2016 Geronisos Island excavations completed

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The Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus announced the completion of works of the New York University’s Yeronisos island (Agios Georgios tis Pegeias) expedition, under the direction of Joan Breton Connelly, Professor of Classics and Art History at New York University. Eight undergraduates and graduate students from New York University participated in the excavation field school.

2016 Geronisos Island excavations completed
Aerial view of the excavations at Geronisos: a 12,000 square metre junk of calcareous rock rising dramatically 
from the swelling seas just off the coast of western Cyprus [Credit: New York University]

Excavations within the island sanctuary have yielded significant ostraca and inscriptions dating to the final years of Ptolemaic rule in Cyprus. Angelos Chaniotis, Professor at Princeton University, head of a team of eminent epigraphists, came out to study the material, assisted by Dr Benjamin Wieland of the University of Fribourg.

A second major focus of the 2016 season was the architecture of Yeronisos island buildings. Professor Pieter Broucke from Middlebury College in Vermont began the study of ashlar blocs, architectural members and architectural moldings discovered on the island. The architectural fragments belonged to a small Ionic temple that once stood on the westernmost cliff of the island. The temple rested on a podium measured 8.47 m. in width and it was built from finely dressed limestone blocks, carefully plastered to resemble marble. It had a central doorway framed by engaged Ionic columns and carried a small Ionic entablature with horizontal geison. The roof was gabled, had pediments at its short ends and solid walls on all four sides, terminating in an epikranitis course with an Ionic molding on top.

PhD student Luca Cherstich joined the team for study of local rock cut tombs in an effort to understand Yeronisos within the broader context of the community living just opposite on the mainland during the Hellenistic period. Architect Richard Anderson continued work on the 3-D digital survey of the island’s architectural remains.

Prof. Jolanta Mlynarczyk of the University of Warsaw undertook the study of the Yeronisos pottery while Dr. Mariusz Burdajewicz completed work on his publication on the Geronisos glass finds. Dr. Paul Croft of the Lemba Archaeological Field Station studied animal bones collected from the island.

Source: Ministry of Interior, Republic of Cyprus [July 27, 2016]

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