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New Insights on Burial Practices at the Late Bronze Age City of Hala Sultan Tekke, Cyprus

Journal article
Authors Peter M. Fischer
Teresa Bürge
Published in Ugarit-Forschungen / Wilfred G. E. Watson and Nicolas Wyatt (Eds.)
Volume UF48
Issue 48
Pages 121-171
ISSN 0342-2356
Publication year 2017
Published at Department of Historical Studies
Pages 121-171
Language en
Keywords Hala Sultan Tekke; Late Bronze Age; tombs; ofering pits; intercultural relations; Mycenae; Crete; Levant; Egypt; Anatolia; pottery; scarabs; cylinder seals
Subject categories Archaeology, classical


Hala Sultan Tekke is a large Bronze Age city close to the famous homonymous mosque near the international airport of Larnaca on the south coast of Cyprus. Previous research demonstrated that the city flourished mainly in the later part of the Late Bronze Age—viz., during the 13th and 12th centuries b.c.e.—but recent excavations confirmed that the city was occupied from as early as the Middle Cypriot III–Late Cypriot IA period around 1600 b.c.e. The current project, which started in 2010, exposed three new city quarters (CQ1–3) in the northern part of the city close to the ancient harbor—that is, today’s Larnaca Salt Lake. Geophysical surveys by georadar and magnetometer, which were carried out in Area A, a plateau approximately 600 m east of CQ1 and opposite the mosque, indicated more than 80 roughly circular anomalies. Among the seven anomalies excavated in 2016 are Tomb X and Offering Pit V, which are the main subjects of this article. Concentrated in these features were objects of high artistic value from a vast area of the eastern Mediterranean, including the Aegean, the Levant, Egypt, and possibly Anatolia. Both features antedate the occupation of the previously excavated city quarters. This paper discusses burial practices in one of the richest cemteries on the island.

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