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Choirokoitia: National Centre of Scientific Research of France


2009

(Dir: Dr. A. Le Brun)

The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces the completion of the archaeological excavation at the Neolithic site of Choirokoitia. Excavations were carried out in July and August by the National Centre of Scientific Research of France under the direction of Dr A. Le Brun.

Research undertaken in 2005 on the north side of the hill where the site is situated was completed. The aim of this research was to determine the outline of the walls, which constituted the successive boundaries of the settlement. The results obtained, have in many points, profoundly altered our view of the site of Choirokoitia and, more widely, our knowledge on the recent phase of the Neolithic Aceramic period of Cyprus.

The research of previous years has shown that the expansion of the built area on the south side occurred simultaneously with the abandonment of the north side. Therefore, the history of the settlement needed to be reconsidered: it must be interpreted as a rearrangement of the built environment rather than the expansion of the village. This year’s archaeological campaign contested the idea that we had until now concerning the way in which the developed in the area. The wall, which constitutes the primary limit of the establishment, was found in a deep trench near the river. Initially it was thought that the course of the wall was perpendicular to the flow of the river thus completing the natural protection of the river where it was absent. The new evidence has shown that the wall follows a parallel course to the Maroni river-bed. Therefore, the village has to be viewed differently, as a village enclosed by a wall made of massive pisé with its exterior façade revetted in stone. The elevation of such a construction at such a length expresses a collective effort which presupposes a well- structured social organization.

Choirokoitia




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