Washington, September 1 : New research has suggested that a fortified settlement with a shrine that stood on a plateau near the eastern Larnaca coast in Cyprus, could have been the original gateway to Pyla, a village located in the eastern part of the island.
According to a report in Cyprus Weekly, earlier theories about the significance of the site at Larnaca coast were confirmed during this year's fieldwork at the Pyla-Koutsopetria locality by the identification of a section of the wall, datable to the Late Bronze Age.
It could have been the original gateway - pyle in Greek - to a larger habitation, which later moved further inland for fear of sea raids to where the present mixed village of Pyla is situated, according to Maria Hadjicosti of the Department of Antiquities.
The settlement, located on a hill known as Kokkinokremmos/ Vigla - Red Cliff/Lookout Post, is estimated to have been inhabited from the Cypro-Archaic period in the 13th-14th century B.C. to Hellenistic and Roman times.
The site is situated inland, roughly opposite the eucalyptus-lined coast leading to the British base of Dhekelia.
The most dramatic feature of the settlement was a fortification wall that ringed the entire plateau, an official press release said.
The presence of numerous figurines discovered in recent survey work suggests a previously unknown shrine on the coastal plateau.
The site had come to light when a local farmer undertook extensive cultivation in the area.
Explaining further the possible connection between Vigla and Pyla, Hadjicosti recalled the important archaeological discoveries in the latter village, including that of a built tomb of the classical period with a gold trove in the late 1940s.
The finds, including the famous Medusa with sphinxes, are housed in the British Museum, while a reproduction of the grave can be seen in the Cyprus Museum.
A 14th century BC cemetery was also discovered in the area, as well as a temple with limestone statues.
The work on both Vigla and Kokkinorotsos and the related survey continue to expand the archaeologists' knowledge of this important stretch of the Cypriot coast, the press release said.