Warm holiday greetings to friends around the world. Be it in Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Diwali, Oshogatsu, Protochronia with the Vasilopita, so many of us share the urge to brighten winter with feasts of renewal. The hunger for joy is especially sharp this year. In the heart of our news-flash, we invite you to plunge into the season’s spirit and make this dark year into a bright one for the CAARI community.

But first, the fall news, for CAARI has been functioning full-throttle this season. It has been more publicly accessible, more responsive to research emergencies, than ever before. You’ll read just below how CAARI’s library came to the rescue of Dr. Maria Dikomitou and her research project. With CAARI’s new You Tube channel, you can hear CAARI events as if you were sitting in that very same library: see the link at The first session of CAARI’s two-part conference, Empire and excavation: critical perspectives on archaeology in British-period Cyprus, 1878-1960, was shared around the world on Zoom. Its themes and ideas are reviewed by Anna Reeve below. You can watch the papers yourself, on You Tube. The conference’s second session will take place on January 29–30, 2021. You are welcome to join in real-time: for an invitation, e-mail You can also watch the papers on You Tube. In this dark time, CAARI’s Director, Dr. Lindy Crewe, has made CAARI brighter and more accessible than ever. Here is her report.
Message from CAARI's Director
Dear friends and supporters of CAARI,
2020 has been a tough year and many of us have experienced our worlds shrinking from the usual round of conferences, museum study and fieldwork to not much going on beyond our computer screens. In a regular year at CAARI, we see a constant stream of visitors—from autumn and winter researchers studying material in apothekes and museums, to our spring and summer field teams, bringing with them undergraduate students coming to Cyprus for the first time to fall in love with the island. Despite missing our friends and colleagues, we’ve been doing what we can to get through, keeping to our traditions where possible. We didn’t hold our regular Christmas lunch at ‘To Steki’ with CAARI researchers and staff, as restaurants are closed in Cyprus now, but we did manage to make CAARI feel festive for the holidays. You can see here the CAARI staff, masked and distanced, decorating the Christmas tree in the foyer.

As noted in the introduction and in the message below from Anna Reeve, CAARI’s regular lectures and our recent November conference are available to view on our YouTube channel, CAARI Cyprus. We’ve recently uploaded a lecture by our inaugural 2019 Peltenburg Fellow, Anna Spyrou, sharing some of the exciting results of her fellowship research on ‘From South Asia to the Eastern Mediterranean: Zebu cattle in iconography and nature of Bronze Age Cyprus’. With her kind permission, we’ve also uploaded Gloria London’s excellent 1986 film ‘Women Potters of Cyprus’. In February we’ll hear Dr Andrew Sneddon, all the way from Australia, speaking on his excavations at the Bronze Age settlement of Alambra, and we have further lectures planned for the spring.

I would like to share one piece of important news. 2021 will be a year of major change for CAARI as our Executive Assistant, Vathoulla Moustoukki, is retiring at the end of January. Many of you know Vathoulla well and you also know how much CAARI is Vathoulla. We will miss her very much but we know that she will not be far and she will certainly continue to come in to visit, at least on Wednesday coffee mornings, once the pandemic subsides. The good news is that our librarian, Katerina Mavromichalou, will be stepping up to the post. Vathoulla and Katerina will overlap for the month of January and after that Vathoulla will be on hand to help out as needed. We’ve begun the search for a new librarian and will be holding interviews in January. We’re thrilled for many reasons that Katerina will be taking over as Executive Assistant, not least because she is already part of the CAARI family and a friend to many of you. Rest assured, once this pandemic is over and gatherings are permitted again, we will be throwing a special retirement party for Vathoulla! In the meanwhile, those of you who would like to send Vathoulla warm wishes for her retirement, please do so at and she’ll be able to give you her personal email so you can stay in touch after January.

From all of us at CAARI, Καλά Χριστούγεννα and Καλή Πρωτοχρονιά. Here’s to a better 2021 for us all!

Lindy Crewe, PhD
Director, CAARI
CAARI to the Rescue. Jumping into the Past:
Working for Project “MuseCo” at the CAARI Library

Dr. Maria Dikomitou Eliadou
Postdoctoral Researcher
Archaeological Research Unit, University of Cyprus
I returned to my home country of Cyprus amidst the Covid-19 pandemic after completing two memorable years of postdoctoral research in the University College London Institute of Archaeology, as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow. These past four months have been a period of transition to a new personal and professional routine, when the news coming from around the world was almost never good and, at times, far from optimistic.

Despite the havoc in the outside world, I was lucky during this period of personal transition to enjoy the luxury of a desk in the well-equipped library of CAARI, a safe refuge for archaeological research. It is really remarkable how we can adjust to changes; it certainly needs work to do it efficiently, but the rule of thumb applies here too: when there is a will, there is always a way. The CAARI library currently operates under a strict mandate for the safety of users and the CAARI staff provides the essential collaterals for working behind our masks, without unmasking any concerns.
In the peace and quiet of the library, I leave our noisy, worrisome, Covid-afflicted world and I submerge in the past of Iron Age Cypriot city-kingdoms, for project “MuseCo”. MuseCo is the acronym of the project entitled “Bringing Life to Old Museum Collections: The Interdisciplinary Study of Pottery from the Cypriot Iron Age Polities of Salamis, Soloi, Lapithos and Chytroi”, which is co-funded by the European Regional Development Fund and the Republic of Cyprus through the Research and Innovation Foundation (MuseCo/EXCELLENCE/1216/0093). In MuseCo, I am part of a team; the project was envisaged and is currently being implemented by its principal investigator, Dr. Anna Georgiadou (University of Cyprus), coordinated by Associate Professor Giorgos Papasavvas (University of Cyprus), and supported by the Department of Antiquities and the Curator of Antiquities, Dr. Despina Pilides. 
The Cyprus Museum’s collections under examination are the result of excavations and field surveys of the Cyprus Survey sector, Department of Antiquities, at various localities in the modern-day regions of Famagusta, Karpasia, Lapithos, Kythrea and Morphou. It involves archaeological sites that functioned as burial grounds in the polities of Salamis, Soloi, Lapithos and Chytroi during the Iron Age, between the 11th and 4th centuries BC. Since 1974, the year of Turkish invasion in Cyprus, these sites have remained inaccessible to official archaeological fieldwork and suffer from neglect, the destructive effects of growing development activities, and inadequate protection. Information on these sites is limited to short mentions in earlier literature, while the associated archaeological finds remain so far unpublished. This burial material involves vast assemblages of ceramic vessels occasionally accompanied by a restricted number of other small finds such as jewellery, tools and weapons made of various materials (eg. ceramic, stone, metal, bone, etc.). The material is not only unpublished, but until now has also been undocumented. Its detailed documentation is of vital importance in bringing it to the foreground of archaeological research. Georgiadou’s meticulous documentation, including the stylistic, morphological and technological attributes of every single ceramic specimen in these assemblages, has enabled a revival of this pottery corpus and its reconsideration within its cultural-historical contexts. Her work allowed the establishment of detailed ceramic typo-chronological seriations that permitted the identification of distinct, regional pottery production zones, corresponding to the four polities under study, i.e., Salamis, Chytroi, Lapithos, and Soloi.

My own work in this project follows the full documentation of the ceramic material. It involves the compositional and technological characterization of a subset of the ceramic material under study, in order to test the extent to which the main wares recognized macroscopically correspond to compositional and technological groups, and to compare the composition of pottery that on stylistic criteria is thought to have been locally produced at each production region with vessels thought to be imports from the other regions under study. My research methodology involves the macroscopic study of ceramic fabrics in cross-section and their microscopic study in thin section, using optical polarizing microscopy for ceramic petrography.
Before sample selection and their preparation for analysis, it was of vital importance for an otherwise prehistorian, trained in archaeological sciences, such as myself, to get acquainted with the periods in question, and with the particular parameters of the pottery assemblages under study. A carefully designed sampling strategy can become solid groundwork for subsequent archaeological inferences. There is always some kind of subjectivity in sampling archaeological materials whether this relates to the regional or chronological dimensions of the project, or simply to the conditions in which the materials are stored in museums. Therefore, it was important to enhance my understanding of the history and archaeology of the periods under study, as well as of the material, making an attempt to eliminate this subjectivity to the best possible degree. It was imperative that the derivative analytical datasets reflect regional, chronological, compositional, and/or technological patterns that can be projected subsequently to the extended ceramic assemblages, and the resulting archaeological inferences to ceramic populations.
In the CAARI library, I was able to retrieve relevant publications about the periods under study, and after several – socially distanced – discussions with Anna Georgiadou, to formulate our sampling strategy that involves the careful selection of 250 samples deriving from the regions of the four Iron Age polities under study. Even under the current restrictions and regulations, CAARI continues to operate as a safe place of research, providing essential facilities but also a stimulating professional environment. While I conclude this piece, I turn my head up and look at the bookshelves around me, in this beautiful and inspiring space that I have been calling work for the past months, and the words of the American poet Emily Dickinson come to mind,

A precious mouldering pleasure ‘t is
To meet an antique book,
In just the dress his century wore;
A privilege, I think,
His quaint opinions to inspect,
His knowledge to unfold
On what concerns our mutual mind,
The literature of old;
What interested scholars most,
What competitions ran
When Plato was a certainty,
And Sophocles a man;
When Sappho was a living girl,
And Beatrice wore
The gown that Dante deified.
Facts, centuries before,
His presence is enchantment,
You beg him not to go;
Old volumes shake their vellum heads
And tantalize, just so.
Thank you, CAARI! Here is MuseCo’s logo. To learn more, please visit the project’s website:
Report on the Webinar, 6-7 November 2020
‘Empire and Excavation: Critical perspectives on archaeology in British-period Cyprus, 1878-1960’
Conference Organizers: Dr. Lindy Crewe (CAARI), Dr. Thomas Kiely (British Museum), Anna Reeve (University of Leeds)

Anna Reeve
University of Leeds
How much difference a few months can make! In a rollercoaster year, many plans have been made, changed, and changed again, and this conference has proved no exception. Our original aim was to bring together at CAARI a group of researchers and enthusiasts with a shared interest in the history of archaeology on Cyprus, so that we could all present our work, debate our views and share ideas and information, and spend some time enjoying each other’s company and the delightful surroundings of Cyprus in November. Unfortunately, due to the disruption of COVID-19, that was not to be. However, thanks to generous support from CAARI in investing in the necessary technology, and the forbearance of our speakers and participants, we were able to gain many of the benefits of the conference in a virtual format, in the first of a series of events.

The idea for this conference was rooted in our realization that more than twenty years had passed since the seminal conference in 1999 and the resulting volume (2001), edited by Veronica Tatton-Brown, Cyprus in the Nineteenth Century AD. Fact, Fancy and Fiction. Held at the British Museum, this conference was influential in shaping the field of the historiography of archaeology in Cyprus, mapping out key concerns and lines of enquiry that have been followed fruitfully by many in subsequent years. The sixtieth anniversary of the Republic of Cyprus provided a fitting opportunity to move the frame of analysis forward to cover the whole British colonial period (1878-1960), and to reflect on the history of archaeology from a 21st century perspective. In doing so, we wanted to build on recent developments in critical approaches to the history of archaeology, putting Cyprus in a broader political and socio-economic context and drawing on new methodologies and theoretical approaches. An important priority was to tap into some of the rich archival resources in Cyprus and London, as well as elsewhere, which have huge potential to shed new light on the subject.

We were delighted by the range and depth of the responses to our call for papers, and grateful to our participants for bearing with us while we redesigned the event in an online format. Getting up to speed with Zoom webinars was a steep learning curve for all of us, but our experience shows that this is a viable approach for a conference, when face-to-face is not possible. The proceedings were opened on 6 November by a brief address from the British High Commissioner, Stephen Lillie, who echoed all our wishes in hoping to welcome participants to Cyprus soon. This first day was bookended by two keynote addresses, firstly from Michael Given at the University of Glasgow, a participant in the original British Museum conference, who shared both his insights into approaches to landscape in 19th century Cypriot archaeology, and broader reflections on theoretical engagement with the history of archaeology. The second keynote was by Juliette Desplat from the UK National Archives, who gave us an enlightening overview of the resources relevant to Cypriot archaeology held at the National Archives in London, which helped to set the framework for the archival theme of the conference.

Over the two days eight papers were presented, giving rich and varied responses to the conference themes. Place-based investigations focused on the history of archaeological investigation at Lapithos and Marion, and the history of underwater archaeological exploration, based on extensive archival research. The evidence for official German interest in archaeology in Cyprus in the earlier British period was examined, and the histories of the Cypriot collections now in the British Museum. Complementing these studies, and widening the geographical and historical focus, the entangled histories of archaeologists working across Cyprus, Libya and Jordan were explored, and an overview given of the prehistory, as it were, of prehistoric archaeology in Cyprus. Although it wasn’t possible for the chat to flow quite as freely as it would have done in person, there was plenty of opportunity for questions and comments, and the excellent contributions from all the speakers resulted in a thought-provoking, informative and hugely enjoyable two days. Many of the presentations were recorded, and these, and the full conference program, can be found at

If 2020 has taught us anything, it is that making plans for the future is a risky business. However, we aim to build on the success of this first event with our next webinar (29th - 30th January 2021), to hear from more of our contributors and take forward the debate. We are firmly hoping to hold the conference in person in Nicosia towards the end of 2021, and intend that this extended period of discussion and development will enable contributors to respond to and engage with each other’s approaches, leading to a cohesive body of work, which we intend to publish as an edited volume in due course. We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who participated in this first webinar, as a presenter or as an attendee, and warmly invite you to join us at our next event.
Missing and Missed by CAARI: A Constructive Response to COVID-19

Dr. Laura Swantek
Arizona State University
In the late winter of 2020, many of us were preparing for our summer or fall research trips to our beloved island and our home away from home, CAARI. We hoped for a quick end to Covid-19 and a summer in Cyprus, but our plans for the remainder of the year were unfortunately disrupted. 

We missed making our annual trips to CAARI, walking through the front doors and hearing our names joyfully called out as residents and visitors sipped coffee and ate delicious Cypriot pastries in the atrium. We didn’t hear the scramble for more chairs or share double kisses while coffee orders (frappé, metrios, sketos) were rapidly taken by Photoulla and conversations about life, members of the CAARI family and research carried on. We didn’t grab the envelope lovingly left just inside the residence door with our key and room number, nor did we drag our too-heavy suitcases up the turning staircase to our temporary, though warmly familiar, home. We didn’t catch up with Katerina and find out where we would be sitting as we read and researched in the gloriously air-conditioned library.

When our stay was over, we missed our annual checking out ritual that culminates in Vathoulla printing our receipt on yellow paper that she can’t immediately find under the piles of papers on her desk, and that finally ends with hugs, double kisses, a final contribution to CAARI, and tearful goodbyes until we return to our Cyprus family again next year. 

While we all missed the wonderful people that make up CAARI, our lunches together in Nicosia and evenings chatting on the balcony of the residence, CAARI also missed us. CAARI depends on the income generated from the use of the library and stays at the residence, particularly during the busy months of June and July.  

If you were planning on using the library or staying at CAARI in 2020, please consider donating the cost of your stay, whether that was several nights in the residence or the cost of your lunch (or lunch with the CAARI staff) on the day you were scheduled to come see Lindy before the dig or research season started.  
So We Reach the Heart of This Message
Dr. Swantek is right: CAARI needs your helpCovid-19 has cast a pall over CAARI’s life and livelihood. We need the season’s spirit of giving to brighten the year ahead.
Were you planning to come to CAARI this year? Take up her suggestion and donate your summer stay. Look at all the ways to do this that she has imagined! See what fun she has had—you can surely add to her list!
Bring pastries to coffee time

Researcher monthly library rate

Take CAARI staff to lunch at To Steki

Enjoy 3 nights of brandy sours on your private balcony

Share your space with friends in Room 5 for 5 nights

Cook yourself and some friends a monster meze in the kitchen in the Fulbright Suite


You can make a donation to the General Fund on, or write a cheque made out to CAARI, indicating on the “memo” line the things you want to support, and send it to:

        209 Commerce Street
        Alexandria, VA 22314

Thank you for your generosity! Don’t discount the power of a small gift! But know how important your gifts are to CAARI. 
Or maybe you didn’t plan to come to CAARI this year. But you'd like to help build CAARI's future. Go to:
You can contribute to the CAARI Endowment, which supports our programs; to our three graduate student fellowships and the postdoctoral Peltenburg Fellowship, all crucial to maintaining the flow of fresh talent to our field; or to the General Fund, that maintains our historic building, facilities, and lab. Or you, too, can write a cheque with the area of your interest on the “memo” line. We are always grateful to learn what your particular interests are.
CAARI’s need is great now. We come to you with sincere urgency. We thank ALL who help to make CAARI’s Christmas bright! We are especially grateful for your help in this dark time. To all who help CAARI sustain its potent mission: thank you for your generous participation!