Excavation season 2014A – Hadjiabdullah

In 2014 we focused on the fortification measures on top of the Hadjiabdullah plateau. The team included 17 undergraduate and postgraduate students from the University of Cyprus. Between the 12th of May and the 15th of June 2014, we continued our work on Area 2 as well as farther to the east of Area 2, directly north of the "palace" compound. By the end of the season we were able to distinguish two different defense systems, Rampart A and Rampart B, whose spatial and chronological relationship is still unclear.

 

1. General plan of Hadjiabdullah showing excavated trenches green indicates 2014 trenches 2. Aerial photo of Hadjiabdullah showing excavated areas and Ramparts A-B
   
3. Detail of Rampart A and Rampart B
 

 

Rampart A is located to the north of the palace compound, has the same orientation, and is structurally connected with it. The excavation revealed the continuation of the channels that define the east and west extents of the palace compound to the north. The channels are constructed with stone walls on either side, and reach a width of 1.5 meters. The east channel was partially destroyed for the construction of another later structure, built of well-cut stones.

Our excavation also focused on cleaning parts of the old British excavations, to the north of the palace compound, which were turned into trash pits. Our cleaning operation uncovered a well-built rectangular structure, over 1.5 meters deep. Farther to the north, we cleaned blocks with drafted margins that are identical to the ashlar masonry of the palace and appear to be the remnants of a (now mostly destroyed) long wall, which connected the palace with the tumulus.

 

4. Drawing of Rampart A 6. Rampart A- The enigmatic structure cutting into the channels

 

Rampart B is located to the west of the palace compound and has a different orientation from Rampart A. This complex wall system consists of a main wall of 3 meters width, which extends along the north slope of the plateau for about 80 meters (excavated in 2009 and 2010). Continuing in the trenches opened in 2013 (HA 31, HA 32 and related baulks), and working in two new trenches (HA 62, HA 63) in 2014 we uncovered better the cross walls that are issued at intervals from the main wall and lead to the edge of the cliff. Cross walls were exposed in trenches HA 6 and HA 62, HA 21 and HA 16, HA 63 and HA 31, and HA 32. The cross walls run approximately southwest to northeast. It should be noted that they represent different phases in the building and rebuilding of the construction uncovered in this area. Two of these cross walls (HA 31 and HA 32; HA 21 and HA 16) have been exposed to a depth of 1.50 meters, without disturbing their foundation trench. The space between the main cross walls in divided into small spaces with short walls – these walls are built with less care, at a higher elevation and are later in date.

 

8. Aerial photo of Rampart B 9. Drawing of Rampart B

 

The excavation within the spaces produced storage vessels, collapsed roof material with reed impressions, wall fragments with plastering and even large tiles of the classical period. As in 2009 and 2013, also in 2014 we uncovered in one of these spaces the bottom part of a pithos, with flat tile fragments inside indicating a small-scale industrial installation. Finally, in HA 63, to the east of one of the main cross walls we uncovered a large piece of collapsed roof of about 1 meter long. The large quantity of collapsed roof material found below later walls in all the trenches suggests that some of these spaces were roofed.

 

12. Cross-walls  part of Rampart B 13. Base of a pithos in situ Trench HA32 14. Collapse roof at Trench HA63

 

Moving on farther to the north, in 2014 we worked in trenches HA 43 and HA 44, which are situated at the edge of the cliff. The southern part of these trenches was briefly explored in 2013. The work of 2014 showed that the cliff is built almost in its entirety with long descending terrace walls. We partially excavated two terrace walls, running approximately southeast to northwest and following the edge of the cliff. In HA 43 (including the baulk between HA 18 and HA 43) we uncovered a stone bathtub, set between the two terrace walls. The bathtub is supplemented with a drainage system, one built through the wall above, and one through the wall below. The bathtub is about 1 meter long, 63 cm wide and 50 cm tall. It has a wide rim that on the north side is either worn or broken and re-carved – indicating reuse. The cleaning of the bathtub and the drains showed that the entire in installation is contemporary with the building of the terrace walls. The excavation of the fill around the bathtub produced large quantities of ash, broken storage vessels, fine ware, as well as large amounts of small bones, most probably from birds and fish.

 

15. Detail of Trenches HA43-HA44 with bathtub 17. Stone bathtub after cleaning 18. Stone bathtub and drainage facilities 19. Drainage facilities

 

20. Terracotta lamp from HA32 6 1 21. Terracotta lamp from HA32 6 2 23. Glass beadfrom HA32 6 2

 

 

Excavation season 2014B – Laona

A short two-week excavation season was undertaken at Laona, between the 29th of September and the 12th of October 2014. We firstly focused on the top of the Laona tumulus within the area defined as Trenches LA28 and LA29, which lies to the east of the structure preliminary identified as a 'platform' that we unearthed in 2013. Trenches LA 28 and LA29 were investigated with a mechanical excavator at a depth exceeding 6.5 meters. Our deep trench revealed nothing more than the customary overlapping layers of marl and reddish soil, that characterize the construction of the Laona tumulus.

 

1. Plan of Laona dark brown indicates trenches investigated by a mechanical excavator 2. Detail of Laona trenches indicating area of platform and LA28-LA29 3. Mechanical excavation of trenches LA 28-LA29

 

Following the investigation at the top part of the tumulus, we then focused on the eastern side of the tumulus, where during the team's 2012 and 2013 expedition we exposed part of the retaining wall. Beneath layers of marl and reddish soil we revealed a substantial monumental stone-built structure. The outer face of this structure, which is preliminarily identified as a 'tower', is more than 2meters high and runs for at least 10meter on a north-south axis. Neither the base nor the full extent of the structure was wholly revealed. A staircase, so far consisting of 13 steps was unearthed on the western part of this construction. Parts of the 'tower' were built with mudbricks on top of stones. The structure identified as a 'tower' probably served defensive purposes but its exact function and its correlation to the Laona mound will be investigated further in future expeditions to the site.

 

 

5. Plan of the southeastern side of the Laona plateau 6. The tower excavated on the southeastern side of the tumulus 7. Detail of the tower construction

 

 

9. Aerial photo of the monumental structure exposed at Laona 10. 3D model of the monumentral structure and staircase 11. 3D model of the monumental structure and staircase

 

           Excavation Season 2014
 
           Team A 
Maria Iacovou
Artemis Georgiou
Stella Diakou
Athos Agapiou
Charis Papadopoulou
Evaggelia Christodoulidou
Panagiota Nicolaou
Maria Hadjigavriel
Christiana Christodoulou
Fotini Constantinou
Elisavet Ilieva
Zinonas Sokratous
Daniella Georgiou
Raphael Charalambous
Maria Roussou
Raphael Evzonas
Paraskevi Psilogeni
Varvara Stivarou
Chrystalla Miltiadous
Andria Efthymiou
Director, Professor in Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology, University of Cyprus
Assistant Director, Pottery specialist
Assistant Field Director
Topographer, Technological University of Cyprus
Doctoral Student, University of Cyprus
Master Student, University of Cyprus
Master Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
   
 
 
           Team B
Maria Iacovou
Artemis Georgiou
Stella Diakou
Athos Agapiou
Frixos Markou
Skevi Christodoulou
Maria Hadjigavriel
Christiana Christodoulou
Fotini Constantinou
Elisavet Ilieva
Zinonas Sokratous
Daniella Georgiou
Raphael Charalambous
Maria Roussou
Raphael Evzonas
Assistant Director, Pottery specialist
Assistant Field Director
Topographer, Technological University of Cyprus
Doctoral Student, University of Cyprus
Doctoral Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus
Undergraduate Student, University of Cyprus