Dig Sites

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Ambelikou-Aletri . Apliki-Karamallos . Enkomi Pottery . Idalion . Karmi . Phoenician Kition . Phoenician Necropolis - Kition . Kourion . Maroni-Tsaroukakas . Phlamoudi-Melissa . Souskiou-Vathyrkakas . Bellepais-Vounous


Ambelikou-Aletri (Anne-E. Dunn-Vatori, 2004)

Final Report on Ambelikou-Aletri,Cyprus

In 1942, the Department of Antiquities, carried out a number of trial excavations in the locality of Aletri west of the Ambelikou mine shafts, in the northern foothills of the Trodoos Massif. The most important evidence revealed by this early Middle Cypriote settlement is in connection with ancient copper mining in Cyprus. The excavations have brought to light a crucible with copper deposit, terracotta and stone moulds for copper objects, and most important of all, a copper workshop where slag was collected. In 1945, P. Dikaios, Director of the Department of Antiquities, published an account ("Archaeology in Cyprus, 1939-45", in Journal of Hellenic Studies, Vol. LXV, p. 104) but the report in extenso remains unpublished. Mining activities have been discovered in the local mines. The site and the mines are now north of the "Green Line", in a non-accessible Turkish military area. The finds (about 200 objects) from Ambelikou-Aletri are stored in the Cyprus Museum (Nicosia). In 1983, Dr. R. Merrillees undertook basic research on this site in order to produce a definitive account of the excavations. He published a preliminary report with the topography of the site, the history of the dig and the discoveries of the mines in the annual report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus (1984). Dr. R. Merrillees studied the material found at the site and instructed some of the finds to specialists (bones, stone artefacts, items connected with metal working). He made the documentation about the dig and the results of the different studies of the material available to the main applicant in order for her to prepare the final report.

Apliki-Karamallos (James D. Muhly & Barbara kling, 1997)

The Apliki--Karamallos Publication Project: View Publication

This site, excavated in 1938 and 1939 by Joan duPlat Taylor (1952), is the only known primary center for the mining and smelting of copper in the Late Bronze Age, a time when Cyprus was a primary supplier of this vital metal to the eastern Mediterranean. In the context of greatly expanded knowledge of the Late Cypriot Bronze Age that has resulted from numerous excavations and studies since Taylor's work at Apliki, the present study comprises a reassessment of the site, the mining activities occurring there, and its place in the political and economic organization of Late Bronze Age Cyprus.

Enkomi Pottery (Penelope A. Mountjoy, 2010)

Local Mycenaean IIIC Pottery in Cyprus and the South Levant Overview

My project began as an attempt to ascertain whether the unidentified IIIC1a phase, which comprises the earliest IIIC pottery in Cyprus, is really missing or whether it is represented by material from different sites, which has not been recognised. My research has shown the latter to be the case. The definition of this pottery phase in Cyprus not only throws light on the movement of peoples after the collapse of the palace economies on the Greek Mainland, but also gives insights into the origins of Philistine pottery. The finer definition of the subsequent phases, that is IIIC Early, Middle and Late, has allowed island-wide events in the LC IIIA period, which covers about a hundred years, to be more accurately correlated, thus contributing to the history of the island in this phase.

Idalion (Michael O. Sugerman, 2005)

American Expedition to Idalion III

The city of Idalion, Cyprus, was one of the most important cities in the ancient eastern Mediterranean. This center of commerce was founded at the end of the Late Bronze Age, in the 13th century BC, and continued to thrive for more than a thousand years. It is critical that the results of the Expedition's fieldwork be published now; current archaeological research in Idalion and the broader region is flourishing and leading to a better understanding of regional cultural development. The goals of this project are (1) to bring together the Expedition's records and notes, and (2) to conduct a detailed analysis of the collections from the project that are stored in the Larnaca Museum.

Karmi (Jennifer Webb, 2008)

Karmi: The Bronze Age Cemeteries at Palealona and Lapatsa in Cyprus. Excavations by J.R.B Stewart: View Publication

The Early and Middle Cypriot Bronze Age cemeteries at Lapatsa and Palealona are located at 35º19' North, 33º15' East, near the modern village of Karmi in the foothills of the Pentedaktylos range overlooking the narrow coastal plain on the north coast of Cyprus. They lie within several kilometers of major contemporary cemeteries at Bellapais Vounous and Lapithos Vrysi tou Barba, in part of the island which has been inaccessible to archaeologists since the Turkish invasion of 1974. Shortly before his death in 1962, Professor J.R.B. Stewart undertook excavations at these sites as part of a long-term program of research on the Early and Middle Cypriot periods. He cleared 13 dromoi and 15 chambers at Lapatsa and 14 dromoi and 19 chambers at Palealona. The material recovered ranges in date from Early Cypriot I to Middle Cypriot II. It includes over 900 ceramic vessels, figurines and other items in Red Polished, Black Polished and White Painted wares, 39 metal tools and weapons and skeletal remains. The Karmi sites are not only of significance for these unique features but also for the size and chronological range of their assemblages, which provide important evidence for ceramic production in one of the most densely settled and dynamic regions of the island in the late third and early second millennia BCE. Few undisturbed cemeteries remain on the island and intact assemblages are of considerable importance in understanding mortuary practices. The fact that Karmi lies within the occupied part of Cyprus, which is likely to remain inaccessible for years to come, provides an added imperative for the publication of existing assemblages from this region.

Phoenician Kition (Vassos Karageorghis, 2000)

Excavations at Kition VI: The Phoenician and Later Levels: View Publication

The importance of the excavations at Kition is by now well known. The Phoenician levels have provided architectural remains of unique significance (including the sacred area and workshops) as well as inscriptions, ceramics, bronzes, faiences, jewellery etc., which constitute one of the major assemblages of Phoenician material in the Mediterranean. Volume VI will consist of four fascicules:
a) one fascicule for the architecture
b) one fascicule for the objects, chronology and general conclusions
c) one fascicule of -plates for the objects
d) one fascicule of plates and sections for the architecture.
There will be several appendices which will be written by specialists.

Phoenician Necropolis - Kition (Sophocles Hadjisavvas, 2004)

The Phoenician Period Necropolis of Kition

The Phoenician period cemetery of Kition is no doubt the most extensively investigated necropolis of Cyprus in spite of the fact that very little is published thus far. The Archaic and Classical period cemetery, which is the focus of our investigation, occupies a number of eminences rising from the flat ground mostly to the north and west of the city (Fig. 1). In 1979 for the first time large scale excavations were undertaken at the locality of Mnimata in relation with a proposed refugee settlement. Our excavations resulted in the discovery of 63 tombs ranging in date from Cypro-Archaic to the Hellenistic period. Most of the tombs, however, were dated to the 4th century B.C.E. Another part of the Cypro-Classical necropolis was excavated in 1984 and 1985 at the locality of Agios Prodromos, in connection with the erection of a new church. This excavations resulted in the discovery of 23 more tombs Amongst the most important finds from the site of Mnimata (Agio.s Georghios since 1979) are five stelai bearing Phoenician inscriptions. After the initial publication of these inscriptions a lively discussion commenced owing to the uncertainties of Semitic epigraphy. Nevertheless what was established on the base of these inscriptions was the peaceful coexistance between different ethnic groups residing at Kition.

Kourion (David W. Rupp, 2004)

The Polychrome Floor Mosaics, Opus Sectile Floors and Architecture of the Eustolios Complex at Kourion, Cyprus

Near the southeastern end of the akropolis of the Early Hellenistic through Early Byzantine city of Kourion, on the south coast of Cyprus, a monumental peristyle courtyard complex with associated bath suite was built in the late 360s A.D., during the reign of the Emperor Valens. This building was erected over the ruins of an earlier late Hellenistic period palatial private residence after the great earthquake of A.D. 365 that struck the entire eastern Mediterranean. Severe earthquakes in the late 4th century A.D. caused extensive damage to the new complex and its mosaic floors. Fragments from these floors were recovered in the fill in the course of the excavation. Late in the reign of the Emperor Theodosius II (A.D. 408-450) the complex was rebuilt in a major reconstruction effort and new mosaic and opus sectile floors were laid. The complex, donated by a certain Eustolios, may have served as a public guesthouse for the city rather than as a private residence. A limited amount of remodeling of the complex and its floors was executed during or immediately after the reign of the Emperor Leo I (A.D. 457-474). The destructive Arab raids in the mid-7th century A.D. forced the abandonment of the city along with the Eustolios Complex.

Maroni-Tsaroukakas (Sturt W. Manning, 2003)

Maroni Tsaroukkas: Elements of a Late Bronze Age Polity in Southern Cyprus

Maroni Tsaroukkas (and associated toponyms Aspres, Kapsaloudhia and Vournes) is one of the set of large Late Cypriot coastal sites-polities that emerge on Cyprus in the Late Cypriot I-IIC periods, c.1650-1200BC. It is a c.35ha total site. Various elite tombs and the small areas comprising the elite centres at a number of these Late Cypriot centres have been studied and are reasonably well known – including the Maroni elite centre at Vournes (not part of this project – excavations 1981-1988 by Gerald Cadogan). But little is know about the constitution of the majority of these settlements and especially their landscape context. The Tsaroukkas project thus deliberately sought instead to investigate the overall site – its anatomy – and its regional context and development. It further specifically sought to explore utilitarian areas of the site close to the sea where trade and craft-production linked to international maritime trade might have occurred – since it has long been hypothesised that such trade was important to the development of the major Late Cypriot sites. Thus the project concentrated on providing a unique perspective on Late Cypriot society, economy, and politics and, for the first time, on providing a holistic regional context in which to study the role and development of a major Late Cypriot centre.

Phlamoudi-Melissa (Joanna S. Smith, 2002)

Phlamoudhi-Melissa, Cyprus: Ceramic Production, Adaptation, and Internationalism: View Publication

At Columbia University lie the remains of Phlamoudhi-Melissa (35° 24" north, 33° 52" east), a late Middle to Late Bronze Age (ca. 1700-1200 BC) settlement site on Cyprus. The late Professor Edith Porada brought the records and finds from her excavations there to the campus in the early 1970s. The site has remained unpublished. In 2000, I began to organize for the study and publication of this excavation, the only Late Bronze Age habitation site ever excavated north of the Kyrenia mountain range. This proposal is for partial funds to support a month-long study season at Columbia University in June 2002. This study season would complete the analysis of ceramics and small finds from the site housed at Columbia. The expected date for submitting a completed manuscript for publication is 2004. Phlamoudhi-Melissa offers an exciting new view into second millennium BC Cyprus and its significance vis-a-vis the Levant and the eastern Mediterranean as a whole because of its ceramic assemblage. The ceramics are of interest not only for their international profile and local wares, but also because of the evidence from the site for ceramic production. The mixing of wares and forms from the Levant to the Aegean at Phlamoudhi-Melissa offers new insight into the processes of experimentation, adaptation, invention, and tradition that are important for understanding the complex variety of Late Bronze Age ceramics across the Mediterranean. When published, Phlamoudhi-Melissa will be of importance to scholars of the eastern Mediterranean who are interested in the making of pottery and the significance of ceramics for issues of commodity use, chronology, and cultural interaction.

Souskiou-Vathyrkakas (Edgar Peltenburg, 2002)

The Chalcolithic Cemetery of SouskiouVathyrkakas, Cyprus. Results of the Investigations of Four Missions, from 1951 to 1997: View Publication

Souskiou ( 34° 44' North 32° 35' East), located in the hills immediately behind the Temple of Aphrodite at Palaepaphos, is a unique prehistoric site in Cyprus. It is the only known cemetery of the chalcolithic period (c. 3800-2400 BCE), a time when the dead were normally buried inside villages, and it is extraordinarily rich in terms of stylised human representations, bizarre zoomorphic vessels, necklaces of dentalium shells and pendants, and metalwork. In spite of its acknowledged special status and terminated fieldwork, there is no final report. Results of extensive scientific excavations have only appeared in preliminary notes, and this significant site unfortunately remains best known from objects in private collections (Larnaca, Famagusta, Nicosia, Los Angeles).

Bellepais-Vounous (Anne-E. Dunn-Vaturi, 1999)

Vounous: C.F.A. Schaeffer's Excavations in 1933, Tombs 49-79. Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology Vol. CXXX: View Publication

Vounous is the name of a low hill overlooking the sea on the north coast of Cyprus. It is situated one and a half miles east of the Abbey of Bellapais, which is one of the chief tourist attractions of the island. The site, located in the northern foothills of the Kyrenia range, is a large prehistoric Bronze Age cemetery. Vounous was initially mentioned by Professor Gjerstad under the heading Kasafani. Its tombs were looted in the early 1930's and the Department of Antiquities was alerted of the sale of Red Polished vases at Kyrenia. Porphyros Dikaios, Curator of the Cyprus Museum, undertook the rescue excavations at Vounous in 1931-1932. P. Dikaios uncovered Tombs 1 to 48 in the western part of the site. In June 1933, Claude F. A. Schaeffer, representing the National Museums of France, excavated Tombs 49 to 79 in the same area, in collaboration with P. Dikaios (Fig. 2).4 An expedition of the British School at Athens, directed by James R. Stewart, continued the excavations in 1937-1938. Tombs 80 to 164 were uncovered at both sites A and B.5 All of them conducted unsuccessful field research around the site in order to find a settlement connected to the necropolis.

The Shelby White and Leon Levy Program for Archaeological Publications
Harvard University, The Semitic Museum. 6 Divinity Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138
Telephone: (617) 495-9317 | Fax: (617) 496-8904 | Email: whitelev@fas.harvard.edu