Religious and Mortuary Landscapes in Archaic Cyprus

Author(s): James Torpy; P. Nick Kardulias

Year: 2015


During the Archaic period (750-480 BC) the island of Cyprus underwent a dramatic transformation as new city-kingdoms rose to dominate the political landscape of the island. This shift resulted in increased competition for resources, establishment of political boundaries, and emergence of a pronounced social hierarchy within the new polities. The site of Athienou-Malloura, surveyed and excavated by the Athienou Archaeological Project includes a Cypro-Archaic sanctuary and nearby tombs on the hill of Maghara-Tepesi, four of which have been excavated. The present study compares the site of Athienou-Malloura to other comparable sites from around the island, in order to ascertain the distribution and role of rural sanctuaries and cemeteries during this period of increasing social complexity and political competition. The sites are compared to locations of the city-kingdoms, as well as access to natural resources such as arable soil and copper ore. It has been proposed both on Cyprus and elsewhere that grave monuments and religious sites partly functioned to create and enforce claims during turbulent growth periods. Building from more abstract speculations on Archaic Cypriot political boundaries, this study attempts to map a more nuanced view of the interplay between topography and human use of the landscape during this time.

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Religious and Mortuary Landscapes in Archaic Cyprus. James Torpy, P. Nick Kardulias. Presented at The 80th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, San Francisco, California. 2015 ( tDAR id: 397589)

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Geographic Keywords

Spatial Coverage

min long: -11.074; min lat: 37.44 ; max long: 50.098; max lat: 70.845 ;