Prehistoric remains excavated in Kissonerga
Nicosia, Oct 2 – An area rich in prehistoric remains around the village of Kissonerga near Paphos was excavated during the third season of excavations at the Early–Middle Bronze Age settlement of Kissonerga-Skalia, under the directorship of Dr Lindy Crewe from the University of Manchester.
According to the Department of Antiquities, the area was occupied as early as the Neolithic era and also housed an important Chalcolithic settlement. The prehistoric occupation of Kissonerga can now be extended into the Bronze Age (c. 2400–1650 BC), with evidence in the locality now spanning over 6,000 years.
The team’s goals this season were to further expose the Bronze Age architecture revealed in the first two years.
A large, free-standing, furnace-like structure around 2 x 2.5m in diameter was fully uncovered. The structure had a wide opening and raised either mud plaster walls or a domed roof, perhaps similar in appearance to a traditional village oven. In the ashy deposits of the base, a partially collapsed large storage jar was found embedded upright in a pit with a cooking pot at the bottom.
In the adjacent trench, floor deposits were excavated in a typical Bronze Age-style rectilinear building. The lower floor deposit was found overlain with animal bones, edible sea shells, a copper fish hook, storage jars and cooking pots and seems to have had a domestic function.
The unusually wide rubble wall that was partially uncovered in the north of the site between 2007 and 2008 was further excavated, and a wall measuring around 17 meters in length was exposed.
On the interior of the wall, a floor surface was uncovered with plastered pits, spreads of pot shards, and ground stone tools. On the exterior, a paved surface embedded with pebbles and pottery as well as an additional enigmatic stone built feature was found. This represents the latest preserved occupation in this area of the settlement and is dated by the pottery to the very beginning of the Late Bronze Age, which is when the site seems to have been abandoned.
The three seasons of excavation undertaken so far have revealed both similarities and differences with other sites of the period elsewhere on the island. Further work is required to fully expose the architectural remains and to explore the nature of occupation at the site.