(Dir.: Prof. W. Caraher, Prof. R. Scott Moore, Prof. D.K Pettegrew and Dr. M. Hadjicosti)
The Department of Antiquities announces the completion of the 2010 study and field season in the coastal zone of Pyla village on the south coast of Cyprus, under the direction of R. Scott Moore (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), William R. Caraher (University of North Dakota) and David Pettegrew (Messiah Colllege). An international team of scholars have worked in this area since 2003 documenting a sprawling Archaic to Late Roman settlement at the site.
This year, the PKAP team took low altitude blimp photographs of the entire site, sampled the subsurface remains using ground-penetrating radar, and conducted several experiments to calibrate the results of earlier fieldwork. This work will allow the PKAP team to correlate more accurately the relationship between material on the surface of the ground and material still safely buried. Another part of the PKAP team worked in the Larnaka District Archaeological Museum to document the nearly 13,000 finds collected since 2003. The ceramic, architectural, and stone artifacts have revealed a vibrant community through most of antiquity with trading ties spanning the Mediterranean basin. The study of these finds has revealed that a site on the coastal height of Vigla was a fortified settlement from Archaic to Hellenistic times complete with a fortification wall and significant quantity of domestic ceramics. This is an unusual type of settlement on Cyprus and may have served as the base for a garrison protecting the eastern flank of Kition and the Larnaka bay.
In Late Roman and Early Byzantine times, the town of Koutsopetria stretched across the coastal plain below Vigla. This settlement appears to have been a bustling, cosmopolitan market town and may have met its demise after a series of earthquakes. The ceramic evidence demonstrates economic and cultural ties to Asia Minor, North Africa, Egypt and Aegean. Preparations for publication are now under way.