Archaeologists investigate threatened Cypriot site

Leicester archaeologists are in a race against time to uncover the heritage of a threatened 1,500-year-old site on a Cyprus shoreline.

Between 9-23 September an expert team, from the School of Archaeology and Ancient History, will conduct a small-scale archaeological excavation at Dreamer’s Bay, inside the UK’s Cyprus airbase, RAF Akrotiri.

This site, a late Roman/early Byzantine harbour complex, is a significant part of the heritage of the Akrotiri Peninsula, and has been known about for some decades but not adequately explored and documented.

Simon James (pictured), Professor of Archaeology at Leicester, said: “We aim to conduct a rescue excavation on wave-threatened heritage remains along the shoreline, in the form of a series of simple masonry buildings, probably warehouses, which appear to belong to the port which existed here in late Roman/early Byzantine times, probably between AD 300 and 600. These structures are being rapidly eroded by the sea during winter storms.

“Our excavation will provide an opportunity for further reconnaissance of the archaeology of the peninsula and for discussions regarding future fieldwork plans, at Dreamer’s Bay and we hope other sites, on a larger scale.”