Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Architecture and Stratigraphy at Polis on Cyprus

Over the past month I've once again been spending time at the site of Polis-Chrysochous in Cyprus. My work there over the past two years has focused on documenting the architecture and archaeology of the area called E.F2. The main building in the area of E.F2 is a Christian basilica built in the 6th century and standing at least as late as the 11th. Other features include a kiln, a road, the remains of a complex system of water pipes, wells, and drains, and a other buildings some of which appear to be workshops while others seem to be related to the function of the church. Last summer, a small team of scholars worked to understand the stratigraphy and architecture of the church at E.F2.

This summer, we began to turn our attention to some of the other buildings in the area of the church. Our primary goals were to describe the stratigraphy and the architecture of the area to the southeast of the main basilica. In particular, we were interested in understanding the history and function of two rooms situated some 7 or 8 m from the southern wall of the basilica.

These rooms opened onto a road that ran parallel to the south wall of the basilica and probably framed the southern edge of a small open courtyard located just to the south of a porch on the south side of the basilica.
The standing outer walls of these two rooms sits atop earlier walls dating, it would seem to the 1st c. BC – 1st c. A.D. This earlier building originally had a single large opening facing the street, but sometime during those two centuries, the middle wall was build closing the single large door and dividing the one large room into two smaller rooms.