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by Archaeology Newsroom

Sillourokambos (Parekklessia): The First Peasants of Cyprus

In less than ten years, owing to the excavations at Sillourokambos (Parekklessia) that is located on southern Cyprus, our knowledge of the settlement of the first farming and cattle-raising communities on the island has made an impressive progress. These excavations have also brought to the fore the issue of dating the domestication of various species of flora and fauna of the mainland of Cyprus. All started in the end of the 1980s, when the antiquaries working at the coastal area of Amathounta, the ancient capital of a Cypriot «kingdom», decided to draw the archaeological map of the district, in order to get a better idea of the relations between the city and its rural surrounding. This project not only enabled the precise location of the earlier layers of inhabitation, but it also proved the existence of a great number of Neolithic settlements in this region, east of Limassol. Thus, an especially thorough synopsis of all the prehistoric records was possible to be worked out. Afterwards, research started in the more extended archaeological site at Sillourokarnbos, a fortress of around 20 square meters in extent, which was built five kilometers far from the coast on a small plateau between two valleys. Originally the objective was the continuation of strata to be proved, but then this effort led to the re-classification and dating of the abundant archaeological material, coming from the archaeological site and from the nu¬merous nearby settlements.