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21 May, 2024
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NYU expedition uncovers remarkable archaeological finds on Geronisos Island

Rock-cut tomb in 3-D model, late Roman amphorae, and Hellenistic rooftiles among the discoveries

Newsroom / CNA

The Department of Antiquities announced on Wednesday the impressive findings brought to light by the New York University archaeological dig on Geronisos Island, in the area of Agios Georgios of Pegeia. The three-month survey, excavation, and research program, led by Professor Joan Breton Connelly from New York University, revealed significant discoveries with the collaboration of academic and research institutions from various countries.

The expedition encompassed excavation work at Maniki Harbour, the Meletis Necropolis, and atop Geronisos Island. Comprehensive studies were also conducted on the excavated materials in preparation for publication.

The international team of scholars and students participated in a multi-disciplinary program involving various aspects of excavation and research. Notably, Dr. Stella Demesticha from the University of Cyprus analyzed late Roman amphorae found along the shores of Maniki Harbour, revealing important trade connections with South Palestine during the mid-6th century AD.

Drs. Theotokis Theodoulou (Head of the Cretan section of the Ephorate for Underwater Antiquities in Greece) and Alexandros Tourtas (University of the Aegean) conducted a comprehensive coastal and underwater survey of Maniki Harbour and Cape Drepanum area, identifying mooring bollards and retrieving stone anchors from the sea floor.

Atop Geronisos Island, Philip Ebeling from Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster directed the excavation of a significant deposit of Hellenistic roof tiles, providing insights into the monumentality of structures built on the island. Architect Pieter Brouke from Middlebury College studied Geronisos limestone architectural blocks and moldings.

The New York University team also completed the excavation of a rock-cut tomb discovered in 2018 at the Meletis necropolis, approximately half a kilometer inland from Agios Georgios. This family tomb, dating from Late Hellenistic through Roman times (1st century B.C. to possibly early 4th century A.D.), yielded a variety of artifacts, including oil jars, jugs, laygnoi, table amphorae, and lamps.

Dr. Paul Croft from the Lemba Archaeological Research Centre led the excavation of the tomb, and the tomb's artifacts are under study by Prof. Jolanta Mlynaczyk from the University of Warsaw, while Dr. Monika Miziolek from the Polish Academy of Sciences focuses on the Roman cooking pottery. A considerable amount of glass and glass fragments recovered from the tomb are being studied by Dr. Mariusz Burdajewicz from the University of Warsaw.

Additionally, Dr. Efthymia Nikita from The Cyprus Institute and her students examined the tomb's human skeletal remains, discovering a minimum of 6 individuals buried in the tomb chamber and 4 infants outside the chamber.

Concluding the expedition, a team led by Athanasios Koutoupas from the Andreas Pittas Art Characterization Laboratories (APAC Labs) at The Cyprus Institute utilized 3-D scanning and photogrammetry for the full documentation of the Meletis tomb.

These remarkable findings offer valuable insights into the history and archaeology of Geronisos Island and its surrounding areas, providing a deeper understanding of the region's past.

Cyprus  |  dig  |  archeology  |  USA

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