Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


22 August 2011

The Prasteio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition. First Preliminary Report of the 2008 Survey

Andrew P. McCarthy, Ben Blakeman, Mat Dalton, Lisa Graham, Ian Hill & Graham Ritchie Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, 2009 [2010]: 59-88.

From the Introduction

The 2008 Prasteio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition involved a first season of non-intrusive investigation of a multi-period archaeological site. The project was run as a field school with students from the University of Edinburgh and involved a geological analysis of the site’s hinterland, a geophysical survey of the site, surface collection of artefacts, a Geographical Information Systems (GIS) analysis of the site topography and artefact spread, and recording (drawing and photography) of exposed archaeological features.

Although previously identified as two separate sites belonging to different time periods, the 10 hectare area spanning the Lakries and Mesorotsos plots in the vicinity of the abandoned village of Prasteio(n) (Pafos District) can now be said to be a single large site with multiple periods of occupation, including the Chalcolithic, the Early and Middle Cypriot Bronze Ages (EC, MC), as well as having a significant but localised Medieval component. If the 10 hectare area is indicative of simultaneous use of this space, it would be among the largest sites from the Chalcolithic and Prehistoric Bronze Age yet found in Cyprus. The fact that roughly equal quantities of Chalcolithic and EC artefacts (especially pottery) have been found alongside one another suggests that this settlement may have spanned the elusive transitional period between these two epochs. If so, further investigation of the site might shed light on the long-standing question of whether the end of the Chalcolithic period saw the displacement of large groups of people in Cyprus, only to be re-occupied by new comers from outside the island (Swiny 2008). While excavation is required to properly asses this issue, the preliminary analysis of the artefacts from the 2008 season suggests that the same inhabitants continued to live at this settlement and adapted their way of life to suit new economic and social practices.


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