Home > Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project > Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project 2009 Press Release

Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project 2009 Press Release

The equivalent of the archaeological victory cigar is the project press release.  It’s penned only once the fieldwork is done (and usually before the real celebration — the publication of the results) begin.  I send a version of this off to my university’s Office of University Relations and they perform their tweaktastic magic on it.  I’ll post a link to their improved (embettered?) version when it appears:

17 July 2009
Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project Press Release
For Immediate Release

The Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project has completed its 7th season of archaeological fieldwork in the coastal zone of Pyla Village near Larnaka Cyprus. Since 2003 the PKAP team has worked under the direction of William Caraher (University of North Dakota), R. Scott Moore (Indiana University of Pennsylvania) and David K. Pettegrew (Messiah College) and used intensive survey, remote sensing, and excavation to document this rich archaeological landscape. The 2009 field season was our second season of excavation and the largest and most complex to date with over 30 students and colleagues from the US, Canada, the UK, and Cyprus including 3 graduate students from University of North Dakota. Over a 5 week season, the PKAP team opened 6 trenches at the sites of Vigla, Koutsopetria, and Kokkinokremos. The trenches on the prominent coastal height of Vigla produced significant evidence of a Hellenistic (4th-3rd c. B.C.) settlement.  An imposing fortification wall surrounded domestic quarters whose collapsed mudbrick walls sealed valuable ceramic material on the floors. These buildings may have been the houses for mercenary forces positioned to protect a vulnerable stretch of coastline near the cosmopolitan city of Kition, or perhaps the homes of local residents who had settled in fortified villages during politically unstable times. The excavations on the neighboring coastal ridge of Kokkinokremos revealed two sections of complex perimeter wall dating to the Late Bronze Age. This wall suggests that the site itself was not properly fortified but only ringed with a series of interlocking structures. While these structures would have presented an imposing vista to an attacking foe, the presence of doorways leading through the exterior wall indicates that residents of the Late Bronze Age settlement regarded practical needs over the need for an impregnable defense. The final area of excavation was the Early Christian basilica at Koutsopetria. Our work near this long-known building sought to unravel the complex history of repair and rebuilding that occurred during the 5th, 6th, and 7th centuries A.D. To gather information on the building’s tumultuous life cycle, the excavations focused on an annex room that suffered several incidents of significant damage before its roof and second storey collapsed under seemingly dramatic circumstances.

In conjunction with the excavation work, the PKAP team conducted 10 days of geophysical survey with ground penetrating radar in collaboration with Beverly Chiarulli of Arcaheological Services Laboratory at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. This work revealed several areas of significant subsurface features.

Finally, the PKAP team continued its commitment to a trans-media approach to archaeological research. We were joined in the field by an experienced documentary filmmaker, Ian Ragsdale of Big Ape Productions and Ryan Stander, a photographer in the Masters of Fine Arts program at the University of North Dakota. Various members of the PKAP team blogged regularly on PKAP sponsored blogs, tweeted from the field on a PKAP Twitter feed, and produced a dozen podcasts. These projects represent an important aspect of reflexive fieldwork, as well as a commitment to public outreach through new media delivered over the web. The newly created Working Group in Digital and New Media at the University of North Dakota will contribute to the production of Ragsdale’s documentary and facilitate a digital exhibit of Stander’s photographs.

All field work was completed with the permission and cooperation of Director of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus, Dr. Pavlos Flourentzos. We also 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 2009 season΄s fieldwork was funded by grants from the University of North Dakota, Institute of Aegean Prehistory, and generous private donors.

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