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The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition 2017: Excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke (The Söderberg Expedition). Preliminary results.

Journal article
Authors Peter M. Fischer
Teresa Bürge
Published in Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome
Volume 11
Pages 29-79
ISSN 2000-0898
Publication year 2018
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Pages 29-79
Language en
Keywords Cyprus, archaeology, Late Bronze Age, Hala Sultan Tekke, trade
Subject categories Archaeology, classical


During the eighth field season at the Bronze Age city of Hala Sultan Tekke, excavations in City Quarter 1 (CQ1) exposed massive industrial and domestic structures belonging to three phases of occupation (Strata 3–1) dating to the 13th and 12th centuries BC (LC IIC–IIIA). Georadar survey, penetrating to a maximum depth of approximately 1 m, guided the excavation of walls of Strata 1–2, both of which were destroyed by conflagration. Excavations 1.5–2 m below the surface and also below the maximum penetration depth of the radar revealed a heretofore buried phase of occupation with substantial architectural units. For the first time, massive Stratum 3 structures with a markedly different building technique were exposed. Copper smelting installations, much ash and slag, and storage facilities also belong to this phase of occupation. Additional excavations guided by results from a magnetometer survey were carried out in Area A, roughly 600 m to the south-east of CQ1. Numerous circular anomalies were excavated. These were identified as Late Cypriot wells, rich offering pits, and a tomb from the same period. In addition to numerous intact locally produced vessels and other finds, the tomb contained a complete Late Minoan II/IIIA piriform jar with bird motifs which have exact parallels from Knossos. Other finds from this tomb include a diadem of leaf gold, amethyst jewellery, and nine sphendonoid shaped balance weights of haematite together with a hornblende whetstone. The features from Area A cover a period from the 16th to the 13th centuries BC (LC IB–IIC).

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