“Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Cyprus” – an illustrated presentation by Director of CAARI Dr. Thomas Davis
Washington, Nov 24 - The Ambassador of the Republic of Cyprus and the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI), hosted on November 24, 2008, at the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington, DC, an illustrated presentation by the Director of CAARI Dr. Thomas Davis on the Recent Archaeological Discoveries in Cyprus.
Ambassador Kakouris in his opening remarks, made a brief introduction to Cyprus’ over 10,000 year old history, as “one of the oldest recorded in the world”, and to the longstanding and close cooperation in the field of archaeology with the US in general and CAARI in particular. “At present”, the Ambassador noted, “nearly 50% of the excavation licenses of foreign archaeological expeditions on the island are held by American academic institutions.”
The Ambassador thanked CAARI for its support of the MoU between the RoC and the US, concerning import restrictions on Cypriot cultural items, which Cyprus considers as an invaluable tool and mechanism which significantly contributes to the protection and preservation of Cyprus’ religious and cultural heritage. He emphasized its importance in view of the continued looting and illegal export of artifacts from the Turkish-occupied area of the island.
Dr. Davis, who was introduced by Dr. Ellen Herscher, Vice-President of CAARI, pointed out that CAARI has been in Cyprus for 30 years and maintains a very close cooperation with the Republic of Cyprus’ Department of Antiquities. In fact, he stressed that they are particularly proud to be co-organizing and presenting together every summer, the Annual CAARI and Department of Antiquities workshop, “something that is unique in the Eastern Mediterranean”, where all the active teams, Cypriot and international, come together, to present the results of their most recent field work. “It is one of those calendar moments, for all of those working in the field of archaeology.”
CAARI’s Director then went on to engage the audience, in a voyage of the important archaeological findings in Cyprus, commencing with a reference to the earliest site in Cyprus, a hippopotamus, dating back to 9500 BC. He referred to the 21 active research investigations in Cyprus for 2008, which are currently spread across the spectrum of the island. These consist of international teams from 9 different countries, which cover a wide range of archaeological periods, from the early Neolithic to the Ottoman period. The investigations include internal both terrestrial and underwater projects, surveys, excavations and historic restoration studies. In his conclusions, Dr. Davis noted that the original walls of Nicosia found last week, as well as the ruins of the classical city of Ledra, mark the latest archaeological discoveries for this year.
Ambassador Kakouris quoted the author Klaus Gallas saying “Where else can you visit almost ten thousand years of history by simply walking through them? Where else can you find Phoenician architecture and Roman mosaics, Greek temples and Gothic cathedrals all on one and the same island?”