Excavations at Prastion - Mesorotsos (Cyrprus)

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The Department of Antiquities announces the completion of the 2009 Prastion-Mesorotsos project that took place from 22 June to 30 July, and involved investigation of the stratified remains of Neolithic and Chalcolithic periods, Bronze Age, Iron Age, Late Antique and Medieval archaeology. Excavations were carried out in eight areas across the circa 10 hectare site in the Pafos district. In total, over 100m2 were exposed and architecture and features from multiple periods were revealed.

This first season of excavation has confirmed the presence of deeply stratified (at present 1.5m+) occupation at the site, which may eventually shed light on a series of important social changes that occurred, for instance the transition from the Neolithic into the Chalcolithic period. Particularly encouraging was the presence of Middle Cypriot Bronze Age architecture, which is situated in the same location where Early Cypriot Bronze Age and Late Chalcolithic materials are being found, which could eventually lead to a stratified sequence throughout these important periods. Equally important is the apparent abandonment of the site in the Middle Cypriot III period, which coincides with the burgeoning importance of Palaipafos (Kouklia) as a regional centre of western Cyprus. Understanding and dating the abandonment of Prastion-Mesorotsos could tell us when and why Palaipafos came to be such an important place in the Late Bronze Age.

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