(Dir.: Prof. Gisela Walberg)
The Ministry of Communications and Works (Department of Antiquities) announces that investigations of Area XVI at Episkopi Bamboula were conducted for three weeks in June 2009, under the direction of Professor Gisela Walberg, University of Cincinnati.
The aim of the excavation last summer was to define more clearly the nearly 4.80 m wide stone formation (Wall 37) and to extend the excavations in different directions. A considerable part of the area was framed on four sides by walls of an average width of 2.50 m. Also, a passage, which leads up to the rampart by way of two large steps, was discovered to have a hard floor with pebbles set in clay mortar and some fallen stones on the surface.
This year 27 test trenches were excavated in order for the earlier results to be verified and also in order to see if the combination of walls, spaces and other architectural features show purpose and rational planning. Also, the relations between the large stone structure (Wall 37) and the other walls needed to be clarified. These walls were not likely to be of the same period since Wall 37 divides Area XVI into an eastern and a western half and there are no openings between the two halves.
The 2009 excavations showed that Wall 37 on the one hand and Walls 53, 47, 56 and 51 on the other, are indeed of a different date. It was made clear that Wall 37 must have been built at a later stage to replace walls enclosing the area at a lower level. Thus, there are walls at two different levels of which four enclose and protect the area on all four sides and the fifth runs in a north-south direction and protects the area in the east, the side of the river Kourris. The level of the passage excavated in 2008 was established to be considerably higher than that of Wall 37 and the passage could therefore be identified as belonging to a later architectural phase.
During the course of the excavations the ceramics found in strata 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12 are all non-diagnostic. A pithos sherd of the Late Bronze Age turned up this year in stratum 8 of Test Trench 7 and in strata 1-5 the latest sherds were of Roman date. Considering their width, the walls must be of a defensive character. The closest parallel to Walls 53, 47, 56 and 51, from the point of view of plan and architectural technique is the LC I-IIB fortress of Nitovikla on the Karpass peninsula, excavated by the Swedish Cyprus Expedition in 1929.
Finally three fields were surveyed, one on the Bamboula plateau, south of Area XVI, and two east of the area. The date of the ceramics ranges from the Late Bronze Age to Roman and Medieval times with a higher percentage of Roman and Archaic sherds.