West KarkotisAtsasMandresAsinouKoutraphasLagoudheraEast
Iron Age 

4.12 Mandres: Medieval to Modern

In the southern portion of the Mandres area the plains meet the foothills of the Troodos range. This is clearly a very significant relationship, particularly in the Ottoman and modern periods. Easy access to Morphou Bay and the Karkotis Valley, as well as the mountains themselves, has also been a major influence on human activity in this landscape (.mov panorama).

The abandoned seasonal settlement of Kato Koutraphas Mandres (TS07) is clearly the focal point of activity (Given 2000, 218; Ionas 1988, 20). The complex of buildings and threshing floors probably date from the 19th and early 20th centuries, though there is pottery in the area dating from the 16th century onwards.

The investigation of the area provided an opportunity to investigate the buildings and the threshing floors, and to interview past residents. Analysis of the site was given added urgency as the site is currently used by the Cypriot military for training exercises.

TS07 Kato Koutraphas Mandres

According to our informants, the seasonal settlement of Kato Koutraphas Mandres (TS07) was the summer village for those who lived further up in the Troodos, particularly Tembria, Kaliana and Galata, and was used for growing, harvesting and threshing grain. Structures on the periphery of the village served as houses for goat herders.

Our informants also described the year-round use of the settlement by goat herders. The dwellings of the goat herders are probably those on the periphery, such as BU0005 and BU0006. These two structures show no evidence of related threshing floors, but there is some evidence of goat enclosures.

The structural remains tell a slightly different story to that of the informants. The houses have been built with considerable care and skill, and have substantial chimneys. This suggests that at some point the village may have been occupied more permanently as an agricultural satellite settlement.

The distribution of pottery for the Medieval to Modern period shows a small concentration around the settlement of Mandres. Low densities of material directly to the east and north of the settlement may be evidence for manuring. The concentration of Ottoman to Modern pottery (18th-mid 20th century AD) supports the dating of Mandres as a Late Ottoman to Early Modern settlement. Evidence for earlier medieval activity is sparse and sporadic, with no consistent concentrations of material. Farming of this area during the medieval period has left little trace, if it occurred at all.