New finds at Paphos site inhabited for thousands of years

Archaeologists exploring a multi-period site at Prastio–Mesorotsos in Paphos have uncovered a well-preserved plaster hearth and a well-built plaster floor of an Early- or Middle-Chalcolithic (2500-2300 BC) house, the antiquities department said Friday.

“This season the entirety of the final phase of a mud-plaster hearth was revealed, with a quern left in situ on top, and an adjacent large stone basin sitting on the terminal deposits of the building,” the department said.

Excavations at the site in the Dhiarizos valley, were conducted between July 10 and August 10, under the direction of Dr Andrew McCarthy, fellow of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh and lecturer at the College of Southern Nevada.

The site is situated around a rocky outcrop that acts as one of the most important topographical features in the valley.

“It seems to have been at a crossroads between the lowlands and the uplands and between the west of Cyprus and the rest of the island. Its location and the proximity of abundant natural resources led to the site’s extraordinary longevity, showing evidence for occupation from the Pre-pottery Neolithic until the modern day.”

In the eleventh excavation season at the site, four areas of the site were investigated exposing prehistoric remains from the Neolithic, Chalcolithic and the Early and Middle Bronze Ages (2,400-1,00 BC).

The entire space was covered by collapsed roof material, which indicates that the interior deposits of this building are mostly undisturbed after the collapse of the structure.

Although the location of the walls for this building are not entirely clear, it is probably not a circular structure, rather an elliptical or sub-rectangular building, perhaps indicating its date in the Early rather than Middle-Chalcolithic period, the department said.

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