REMAINS OF A FIFTH-CENTURY BYZANTINE FORTRESS (BAGU)

Pseudo-Arrian in the V century AD mentions the fortress of Bagu (IV-V centuries AD), which can be cross-referenced with the fortification located to the South-East of Lazarevskoye, on the very shore of the sea.

From the sea, it is almost invisible behind the steep cliffs. The fortress is located on a raised terrace on the left bank of the Godlik river. It has a triangular shape in the plan, following the conditions of the area. The total length of the perimeter walls is more than 700 m, and their thickness reaches 2 m. Along the cliff to the sea, the walls had long since fallen down.

However, the towers are still well preserved: by three of them in the North and South-East walls. Tower 6 protruded 6 m outwards and 4 m deep into the protected area. Inside it there is a wall 1 m thick, in which there was a narrow passage connecting the rooms formed by this partition. The "Twin" towers of very similar design were a characteristic feature of Roman-Byzantine fortifications in other areas as well.

The fortress stands above the sea at an altitude of 20-25m. The height of the powerful walls reaches almost two meters. The fortress was built of sandstone, slate, and gray limestone.

The scrolls of the V century AD, mention the fortress of Bagu, according to the description, very similar to our Godlik. Its residents were fierce geniokhs – the brutish pirates, in many ways similar to Vikings. Even their ships were shaped like dragonboats. The geniokhs were not only specialized on piracy -the slave trade was also in their area of interest. In antiquity and the middle ages, Bagu fortress was a center of trade in general, and the slave trade in particular. The fortress functioned for a long time and has two historical periods of its use — the Byzantine and Genoese. According to Yu. N. Voronova (Russian archaeologist and explorer of the Caucasus, researcher of prehistoric, ancient and medieval antiquities of Abkhazia and Sochi), these periods date back to the V-VIII and XIV—XV centuries.

The technique used during its construction was the characteristic Roman-Byzantine tradition in masonry —the dual shell wall with brickwork backfilling.

Fragments of ceramics, including "Khazar" dishes, fragments of pythos, pitchers, bowls and other clay products were found on the territory of the fortress. In the Genoese period, an additional wall was installed - with the "herringbone" technique like in Italian fortifications.
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