Home > Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project > A Sense of Place at Pyla-Koutsopetria

A Sense of Place at Pyla-Koutsopetria

We were visited by Maria Hadjicosti today and she spent the morning walking our site with us.  We are collaborating with her and the Department of Antiquities to publish the results from her excavations at Pyla-Koutsopetria in the 1990s.  These excavations were conducted on her family’s lands which now fall within the British Sovereign Area on the island. The remains at the site were initially discovered by her cousin during the deep ploughing of the land (see on Pottery and Plowzones).  Maria and some colleagues undertook the excavations at the site on their own time, digging on weekends and days off uncovering a single room and part of the apse.  The room included the collapsed remains of an impressive double vault spanning a space decorated with plaster wall painting, Proconnesian marble revetment, and moulded gypsum decoration.  She was very encouraging concerning our work at the area which was important for the success of the project this year. 

More important than this, however, was that she shared with us some of the recent history of the place of Pyla-Koutsopetria.  She told us about her grandfather’s gardens along the coastal road which grew watermellons and described her childhood visits to these gardens and the sea.  She told us about how the women in the family used to bring meals down from Pyla Village to the laborers in their fields down along the coast during the harvest time.  The fields that her family worked were gradually distributed through the various members of her family, many of whom now live in the UK and the US, and some of them became part of the British base at Dhekelia.  The long ridgeline of Kokkikokremos and Vigla was Kazama which she called “our mountain” and villagers from Pyla and the other villages in the area would travel to the mountain to collect herbs, horta, flowers during the springtime, and honey. 

Finally, her visit officially began the excavation season.  As per usual with all things PKAP a slight GIS/GPS glitch delayed the ceremonial first trowel-ing of the soil at Vigla and Kokkinokremos, but I am working this morning to un-glitch our data and we’ll be ready to go for real this afternoon.  Hopefully we’ll have photographs of our first day excavation posted by the weekend.

For more on the Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project see our sister blogs: Pyla-Koutsopetria Graduate Student Weblog, Pyla-Koutsopetria Undergraduate Perspectives, and Pyla-Koutsopetria Season Staff Blog.

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