]The discovery of an impressive circular building belonging to the Choirokitian Phase in the upper part of the Xeros River terrace in the Troodos mountains raises new research questions regarding Cypriot prehistory and highlights the role of upland areas in Cypriot archaeology, the Department of Antiquities said on Thursday.
The announcement followed the completion of the 2019 archaeological mission of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).
The team, under the direction of Professor Nikos Efstratiou, consisted of undergraduate and postgraduate students of the Archaeology Section of the AUTH History and Archaeology Department and Cypriot researcher Demetris Kyriakou.
This year, the site of Agios Ioannis/Vretsia-Upper Rhoudias a site in the upper part of Xeros River terrace in an upland area of Paphos District (elevation: 460 m.), which was first discovered during the 2018 excavation season, was further investigated.
The 2019 excavations revealed an impressive circular building which belongs chronologically to the so-called ‘Choirokoitian Phase’ (ca. 6400 – 5600 BC).
The stone building has a diameter of at least 5 metres and is extremely well-built (consisting of two lines of stones). It is preserved in a very good condition. Other smaller structures have also been revealed in association with the larger building, as well as a refuse area. The excavation’s movable finds include a large number of chipped stone tools of flint and ground stone-tools and also ground stone-vessels, as well as quantities of animal bones.
The discovery, in this far away and secluded upland area of Troodos, of the very characteristic architectural tradition of the round house, challenges the prevailing notion of the Cypriot mountainous hinterland being a culturally marginal area.
In addition, this new site raises the number of ‘Choirokoitian Phase’ excavated sites, which are few.
“The results of the AUTH excavations at Agios Ioannis/Vretsia-Upper Rhoudias pose new research question regarding Cypriot prehistory and at the same time highlight the role of upland areas in Cypriot archaeology, a role which has been underestimated up until now,” the department concluded.