History Professor, Students Participate in Cyprus Research Project

Posted on 9/17/2008 1:20:15 PM

Dr. R. Scott Moore, a professor of history at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, recently completed the sixth season of an archaeological investigation in Cyprus.

Moore is the leader of an international team of faculty and students, including five IUP students, working on the the Pyla-Koutsopetria project, which is a regional survey of a coastal territory east of Larnaca, Cyprus.

For the past five years, project members have focused on the archaeological remains on the surface of the ground. This year, thanks to funding from the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education, the IUP anthropology and history departments have purchased a special device, the Trimble GNSS R8 base station and rover, to help with accurate mapping of excavation and survey projects.

IUP students involved in the project include Jon Crowley, of Boyertown; Jessica Freas, of Somerset; Joe Kochinski, of Windber; and graduate student Nick Wise, of Kinzers.

The site of Pyla-Koutsopetria was a wealthy late Roman village that served as an important regional trading hub for the southeastern area of the island.

“The advantage of the R8 for archaeological surveys is that it provides extremely accurate mapping in seconds, allowing a survey team to collect hundreds of survey points in a day,” Moore said. “This is compared to the use of hand-held units, which are less accurate and take much longer for each reading.

“During a three-week period, the team was able to take more than 5,000 measurements over a two-kilometer square area, permitting the creation of an extremely accurate topographic map of the coastal region.”

Moore said that the six seasons of fieldwork in the region have revealed a dynamic and wealthy Mediterranean landscape filled 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 under way for a larger, more extensive field season in the summer of 2009.”

Funding for the 2008 season’s fieldwork was provided by grants from IUP, the University of North Dakota, Messiah College, American Schools of Oriental Research, Institute for Aegean Prehistory, the Brennan Foundation, the Mediterranean Archaeological Trust and private donors. All fieldwork was completed with the permission and cooperation of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.