2016 excavations at Bronze Age settlement of Kissonerga-Skalia near Paphos completed
The Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus has announced the completion of the 2016 excavation season at the Bronze Age settlement of Kissonerga-Skalia near Paphos. The excavations are conducted under the direction of Dr Lindy Crewe of the University of Manchester. The site of Kissonerga-Skalia demonstrates a long Bronze Age sequence, and earlier Late Chalcolithic occupation, beginning before 2500 BC until the site was abandoned around 1600 BC.
An important discovery made during the 2016 season is evidence for Bronze Age solutions to environmental problems at the settlement. At some point after the building of the complex, the occupants seem to have realised that they had a problem with flooding or rain water running into the area. Their creative solution was to dig a series of six soak pits (drainage features) into the floors along the northeastern edge of the structure, on the side where the natural land surface sloped upwards. Five large pits of up to 1.5m x 2m and up to 0.50m deep were dug and immediately filled with rubble and stones (see Figure 1).
|Figure 2: A pithos reused as a drainage feature [Credit: Department of Antiquities]|
Excavations continued in the west of the site, where the team have defined a room to the west of a large courtyard. There are interior benches along the walls, made with a base of small stones and an upper packing of mud brick or mud plaster. The room contains a high concentration of fine ware pottery and animal bones that appear to be the debris of eating and drinking activities. To the northwest the team excavated an area between two parallel walls to find perfectly preserved wall collapse overlying the latest floors. The lower walls were built from stones nearly 1m high, which had collapsed flat onto the floor, with the upper mudbrick collapse sealing the remainder of the floor. It is likely that the roof collapsed first, pulling the walls inwards. Further work is required to fully remove this collapse and examine the ashy deposits lying on the floor beneath.
The Kissonerga-Skalia 2016 season has considerably moved forward our understanding of the site and it is now verified as the longest-lived excavated Bronze Age settlement on the island. Area B2 contains the only indication of possible domestic activities in the final phase complex but even here the deposits are unusual. The remainder of the areas exhibit either industrial activities or large-scale cooking/working and we have yet to establish a possible purpose for the large open spaces around the large curving walls. The goal over the coming season is to fully expose the final phase.
Source: Ministry of Interior, Republic of Cyprus [October 08, 2016]