Completion of the 2016 archaeological excavations at Kition


Share post:

The Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus has announced the completion of the 2016 archaeological excavations of the French Archaeological Mission at Kition. This was the Mission’s first campaign in the Northern part of the site of Kition-Bamboula, conducted under the direction of S. Fourrier (MAEDI-CNRS-Lyon2 University).

Completion of the 2016 archaeological excavations at Kition
Test trench (sontage) 10 [Credit: Department of Antiquities]

The fieldwork is part of the ongoing research program on the topography of the ancient city of Kition in the Iron Age. The main objectives of the campaign were to test the hypothesis that a portion of the Late Bronze Age city-wall ran in a Northern direction, parallel to the harbour basin and to explore its relationships to an Early Iron Age settlement, which was only partially exposed during a small sounding in 1976.

The team opened two trenches during this year’s investigations: the first (Sondage 10) was opened in the North-East, in the area of the 1976 sounding and the second (Sondage 11) in the North-West, at the highest point of the site. The excavation of the second area was restricted to a small surface area (2,5 x 2,5 m) in order to observe the complete stratigraphy of the site. The first layers of ancient occupation were reached at ca. 1 m under the modern surface. They consist of a series of Hellenistic floors, above a Classical layer (with associated walls).

The excavation stopped on a Late Archaic layer (6th c. BC). As a preliminary result, this sounding confirms that the final phase of occupation at the site of Kition-Bamboula dates to the Hellenistic period and that there is a shift during later periods towards other areas of modern Larnaca. The continuation of the trench will hopefully yield a complete and continuous stratigraphic sequence.

Completion of the 2016 archaeological excavations at Kition
Fragmentary amphoriskos of Proto-White Painted ware 
[Credit: Department of Antiquities]

Sondage 10, on the other hand, gives a full occupation sequence for the earlier phases of habitation. Late Bronze Age (13th c. BC) layers are attested immediately above the rock to the East. The presence of several deep holes (loci 867-869) invalidates the hypothesis that this Late Bronze Age settlement was leaning on a portion of the city-wall.

Most floors and walls uncovered to the West of the trench date to the Late Geometric period (9th c. BC). Restricted soundings under the floors demonstrate that they rest on earlier Geometric layers, some of which can be dated to the 11th c. BC.

The preliminary results of this first campaign provide a new picture for the history of occupation at the site. The first layers date to the 13th cent. BC, that is to the time of the foundation of the city of Kition. This is the first time that Late Bronze Age floors are found at Kition-Bamboula, and the continuation of excavations will hopefully provide a full stratigraphic sequence for the Late Bronze-Early Iron Age sequence. Besides, the generally admitted hypothesis that the area was enclosed within the ancient city-walls needs to be revised on the basis of the new evidence.

Source: Department of Antiquities, Republic of Cyprus [December 08, 2016]




Related articles

Mural found in Uzbekistan gives fresh glimpse of early Buddhism

A brightly colored mural unearthed in Uzbekistan likely dates from the second to third centuries and sheds intriguing...

Archaeologists uncover ‘vampire’ burial in Plovdiv

Archaeologists uncovered a Christian necoropolis with 80 graves during a dig in downtown Plovdiv, according to Bulgarian sources. One...

Palace where Alexander the Great was born to open to public next summer

By next summer, it is expected that the palace where Alexander the Great was born in the then...

Cambodia, Thailand both claim victory in ruling on ancient temple

The World Court on Monday settled a long-running spat, ruling an ancient temple is on Cambodian soil while...

3,000 year-old silver cup unearthed in northwestern Iran

Archaeologists have unearthed a 3,000-year-old silver goblet during excavation work carried out in the Ardabil province of northwestern...

Ancient hominids used wooden spears to fend off big cats

Human ancestors living in Central Europe between 320,000 and 300,000 years ago may have used wooden spears to...

Cattle pulled loads 2,000 years earlier than previously thought

In the study, published in Antiquity, archaeologists discovered that the bones in the feet of Neolithic cattle demonstrated...

Saving the ruins of Babylon

The damage done to the ruins of ancient Babylon is visible from a small hilltop near the Tower...