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THE ARTIFACTS OF THE ENKOMI TOMBS (BRITISH EXCAVATIONS) IN CYPRUS: DIGITIZATION PROGRAMME

The Department of Antiquities, Cyprus
has the pleasure to invite you to an international conference entitled:

The Tombs of Enkomi (British Museum excavations)

on Saturday, 11th December, 2010

Castelliotissa Hall, Nicosia, 9.30- 18.00

A project entitled Enkomi Tombs (British Excavations) in the Cyprus Museum: Digitisation Programme began at the Department of Antiquities, under the supervision of Dr. D. Pilides with the collaboration of the British Museum and the Open University of Cyprus, funded by the Foundation for the Promotion of Research, Cyprus. The main aim of the project is to complete the cataloguing of the artefacts found during the 1896 British Museum excavations at the major Bronze Age site of Enkomi, belonging to the so-called old collection of the Cyprus Museum, and to complete the on line catalogue of the objects transferred after the excavations of 1896 by the British Museum, to London, already on the web.

As part of this programme, an International conference will be held at Castelliotissa Hall in Nicosia during which scholars from various academic institutions in Cyprus, Europe and United States will focus on the “old excavations” of Enkomi. Speakers include T. Kiely (British Museum), P. Mountjoy (British School at Athens), N. Hirschfeld (University of S. Antonio), R. and H. Merrillees (Paris), H. Crossman (University of Reading), L. Crewe (University of Manchester), E. Gubel (Musée d’ Art et d’Histoire, Brussels), D. Pilides (Department of Antiquities), A. Kaldelis (University of Cyprus and Open University of Cyprus) and A. Papadopoulos (Department of Antiquities).

The Keynote Lecture Enkomi, Engomi & Egkomi: From Myth to Reality and Back Again will be given by Dr. R. Merrillees on Friday 10 December 2010 at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute at 19.00.

The Workshop will start on Saturday 11 December 2009 at 09.30 with the opening address of the Director of the Department of Antiquities, Dr. M. Hadjicosti.

There will be no registration fee as the workshop is open to the public. The programme and abstracts will be announced shortly.



Programme

9.00-9.30 Registration

9.30-9.45 Address by the Director of the Department of Antiquities

_____________________________________________________________________
SESSION 1

9.45-10.00 Introduction to the Enkomi Project
D. Pilides (Curator of Antiquities, Department of Antiquities, Cyprus)

10.00-10.25 Poachers turned gamekeepers? The British Museum archaeological agents in Cyprus in the 1890s
T. Kiely (British Museum, UK)

10.25-10.50 The Cypriot Pottery from the tombs of Enkomi
D. Pilides (Curator of Antiquities, Department of Antiquities, Cyprus)

10.50-11.15 Enkomi “Old Tombs” and the missing LHIIIC early phase
P. Mountjoy (British School at Athens)

11.15-11.40 Exceptional objects from old excavations. The case of Aegean artefacts at Enkomi (1896 excavations)
A. Papadopoulos (Department of Antiquities, Cyprus)

11.40-12.15 Coffee break

_____________________________________________________________________
SESSION 2

12.15-12.40 Further consideration of the marked pottery found in the Enkomi British Tombs
N. Hirschfeld (University of San Antonio, USA)

12.40-13.05 The cylinder and stamp seals from the British Museum excavations in the old collection of the Cyprus Museum
R. and H. Merrillees (Paris)

13.05-13.30 Contextual analysis of economic and social networks. The circulation of Bronze Age soft stone artifacts in Bahrain (Qala’ at al-Bahrain and Saar) and Cyprus (Enkomi and Maroni)
H. Crossman (University of Reading, UK)


13.30-15.00 Lunch

_____________________________________________________________________
SESSION 3

15.00-15.25 Making space for the living and the dead at Enkomi
L. Crewe (University of Manchester, UK)

15.25-15.50 Accomplishing the Objectives of the project: The methodological framework
Anthi Kaldelis (University of Cyprus and Open University of Cyprus)

15.50-16.15 Enkomi, Cyprus and Brussels, Belgium: The Cypriote Collection of the Royal museum of Art and History
E. Gubel (Musées Royaux d’Art et Histoire, Brussels, Belgium)


16. 15- 16.45 General discussion





INFORMATION ON THE PROJECT


The proposal of the Department of Antiquities submitted for approval to the Research Promotion Foundation to study and digitize the artifacts of the British excavations of the tombs of Enkomi and to eventually unite the database already created and launched on the web, of the objects in the British Museum from the same excavations, was approved in 2008.

Its duration of 24 months (January 2009- December 2010) will involve archival research concerning the excavations of 100 tombs of the Late Bronze Age, of considerable wealth, excavated in 1896 and published in 1900. Two thirds of the objects were transferred to the British Museum as per the terms of the Antiquities Law at the time which allowed the excavator, the owner of the land and the Government a share of one third each of the total number of objects found. The Cyprus Museum share was transferred from its location in the old premises at Victoria Street to the new Cyprus Museum, around 1909 and given new accessory numbers.

Secondly, the objects from these tombs will be identified, described, drawn and photographed to create a digital catalogue to be available online that will actually achieve for the first time a reunification or restitution, to the extent possible, of the contents of these tombs.

Thirdly, a workshop will be organized with participation of scholars who have worked on this material to provide the opportunity for exchange of ideas regarding the theoretical and methodological issues concerning mortuary practices, social hierarchy and identity, trade and interaction between peoples within and outside Cyprus. The proceedings of the workshop will be published.

Benefits

The programme is a collaborative effort involving the Department of Antiquities, The Open University, Cyprus and the British Museum. It will be beneficial in the following :
1. The preservation of the collection itself
2. It will provide a more complete knowledge of the material in the Enkomi tombs, a site of particular importance in the archaeology of Bronze Age Cyprus.
3. It will promote the use and application of statistical and analytical techniques of archaeological data
4. It will promote a collection of objects in the Cyprus Museum store rooms and will facilitate accessibility to researchers.
5. It will give the opportunity to educational institutions to use it as a teaching aid


The first half of the Enkomi Project was completed and the results are impressive regarding the quantity and quality of the material identified in the Cyprus Museum storage rooms. Around 380 objects have been identified and 275 of them have been fully studied. Photographs and drawings of the artefacts are currently in progress and it is expected that the material will be fully recorded within the defined time schedule. Several complete vessels and sherds with pictorial scenes have been located, locally made and imported from the Aegean and the coast of Syria-Palestine. Of special interest are the signs of the Cypro-Minoan script that were painted on various vessels that were most likely Aegean imports. Numerous gold objects such as earrings, hair-rings, necklaces and frontlets/mouthpieces have been identified and recorded as well, while exotic objects like scarabs, faience and glass bottles and stone objects form part of the material. The main problem at this stage is the identification of bronze objects, as so far only one arrowhead has been securely attributed to a BM excavated tomb. It is also a fact that several objects were exhibited at the Famagusta Museum before 1974 and as a result their current whereabouts are unknown.
Considerable progress has been made on the archival and bibliographical research, which forms an essential part of the Project. The original permits and correspondence between the British Museum and the British authorities of the island at the time have been found at the Cyprus State Archives and it is now possible to study the excavation in the light of the prevailing conditions of the contemporary society; evidence was provided for important issues, concerning the so-called “share” of the material, the factors that governed each side’s choices and the reactions that the division of the material caused.
It has been made obvious through research that objects that were found by the British at Enkomi are now exhibited or stored in a number of Museums apart from London and Nicosia. Pottery from the BM tombs has been identified at Manchester University Museum, University of Reading Ure Museum and Musée du Cinquantenaire (Belgium), while it is not clear if the Louvre and the Ashmolean Museum also host objects from the same excavation.
The methodology and the problems that the research team is facing were initially presented at the 27th Annual CAARI workshop entitled The Digitisation of the Artefacts of the Enkomi tombs (British Excavations) in the Cyprus Museum where scholars and archaeologists from all over the world carrying out research and fieldwork in Cyprus participated and presented their subjects of study. Furthermore, in October 2010 some preliminary results in comparison with other contemporary sites were presented at the Conference organized by the University of Cyprus in honour of Prof. J. Muhly in a paper titled “Reconstructing” the Enkomi tombs (British Excavations): An instructive exercise. The proceedings of this conference will be published by Oxbow Press and this will be the first publication of the Enkomi Project.
Alongside the work in the store rooms, the team has been working on several issues and research questions which surfaced regarding aspects such as direction of trade, interconnections, the composition of the contents of tombs and possible interpretations, comparisons with other cemeteries and tomb contexts, the technological characteristics of pottery and iconographic analysis of the various motifs and pictorial scenes. The Access Database template has been completed and the data is currently being entered in the relevant fields. At the same time, the format and practicalities of the subsequent publication of the research results together with the Catalogue is under discussion. The main parts of the structure of the publication have been agreed and currently the first drafts of the chapters are in progress. The pre-arranged research trip of the team to the British Museum took place in mid-February 2010, where, the British colleagues generously showed and scanned for our archive the original British documents and notebooks from the 1896 excavation. At the same time, after a short visit to Reading, Enkomi material from the British Museum (given in 1914) was identified and catalogued at the University of Reading Ure Museum, while research is in progress at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford in order to identify if there is any material from Enkomi (1896) that was exchanged with the British Museum.
An important part of the Enkomi Project is the organization of the Workshop on the Enkomi material that will be held in Nicosia in December 2010. After considering the content and character of the event the research team invited the participants/ specialists consisting of scholars from Great Britain, USA and France. It should be highlighted that the proceedings of the workshop will be published in a separate monograph, as part of the dissemination of the project results at a later stage by the Department of Antiquities.








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