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Politiko – Troullia: University of West Carolina Charlotte, USA

The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces the completion of the 2016 archaeological investigations at the Bronze Age (ca. 2000-1500 B.C.) site of Politiko-Troullia, conducted under the direction of Dr. Steven Falconer and Dr. Patricia Fall, University of North Carolina Charlotte, USA. Politiko-Troullia is situated approximately 25 km southwest of Nicosia, near Ayios Irakleidios Monastery, in the copper-bearing foothills of the Troodos Mountains.

The 2016 archaeological investigations featured expanded analysis of archaeological evidence excavated and surveyed between 2004 and 2016 at the Bronze Age community of Politiko-Troullia. Fieldwork revealed extensive evidence of the Bronze Age community that was the predecessor of ancient Tamassos, the seat of a centrally important kingdom during the subsequent Iron Age. In 2016 the team paid special attention to the ancient agricultural terraces and their associated social and economic activities across the site complex, consisting of the village at Politiko-Troullia and its more extensive associated landscape on the hillsides of nearby Politiko-Koloiokremmos. Surface artifact scatters mapped over 12 hectares are integrated with evidence excavated from this Bronze Age settlement in central Cyprus. In particular, concentrations of prehistoric Bronze Age ceramics and grinding stones are most pronounced on nearby terraced hillsides. These terraces were not utilized for extensive processing of agricultural crops and copper ore. Bronze Age excavated plant remains indicate cultivation of olives, grapes and figs, with wood resources dominated by olive and pine. Thus, the landscape was more heavily forested than today. Larger, non-portable grinding stones are associated with communal social and economic activities in open courtyards in the village of Politiko-Troullia, which included feasting on Mesopotamian fallow deer. This category of ground stone also is particularly common on the terraced hillsides around Troullia, suggesting that similar social behaviors occurred beyond village structures. The terraced landscape of Politiko¬¬-Troullia exemplifies a multi- faceted social landscape with a much wider range of agricultural, metallurgical and social activities than expected previously.

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