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26 September 2016
Significant Bronze age burial find in Cyprus

A team of archaeologists from Sweden's University of Gothenburg have been carrying out excavations and research in Cyprus for the last seven years. This season they have made a substantial discovery near to the site of the Bronze Age city of Hala Sultan Tekke.
     Following a geophysical survey of a farmer's fields, several pits were revealed approximately two metres below the surface. Whilst most proved to be the site of wells, one image, approximately 4 metres x 3 metres turned out to be that of a family tomb, with the remains of 8 children and 9 adults.
     Whilst this find in itself was interesting, what was really getting the team excited was the discovery of the nearby offerings pit. In this they found objects with origins as far away as Greece, Crete, Turkey, Syria and Egypt. This was obviously the burial site of a wealthy and influential family but, intriguingly, it was not located within the walls of the city but nearby, in what must have been an even older part of the city which has yet to be excavated.
     So far they have catalogued and identified over 140 complete ceramic vessels with stunning decoration, and amongst the vast array of other objects are two gold mounted stone scarabs that they are hoping to link to a specific historic character. As is common with a lot of other historic sites the team is up against the demands of modern farming techniques.
     Peter Fischer, professor of Cypriot archaeology at the University of Gothenburg is in no doubts of the dangers "In spring 2017 we will continue our uncovering of parts of the city and the burial site. As the integrity of both areas is threatened by agricultural activities there is a need for quick action to secure our shared cultural heritage before it is destroyed forever".

Edited from ScienceDaily (9 August 2016) EurekAlert (10 August 2016)

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