LARNACA – Excavations on Cyprus led by Swedish archaeologists have revealed a host of treasures pointing to the old city of Larnaca being an important trading post during the Bronze Age from 1600-1100 B.C.
“The city’s wealth seems to have been based on the production of copper and trade with near and distant cultures,” Giorgos Georgiou, Acting Director of Cyprus’ Antiquities Department told Agence France-Presse (AFP.)
“Judging by the rich burial gifts, the tombs belonged to families of the city’s ruling class, which must have been involved in the export of copper and intercultural trade,” he added in writing.
He said the excavation site at Dromolaxia-Vyzakia was a Late Bronze Age harbor settlement, estimated to be at least 25 hectares (60 acres) in size in a settlement that flourished on the shores of the Larnaca salt lake at Hala Sultan Tekke.
In July, a University of Gothenburg team from Sweden said it had found tombs outside the Bronze Age trading metropolis among the richest ever found in the Mediterranean region, showing copper trade from 1500-1300 B.C.
“Considering the richness of the grave goods, it is a reasonable assumption that these were royal tombs,” said Peter Fischer, an archaeology professor and leader of the expedition.
The tombs consist of underground chambers accessed via a narrow passage from the surface. The chambers vary in size, measuring up to 4 x 5 meters (yards).
The Swedish expedition, excavating around Hala Sultan Tekke since 2010, also earlier found tombs. “We found more than 500 complete artifacts distributed among two tombs,” it said.
“Many of the artifacts consist of precious metals, gems, ivory and high-quality ceramics,” said Fischer on the university’s website. He said about half of the artifacts were imported from neighboring cultures.