The role of mycenaean pottery in the material culture of apliki

Apart from the Mycenaean pottery, very few objects have been found at the site of Karamallos which may be classified as international imports. The ivory of a probable box stopper, must have been imported, but the object itself may have been manufactured somewhere in Cyprus.36 The small fragment of a bone comb is undecorated.37 It belongs to a rectangular, one-sided comb of a type also occurring elsewhere in Cyprus.38 The serpentine square seal has Cypro-Minoan signs, which demonstrates manufacture on the island.39 A similar origin can be assumed for the cylinder seal, which was unworked. The golden earring found in House A, as well as the scarce bronze objects, all have good parallels in Cyprus and may have been produced on the island.

The imported Mycenaean pots, then, represent the only objects at the site which derive from international maritime exchange. The Mycenaean-type pots which are of Cypriot manufacture are comparable to the other a-typical objects at the site: they refer to a wider world, without actually deriving from it. From the spatial distribution of the special objects as presented in Table 12.6 it is clear that there is some correlation between the presence of Mycenaean pottery and other a-typical objects. With the exception of the pit in room 3 in House B I, all concentrations of Mycenaean pottery were associated with other special finds. Moreover, in all places where more than one different type of valuable object has been found (e.g. rooms 1, 2, 3, 8 and the pit in B III), Mycenaean pottery has also been observed. At the same time, it should also be noted that individual finds of Mycenaean pottery have been made in rooms without any other a-typical objects.

The presence of Mycenaean pottery in a house such as House B II shows that these vessels were an integral part of the material culture. However, in House A, the Mycenaean pottery is concentrated in a few rooms, while in area B there are two concentrations of this material in pits (Fig. 12.4). The fact that substantial quantities of Mycenaean pottery are usually associated with other valuables indicates that Mycenaean vessels were highly appreciated and that their use was confined to specific circumstances.

Apliki-Karamallos has been interpreted as a mining village, which depended on exchange with inland

For the manufacture of ivory objects in Cyprus, see Dikaios, 1969, 99-100; L. Astrom 1972, 608-616; Poursat 1977, 159-160; Courtois, Lagarce & Lagarce

1986, 127-130; Karageorghis 1985c; Krzyszkowska 1992.

rooms

Myc ivory seal bone objects gold bronze objects slag

house A,

room 1

X

house A,

room 2

X

house A,

room 3

X

house A,

room 4

house A,

room 5

X

house A,

room 6

house A,

room 7

X

house A,

room 8

X

house B

, room 1

house B

, room 2

X

house B

, room 3

X

house B

, room 3: pit

X

house B

, room 4

house B

, room 5

house B

, room 6

X

house B

I, room 1

X

house B

I, room 2

house B

II, room 3

house B

II, room 4

house B

III

house B

III: pit

X

area C

and coastal centres for the influx of foodstuffs and valuables.40 In the near vicinity of Apliki, the necropolis of Katydhata (site no. 107) has also produced substantial amounts of Mycenaean pottery. The Mycenaean vessels from the tombs there have been assigned stylistically to LH IIIA1, LH IIIA2 and LH IIIB.41 The large number of tombs, all serving for multiple inhumations, cover the periods from Middle Cypriot I to LC IIIA. Six of the latest tombs have been assigned to LC IIC and LC IIIA and may be contemporary to Apliki Kammallos.42 Even though a settlement has not been discovered near Katydhata, it is logical to assume that mining villages similar to that discovered at Apliki Karamallos were situated in the area.

Along the coast of Morphou bay, Mycenaean pottery has been reported from Loutros-^d^fe/a (site no. 110), Soloi (site no. 109) and Pendayia (site no. 106). In each case it concerns only one Mycenaean find of which nothing further is known. The urban centre nearest to Apliki is that of Morphou-Toumba tou Skourou (site no. 105) in the marshy lowlands near the coast of Morphou bay.

38 Gjerstad et al. 1936, T. 18 no. 13, Plate 152; Dikaios 1969-1971, Plate 127: nos. 23, 42. According to

Karageorghis (1985c, 336), single-sided combs such as the one found at Apliki, have an Aegean origin, while the double-sided comb is Near-Eastern. Buchholz (1984-1985, 110-116) acknowledges that double-sided combs occur in Cyprus and the Near-East during the

Bronze Age, while these are absent in the Aegean. Both types, were apparently manufactured in Cyprus until the Archaic period.

39 Taylor 1952, 163-164.

40 Keswani 1993, 77-79; Knapp 1997, 59-61.

41 Astrom 1989, 59.

42 LC IIC: tombs 11, 17, 18, 83, 88; LC IIIA: tombs 11, 104.

Even though this site has been badly damaged by construction activities and by the Turkish army, it is clear that it possessed monumental architecture and was involved in international maritime ex-change.43 The site has also produced some evidence for copper working.44 Most of these activities seem to have taken place in MC III-LC I, well before the establishment of Apliki-Karamallos. A LC IIB level was identified only in a small area in the south of Toumba tou Skourou; some LH IIIB pots from wells and from unstratified deposits testify of even later activities.45 It is doubtful, however, whether the site can be considered a coastal centre in the period during which Apliki-Karamallos flourished. It is therefore not certain whether Apliki-Karamallos may be associated with Toumba tou Skourou. Instead, it may have had relations with several other centres. Passing along the coast or through the mountains, such contemporary centres as Maa-Palaeokastro (site no. 130), Kouklia-Palaepaphos (site no. 126), Alassa (site no. 123), Kalavassos-Ayios Dhimitrios (site no. 114) and Maroni-Vournes (site no.116) could be reached with relative ease.

The concentration of valuables and storage facilities in House A, as well as its superior architecture, indicates that it was related to an élite group in the population of the town. The scarcity of metal objects and other valuables shows that this group was in contact with coastal centres, but received only a modest share of objects belonging to a more cosmopolitan life-style. The restricted repertoire of Mycenaean-type vessels obviously was part of such a system of restricted wealth finance.46 The presence of substantial quantities of this pottery in specific rooms only, usually associated with other valuables, shows that these pots served in consumptive strategies of local élite groups.

43 Vermeule & Wolsky 1990, 397-400; Keswani 1996, 45 Vermeule & Wolsky 1990, 384-385. 220-221. 46 Keswani 1993, 78-79.

44 Stech 1982, 108; Vermeule & Wolsky 1990, 327.

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