Excavations of ancient city in Cyprus point to wealthy society with int’l contacts

Excavations of an ancient city next to Larnaca airport point to a wealthy Cypriot society as old as 3,600 years, which had established contacts with cultures all over the Mediterranean and beyond, the Cypriot Department of Antiquities said Friday.

In a statement, it said that a Swedish archaeological mission, which just completed the excavation of ancient tombs at Dromoloxia-Vyzakia next to Larnaca airport, unearthed exquisite burial gifts which came mainly from Mycenae and the Minoan cities in Greece, and to a lesser extent from Anatolia, Syropalestine and Egypt.

Among the articles unearthed were alabaster pots from Egypt which mimicked Cypriot ceramic and were very popular during the dynasty of Pharao Thutmosis III in the 15th century BC, scarabs and ivory objects.

Some of the scarabs have inscriptions with hieroglyphs, which will be deciphered, the statement said.

“In short, the kind of the objects found point to a wealthy Cypriot society, which had established contacts with cultures all over the Mediterranean and beyond,” the statement said.

It added that the wealth of the society under archaeological scrutiny came from the production of copper and its trading in the form of bronze over long distances.

The Antiquities Department said the findings were discovered in two “family tombs” excavated by a mission headed by Professor Peter Fischer from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden.

The excavated city of Dromoloxia-Vyzakia flourished between 1630 and 1150 BC.