Mass grave found in Cyprus, 3,500 years old

Mass grave found in Cyprus, 3,500 years old

Archaeologists have discovered three tombs containing dozens of human remains and many implements inside.

Archaeologists from the University of Gothenburg (Sweden) have found mass graves and a large number of objects as part of ongoing excavations in Cyprus. They testify to the advanced trade that took place in the Bronze Age city 3,500 years ago.

“A large-scale magnetometric and radar survey we carried out showed cavities beneath the surface in the area to the east of the city. Archaeological excavations have shown that these cavities are passageways leading to burial chambers,” says Peter Fischer, professor of archaeology, who led the Swedish expedition together with Dr Teresa Bürge from the University of Gothenburg.

Archaeological excavations in Cyprus were carried out intermittently and were temporarily frozen due to the pandemic. Work resumed in the autumn of 2020. Three tombs were discovered in the area that archaeologists are now investigating. The expedition uncovered 52 human skeletons and a large quantity of equipment. Among them was the only known complete vessel from Greece, circa 1350 BC, with drawings of war chariots and warriors with swords.
The tombs contain hundreds of finds, many from areas corresponding to present day Greece, Crete, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Egypt.

Among the pottery was found a vessel about 40 cm high, which was used in funerary rites.

“It is unique and we are in the process of recovering it,” says Peter Fisher, “A similar vessel has never been found before. It is red-brown in colour and covered in intricate patterns. There are also images of rings and a ram’s head.

Another find is from Egypt: a scarab with an inscription in hieroglyphics: “All is well. All is well”. Also found were two large female figurines with bird faces and clearly marked genitalia. Each figurine has four earrings.

The found remains were subjected to a series of investigations. Archaeologists discovered that the people suffered from parasitic diseases. Mass production of copper was another threat to their lives. In such operations, humans suffered from toxic substances: lead and arsenic. The mortality rate among young people and children was high: the oldest person found in the burial site was no more than 40 years old.