Royal tombs found in Cyprus full of precious artefacts

Archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg have uncovered royal tombs near the Bronze Age city of Dromolaxia Vizatzia, located at Hala Sultan Tekke on the south eastern coast of Cyprus.

The tombs date from the around 1500 to 1300 BC during a period when the city was a centre for the copper trade, which according to the researchers are among the “richest” tombs ever discovered in the Mediterranean region.

Professor Peter Fishcher from the University of Gothenburg said: “It is a reasonable assumption that these were royal tombs, even though we do not know much about the form of government practiced in the city at the time.”

The site was discovered using magnetometers, a device used for measuring the Earth’s magnetic field in geophysical surveys to detect magnetic anomalies of various types, and to determine the dipole moment of magnetic materials.

- Advertisement -
Image Credit : Professor Peter Fishcher

“We compared the site where broken pottery had been ploughed during farming with the magnetometer map, which showed large cavities one to two metres below the surface. This led us to continue investigating the area and to discover the tombs,” said Professor Fischer.

The tombs consist of underground chambers each measuring up to 4 x 5 metres, which are accessed via a narrow passageway from the surface. Inside two of the chambers the team found over 500 complete artefacts, consisting of precious metals, gems, bronze weapons, ivory, high-status ceramics, and a gold-framed seal made of haematite.

Around half of the tomb contents were imported from neighbouring cultures and civilisations. Gold and ivory came from Egypt, precious stones were imported from Afghanistan, India and Sinai, while  amber objects came from the Baltic region.

Excavations also revealed several well-preserved skeletons, including a burial containing a woman who was found surrounded by dozens of ceramic vessels, jewellery and a round bronze mirror.

Professor Fishcher, said: “Several individuals, both men and women, wore diadems, and some had necklaces with pendants of the highest quality, probably made in Egypt during the 18th dynasty at the time of such pharaohs as Thutmos III, and Amenophis IV (Akhenaten) and his wife Nefertiti.”

University of Gothenburg

Header Image Credit : Professor Peter Fishcher

- Advertisement -

Mobile Application


Related Articles

Ring discovery suggests a previously unknown princely family in Southwest Jutland

A ring discovered in Southwest Jutland, Denmark, suggests a previously unknown princely family who had strong connections with the rulers of France.

Submerged evidence of rice cultivation and slavery found in North Carolina

Researchers from the University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) are using side-scan sonar and positioning systems to find evidence of rice cultivation and slavery beneath the depths of North Carolina’s lower Cape Fear and Brunswick rivers.

Study reveals oldest and longest example of Vasconic script

A new study of the 2100-year-old Hand of Irulegi has revealed the oldest and longest example of Vasconic script.

Archaeologists excavate the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä

Archaeologists have excavated the marginalised community of Vaakunakylä, a former Nazi barracks occupied by homeless Finns following the end of WW2.

Archaeologists find 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle

A team of archaeologists from National Tsing Hua University in Taiwan have uncovered a 4,000-year-old cobra-shaped ceramic handle in the Guanyin District of Taoyuan City.

Traces of Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais found at foot of Mount Tabor

During excavations near Beit Keshet in Lower Galilee, Israel, archaeologists from the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) have uncovered traces of a market within the historic Khan al-Tujjar caravanserais.

Traces of marketplace from Viking Age found on Klosterøy

Archaeologists from the University of Stavanger have announced the possible discovery of a Viking Age marketplace on the island of Klosterøy in southwestern Norway.

Fragments of Qin and Han Dynasty bamboo slips found in ancient well

Archaeologists have uncovered over 200 fragments of bamboo slips from the Qin and Han Dynasty during excavations in Changsha, China.