The pottery record from the 13th through the 11th centuries BCE (LC IIC–IIIB) offers the best clues to understand the position that the island of Cyprus had in the world historical events of the time. It offers information on goods exchange, technological as well as cultural innovations and finally on migration.
The study of pottery of the three settlements of Enkomi in eastern, Pyla-Kokkinókremos in southern and Maa-Palaiokastro in western Cyprus provides new data to the study of the island’s external contacts at the end of the Bronze Age. The project began in 2008 at the German Archaeological Institute at Athens as part of a research fellowship and continued in the years 2009 and 2010 at the University of Salzburg. It was funded by the Leventis Foundation and the Institute for Aegean Prehistory (INSTAP) in Philadelphia, USA.
The ceramic material comprises unpainted and painted handmade pottery of Cypriot type as well as imported and locally produced Mycenaean pottery as well as products imitating Mycenaean wares. It has been extensively documented in terms of its typological and technological characteristics (wares) and statistically evaluated. As a key result, radical changes in the entire ceramic repertoire have been observed in various Cypriot settlements at the turn from Late Cypriot IIC to IIIA, both in the fine and coarse wares, but particularly striking in the cooking vessels. The traditional handmade cooking pottery at Énkomi, for instance, was completely replaced by wheel-thrown cooking pottery of entirely different form and function, which belong to the types of vessels used in Mycenaean Greece at the time.
The results of this project provide important arguments to support the idea that immigrant groups of persons from Mycenaean Greece triggered at least part of the historical changes in Cyprus in the 12th century BCE. A chemical analysis of samples from all three investigated settlements using neutron activation analysis at Bonn has also been conducted.
In 2018 started the coordination of pottery studies for the new Belgian-Greek excavations at Pyla-Kokkinókremos. These recent finds from the subject of the PhD thesis by Ioanna Kostopoulou, supervised by R. Jung and J. Bretschneider at the Universities of Tübingen in Germany and Gent in Belgium respectively and supported by a scholarship of the Gerda Henkel Stiftung.