On to less controversial and gory places… we just made a cursory stop at Panorama, viewing the photos outside, and the grounds. Medals and memoriabilia for sale Khersones is known as an ancient Greek colony founded approximately 2,500 years ago in the southwestern part of Crimea. The ancient city is located on the shore of the Black Sea, at the outskirts of Sevastopol, on the Crimean Peninsula of Ukraine. It has been nicknamed the “Ukrainian Pompeii” and “Russian Troy”. The name “Khersones” in Greek means “peninsula”, and aptly describes the site on which the colony was established. During much of the classical period it was a democracy. As time passed the government grew more oligarchic. A form of oath sworn by all the citizens since the 3rd century BC has survived to the present day. In the late 2nd century BCE it became a dependency of the Bosporan Kingdom. It was subject to Rome from the middle of the 1st century BCE until the 370s CE, when it was captured by the Huns. It became a Byzantine possession during the Early Middle Ages, and withstood a siege by the Götürks in 581. Byzantine rule was slight: there was a small imperial garrison more for the town's protection than for its control. It was useful to Byzantium in two ways: as an observation point to watch the barbarian tribes, and its isolation made it a popular place of exile for those who angered the Roman and later Byzantine governments. According to some historians, it was the residence of a Khazar governor in the late 800s. Khersonnes remained in Byzantine hands until the 980s. It later became dependent on the Trebizond Empire, and then fell under Genoese control in the early 1200s. In 1299, the town was sacked by the armies of Nogai Khan. A century later it was destroyed by Edigu and was permanently abandoned. The largest portion of Khersonnes is “Chora”, several square kilometers of ancient but now barren farmland, with remains of wine presses and defensive towers. According to archaeologists, the evidence suggests that the locals were paid to do the farm work instead of being enslaved. The excavated tombstones hint at burial practices that were different from the Greek ones. Each stone marks the tomb of an individual, instead of whole families. In over half of the tombs archaeologists have found have bones of children. Burned remnants suggest that the city was plundered and destroyed.Not all that long ago, many fragments containing Hebrew writing were found on the beach, as well as stones with menorahs on them. The basilica was probably built in the 6th century – on the site of an ancient synagogue. Khersonnes used to be the image on the Ukrainian “one hryvna” banknote. Shortly after the floor of the basilica was excavated and an earlier floor of an ancient synagogue was found, it was removed. The floor is very interesting, in that it is identical to those found in the very first synagogues in the land of Israel, (i.e. the floor of the Shalom al Yisrael synagogue in Jericho [bennypowersisraeltours.com],) dating back to the destruction of the Holy Temples. Photo of a stone in Khersonnes, with Hebrew letters in the center. I wasn't able to change the description I'd written above – the letters of an older Hebrew script are not only in the center, but all over the stone.The old mosaic floor of the basilica had this design – a menorah in the center, palm branch (lulav) on the left, and ram's horn (shofar) on the right. Many depictions of menorahs and a great deal of stoned with Hebrew letters were found on the site. A great deal of the land is covered in vineyards On one side we are flanked by mountains… …on the other, the sea These are the views I love, with the jagged coastline mountains and the sea Yalta, here we come!