American Expedition to Idalion, Cyprus

Dr. Pamela Gaber, Professor of Archaeology and Religion at Lycoming College, Director
Andrew M. Wright, Associate Director; Senior Research Analyst at the Forum for Digital Culture, University of Chicago

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OCHRE is the perfect solution to years of using Excel, FileMaker, and handwritten records. Now decades’ worth of excavation data are organized and accessible in an integrative and comprehensive online database!

Andrew M. Wright

Associate Director

The ancient city-kingdom of Idalion is located just south of the modern village of Dali, Cyprus, in the Mesaoria Plain. In the late 19th century, Idalion drew the intrigue of several antiquarians, who plundered the city’s sanctuaries and thousands of its tombs. The Swedish Cyprus Expedition carried out the first methodical and scientific excavations on the West Acropolis (Ambelleri) in 1928. The next major project was the Joint American Expedition in 1971–80, directed by G. Ernest Wright, Lawrence Stager, and Anita Walker. They investigated many parts of the site, including the West Terrace, Lower City, City Wall, East Terrace, and East Acropolis (Moutti tou Arvili). Excavations on the West Terrace continued under the direction of Maria Hadjicosti with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus in 1991–2012, revealing a Classical administrative center and Phoenician archive, as well as a nearby Late Bronze Age site.

The Joint American Expedition was the direct precursor to the excavations directed by Pamela Gaber in 1987 (University of New Hampshire Expedition), 1992–2002 (University of Arizona Expedition), and 2003–2017 (Lycoming College Expedition). Gaber expanded the investigation of the Lower City and East Terrace, revealing more about domestic life and cult in the ancient city, as well as its urbanization and role in copper production and trade in the first millennium BCE. Gaber’s team is currently in the process of digitally preserving and publishing data from the Lower City (North, South, and East) and East Terrace. In addition to these areas, various probes and tombs were investigated and will also be recorded in OCHRE. A long-term goal is to integrate data from the Joint Expedition, including unpublished survey data and excavation records of the nearby Neolithic site of Dali-Agridi and late medieval smelting site of Lythrodontas-Teredia.

Lower City South at Idalion, Cyprus, 2015 (Photo: P. Gaber)

Lower City South at Idalion, Cyprus, 2015 (Photo: P. Gaber)