Izvestiya, Atmospheric and Oceanic Physics

, Volume 54, Issue 8, pp 879–897 | Cite as

Evidences of Seismogenic Destruction of Tile Kiln at the Medieval Pottery Production Center in Arroyo of the Suatkan Spring in Bakhchisarai district, Crimea

  • D. A. MoiseevEmail author
  • A. M. KorzhenkovEmail author
  • A. N. OvsyuchenkoEmail author


The Suatkan pottery center was located in the mountainous region of Crimea in the proximity of one of the medieval centers of economic and political life in this region formed around Mangup and Eski-Kermen fortresses. This center specialized in ceramic building materials, i.e., roof tiles. An archeological excavation of Suatkan has recovered two pottery kilns in the territory of the production center; one of them (kiln 12) has specific deformations caused by seismic effect. It features systematic southward-oriented failures of arch structural elements of its firing chamber and rotations of parts of a partition lining of its heating chamber. Our investigations revealed that kiln 12 was destroyed as a result of a strong earthquake. The seismic nature of the kiln destruction is supported by a dissimilarity in deformations to other known medieval kilns from the Southwestern Crimea (in Chersonesus, on the outskirts of the Mangup and Bakla fortresses, and in the area of Sudak) and to earlier kiln 10 of the Suatkan center unearthed further down the slope, which, by the time kiln 12 was in operation and destroyed had been completely graded to the surrounding terrain under heavy destruction layers. Regretfully, the precise timing of the destruction of kiln 12 cannot be determined in the context of the archeological find; it can only be approximated as the beginning of the 10th century to the middle of the 13th century. Provided that the maximum seismic vibrations that led to its destruction propagated from the south-southeast, that is, from side of the South Crimean seismogenic zone, the most likely earthquake to have caused this destruction appears to be an event that occurred in the early years of the 11th century. The local intensity of seismic shakings was I = VII–VIII degrees on the MSK-64 scale.


pottery kiln roof tile Suatkan pottery production center Crimea earthquake seismic deformations kinematic indicators Medieval Period 



We thank A.I. Aibabin and I.A. Zavadskaya for the opportunity to familiarize ourselves with the collection from excavation of the Eski-Kermen “cave town.”


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Copyright information

© Pleiades Publishing, Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Bakhchisarai Historical, Cultural, and Archeological Museum–ReserveBakhchisaraiRussia
  2. 2.Schmidt Institute of Physics of the Earth, Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia

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