Ancient Lemba

Published 3rd of March, 2017

More from 2015

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These two haven't changed much since 2015 though.

Comparison Shots

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Comparing the two pictures side by side, we can see quite clealy how much the artwork has eroded as well. This is even more apparent if you compare it to a shot taken when the huts had first been built. Now, the second image in the picture below is of very low quality, but you can still see the difference. The quality is so low because I had to photograph the information sign from a distance using maximum zoom. I was able to get all the text as well though, and I have reproduced it to accompany the next two pictures.

Artwork in Decay

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The Chalcolithi Village of Lempa

This site is a rare settlement of the Chalcolithic calture [sic], characteristic of the Paphos region, which lasted for about a millenium (3500-2500BC)

The village consisted of clusters of round houses built of stone and mud and had no defensive walls around it. It's inhabitants lived on hunting, fishing, herding and gathering and growing of various plants. They made tools in stone, bone and deer antler and knew pottery, stone and wood-carving, weaving and basketry. They also used a few small copper objects.

They probably worshipped a powerful fertility goddess who protected childbirth and infants. In particular this worship is evidenced by numerous female figurines made of clay and stone, especially picrolite. These were found in houses and in tombs, mainly of infant and women.

Images Relating To The Information Sign

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One of the largest and most important Chalcolithic statuettes is the so-called Lady of Lempa which was found in a round house (Building 1) of the settlement. The floor of this hous was divided into two parts: one made of earth the other, which looked like the official part of the building, paved with cement. The statuette was found on the ground at the point of division between the two parts.

The Lady of Lempa (3000 BC), newly in display in the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia, is 36cm high, made of limestone. She is a naked, pregnant woman with short, outstretched arms, a high phallic neck supporting er raised head. The fertility character of this statue is emphasized by the schematic rendering of her breasts, large hips and swollen belly. She may be considered a remote ancestor of the Paphian Aphrodite, since the cult of a powerful fertility goddess in the region may have survived through the centuries, to be revived in the shape of the paphian Goddess, later Aphrodite, worshipped at Palaepaphos.

The neighbouring site of Kissonerga loc. Mosphilia (not open to the public) is another, even more important settlement of the Chalcolithic culture. Many stone and clay female figurines have been found there. Of special importnace are a clay figurine of a woman giving birth and a model of a sanctuary or birth-hut (now in the Cyprus Museum, in Nicosia).

Meanwhile In Modern Lemba

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So, ancient Lemba does indeed need a bit of TLC. However, it does seem to be a work in progress. I won't bother putting a map up showing it's location. I will do another blog when they have finished though, complete with directions. It isn't the only thing to see in Lemba either. I shall be writing about this place soon...

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