Phasis - A settlement in Kolchis
Phasis was an ancient and early medieval city on the eastern Black Sea coast, founded in the 7th or 6th century BC as a colony of the Milesian Greeks at the mouth of the eponymous river in Colchis.

Phasis was probably a mixed Hellenic–"barbarian" city, in which the Greek settlers coexisted peacefully with the natives. It seems to have been a vital component of the presumed trade route from India to the Black Sea, attested by the Classical authors Strabo and Pliny. During the Third Mithridatic War, Phasis came under Roman control. It was where the Roman commander-in-chief Pompey, having crossed into Colchis from Iberia, met the legate Servilius, the admiral of his Euxine fleet in 65 BC.

Despite the seemingly numerous references to the location of Phasis in the sources, the exact spot has not yet been identified. The search for the city has a long history, beginning with the French traveler Jean Chardin, who visited Georgia in the 1670s and unsuccessfully tried to find evidence of the ancient Greek polis at the mouth of the Phasis (Rioni) river. The first attempt at a scientific identification, based on an analysis of the Classical and Byzantine authors and his own fieldwork, belongs to the Swiss scholar Frédéric Dubois de Montpéreux, who traveled to the area between 1831 and 1834.

Modern location:

(1) Phasis? c. 425-325 BC
Obverse: Archaic female head (Artemis Dali) right
Reverse: Head of bull right
Ref: SNG BM 1013-1018; Hind 7; HGC 7, 21...