Contesting Landscapes. Hidden Histories vs. Memorialised Spaces in Cyprus

Author(s): Louise Steel

Year: 2018


People’s relationship with place plays a significant role in shaping, contesting and (re-)negotiating identities. This paper considers place as an active agent in the mediation of modern Cypriot identity against a backdrop of centuries of colonial occupation. The focus is Arediou, south of the Green Line. Here, I explore how experiences of the past are embedded spatially but are also experienced differently according to their relationship to current narratives of being (Greek-)Cypriot and memories of occupation by the colonial other.

The slipperiness of Cypriot history, how certain spaces are remembered and memorialised while others are ignored or actively forgotten, demonstrates the intangibility of the past. Different narratives are attached to different phases of the Cypriot past: antiquity is concealed within a cloak of Hellenism, while the more recent Orthodox past is revered with great pride, and the turbulent recent past is proclaimed through the very name of the local kafeneio, the Parthenon.

Drawing upon local stories passed down over the generations, I explore how places within and around the village (local archaeological sites, copper mines, residues of British colonial activity, EOKA hideouts, abandoned villages) are variously remembered, forgotten, understood and represented, to actively create a sense of being Cypriot.

Cite this Record

Contesting Landscapes. Hidden Histories vs. Memorialised Spaces in Cyprus. Louise Steel. Presented at The 82nd Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Washington, DC. 2018 ( tDAR id: 443744)

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Spatial Coverage

min long: -10.151; min lat: 29.459 ; max long: 42.847; max lat: 47.99 ;

Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 18875