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by Archaeology Newsroom

The medieval sugar mill at Colossi

Systematic archaeological research at the sugar mill of Colossi led to important conclusions regarding the sugar factories of medieval Cyprus. In 1210 the sugar mill of the feud of Colossi was assigned to the religious order of Saint John of Jerusalem, known as Knights Hospitalers, by the king of Cyprus Hugues I Lusignan. According to literary sources there was a sugar production at Colossi from 1343 on, although it is very probable that sugar had been produced there much earlier, even since 1210. The excavation finds and the inscription on the southern wall of the sugar refinery that mentions that the workshop was renovated in 1591 under the administration of Murat, pasha of Cyprus, prove that the Colossi factory continued to operate during the years of Turkish rule. The valuable archival material concerning the cultivation and processing of sugarcane, the sugarcane plantations and the sugarmills of Cyprus increases its importance when it is combined with archaeological research. The excavations at the sugar mill of Colossi represent the first stage in the study of medieval industrial archaeology in Cyprus and are very important, since no other Mediterranean country has so far undertaken a similar project in this field.