An Archeological Adventure in Cyprus
The Swedish Cyprus Expedition 1927 - 1931.
A story told with contemporary photographs and comments
It is fantastic, it is incomparable. It is magic - the witchcraft of Papa Prokopius. The sculptures, all intently facing the altar, rise behind each other in rows like the spectators in an ancient theatre. On the altar itself is placed an oval boulder, the holy fetisch, the cult object. Fire has blackened the boulder. ... (Einar Gjerstad)
The photographs belong to the archives of the Cyprus Collections in Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm, and are copies from the old glass negatives from the period 1927-1936, including some from the years following the return of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition to Stockholm. Most of the photographs have never been published before.
Some of the most interesting and charming photographs show people and places in different parts of Cyprus and the local circumstances under which the Swedes lived and worked. Old-fashioned methods of agriculture and camel caravans are often depicted. Other motifs include archaeologists and workers dancing and resting together or preparing parties.
Einar Gjerstad was the head of the Swedish Cyprus Expedition. In his book Ages and days in Cyprus (Engl. transl., 1980), he has not only written a popular account of the wonderful years of the excavations but has also given a very lively and poetic description of the everyday life of the archaeologists and the Cypriotes they met. The captions and many quotations in this work are mainly taken from Gjerstad’s book.
The main purpose of the excavations was to clarify the island’s archaeological problems, ranging from the Stone Age to Christian times, a period of more than 7000 years. During the short period of only four years they excavated at some 25 sites all over the island. Cyprus’ chronology and periodic division were established, and many of the archaeological problems were solved. The main part of the finds, or about 10,000 vessels, derived from nearly 300 rock-cut chamber tombs. Thousands of sculptures were found in sanctuaries or on temple sites. Settlements, fortresses, a royal palace and a Roman theatre also yielded important finds.
The book is written in Turkish, Greek and English.
Editor: Galeri Kültür Kitabevi (Galeri Kultur Bookshop)