Khirokitia (CY)

Khirokitia (or Choirokoitia, Greek:Χοιροκοιτία) was first excavated in 1934-1946. By the end of the 1970s, French excavations started. The site itself is UNESCO World Heritage since 1998.

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The site is on a hilltop close to a dry riverbed and dates to the pre-pottery Neolithic of the 7th millennium BC. It was abandoned and than reoccupied in the 5th millennium BC. The first occupants of the site were probably early settlers of Cyprus. The settlement is surrounded by a stone wall and consisted of round mudbrick houses on foundations of stones. Some houses had burials under the floors suggesting an ancestor cult. Obsidian and flint tools from Anatolia were discovered juts like Levantine beads. The farmers living here were cultivating wheat and barley. Next to the archaeological site, four or five reconstructed houses are situated, with the dominantly round or beehive like shape. They are furnished with replica items and furniture and are open to the public on a daily base. The houses have internally low walls and platforms. Hearths were also found just like traces of benches and windows. In some cases there might have been an upper floor.

The construction of the five units was an initiative of the Department of Antiquities, for the purpose of utilising them as a visitor centre for the site, instead of constructing a modern building. The project went forward with the continuous collaboration and scientific assistance of the excavators of the site, the French mission from the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (C.N.R.S).


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