Hala Sultan Tekke was one of the most important urban centres of the Eastern Mediterranean during the Late Bronze Age. The city is located on the southern coast, on the shore of the present-day Larnaca Salt Lake, which in ancient times was connected to the Mediterranean, thus providing one of the best protected harbours on the island.

The main aims of the renewed excavations are

  • to explore the complete occupational sequence of Hala Sultan Tekke and to contribute to the discussion on relative and absolute chronology of the late Middle Cypriot and the early Late Cypriot periods including the period in which the much-debated Minoan eruption of the Thera volcano took place;
  • to determine the total extent of the city and study its layout;
  • to study the burial customs and mortuary rituals;
  • to research the nature and extent of the intercultural relations;
  • and to investigate the 13th/12th century BCE transition in connection with possible climatic changes and migration phenomena (see also The Collapse of Bronze Age Societies), and the causes for the destruction and final abandonment of the city around 1150 BCE.

In addition to the most recent occupational phase, the end of which can be dated to the mid-12th century BCE, at least four older phases of occupation can be traced in the settlement. These can preliminarily be dated to the 15th/14th through early 12th centuries BCE, whereas material evidence from tombs attests to an even earlier date of occupation.

Geophysical prospecting covering approximately 23 ha led to the discovery of new city quarters with domestic, industrial and possible administrative and/or religious buildings, as well as sub-urban areas characterised by the presence of tombs, wells and other shafts most likely reflecting ritual activities.

The presence of imported pottery and luxury commodities attests to far-reaching intercultural connections of the city to all regions in the eastern Mediterranean including the Aegean, Anatolia, the Northern and Southern Levant and Egypt, and even more remote regions, such as Sardinia. The material evidence points to Hala Sultan Tekke as one of the main trade centres in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the Middle and throughout the entire Late Bronze Age. Studies of other finds including botanical and faunal remains confirm that the economy of Hala Sultan Tekke, in addition to trade, was based on textile production, purple dying, metallurgy, agriculture and animal husbandry. Urban metallurgy is substantiated by more than a ton of copper slag and ore in addition to remains of furnaces, tuyères and crucibles.



Principal investigator

  • Peter Fischer



  • Department of Antiquities, Cyprus
  • Morten Allentoft (National History Museum of Denmark)
  • Karin Frei (National History Museum of Denmark)
  • Sorin Hermon (STARC, The Cyprus Institute)
  • Vassos Karageorghis (University of Cyprus)
  • Kristian Kristiansen (University of Gothenburg)
  • Pernille Ladegaard-Pedersen (National History Museum of Denmark)
  • Omri Lernau (University of Haifa)
  • Kirsi Lorentz (STARC, The Cyprus Institute)
  • Evi Margaritis (STARC, The Cyprus Institute)
  • Mathias Mehofer (Vienna Institute for Archaeological Science – VIAS)
  • David S. Reese (Yale Peabody Museum of Natural History)
  • Johannes Sterba (Vienna University of Technology)
  • Burkart Ullrich, (Eastern Atlas Geophysical Prospection, Berlin)
  • Paula Waiman-Barak (University of Haifa)
  • Eva Maria Wild (University of Vienna)


since 2010


  • The Swedish Torsten Söderberg Foundation
  • Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP)
  • The Royal Swedish Academy of Letters, History and Antiquities
  • The Royal Society of Arts and Sciences in Gothenburg
  • The Swedish Research Council (VR)
  • Riksbanken Tercentenary Foundation, Sweden