Sponsored by: Archaeological Institute of America
Since 1983, the ancient cities of Marion and Arsinoe, located on the northwest coast of Cyprus, have been the focus of archaeological investigation by a research team under the auspices of Princeton University. The material remains are significant, as Marion was one of the ancient city kingdoms of the island during the Iron Age, and Arsinoe was a thriving Hellenistic foundation that continued in existence throughout the Roman, Late Antique, and Byzantine periods, ultimately evolving into the modern town of Polis Chrysochous. After an overview of the recent excavations of both sites, the lecture will consider the immense cache of terracotta sculpture discovered in two sanctuaries associated with Marion. The votive offerings represent the largest corpus of dedicatory objects yet recovered from Cyprus. Study of the material has provided important information on cult ritual; the exchange of religious, cultural, and stylistic influences in the eastern Mediterranean; and the technical strategies employed by ancient coroplasts.