Sites & cities that bear the name of Asprokremnos


Today in : Cyprus
First trace of activity : ca. 8,800 B.C.E
Last trace of activity : ca. 8,600 B.C.E
Recorded names : Agia Varvara

Description : Excavations on the site started in 2009 under the direction of Dr. Carole McCartney on behalf of the Archaeological Research Unit of the University of Cyprus working in partnership with Cornell University and the University of Toronto. The site of Asprokremnos provides the first dated site illustrating the occupation of Cyprus during the beginning phase of the Neolithic, documenting evidence of an Early Neolithic or Pre-Pottery Neolithic A as it is known in mainland sequences. This very early phase of the Neolithic shown at Asprokremnos is currently dated by radio-carbon to between 8,800-8,600 BC cal predating previously known Neolithic sites on Cyprus by between 400-600 years. The site is located located about 3 km southeast of Ayia Varvara, Nicosia, adjacent to the Lefkara chalk belt and the sulfide deposits of Mathiatis and approximately 30 km from the Mediterranean coast. The excavations revealed evidence of significant manufacturing activity associated with the production of chipped stone tools and ochre grinding. A curvilinear semi-subterranean structure dominates the northern end of the site. A large array of stone tools deposited on the floor of this structure along with numerous pits and postholes cut into the floor were documented. Unique among these finds were two large pits each with a thick clay lining that could have facilitated the storage of water within the structure. Postholes and burnt mud plaster encircling the circumference of the interior pit wall of the structure provide evidence of a substantial timber super-structure used to roof the building. Two new structures were constructed after this initial feature was abandoned. The earlier one of the two is of a much simpler architectural form, although it is of similar semi-subterranean pit structure. One of the most exciting discoveries associated with this building is a collection of four igneous stone objects including two flat cobbles, one with an extensive red ochre reside, a perfectly pecked stone sphere and a complete female statuette. This cache of artifacts was used to mark the abandonment of the structure and provides the earliest complete human figurine currently known on Cyprus. The latter was unearthed beneath a thick midden and is also a large semi-subterranean building. A substantial cache of river stones and ground stone tools placed on the floor and used for the processing of ochre throughout the life of the structure, implying the intensification of the ochre industry during this phase of occupation at the site. The processing of multi-coloured pigments was facilitated by a large array of ground stone tools dominated by pounding tools and grinders that facilitated the processing of pigments as evidenced by significant numbers of tools with ochre residues. Such tools were cached in features dug into structure floors or placed in heaps along with other evidence of occupation including discarded chert tools and animal bones. A small amount of picrolite objects have been discovered among the material remains, which was used for the manufacture of ornaments. No obsidian or carnelian has been documented from the site.

See on map ยป