West KarkotisAtsasMandresAsinouKoutraphasLagoudheraEast
Iron Age 

4.6 Atsas Valley: Iron Age

The most striking activities that took place here in the Iron Age consist of making offerings to a deity and burying the dead. The Archaic rural sanctuary of Khalospitia (TP215) lies on a slight rise above and north of a bend in the Atsas River, on rolling land with good views in all directions.

TP215 Evrykhou Khalospitia

The sanctuary structure is clearly visible as a substantial rectangular structure, c. 19 x 12m. This is too big to be a roofed structure, and so is clearly a temenos or precinct. Its centre has been ploughed out, but this has exposed large quantities of figurines, terracotta sculpture and Iron Age pottery. Judging from this material, entering the sacred space and dedicating figurines were two highly significant experiences here.

This is the standard form of open-air Archaic and Classical rural sanctuary throughout Cyprus. There is a very similar example from the northern Troodos at Frangissa, 30km to the east (Buchholz 1991), and there are many other examples in the region with similar material but where the structure is not so clear (Given and Knapp 2003, 275-6; Karageorghis 1977; Loulloupis 1989).

The Archaic cemetery of Evrykhou Kamilaries lies 450m to the south-east (TP248), on a shallow uncultivated spur. At least 25 tombs have been cut into fossiliferous limestone, making the spur into an arena for burying family members, mourning and renegotiating social identities. The tombs have been looted, but one example has a clear dromos and collapsed chamber. There was a substantial scatter of Archaic pottery of fine quality.

The other substantial concentration of Iron Age material lies on the opposite, southern side of the River Atsas, in the area of the later settlement of Lemonas. Immediately round the village the Iron Age pottery peaks at 1.6 sherds per 100m², with a thinner scatter to its south. This material includes some figurine fragments, possibly associated with the sanctuary across the river, or else perhaps from another sanctuary or tombs closer to Lemonas.