Tanais, (Greek Τάναϊς) is the ancient name for the River Don in Russia. In antiquity, it was also the name of the city situated in the Don river delta that reaches into the northeasternmost part of the Sea of Azov, which the Greeks called Lake Maeotis. The site of ancient Tanais is situated about 30 km west of modern Rostov on Don.

The central city site lies on a plateau with a difference up to 20m in elevation in the south. It is bordered by a natural valley on the east, and an artificial ditch on the west.

History of Tanais

The site of Tanais was occupied long before the Miletans founded an emporium there. A necropolis of burial mounds, over 300 of them, near the ancient city show that the site had already been occupied since the Bronze Age, and that mound burials were carried on through Greek and into even Roman times.

Greek traders were meeting nomads in the district as early as the 7th century BC without a formal, permanent settlement, apparently. Greek colonies had two kinds of origins, apoikiai of citizens from the mother city-state, and emporia, which were strictly trading stations. Founded late, in the 3rd century BC, by merchant adventurers from

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