Excavation works which are taking place in the village of Kaleburnu have unearthed historical artefacts aged 6,000 years.
Archaeologists from the cultural heritage research centre at Eastern Mediterranean university, as well as experts from Turkey, Italy, Germany and Albania are attending the excavations and are trying to determine the historical period that the artefacts belong to.
The artefacts were found during excavations on the Kral Tepesi (King’s Hill) in Kaleburnu. According to ‘Kibris’ newspaper, a museum is to be built in the area with funding from Turkey, in order give people the opportunity to see the wealth of such historical places.
The site was discovered by chance in June 2004 when two academics, Nathanael May and Benjamin Moritz from EMU were hiking on Kral Tepesi.
A stone, unlike the others lying on the ground caught their attention. When they looked closer and lifted up the stone, they discover a pithos (large ceramic pot) which contained bronze artefacts.
By chance, May and Moritz had made one of the most significant discoveries in Cyprus’ archaeology at the beginning of the 2nd millenium.
Within days, the Department of Antiquities and Museum at Famagusta, TRNC and EMU academics had sent a team to the site in order to begin the first rescue (salvage) excavations. The purpose of the excavation was to bring up and to protect the objects found in the pithos. As a result of this emergency rescue excavation, 26 bronze relics were brought to light. The world of science had the privilege of seeing the late Bronze Age (330BC-300AD) bronze artefacts for the first time.
Impressed by the great success of the first excavation, German archaeologists Dr. Uwe Muller and Dr. Bülen Kızılduman teamed up with Dr. Habil Martin Bartelheim and Dr. Christiane Hemker, to make further inspections and to intensify the search on the archaeological site at Kral Tepesi.
The land on the slopes of the mountain has been levelled and bulldozed for farming, hence leaving the archaeological site at lower levels, partially destroyed. It became imperative to make to document the site and save any artefacts found.
After several discussions, all sides agreed to initiate an interdisciplinary project between Turkish Cypriot and German academics for the first time in Cypriot history. In the wake of this decision, Eastern Mediterranean University DAKMAR (Eastern Mediterranean Cultural Heritage Research Centre) initiated an international project.
The project has been launched and financed and contributed to by EMU, DAKMAR and the Fritz Thyssen Foundation.
The first phase of the salvage excavations took place between 2005 and 2009. The second phase of the project began in 2014 under the leadership of EMU DAKMAR’s new chair and excavation director Dr. Bülent Kızılduman.