This in ancient times seems to have formed a group of islands intersected by arms of the Hypanis or Kuban and various sounds now silted up. The whole district was dotted with Greek cities; on the west side, Panticapaeum (Kerch, q.v.), the chief of all, often itself called Bosporus, and Nymphaeum (Eltegen); on the east Phanagoria (Sennaja),Cepi,Hermonassa,Portus Sindicus, Gorgippia (Anapa).
These were mostly settled by Milesians, Panticapaeum in the 7th or early in the 6th century B.C., but Phanagoria (c. 540 B.C.) was a colony of Teos, and Nymphaeum had some connexion with Athens - at least it appears to have been a member of the Delian Confederacy.
Satyrus (431-387), the successor of Spartocus, established his rule over the whole district, adding Nymphaeum to his dominions and laying siege to Theodosia, which was a serious commercial rival by reason of its ice-free port and direct proximity to the cornfields of the eastern Crimea.
Besides the theatres, three temples, an aqueduct and a nymphaeum are noticeable.