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Cyprus

Dig at ancient military site sheds light on its fortification

Excavations at the site of Pyla-Vigla enabled archaeologists to get a clearer picture of the domestic and industrial area of the site’s fortification system, it was announced on Tuesday.

This year, excavations by the department of antiquities around the north fortification wall revealed the continuation of an impressive mudbrick wall first discovered in 2018.

“The northern edge of the wall was identified but its full extent remains elusive, and appears to be over 5 metres thick,” the department said.

Soundings placed on the south fortification wall, built on the slope, revealed a substantially well-preserved fieldstone wall with an important deposit of early Hellenistic ceramics found at the wall’s base.

Excavations in the centre of the plateau exposed several rooms with pottery on floors. Finds continued to show the military character of the site, including projectile points, iron weapons and lead sling bullets.

This summer the antiquities department completed its 15th season under the direction of Dr Brandon R Olson of Metropolitan State University of Denver, Dr Tom Landvatter of Reed College, and Dr R Scott Moore of the Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Previous excavations at the site revealed the presence of a previously unknown early-Hellenistic fortification.

Vigla is located on a steep plateau overlooking Larnaca Bay, which provided both a strong defensible location and an advantageous view of the coastal road between ancient Kition and Salamis.

The architectural, ceramic, and numismatic evidence discovered during previous seasons clearly date the occupation of the fortifications on Vigla to the late 4th and early 3rd centuries BC, a period not well-documented in Cypriot history.

Future work planned for Vigla will focus more on the fortification’s interior architecture and the nature of activity within the residential/industrial areas.

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