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27 May, 2024
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Pyrgos dig reveals industrial plant dating back to 2350 BC

Archeologists also found remnants of the world's oldest silk, predating China's

Source: The Archeologist

From 2350 BC to 1850 BC, the Greek population of Pyrgos in Cyprus had a very important industrial building of about 4000 m2, where not only copper but also olive oil, perfume, medicines, textiles, paints, and wine were processed.

The world's oldest silk, which predates China's, as well as the world's first perfumery workshop, pharmaceutical preparation lab, and evidence of the processing of metals with olive oil (burning oil for high temperature), which was unheard of in the world 1500 years before the Phoenicians and in which they also used purple dye, were all discovered.

One of the most significant sites for the prehistory of Hellenism in Cyprus is the Pyrgos region. By modernizing and deepening research using cutting-edge excavation techniques and archaeometric analysis, we can learn more about the evolution of prehistoric agricultural technologies that shaped and defined the main characteristics of the island as well as its cultural identity.

The prehistoric Greek people, who were aware of their cultural heritage, created unique systems for transmitting historical memory as well as pictorial symbols to preserve the memory of their technological heritage. The well-known "Vase of Pyrgos," which employs symbolism to represent the entire wine-making process, was discovered in a tomb in Pyrgos by Pavlos Florenzos, the director of the Cypriot Antiquities Authority, as proof of this system.

A realistic picture of the environment and agricultural resources of the time is painted by comparing this pictorial evidence with the data gathered through the analysis of the elements and the archeological sediment, as well as the various systems used to benefit from the agricultural and mineral resources of the island.

We have evidence of the agricultural revolution in Pyrgos, modified from the beginning of the Bronze Age through the organization and transformation of prehistoric Greek society, which was based on the relationships and balance between technology and the organization of social life that are significant to the needs, resources, economic exchange, and the differentiation of social and labor classes.

Pyrgos/Mavrorachis was acknowledged from the start of the archeological investigations as one of the most significant for the metallurgical investigations of 2000 BC in Cyprus, as well as in the Mediterranean and throughout the world.

The ancient city's strategic location at the confluence of several rivers, between copper deposits and the sea, was perfect for metallurgical operations and trade in the second millennium BC. Nevertheless, following eight years of meticulous excavations, we now know that the settlement had a very significant industrial building of about 4000 square meters, where not only copper but also olive oil, perfumes, medicines, textiles, paints, and wine were processed. There was also discovered the world's oldest silk and the first perfumery workshop. There is proof that the world's most distinctive olive oil is related to the processing of metals.

The Mediterranean region's oldest silk was discovered here. Italian researchers discovered a tiny fragment that was 4,000 years old and originated in Pyrgos, a village in Cyprus, not China.

Only under a microscope can these silk traces, discovered in a terracotta jar, be seen, but Professor Giuseppe Scala of the University of Florence has determined that they are silk fibers from the cocoon of the Lepidoptera tortrix viridens, which once lived in the Aegean islands. Therefore, it wasn't imported from China, as was previously believed, where it was instead exclusively produced using the cocoon of the Bombyx Mori butterfly. The Pyrgos silk was unquestionably produced on the spot by individuals who did not already possess the Chinese technique but instead picked it up by taking advantage of the cocoons.

Cyprus  |  archeology  |  history

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