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Bronze Age metallurgical ceramics from Cyprus

Principal Researcher: Demetrios Ioannides (University of Cyprus)




The current project involves an interdisciplinary study of the metallurgical ceramics from the ancient urban centre of Kition, in east Cyprus. The material from the site is an ideal case study for the diachronic technological study of metallurgical evidence dating from the Late Bronze Age (14th century BC) to the end of the Classical period (late 4th century BC).

The material under investigation consists mainly of furnace fragments, and to a lesser extent of crucible and tuyère fragments. Slag and metal remains often adhere on the walls of these ceramic artefacts indicating their utilization in metallurgical activities. The aim of this study is to reconstruct the nature of the technological processes, for which these metallurgical ceramics had been used, and map the compositional and technological fingerprint of the assemblage assessing technological changes that may have occurred in the long term. A number of analytical techniques, such as optical microscopy, SEM-EDS and pXRF are employed for the technological and compositional characterisation of the material under study. The data gathered will be also comparatively studied with published, contemporary material from other Cypriot, Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean sites.

It is anticipated that the results of this project will contribute to the already established scholarly discussion about the role of the harbour city of Kition within its intra- and inter-regional context, assessing at the same time the metal production technology and the mode of organisation of the production. The ultimate objective of this research project is to contribute further to the discussion about the socio-political and economical organisation during the Late Bronze Age in Cyprus, and at the same time to initiate a review of the role of Cyprus as a copper producer and exporter in post-Bronze Age periods.


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