Topic ID #42167 - posted 2/20/2020 11:57 AM

Prastio-Mesorotsos Excavation, Field School 2020: Neolithic to Bronze Age Cyprus


2020 Field school now open!  1st July - 5th August.

Website and application form:

For enquiries email Directors Dr Andrew McCarthy: or Dr Lisa Graham:

This field school is run through the University of Edinburgh School of History, Classics and Archaeology, but is open to students and interested participants from all locations and backgrounds. 

In the summer of 2020, a team of archaeologists, specialists and students will conduct the next fieldwork season of the Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition.  Located inland, nestled in the Dhiarizos valley of western Cyprus, the site is a multi-period settlement spanning much of the island's history, from the Neolithic through to the 1950s AD.  The project will be run as a Field School, and no prior experience is required of participants. Students of any discipline are encouraged to apply, especially those from Archaeology, Classics and History, but also those interested in surveying, geography, ethnology, as well as anyone with an interest in Mediterranean history of any period.

Because a site of this kind, with a long sequence of the unique western-Cypriot material culture, has never been excavated before, there is the potential to define a previously unstudied chronological sequence and material culture. Mesorotsos, along with ongoing excavations at other sites, could be a missing piece to the puzzle of western Cypriot prehistory.

The long lifespan of this settlement provides a never-before-seen opportunity to investigate much of Cyprus’ past in one place, and this project is seeks to understand as much about the history of this location as possible. The main activities this season will be excavation of the Neollithic and Bronze Age archaeological remains (artefacts and architecture), and continuing our experiments into ancient cooking practices.

The field school aims to familiarize students with the methods and ethics of modern archaeological excavation and analysis. All team members will be taught how to excavate and record to a professional standard and as excavated materials accumulate, there will be various post-excavation tasks required, and opportunities will be available to become more familiar with artefact recording and illustration.

There will be a programme of lectures, field trips and outings, and hands-on activities, in addition to the archaeological excavation itself. These will include lectures on identification and interpretation of artefacts and lectures on Cypriot history, its landscape and the ancient cultural relations between Cyprus and the Mediterranean world. Trips to museums, archaeological sites, and places of historical interest will also be arranged.

 We will be based in Kouklia, a charming village with several small tavernas, shops and cafes, which is situated on the remains of ancient Palaeopaphos, a UNESCO World Heritage site containing the famous sanctuary and temple to Aphrodite. Accommodation will be dormitory style in a typical village house in Kouklia. A packed breakfast and lunch is provided on site and participants will share basic domestic duties. Evening meals will take place Sunday-Thursday in a local taverna (with occasional BBQ or pizza nights). Friday afternoons and all day Saturdays are free (meals not provided on days off). There is a frequent bus service to the beaches and shops of Paphos. Finally, Kouklia now has free wifi throughout the village.

Fee for non-Edinburgh students is US $1600

Selected bibliography

McCarthy, Blakeman, Collard, Croft, Graham, McCartney and Stork (2010) ‘The Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition: second preliminary report of the 2009 excavations,’ Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus 2010.


McCarthy, Blakeman, Dalton, Hill, Graham and Ritchie (2009) ‘The Prastio-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition, 2008: first preliminary report,’ Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus 2009.


McCarthy, A. (2008) ‘Aphrodite’s Ancestors: The Prastion-Mesorotsos Archaeological Expedition, Cyprus,’ Past Horizons 5, 32-37. Accessible online at:


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