ARCHAEOLOGISTS have uncovered the remains of an unusual 1.2 metre high wall with once curved end and one straight end during continued excavations at Kissonerga-Skalia in Paphos.
They believe it might have been a perimeter wall to the ancient settlement. “We have now revealed that it [the wall] extends for over 10 metres and hope to trace the remaining length in future seasons,” said a statement from the Antiquities Department.
It said curved walls were rare for this period and the unusual width and rubble construction also indicated that it had a special function.
On the outside of the wall, the Bronze Age occupants of Kissonerga had levelled the surface to create an exterior area and on the interior face a circular mud plastered pit abutted the wall.
Within the structure, there was also an additional plastered pit filled with an ashy deposit, an area of compacted floor surface, spreads of pot sherds and ground stone tools.
“This represents the latest preserved occupation in this area of the settlement. No subdivisions have yet been revealed on its interior and the wall’s function remains uncertain. It is possible that it may prove to be a perimeter wall, which would again be atypical for sites of this period,” the statement added.
In another part of the settlement, archaeologists exposed a large freestanding furnace-like structure and some typical stone footings of Bronze Age houses. Other finds include copper fragments, textile production, attested by spindle whorls and a loom weight, and numbers of ground stone objects, including agricultural tools such as querns for grinding grain.
The site has also yielded evidence of faunal and marine exploitation such as cattle, deer, sheep, goats, pigs, crabs and shellfish, and also botanical remains of grapes and lentils.
“The architecture and organisation of the settlement of Kissonerga-Skalia therefore has some unusual features, but also shares traditions with other parts of the island,” said the statement.
What these similarities and differences mean in terms of how the Bronze Age people of the southwest interacted with other communities is a question that further excavation may answer, the Department said.
“We can now begin to build up a picture of life in Bronze Age Kissonerga, but there is much work remaining for future seasons to be able to completely understand the site,” it added.
Kissonerga has previously yielded archaeological evidence dating from the very first Neolithic age in Cyprus and also an important Chalcolithic settlement.
This is the first time, however, that a research project has placed the prehistoric settlement in the Bronze Age. The settlement was believed to have been abandoned around 1700BC. In 2007, preserved houses were found that dated to the Early Middle Bronze Age.
The latest excavations were carried out with archaeologists from the University of Manchester team.