|12 September 2009
Excavations report from Cyprus
The Cypriot Department of Antiquities announced the completion of the 2009 Prastion-Mesorotsos project that took place from 22 June to 30 July, and involved investigation of the stratified remains of Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Late Antique and Medieval archaeology. Excavations were carried out in eight areas across the circa 10 hectare site in the Pafos district. In total, over 100m2 were exposed and architecture and features from multiple periods were revealed.
This first season of excavation has confirmed the presence of deeply stratified (at present 1.5m+) occupation at the site, which may eventually shed light on a series of important social changes that occurred, for instance the transition from the Neolithic into the Chalcolithic period. Particularly encouraging was the presence of Middle Cypriot Bronze Age architecture, which is situated in the same location where Early Cypriot Bronze Age and Late Chalcolithic materials are being found, which could eventually lead to a stratified sequence throughout these important periods. Equally important is the apparent abandonment of the site in the Middle Cypriot III period, which coincides with the burgeoning importance of Palaipafos (Kouklia) as a regional centre of western Cyprus. Understanding and dating the abandonment of Prastion-Mesorotsos could tell us when and why Palaipafos came to be such an important place in the Late Bronze Age.
After the tumultuous end of the Late Bronze Age, the site of Prastion-Mesorotsos was re-occupied in the Iron Age and continued to be the focus of inhabitation and activity until fairly recently, as shown by the excavation of substantial Medieval remains, and a large threshing floor. Continued excavation at the site may provide valuable information on social changes through time, and provide an important perspective on the changing ways of life in western Cyprus.
Source: Republic of Cyprus, Ministry of Interior (9 September 2009)
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