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4 July 2011
Late Bronze Age fortress uncovered in Cyprus

Recent findings suggest that an ancient Cypriot city was well protected from outside threats. Gisela Walberg, professor of Aegean prehistory in the department of Classics at the University of Cincinnati, has neen working since 2001 to uncover the Bronze Age city of Bamboula. Bamboula was an important trading centre between the Middle East, Greece and Egypt and was situated cose to the Troodos Mountains, a source of copper, as well as a river that would have been used to transport mined materials.
     Walberg's latest research has revealed the remnants of a late Bronze Age fortress (1500-750 BCE) that may have functioned as protection for the unfortified urban economic centre situated further inland. "It's quite clear that it is a fortress because of the widths and strengths of the walls. No house wall from that period would have that strength. That would have been totally unnecessary," said Walberg, "And it is on a separate plateau, which has a wonderful location you can look north to the mountains or over the river, and you can see the Mediterranean to the south - so you can see whoever is approaching," she added.
     Within the fortress were the remnants of a staircase leading to a destroyed tower-like structure. According to Walberg, the staircase seems to have been broken in a violent catastrophe, characteristic of this period in Cypriot history. Little is known about this period, apart from that it was a time of major social upheavel and many cemeteries contain what some scholars have described as mass burials.
     Close to the findings is another older site and upriver exists the remains of a large economic centre called Alassa. "Our find, the fortress, fills the gap in time in between this early settlement and the very big, important economic center. It probably was the center, the core, from which urbanization began in the area," Walberg said. The findings were presented by Walberg at the annual workshop of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Center in Nicosia, Cyprus, on 25 June 2011.

Edited from ScienceDaily (20 June 2011)

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