University of Cyprus, Archaeological Research Unit
56th Public Lecture Series - Winter Semester 2021. Celebrating 30 Years of Research at the Archaeological Research Unit, 1991-2021
‘Xeros’ or not? The Xeros River valley in Cyprus and its history through the ages
Dr Pantelitsa Mylona | Post-doctoral Researcher
GeoArcX Research Project, ONISILOS Programmes UCY
The Xeros River (meaning ‘dry’ in Greek) is located on the south coast of Cyprus in the administrative district of Larnaca. The Settled and Sacred Landscapes of Cyprus project (SeSaLaC) of the University of Cyprus investigates human activity in the valley diachronically through intensive archaeological survey. The project also employs geoarchaeology as an approach to shedding light on the interaction between human societies and the natural environment, considering alluvial deposits as a suitable indicator of environmental and topographical changes. This lecture presents preliminary observations on the evolution of the valley through time and examines how societies adapted to topographical changes due to the shifting of the Xeros riverbed. The relevant results derive from field observations, radiocarbon dating of alluvial paleosols and laboratory analysis, such as XRF and magnetic susceptibility, allowing the establishment of a chronological framework of alluvial formation, the decryption of the alluvial dynamic and the evolution of the valley, combined with relevant archaeological data from the field survey.