The Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project (PKAP), under the direction of Professor R. Scott Moore (Indiana University of Pennsylvania), William Caraher (University of North Dakota), Professor David K. Pettegrew (Messiah College), and Dr. Maria Hadjicosti (Cyprus Department of Antiquities), recently completed its sixth season of fieldwork at the site of Pyla-Koutsopetria on Cyprus. The project conducted its field season between May 15 and June 25, 2008, with the help of a team of undergraduates (including four IUP students), graduate students, and faculty members from universities in the U.S. and Europe.
For the past five years, PKAP has concerned itself primarily with the archaeological remains present on the surface of the ground. The goal of this fieldwork has been to collect data without disturbing the archaeological remains protected beneath the surface. The results of this work include the discovery of what may be a previously unknown shrine from the Archaic to Classical periods (600–300 B.C.) and an extensive Roman to Late Roman (100 B.C.–700 A.D.) settlement at the site.
In 2008, PKAP conducted limited excavations for the first time to confirm and expand the results of the surface survey. A series of small trenches brought to light the remains of a fortified settlement on a prominent coastal ridge called Vigla. This settlement appears to have been occupied from the Cypro-Archaic to the Hellenistic period (600–100 B.C.). The most dramatic feature of this settlement was a fortification wall that ringed the entire plateau. It seems probable the shrine of the same date served this small community. Nearby, the PKAP team excavated three small soundings close to the known site of Kokkinokremos. This work expanded the known extent of this Late Bronze Age site (ca. 1200 B.C.) We based this conclusion on the discovery of a section of wall datable to the Late Bronze Age that was located considerably outside the area of use proposed by earlier studies. The six seasons of fieldwork in the region of Pyla-Koutsopetria revealed a dynamic and wealthy Mediterranean landscape filled complete with towns, fortifications, and religious centers. The careful documentation of this material is particularly important as more and more of the Cypriot coastline succumbs to development. Plans are already underway for a larger, more extensive fieldseason in the summer of 2009.
The project enjoyed the generous assistance of the Estate Manager of the British Sovereign Area–Dhekelia Garrison, the Larnaka District Archaeological Museum, and the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute. The 2008 season’s fieldwork was funded by grants from Indiana University of Pennsylvania, University of North Dakota, Messiah College, American Schools of Oriental Research, Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the Brennan Foundation, the Mediterranean Archaeological Trust, and generous private donors. All field work was completed with the permission and cooperation of Director Pavlos Flourentzos of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.