Late Bronze Age Urban Settlement in Cyprus
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Late Bronze Age Urban Settlement in Cyprus

W

e are delighted to presents brief summary of some exciting work by Thomas Urban, Kevin Fisher, Katherine Kearns, Jeff Leon, and Sturt Manning; Cornell University and University of British Columbia.

The Mediterranean Island, Cyprus, experienced many changes throughout the Bronze Age, with increased social, political and economic complexity emerging In the Late Bronze Age (1650-1100 BC). Settlements on the Island became Increasingly urban In composition and International In scope.

These settlements created and defined a new Late Cypriot society. Kalavasos-Aylos Dhlmltrlos (K-AD) Is among these sites, and therefore critical to understanding this transformation. Using a Noggin 250 ground penetrating radar (GPR) system, we located and mapped unseen architecture at K-AD.

Kalavasos-Ayios Dhimitrios

K-AD Is well positioned as a likely hub for both communication and trade. Surface finds and excavated architecture suggest that the settlement may have covered more than 11ha. Excavations from 1979- 1998 (see Image below) exposed parts of an urban centre of the Late Cypriot II period (c. 1450-1200 BC). Despite this work, the structuring of wider urban space at K-AD remains unclear. GPR has allowed an expedited search to address unanswered questions at K-AD In an ongoing joint effort with Cornell University and University of British Columbia.

Ground penetrating radar investigation

A previous GPR survey at K-AD found burled structures south of Building X. Additional areas to the west of the Building X complex are the focus of the work described here. A grid survey (with a 0.25 m line spacing) covering a 40m x 60m field to the Immediate west of the excavated north-eastern area and a 40m x 60m reconnaissance survey (0.5 m line spacing) of a terrace further west detected many previously unknown features. Perhaps most striking, a large new 12m x 25m structure designated Building XVI (see below the GPR depth slice and the 3D pseudo Image) was revealed to the west of the previous excavation area. Evidence of multiple subterranean chamber tombs was also evident In several areas Investigated with the Noggin GPR.

Discussion

The GPR survey at K-AD revealed many significant features and provided high resolution mapping of previously unknown aspects of the site’s urban fabric.

The delineation of Building XVI In particular, substantially expands our knowledge of the north-eastern area of the site. The location of a number of potential tombs offers the possibility of Improving our understanding of mortuary practice during this transformative period. By placing the architecture found In previous excavations Into a broader urban context with the use of GPR, we can move toward a better understanding of Late Bronze Age urban centres such as K-AD, and more generally, the process of urbanisation on the Island.

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