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5 December 2017
Neolithic link between Cyprus and Lebanon

At the site of Prastio-Mesorotsos in the Paphos district (Cyrpus), a number of shallow pits were found many containing broken objects placed in a ritualistic manner, including stone vessels, human remains and a fragment of an anthropomorphic clay figurine.
     The discovery of a rare stone-shaped engraved object confirmed that the site was in use during the Aceramic Neolithic period, from around 7000 BCE. These engraved stone objects have also been found in the neighbouring location of Choletria-Ortos, Choirokitia and Lebanon. Although their use has not yet been established, these objects reveal contact between Cyprus and inhabitants of other coasts at a time when the island's special Neolithic culture is thought to have been developed.
     The discoveries were announced at the completion of this year's archeological investigations at the site, under the direction of Andrew McCarthy from the University of Edinburgh, and the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI).
     The archaeological site is situated around the valley of the Diarizos river; its location and its easy access to a variety of raw materials are elements that appear to have contributed to its longevity. During the 10th excavation period, the research team conducted excavations in four areas revealing remains dated to the Neolithic, Chalcolithic, Early and Middle Bronze Age.
     In previous seasons the team discovered a series of Early Bronze Age roundhouses, which show a continuity from the preceding Late Chalcolithic period. The most significant architectural and social change seems to have occurred between the Early and Middle Bronze Age when the whole settlement changed from a small, open-air village to a more organised settlement with terraces.
     In the excavation area are remains of these terraces in good condition where a wall seems to have had a height of up to two floors. This helps to understand how the settlement would have looked like during the Middle Bronze Age shortly before its inhabitants abandoned it: a village built on various levels with dense terraces and walls.

Edited from CyprusMail Online (4 December 2017)

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