Italy’s continues its longstanding support to archeological missions in Cyprus
The Italian Government continues its longstanding tradition of supporting archeological missions in Cyprus, a Country with a rich and unique historical heritage which has many common roots with Italy. For 2017, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of Italy – together with the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism, and with the Ministry of Education, University and Research – has decided to award a financial contribution to the following research projects:
Excavations at Erimi-Laonin tou Paraokou (Limassol) directed by Prof. Luca Bombardieri of the University of Turin.
The ancient site has been investigated since 2009 by an Italian research team who carries out the fieldwork with the scientific collaboration of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, together with the Limassol Archaeological District Museum.
The project aims at achieving a greater understanding of the ideological and cultural aspects of the pre-urban society in Prehistoric Cyprus, focusing on the emergence of major productive centers during the Middle Bronze Age, the birth of an urban society and the progressive integration of the island into the Mediterranean trading network during the second millennium BC. The research team is comprised of archaeologists with a joint support of anthropologists, archaeobotanists, conservators and restorers.
More information can be found on the website of the Italian mission at Erimi: http://www.erimilaonin.it
MPM Project: Survey, Excavation, GIS, archaeometric analysis and landscape archeology in the Moni River Valley, directed by Prof. Oliva Menozzi of the University of Chieti.
This project, a study of the landscape in the area of Moni, Pyrgos, and Monagroulli (Limassol-Cyprus), began in 2011 with a large team, including scholars and PhD/MPhil students from different institutions. The research employs a suite of traditional methodologies for the study of landscape archaeology (intensive and judgmental survey, GIS mapping, location of the sites using Differential-GPS, studies on typologies, distribution and statistics of pottery finds), in combination with high-end technologies (Remote Sensing on aerial photos and high definition panchromatic satellite photos, geo-morphological reconstruction of contexts, archaeometric analyses of finds and building materials, and non-invasive geophysical prospection).
This year the campaign is surveying the Agios Epifanios area (between Pyrgos and Moni) which features a necropolis of the archaic era, and the coast in front of Agios Georgios Alamanos, with important underwater vestiges of the Roman period. Images of the MPM project can be found on the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/archeologiauda.universitachieti/photos/?tab=album&album_id=483675841783296
Ptolemaica Project: study of the ties between Cyrene, Cyprus and Alexandria of Egypt in the Ptolemaic era, directed by Prof. Serenella Ensoli of the University of Napoli II.
The project aims to conduct research activities in Libya, Cyprus and the Middle East to acquire historical-archaeological data on the strong interrelations between Cyrene, Alexandria and Cyprus that existed in the Hellenistic age and beyond. It seeks to highlight the role and influence of Cyprus within the cultural koiné of Hellenistic age, with particular reference to the relations of the island with Cyrene, and more generally with the main sites of the Eastern Mediterranean.
A strong focus of the project is on the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates at Kourion. The buildings in the sanctuary have close affinity with those of the Sanctuary of Apollo at Cyrene and other sacred areas of the Eastern Mediterranean dating from the Greek and Roman era. Prof. Ensoli also seeks to create a digital database of relevant sculptures kept in the Museums of Nicosia and Kourion and to study the the “Fabrika Hill” site in Nea Paphos in relation to Apollo Hylates and Apollo sanctuary in Cyrene.
Excavations in the Sanctuary of Apollo in Touballos, Nea Paphos, directed by Prof. Filippo Giudice of the University of Catania.
The longest ongoing Italian archeological mission in Cyprus, which dates back to 1988, has been excavating and studying one-fourth of Nea Paphos, one of the most important cities in the Hellenistic-Roman Orient and a longtime capital of Cyprus.
This year a work will be published to celebrate its more than 25 years of research, highlighting its many findings which include a fragment of a marble inscription which supports the scriptures on Saint Paul’s links to Cyprus, a surgical instrument and various religious objects, as well as an ancient 72-metre length of road, a staircase, a very long corridor (dromos) and various chambers.
Prof. Giudice has challenged the hypothesis that the quarter was a military camp (the site is widely referred to as Garrison’s Camp), arguing, based on many years of excavation and study, that it was actually an area of great hypogeal pagan sanctuaries, the scene of a great struggle between paganism and the upstart Christian religion.
Nicosia, 18 August 2017