Archaeological excavations at Agios Ioannis/Vretsia-Roudias, Cyprus

The Department of Antiquities, Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, announces the completion of the 2023 investigations at the archaeological site of Agios Ioannis/Vretsia-Roudias, by the Archaeological Mission of the Department of History and Archaeology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH).

Excavations were conducted at the site in March 2023. The team was co-directed by Professor Emeritus N. Efstratiou and Associate Professor Dr. M. Ntinou of the AUTΗ and comprised of archaeologist, Mr. Dimitris Kyriakou, as well as students of the Department of History and Archaeology of the AUTH, Ms. Lydia Amvrosiadi, Vasiliki Argyrou, Nina Kovbas, Eleni Selengidi, and the Cypriot students of archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki G. Charilaou and P. Ioannou.

During the 2023 excavation season the team continued investigating the Epipalaeolithic site (Agios Ioannis/Vretsia-Roudias), on the southern part of the Roudias terrace, as well as the Aceramic Neolithic site (Upper Agios Ioannis/Vretsia-Roudias), which is located on the northern part of the terrace.

At the Epipalaeolithic site, it was decided to continue excavations in trenches I11, J12, F7 and G8 that had begun in 2021. The aim was to study the stratigraphic sequence of the deeper layers, to apply dry-sieving to all the excavated sediments and above all, to employ systematic flotation in order to collect archaeobotanical remains that had not yet been found.

More specifically, the excavation at the Epipaleolithic site of Agios Ioannis/Vretsia-Roudias confirmed previous observations concerning the succession of layers down to the natural bedrock in trenches G8 and F7. In trenches I12 and J12, the 2023 excavation uncovered the upper layers, characterized by the presence of small stones and abundant lithics. New excavation and stratigraphic evidence indicate the presence of a channel/pit, probably with anthropogenic fill. The following excavation period aims at further investigating this feature and to focus on the identification of artifacts and especially bioarchaeological material which is still minimal.

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