Landscapes of settlement in South-East Cyprus the late Bronze Age origins of a Phoenician polity incorporating the results of fieldwork by the author at Pyla-Kokkinokremos 2007-2009
Brown, Michael Gareth
The origins of Early Iron Age polity in south-east Cyprus have traditionally been attributed to the formal imposition of Phoenician dominion over Kition in 707 BC. It is proposed that this paradigm fails adequately to acknowledge local agency in the preceding development of relations with Canaan and the Nile Delta from c.1650 BC onwards. Longue durée trends in settlement and societal development suggest that Late Bronze Age communities became pre-adapted to incorporation into wider Levantine spheres of interaction through participation in 'orientalizing' exchange. An emphasis is placed upon the significance of bulk commodity industry as a catalyst for social innovation, including the adoption of urbanism, concurrent with secondary state formation. Three case studies examine the development of regional settlement landscapes within the environs of Ayios Sozomenos, Pyla, and Hala Sultan Tekke. Discussion chiefly incorporates the results of new fieldwork conducted by the author [2007-2009] at the site of Pyla-Kokkinokremos. This involved pedestrian, geophysical and remote sensing survey combined with trial excavation. Several previously unknown archaeological features were identified, providing significant new information concerning the character and intramural composition of this important maritime centre. These findings complement those of previous missions, and reflect an established community rooted in its surroundings. A dominant trend of continuity in settlement and societal development, most clearly apparent through successive episodes of synoecism, is proposed for south-east Cyprus as a whole across the Bronze-to-Iron Age transition. Changes in occupation throughout the eastern Mediterranean at this time have conventionally been attributed to successive waves of migration and colonisation. This thesis constitutes an attempt at a pre-colonial narrative for Phoenician Cyprus, and by extension a conceptual framework to structure investigation of Levantine diaspora communities elsewhere in the Mediterranean.