date, according to UNESCO. Ukraine President Volodymyr Zelensky has said the number is even higher, at upwards of 200.

That includes the house museum dedicated to 18th-century Ukrainian poet and philosopher Hryhorii Skovoroda in Skovorodynivka, outside the city of Kharkiv, hit during bombing on May 7.

Russia has also destroyed the Kuindzhi Art Museum in Mariupol, honoring local artist Arkhip Kuindzhi, and a museum in Ivankiv dedicated to the Ukrainian folk artist Maria Prymachenko.

Ukrainian officials have also accused Russian forces of looting a collection of 2,300-year-old Scythian gold artifacts from the local history museum in the city of Melitopol.

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