Excavation Campaign Pyla-Kokkinokremos – Cyprus

29.03 – 26.04.2015

Co-directors: Prof. Dr. Joachim Bretschneider,
University of Ghent & KU Leuven, Dr. Athanasia Kanta, Mediterranean
Archaeological Institute and Prof. Dr. Jan Driessen, Université Catholique
de Louvain

To explore the end of the Late Bronze Age
in the Eastern
Mediterranean and the character of cultural
interaction among the
peoples during this period the archaeological
research at the site of Pyla-Kokkinokremos in Cyprus surfaces as an exceptional
opportunity, owing to its founding at the end of the 13th century BC – a time when the Late Bronze Age crisis
reached its zenith –, its very short-lived occupation and its seemingly planned
abandonment leaving all material in situ. While the settlement was inhabited for what appears to
be less than fifty years, the site becomes a very valuable ‘time capsule’ of
this critical phase.

Following several earlier
explorations of the site of Kokkinokremos, near the village of Pyla on the
south-east coast of the island of Cyprus, a second excavation campaign by a
joint mission of the Universities of Leuven and Louvain (Belgium) and the
Mediterranean Archaeological Institute of Crete (Greece) took place from March 29th
to April 26th 2015.

KU Leuven team continued research in Sector 5 on
the eastern slope of the southern protrusion of the Pyla-Kokkinokremos plateau.
During the four week campaign the team resumed excavation in order to complete information
on the previously uncovered architectural units (Space 1-6) and exposed
four more units (Space 7-10). A corridor-shaped space (Space 8) yielding
several outstanding finds – such as two imported alabaster vases and a large
black stone jar, a female-shaped libation vessel and an amphorid Mycenaean
krater decorated with birds – leads to a meticulously plastered room (Space 7).
Space 6 comprises of a pit-like structure, measuring 3.5 m in depth, cut
out in the bedrock. At the bottom, a circular stone structure, a complete jar
and a terracotta recipient filled with burnt organic material were discovered.
To be continued …

The members of the 2015 KU Leuven team included Joachim Bretschneider
(co-director), Greta Jans, (archaeologist), Anne-Sophie Van Vyve (archaeologist
& PhD student), Matthias Mallaerts (IT), Nienke Veraa and Anne-Vera Veen
(students). Adeline Hoffelinck, Maarten Praet and Ferdinand Hollenhorst
(students) conducted their apprenticeship in Pyla and Wouter Vermeiren (IT) completed the team.

Fig.1: View on the – until now – most eastern
wall and rooms (Spaces 9 and 10) of Sector 5.

Fig.2: Stone basin in Space 9.
Fig.3: View from the south on Sector 5 with in
front the plastered room (Space 7).

Fig.4: Excavating a complete jar inside the 3.5
m deep shaft (Space 6).

Fig.5: The recipient filled with burnt organic material at
the bottom of the pit.

Prof. Karageorghis visiting Pyla; here together with Athanasia Kanta, Manolis
Vrachnakis and Joachim Bretschneider.

Fig.7: The 2015 team (always happy in a pit).