Greater Mesopotamia

Greater Mesopotamia

2nd Campaign Pyla

ExcavationsPosted by Joachim Bretschneider Wed, May 27, 2015 10:02:01
2nd Excavation Campaign Pyla-Kokkinokremos - Cyprus

29.03 – 26.04.2015

Co-directors: Prof. Dr. Joachim Bretschneider, University of Ghent & KU Leuven, Dr. Athanasia Kanta, Mediterranean Archaeological Institute and Prof. Dr. Jan Driessen, Université Catholique de Louvain

To explore the end of the Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean and the character of cultural interaction among the peoples during this period the archaeological research at the site of Pyla-Kokkinokremos in Cyprus surfaces as an exceptional opportunity, owing to its founding at the end of the 13th century BC – a time when the Late Bronze Age crisis reached its zenith –, its very short-lived occupation and its seemingly planned abandonment leaving all material in situ. While the settlement was inhabited for what appears to be less than fifty years, the site becomes a very valuable ‘time capsule’ of this critical phase.

Following several earlier explorations of the site of Kokkinokremos, near the village of Pyla on the south-east coast of the island of Cyprus, a second excavation campaign by a joint mission of the Universities of Leuven and Louvain (Belgium) and the Mediterranean Archaeological Institute of Crete (Greece) took place from March 29th to April 26th 2015.

The KU Leuven team continued research in Sector 5 on the eastern slope of the southern protrusion of the Pyla-Kokkinokremos plateau. During the four week campaign the team resumed excavation in order to complete information on the previously uncovered architectural units (Space 1-6) and exposed four more units (Space 7-10). A corridor-shaped space (Space 8) yielding several outstanding finds – such as two imported alabaster vases and a large black stone jar, a female-shaped libation vessel and an amphorid Mycenaean krater decorated with birds – leads to a meticulously plastered room (Space 7). Space 6 comprises of a pit-like structure, measuring 3.5 m in depth, cut out in the bedrock. At the bottom, a circular stone structure, a complete jar and a terracotta recipient filled with burnt organic material were discovered. To be continued …

The members of the 2015 KU Leuven team included Joachim Bretschneider (co-director), Greta Jans, (archaeologist), Anne-Sophie Van Vyve (archaeologist & PhD student), Matthias Mallaerts (IT), Nienke Veraa and Anne-Vera Veen (students). Adeline Hoffelinck, Maarten Praet and Ferdinand Hollenhorst (students) conducted their apprenticeship in Pyla and Wouter Vermeiren (IT) completed the team.

Fig.1: View on the – until now – most eastern wall and rooms (Spaces 9 and 10) of Sector 5.

Fig.2: Stone basin in Space 9.
Fig.3: View from the south on Sector 5 with in front the plastered room (Space 7).

Fig.4: Excavating a complete jar inside the 3.5 m deep shaft (Space 6).

Fig.5: The recipient filled with burnt organic material at the bottom of the pit.

Fig.6: Prof. Karageorghis visiting Pyla; here together with Athanasia Kanta, Manolis Vrachnakis and Joachim Bretschneider.

Fig.7: The 2015 team (always happy in a pit).

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