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Cyprus: an ancient city discovered by archaeologists

Cyprus: an ancient city discovered by archaeologists

Remains of an ancient port and trading city in southern Cyprus have been discovered during excavations by Sweden’s University of Gothenburg, the island’s Mediterranean antiquities department announced Wednesday.

The city is located on the shores of Larnaca salt lake in the south of the island, and its area is estimated at no less than 25 hectares, and it dates back to the end of the Bronze Age and is said to have flourished between 1600 and 1100 BC, Giorgos Georgiou, Acting Director of the Cypriot Antiquities Department.

Photo: AFP

“It seems that the city’s wealth depends on copper production and trade with cultures near and far,” he added in a written response to AFP.

He added that the objects discovered during the excavations indicated the existence of a trading center.

In addition, the tombs at the site were discovered in July by a team from the University of Gothenburg, and are among the most sumptuous tombs ever discovered in the Mediterranean region, according to the Swedish team.

“Given the wealth of funerary objects, one can logically assume that they were royal tombs,” Peter Fisher, professor of archeology and leader of the expedition, said on the university’s website.

The tombs consist of underground chambers accessed through a narrow passage from the surface.

“We found more than 500 complete pieces distributed in two tombs,” added the leader of the Swedish expedition, which has been carrying out excavations around Hala Sultan Tekke since 2010.

According to him, about half of the objects discovered were imported, in particular, from Egypt, Afghanistan and India.

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“The tombs contain a full range of funerary goods, including locally produced pottery and decorative objects, as well as many jewels and other imported objects,” according to Mr. Georgiou.

The Cypriot official added that other metal objects such as precious metal jewelry, crowns, daggers, knives, spear points and a bronze mirror were also discovered.