The city of Athenai (Ἀθῆναι, modern Pazar, Turkey), in some contexts referred to as Pontic Athens, situated on the Pontic shore about halfway between Trapezus (modern Trabzon, Turkey) and Bathys Limen (modern Batumi, Georgia).
The settlement was testified by classical and medieval authors including Arrian, Procopius, and Stephanos Byzantinos; the origin of its name, however, was less clear. Procopius wrote in Wars (VIII, ii, 10-11) that:
And there is a certain village there named Athenae, not, as some suppose, because colonists from Athens settled there, but because a certain woman named Athenaea in early times ruled over the land, and the tomb of this woman is there even to my day.
The Byzantine Monuments and Topography of the Pontos (Dumbarton Oaks, 1985) mentions another interpretation (p. 335-6):
In fact, as Allen points out, Athenai may well be derived, like so many place names of this area which begin with A-, from a Laz word - in this case a word meaning "the place where there is shade." There is indeed another medieval site called Aténi in Georgia proper. By the same token, Rhizaion may be "the place where people (or soldiers) meet," and Mapavri suggests "leafy."
Some sources, such as an article found on Turkish Wikipedia, also suggest a Milesian foundation, but so far I've found no textual references in support of this theory (although it is worth pointing out that this was historically possible given the strong presence of Milesians in the region). Additionally, settlements along the Pontic coast were frequently relocated during Hellenistic period, and population exchanges were not uncommon. So far, no conclusive evidences for a Milesian origin have been discovered.
I would like to know if any new research has been done on this topic, and what - if any connections the site had with Athens, either directly or indirectly. Much thanks in advance.