The Palaepaphos-Laona rampart. A pilot study on earthen architecture and construction technology in Cyprus
SourceJournal of Archaeological Science: Reports
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Excavations conducted in the context of the Palaepaphos Urban Landscape Project (PULP) have revealed a defensive monument of the Cypro-Classical period (fifth and fourth centuries BCE), which had been preserved under an anthropogenic mound (tumulus) of the 3rd century BCE. Besides stone-work, the construction of the monumental rampart made extensive use of mudbricks. In 2016–2017, PULP introduced a pilot study based on analytical techniques (pXRF, SEM-EDS, granulometric and petrographic analysis) to address issues relating to the manufacture and construction of the earthen architecture of the rampart. The paper presents a description of the geoarchaeological analyses and their results, which have highlighted specific manufacturing practices in relation to the construction of the monument. Given that the rampart constituted a major investment of the royal authorities of ancient Paphos, the results provide new information on the production of earthen building materials and also on environmental choices with respect to raw material selection in the context of a public project carried out by a central authority circa the mid first millennium BCE.