Anogyra Vlou Archaeological Site
The countryside of Cyprus is swamped with archaeological sites, though many of them are rightly off-limit to the public. A couple of years ago a forum regular visited Anogyra Vlou, and now that it is also shown on Google Maps, we thought it an opportune time to revisit the location and have a look for ourselves.
Get Your Bearings
The Archaeological Site lies to the North of Anogyra, above Limassol, and is a little tricky to find. However, if you head to Oleastro Olive Park you will be in the right neck of the woods. There is a map at the end of the blog as well.
This Must Be The Place
So let's get tooled up with the history of this place. A quick google revealed the following:
Anogyra - Vlou: Institute for the History of Material Culture of the Russian Academy of Sciences
The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces the completion of the 2015 archaeological field season at Anogyra - Vlou and Anogyra - Tsoulloufatsena (Lemesos District). The fieldwork was conducted in September 2015 by the Cyprus Expedition of the Institute for the History of Material Culture (Russian Academy of Sciences) under the direction of Dr. V.A. Goroncharovskiy.
The main objective of archaeological exploration in the vicinity of the village of Anogyra was to conduct a geomagnetic survey at the site of Anogyra-Tsoulloufatesena, opposite the medieval monastery of Timios Stavros (Holy Cross). The total investigated area measures around 0.3 hectares. Although impressive architectural remains could not be detected due to the small contrast of the magnetic properties of the limestone walls and the extremely rocky soil, nevertheless, it is almost certain that a large building complex lies in this area. This is evidenced by the presence of building remains in trenches that were investigated in the past, displaced cut stone blocks, a stone weight from an olive oil press and ceramic material (fragments of tiles, large clay vessels and jugs), primarily dating to the 3rd – 4th century AD.
Furthermore, an area near the excavations of 2009-2012 and 2014 was investigated through magnetic survey and detailed magnetic measurements were recorded. On the northern and eastern sections of the area magnetic anomalies did not occur. However, the most interesting result was obtained in the southern sector, where investigations identified a large pottery centre with evidence of ceramic kilns, pits with ceramic refuse and pits that would have been used for mixing the clay. This pottery center would probably have been connected with the Late Hellenistic olive oil production workshop that was identified during the 2009-2012 and 2014 excavations.
Geomagnetism At Its Finest
And if you were curious as to what a Geomagnetic survey is:
The geomagnetic survey is an efficient method for modelling of geological structures as well as for non-destructive detection of near-surface anomalies of human origin. The measurement of geomagnetic declination supports navigation and geographic mapping purposes.
The goals of the geomagnetic surveys are the mapping of crustal and near-surface magnetic anomalies and the modelling their geological or artificial origin. In most cases, the surveyed magnetic anomalies are with orders less than the ambient main geomagnetic field (1-100 nT vs. ca. 48 000 nT in Hungary). Therefore the prospecting should rely on precise measurement practice carried out with sensitive magnetometers of low noise.
Olive Oil Production Workshop
Ok, so what do we know from all that. The site is Hellenic, and was used for Olive Oil Production. There are more buildings underground, and lots of pottery was made nearby.
Let's Have A Look
There is a fence around the whole site, but there is now an entrance with proper footpath in one corner. Given that the site is now on google maps, we figured there was no harm in going in.
If you do visit any Archaeological Site in Cyprus though, remember the explorer's charter: "Take only pictures, leave only footprints".