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The New Swedish Cyprus Expedition. Excavations At Hala Sultan Tekke (The Söderberg Expedition). Preliminary Results

Peter Fischer, Teresa Bürge, Laerke Recht, Dominika Kofel, David Kaniewski, Nick Marriner, Christophe Morhange

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In the seventh season at the Bronze Age city of Hala Sultan Tekke excavations continued in City Quarter 1 (CQ1) where georadar indicated stone structures to the south of the area excavated in 2010–2012. Massive domestic structures, which belong to three phases of occupation (Strata 1–3), were exposed. Both the most recent Stratum 1, and Stratum 2 were destroyed in a conflagration. The three phases are preliminarily dated to the 13th and 12th centuries BC. Excavations were also carried out in Area A, roughly 600 m to the south-east of CQ1. Seven circular anomalies indicated by our geomagnetic survey were excavated. Two were pits of modern date, and three were identified as Late Cypriot wells. Another anomaly turned out to represent a rich Late Cypriot offering pit with figurines and more than 60 ceramic vessels. Amongst the Mycenaean vessels are several “chariot kraters” and a large vessel with the oversized image of a female robed in a splendidly adorned Minoan-style dress. The remaining anomaly probably represents a tomb of a very wealthy family so far containing, inter alia, 80 locally produced and imported vessels, gold jewellery, weapons, scarabs, and seals. The material in the offering pit and the tomb reflects far-reaching intercultural connections in the period from the 16th to the 13th centuries BC.