the lower stage of the Pliocene series of the Black Sea and Caspian basins, represented by limestones, clays, and sands with Cardiidae and Dreissenidae. The term “Pontian stage” was proposed by the Russian geologist N. P. Barbot de Marni in 1869. The stratotypic cross section of the Pontian stage is the coquinas in the vicinity of Odessa. The sediments of the Pontian stage were deposited in a body of water isolated from the ocean; this body stretched from the Balkans in the west to Transcaspia in the east. In Lower Pontian times the Black Sea basin was connected with the Pannonian basin in what is today Hungary. At the end of the Lower Pontian the connection between the Black Sea and Caspian basins disappeared.
Sawn coquina from the Pontian stage is used as a building material.