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The Late Bronze Age harbour city of Hala Sultan Tekke. Results from the New Swedish Cyprus Expedition 2010–2015

Paper i proceeding
Författare Peter M. Fischer
Publicerad i Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology and Literature, Pocket Book (PB) 184
ISBN 978-91-7081-217-0
ISSN 0283-8494
Förlag Åströms förlag
Förlagsort Uppsala
Publiceringsår 2016
Publicerad vid Institutionen för historiska studier
Språk en
Ämnesord End of the Bronze Age, Cyprus, Hala Sultan Tekke, Sea Peoples, Crisis Years
Ämneskategorier Arkeologi,klassisk, Antikvetenskap, Arkeologi


The occupational sequence of Hala Sultan Tekke in relation to other selected sites on or near the southern littoral of Cyprus has been presented. These include, in addition to Hala Sultan Tekke, Toumba tou Skourou, Maa Palaeokastro, Kourion, Kalavasos Ayios Dhimitrios, Maroni Vournes, Kition, Pyla Kokkinokremos, Sinda and Enkomi. These settlements flourished in Late Cypriot IIC, most of them continued to be occupied in transitional Late Cypriot IIC/IIIA and Late Cypriot IIIA, and just two of them continued to exist as permanent settlements in Late Cypriot IIIB. This situation mirrors well the effect of the general crisis, the ‘Sea Peoples Phenomenon’, on the Late Cypriot population during the outgoing Bronze Age in the Mediterranean. The finds from Strata 2 and 1 at Hala Sultan Tekke reflect thriving societies. Local products include purple-dyed textiles and copper-based objects. Both strata suffered catastrophic events as demonstrated by the archaeological evidence. There seems to be no occupational gap between the destruction of Stratum 2 and the rebuilding and reoccupation of Stratum 1. One of the most significant differences between Strata 2 and 1 is that the most recent excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke in 2015 exposed for the first time walls in Stratum 1 which are almost twice the widths of walls of other domestic structures from the same or earlier phases of occupation. Although these walls are exposed only to a very limited extent, the preliminary interpretation is that they represent defence structures. It is suggested that these substantial structures might have been built after the catastrophe which hit the occupants of Stratum 2, with precautionary intentions of protecting the city from future attackers. On balance, we know that the defence system did not protect the population of Hala Sultan Tekke. The settlers of Stratum 1 shared the same fate as those from Stratum 2 with one important difference—once again the city was destroyed but this time it was finally abandoned.

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