Cyprus in the Long Late Antiquity |13-15 January 2021

by Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, University of Oxford



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Keynote Lecture by Marcus Rautman (University of Missouri) on 'Archaeology and the making of a Cypriot Late Antiquity' on Jan 13th, at 5pm.


This symposium brings together archaeologists and historians engaged in the study of Cyprus between the sixth and eighth centuries. They will collate the results of recent and past research to arrive at a comprehensive, interdisciplinary reconstruction of life on the island in the Long Late Antiquity.

The symposium is co-organised by Dr Ine Jacobs (Stavros Niarchos Foundation Associate Professor of Byzantine Archaeology and Visual Culture) and Dr Panayiotis Panayides (British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow). All events are hosted virtually via Zoom by the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, University of Oxford.

Late Antiquity in Cyprus was a period of growing affluence and prosperity. In the traditional historical view, the period ended abruptly as a result of the Arab raids of the mid-seventh century. The original focus of urban archaeology on monumental structures and Christian basilicas tended to stress the impact of these raids further, often overshadowing archaeological evidence that hinted at continuities beyond the mid-seventh century.

Recent archaeological research on late antique Cyprus has shifted its focus away from urban centres and single monuments in favour of a more contextual perspective. Building on well-established traditions of field prospection, diachronic survey projects and small-scale excavations are revealing a complex web of settlement patterns. These have shown that economic, political, and cultural contacts between the island and the wider eastern Mediterranean were continued. Moreover, they also suggest that the end or transformation of occupation on individual sites cannot always be explained by catastrophic events, but should be interpreted in terms of local adaptation to changing needs and contacts. We are also pleased to host a public keynote on Wednesday 13 January at 5pm: Marcus Rautman (Professor of Art and Archaeology of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages at the University of Missouri-Columbia, USA) will be presenting on Archaeology and the making of a Cypriot Late Antiquity. The event is held under the auspices of His Excellency the High Commissioner of Cyprus in the UK, Mr Andreas S. Kakouris.

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