Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Excavations at Souskiou-Laona completed

The site of Souskiou, near Palaepaphos, is famous for the earliest cemeteries in Cyprus, belonging to c. 3000 B.C., long before they became standard from the Bronze Age to the present. An official press release said the excavations which were carried out by the team focused on the habitations of those people who were eventually buried in the cemeteries. Their settlement is located on a steep hillside and this season the excavators were able to show how Chalcolithic people carved series of terraces on which to place their houses. Contrary to common belief, the remains were well preserved on the protected inner side of these terraces and much evidence was gained on the lifestyle of the community.

The Souskiou settlers specialised in the production of the cruciform figurines of the type that will soon grace the new euro to be introduced in Cyprus. ''To our surprise, production was not confined to a particular workshop. The waste material from the manufacture of these cruciforms was distributed throughout the settlement in such a way as to indicate that the figures were fashioned by several groups,'' the press release said.It added that this new data provides unrivalled evidence for the way in which these iconic images were created, as well as for the organisation of society and craft production in ancient Cyprus.