The site of Marcello

Marcello is a plateau to the east of the Sanctuary. It rises at approximately 120m above sea level and commands a superb view of the Sanctuary and the coast. The plateau is sharply defined to the North, West and South by steep sides and access to it is only feasible through its East/North-East smooth slope. The visitor can approach the site following the road that leads from Kouklia to Arhimandrita. It is about 600 m from the village: a few minutes by car or a quarter of an hour's walk.

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The 2006 Excavations by the University of Cyprus

Fieldwork expeditions of the Archaeological Research Unit, University of Cyprus were initiated in 2006 at the site of Marcello, close to the area where the British Mission and the Swiss-German Mission uncovered a monumental fortification wall with a dog-leg gate, and a huge bothros abutting the wall to the north. Plots 147 and 110 became the first targets of the University of Cyprus team. These two parcels had been left out of Protection Zone B of the Department of Antiquities.

The 2006 was an exploratory season, with a small excavation team. The first concern of the excavation project became the stumps of wall left on either side of the monumental façade of the Marcello monument. The south-east arm can hardly be followed further east since it encounters the precipitous drop that defines the plateau on that side.

The team excavated at ten different trenches, designated as M1-M10, situated to the North and the Northwest of the Marcello monument . The 2006 excavations revealed part of the northwest arm of the Marcello defensive system, which consists of a thick wall, around 3.40m. wide, running some 50 m. in length that was partially exposed. The rampart is made of solid stonework, and includes some large-scale blocks of ashlar masonry. Preliminary investigation at Marcello suggests that the purpose of the defensive wall at Marcello was to protect not a city, but an administrative citadel situated on the plateau. Its purpose was to provide added strength and protection to a natural acropolis.

The monumental rampart of Marcello appears to have destroyed a series of tombs of the Late Bronze Age, as is suggested by the ceramic material. A high percentage of sherds of Base Ring, White Slip and other painted wares of the Late Bronze Age were found mixed with Iron Age material in the layers of the construction phase of the rampart. During the 2006 excavations at the site, three complete White Painted Wheelmade III vessels (a thelastron, a bowl and a cup) and a golden pomegranate-shape bead were found between stones of the wall. They belong to a destroyed chamber tomb.

Judging by the ceramic material, the earliest archaeologically attested use of the Marcello ground dates to the Late Bronze Age period. The hundreds of easily identifiable White Slip and Base-ring sherds, and also many Plain wares of Late Cypriot II and III date were found in great numbers mixed with the Iron Age material in every trench excavated. The second chronological horizon seems to start at the end of the Geometric period, picks in the Late Archaic and Early Classical. There is hardly anything that could diagnose use of the plateau after the 3rd century BC.



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Team 2006
Maria Iacovou
Anna Satraki
Susan Sherratt
Sarah Janes
Giorgos Stamatis
Giorgos Bourogiannis
Sophia Topouzi
Christina Ioannou
Maria Dikomitou
Giorgos Papantoniou
Artemis Georgiou
Stella Diakou
Skevi Sykopetritou
Aspasia Georgiadou
Director, Professor in Archaeology, University of Cyprus
Assistant Director, PhD Candidate, University of Cyprus
Special ceramologist, Lecturer in Archaeology, University of Sheffield
PhD Candidate, University of Glasgow
Master Student, University of Crete
PhD Candidate, University of Edinburgh
PhD Candidate, University of Athens
PhD Candidate, École doctorale 2 (Université Paris Sorbonne - Paris IV)
Master Student, University College London
PhD Candidate, Trinity College Dublin
Master Student, Merton College, University of Oxford
Master Student, Bryn Mawr College
BA Student, University of Cyprus
BA Student, University of Toronto
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