Dugout Construction of Greek Colonization Period in the Lower Bug Region: Historiography of the Problem
The construction of deepen dwelling, utility, industrial and religious structures of the period of Greek colonization in the Northern Black Sea region has become a phenomenon of ancient architectural tradition. The largest number of such complexes has currently been investigated so far on the territory of the Lower Buh region once inhabited by Hellenes.
The history of the scientific study of the deepen structures of the ancient buildings of the Lower Buh region of the archaic period can be traced back to more than a century. All this period could be divided into three stages: the initial stage of a professional approach to the study of deepen structures and the archaeological fixation of the first complexes, which lasted from the beginning of the 20th century until the 1940's; the stage of the in-depth study of dugouts and semi-dugouts, due to their massive discovery at archaeological sites of the Lower Buh region, which lasted until the 1980's; the stage of in-depth generalizing works within certain regions and sites, sharp debates on various aspects of dugouts construction, first of all, its ethnic interpretation, the explanation of the phenomenon of dugout construction, further enlargement of the source base, lasting till the present moment.
The first attempts of archaeological fixation and scientific interpretation of deepen structures were made at the beginning of the 20th century and were based on the materials of the Berezan settlement. Somewhat later, such structures were found in Olbia, but due to the limited source base, their interpretation appeared to be erroneous.
After the massive discovery of dugouts and semi-dugouts on Berezan, in Olbia and settlements of the countryside, a number of researches devoted to the general characterization, reconstruction and interpretation of separate structures and their groups appeared. Due to non-typical characteristics of those structures for the ancient constructing, there was a discussion on their ethnicity. The researchers polarised into two camps: some contended that the Hellenic colonists lived in the dugout dwelling at the initial stage of the region occupation, while others attributed the constructing of those structures to local barbaric population.
Since the 1980s, new approaches to the classification and interpretation of deepen structures have begun to be developed, and a fundamental methodological basis for studying dugout construction has appeared. In addition, the discussion on ethnic interpretation has risen on a qualitatively new level; considerable efforts of researchers have been made in the attempt to explain the phenomenon of deepen construction, both in the Lower Buh region and in the Northern Black Sea region in general.
Today, a sufficiently large source base and a great number of discussion issues raise the need for a thorough comprehensive study of the dugout construction of the Lower Buh region with all the abilities of modern science.