The almond trees are blooming, heralding the abundance and beauty of springtime in Cyprus. Life is burgeoning at CAARI, too: the hostel is lively with researchers, it’s already fully booked for June, and the plans for the Summer Archaeological Workshop are underway. But there are challenges, too: as seen in the Director’s report, the winter has left behind a bricks-and-mortar issue in the CAARI garden which requires intervention so significant that we are turning to each of you to consider making a gift to help fund this work. It is urgent and necessary. We hope for your help!
This winter’s toll is felt also in the reflective personal tribute to Dr. Vassos Karageorghis composed on CAARI’s behalf by Dr. Stuart Swiny together with his wife, Laina (Helena Wylde Swiny). Dr. Karageorghis was a firm and invaluable friend of CAARI from its foundation to his death, and this memorial comes as an expression of gratitude and reverence from all of us. It is followed by a memorial for past CAARI Trustee, Claire G. Cohen.
But first, Dr. Laura Swantek offers us a vivid view ahead to the plans that she and Dr. Tom Davis have made for the coming summer in their excavations at Kourion. Her words convey so well the sense of eagerness, energy and expectation that so many of us feel as we anticipate a season in Cyprus. 
Message from CAARI’s Director
Dear friends and supporters of CAARI,
Spring is just beginning in Nicosia and we’re starting to feel hopeful, despite the ongoing pandemic. Covid numbers are dropping and warmer weather means we can gather outdoors to see friends and colleagues. Just as this newsflash was going to press, we received the very sad news that, in addition to those whom we’ve memorialized already here, CAARI’s long-time friend and librarian for many years, Diana Constantinides, also passed away. We will miss Diana’s calm and cheerful presence dearly and a full tribute will be presented in the spring Newsflash.

In addition to Stuart and Laina Swiny’s moving tribute to Vassos Karageorghis that follows, I would like to add a personal note of appreciation, as one of the many students he encouraged. Vassos took me under his wing when he was Director of the A.G. Leventis Foundation and I was a doctoral student at CAARI undertaking research for my PhD in 2001. He introduced me to local and visiting archaeologists and offered his Bronze Age expertise for my research on Enkomi. He remained incredibly supportive when I was appointed Cyprus Curator at the British Museum and while I’ve been Director of CAARI. He was thrilled about my excavations at Kissonerga, and I spent many happy hours there with Vassos and Jacqueline at their home. I spoke to him the week before his illness and he was cheerful at the publication of a new book and so happy to be in Kissonerga surrounded by his children and grandchildren. So many archaeologists have similar stories of how he made us feel part of the Cypriot archaeological community and he is very much missed.

As noted in the introduction, we do have a problem in the CAARI courtyard that needs to be remedied. The garden beds along the back of the building are up against the garage of our neighbor and have caused terrible problems with damp in their walls. It is our responsibility to fix this but it is an expensive venture as we need to fill in the soil and re-pave the courtyard in such a way that it doesn’t cause water run-off and new problems. What we’d love is to have this fixed before the summer so we can all enjoy the courtyard for the party following the 39th Annual CAARI Summer Archaeological Workshop to be held this June 18th after the pandemic break of two years. Any gift you can contribute to help us address this problem would be greatly appreciated.

To end with some good news, there is a new ‘must see’ venue to add to the list for your next visit to Cyprus. The newly refurbished Larnaca Museum is an absolute joy. You can see in the photo just a glimpse of the bright, well-organized and
informative spaces filled with exciting objects. This week, those of us who are on Cyprus who had helped out with information and object selection for the museum were invited for a special tour. It was given by the Department of Antiquities staff responsible for the prehistoric (Archaeological Officer Efthymia Alphas) and Iron Age galleries (Larnaca District Archaeological Officer Anna Satraki) and followed by a lunch in the museum courtyard. It is a difficult task giving a tour to a bunch of experts who chatter on about their favorite objects but they did a great job and many congratulations to all involved!   

Coming up soon on the 10th of March we are hosting a lecture by CAARI-CAORC Fellow, Dr Lisa Mahoney, entitled The Exceptional Icons of Lusignan Cyprus as Archetype. Although Lisa has made it to Cyprus and is enjoying her research time here, we must stick with the online format for now so please join us online. You can find the link for registration here:

Wishing all of our friends health and that we see you here soon,

Lindy Crewe, PhD
Director, CAARI
Vassos Karageorghis

Dr. Stuart Swiny
in collaboration with Laina (Helena Wylde Swiny)

The photograph of Vassos Karageorghis1 carrying on the tradition of his ancestral Bronze Age traders2 epitomizes so well his life and a career striving to present ancient Cyprus to the world through excavation, publication and museum exhibits.
There have been several detailed eulogies for Vassos Karageorghis and there is little need to paraphrase them. Here instead, for the benefit of the CAARI Newsletter readership, Laina and I wish to provide some personal reminiscences on a remarkable man who dominated Cypriot archaeology for over half a century, and always will. (Just how remarkable that life had been is clearly recorded in his memoire A Lifetime in the Archaeology of Cyprus, Medelhavsmuseet, Stockholm 2007).

We first met Vassos Karageorghis in 1967 at a gathering organized at the London home of Jane Cook, the artist who was then drawing for publication many of the spectacular finds from the Royal Tombs at Salamis. Neither of us, then students at the Institute of Archaeology, London University (where, coincidentally, he too had studied), were particularly knowledgeable of Cyprus at that stage. This, however, would change a few months later when Laina was offered the position of diving architect on Michael Katzev’s Kyrenia Ship excavation, a project which opened up Cyprus to nautical archaeology, so critical to understanding an island nation. I joined the team in 1969. We would see Karageorghis regularly and were fortunate to dig with him at the harbor site of Kition. Remarkably supportive of young graduate students focusing on Cypriot studies, he was gracious, outgoing, and made a point of introducing us to visiting archaeological dignitaries. We also got to know and established a lasting friendship with his French wife Jacqueline, a scholar in her own right, who with her French connections greatly enhanced his career. For those of us coming into our own from the 1960s to the 1980s, it was the golden Age of Cypriot archaeology in more ways than one. Not surprisingly, I decided on a Cypriot topic for my Ph D and VK (he told us many years later that we were the first to use this acronym!) could not have been more forthcoming with permissions to study material or sample objects for scientific analysis when provided with a well-argued proposal. He was also a good judge of character and willing to entrust people with substantial projects that might enhance the work of the Department of Antiquities. One such example was his suggestion that Laina should undertake a badly needed reorganization of the exhibits at the Kourion House Museum in Episkopi Village, something she launched into with gusto and then went on to do the same at the Larnaca Castle Museum. The Department of Antiquities supplied all materials, Laina the time and expertise.

The role of VK in the genesis of CAARI has been well described elsewhere3 so need not be repeated here, but suffice it to say that he was central to its founding and was always supportive of its director’s efforts to develop a vibrant archaeological research center. Working with him as the person responsible for running CAARI required tact and a keen sense of what would be acceptable to a Director of the Department of Antiquities who was used to overseeing the only permanent branch of archaeology on the island. Suddenly there was an expanding American archaeological research institute directed by a younger man, and that required some deft maneuvering on my part so as not to be viewed as competing in any way. Karageorghis was astute, and consistent, and typically pragmatic in his approach to issues. He was a man, as those who knew him realized, of strong opinions, but once you had learned his modus operandi, working with him was a pleasure, and I enjoyed that experience for nine years. CAARI and the Department of Antiquities “collaborated” on a number of events, and he said to me once, “This works well for the Department, we collaborate and you do all the work!”

Under his directorship the Department of Antiquities welcomed many foreign archaeological missions to Cyprus, all of which he would visit when they were in the field. The relationship between these projects and the Department was based on trust, and unlike many surrounding countries “commissioners” were not required on such excavations.

Karageorghis worked incredibly hard. An early riser, he was in his office most mornings around 6.30 am, but he was also a bon vivant and liked nothing more than a good meal in good company or a lively party. Many a time over the years we were guests at social events hosted by Vassos and Jacqueline either at their house in Nicosia or that in Kissonerga. It was a pleasant way to meet people involved in Cypriot research writ large and also make useful contacts for CAARI.
VK was certainly one of a kind, a man with great charm and a force of nature so far as the archaeological community in Cyprus was concerned. Both Laina and I surely speak for many when we acknowledge that we owe him much, not least his friendship. There will never be the likes of him again: Director of the Department of Antiquities for 26 years, Professor at the University of Cyprus, Director of the A. G. Leventis Foundation, scholar with an encyclopedic knowledge of Cyprus, phenomenal publisher of books and articles, recipient of numerous honorary degrees and decorations and above all an administrator who did not miss much within his well-run department.

With Vassos Karageorghis’ death Cyprus has lost a fellow citizen of international repute, a towering figure of Cypriot archaeology and someone who did so much to ensure, often in difficult circumstances, that it would become known to the world, and thrive. In that, he was truly successful.
1 University of Haifa workshop, Recycling  Hoarding and Trade organized by Michael Artzy in 1998. Photo. S.Swiny.

2 Late Cypriot III A fragment from a four-sided stand measuring 3.9 x 6.2 cm. Royal Ontario Museum, Toronto # 995.144.1

3 Swiny, S. 2001, “CAARI. The House of the Dancing Bird. A History of the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute, 1978-2000”. An ASOR Mosaic. Ed. J. D. Seger. ASOR, Boston, Pp. 323-324; Davis, T. W. 2021,“The House of the Dancing Bird: Stuart Swiny and CAARI”. All Things Cypriot. Studies on Ancient Environment, Technology, and Society in Honor of Stuart Swiny, Eds. Z. Chovanec and W. Crist, CAARI Monograph Series 6. ASOR, Alexandria VA. Pp. 17-19.

Ten Years of the Kourion Urban Space Project

Dr. Laura A. Swantek, with Dr. Thomas W. Davis

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Kourion Urban Space Project (KUSP). We began work at Kourion in 2012 thinking we would explore none-elite households to give context to the Earthquake House, the only known non-elite domestic structure at the site. The Earthquake House was first unearthed in 1934 by John Franklin Daniel and George H. McFadden, III. Excavation was continued in the 1980s by David Soren, who uncovered the remains of a multi-family house or apartment building. The thick layer of tumbled wall stones that blanketed this structure confirmed the suspicion that it was destroyed in a devastating seismic event like many of the other buildings at Kourion. Soren determined that this event was part of the earthquake storms that hit the Mediterranean in the mid-fourth century CE. Most excavations at Kourion up to that point had focused on large, public buildings like the theater and the Early Christian Basilica, and elite residences like the House of Eustolios. Investigations of the Earthquake House shed light for the first time on the households and lifestyles of “regular” people at Kourion.

Following up on this work, KUSP endeavored to find more non-elite households at Kourion to understand how regular people lived, how they used their space and accessed water in a city without a natural fresh water-source, and how earthquakes disrupt the social and economic patterns of life. But alas, the answers to our research questions would not be answered as Kourion gave up her secrets in a different way! Excavation units west of the Earthquake House that we thought would surely yield non-elite households, and others to the south, including one precariously balanced on the edge of the Kourion cliff, revealed more elite structures. New data requires new research questions, so KUSP refocused its collective energy on excavating one of these newly-unearthed structures, Building 4, just west of the Earthquake House.  
Building 4 in the background and the Earthquake House in the foreground
Building 4 is a large structure that stretches southwest towards the sea. KUSP has exposed just under 400 m2, but we estimate based on landforms and surface exposure that only one-third of the structure has been excavated to date. Like many other buildings at Kourion, the remains of Building 4 are buried under a thick layer of wall tumble and broken roof tiles mixed with wind-blown sand from the beach below. Just above this, a stratum of broken and discarded materials including pottery, glass, and architectural stones is indicative of post-earthquake cleanup and rebuilding present in excavations of other parts of the city. Interestingly, the presence of this debris on top of the earthquake-ruined walls indicates that Building 4 was not rebuilt when the population of Kourion returned and began their cleanup efforts. Instead, it became a dumping ground for the broken and discarded materials that must have littered the city. 
The eastern section of Building 4, looking south
Building 4 is constructed of large limestone blocks and field stones typical of the buildings at Kourion. KUSP has identified at least three interior rooms (Room 28, 35, and 36), a possible fourth, a stairway which indicates the presence of a second floor, and a courtyard. Architecturally, Building 4 is massive; it was also highly decorated. The northwest wall of Room 28 is covered by marble revetment still in situ. Based on the amount of painted plaster found, this room was adorned with geometric motifs painted in red and blue or black. The walls of the courtyard were similarly painted. Triangular pieces of marble that fit together may have served as flooring or wall decoration, and limestone blocks carved with floral patterns further elevated the aesthetic of the courtyard along with marble statues that have survived as a portion of a leg, a possible elbow and a third mystery joint. 
Room 35 yielded abundant small finds, adding to the grandeur of Building 4. We suspect that this room, connected to a possible stairway, was actually on the second floor of this building. Our working hypothesis is that Building 4 had two stories, at least in this section, and the finds that have been recovered thus far from Room 35 were within the structure and not dumped on top of it during the post-earthquake cleanup. This is based on stratigraphy, estimated and preserved heights of walls, and the horizontal scatter pattern of the finds. Of particular interest in this room are the remains of a large green and yellow glass plate and a glass cage cup. The bichrome pattern of the glass plate was created by fusing rods of different colored glass together, producing a mosaic effect. Glass of this kind was manufactured in the Kharga Oasis, Egypt in the fourth century CE; the glass plate from Kourion was likely made there and imported to Cyprus. The fragments of a glass cage cup were also found in this room. Cage cups are rare in the archaeological record of the Mediterranean; they were elite goods that required advanced skill to produce, and they are incredibly fragile. These vessels are crafted from a thick glass preform that is carved and ground into a beaker with a decorative lattice or figural pattern on the exterior. The cage cup from Kourion has a clear body covered with a green and transparent circular mesh linked with a ribbon motif. Though a manufacturing center for these objects has not been located, it is very unlikely that the Kourion cage cup was made on Cyprus, and so it represents another imported luxury good.   
Kourion is an unusual city; it had no natural, fresh-water source. Fresh water was brought into the city through a series of conduits and pipes and is stored in underground cisterns, and waste water was brought out through sewers, keeping the water flowing and healthy. Building 4 is directly linked into this system. KUSP has located two access points for water built into the southeast wall of Building 4 that connect to a single, large, bell-shaped reservoir cut into the bedrock and fed through an underground pipe. Niches cut into flat stones adjacent to one of the above-ground access points may indicate that water was drawn up from the reservoir using a windlass. Just outside the north corner of Building 4, KUSP has been investigating what we originally thought was another pipe-fed cistern but is more likely a sewer outlet. We think of water as a resource, but it is also a commodity and in dry places, excess water is a luxury good. Building 4’s direct link into the water system and access to such a large cistern is not accidental and should be considered as an indicator of wealth through access to a necessary and precious resource. 
Excavation of Building 4 in 2018, looking southeast
Building 4 was certainly grand and ostentatious during its life. It was monumental, highly decorated, contained luxury imported goods, and had direct access to water. We may never know who lived in Building 4 or if it was even a private residence, but it is certain that the structure and the objects it contained were meant to convey a message about wealth, power and social connections. None of these things are forever, and Building 4, despite its grandeur and monumentality, could not withstand the earthquake whose powerful waves shook its walls and brought them tumbling to the ground. Building 4 was left under its own rubble, piled high with the debris of a destroyed city, and left to be buried by time and sand.

KUSP hopes to be back in the field to continue work on Building 4 in summer 2022. A major focus of our efforts will be deciphering stratigraphy and determining if and where there was a second floor. Reaching the floors in many of these rooms will be a major goal for the 2022 season, and we expect, based on what we have seen so far, that they will not be disappointing. Our talented team of students and professionals will also be working on research questions concerning pottery, painted plaster, glass, earthquake damage in buildings, the city-plan of Kourion and the water system. Global pandemic allowing, we hope to see everyone back in Cyprus this summer and invite you to experience Building 4, Kourion, and its beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea.
The view of the Mediterranean Sea from Kourion on an unusually cloudy day

The CAARI Community Remembers: 
Claire G. Cohen, Public Finance Pioneer and
CAARI Trustee
Dr. Annemarie Weyl Carr
Among the things we hear most often about CAARI is its wonderful people. Usually this refers to the people in the library and hostel. But CAARI’s Board of Trustees, too, has seen many remarkable members. Among them was Claire G. Cohen, a Trustee of 2003-2007 whom I remember so vividly that it is hard to realize I’m now writing to convey her passing, on February 3 in her home city of New York. Claire came to CAARI through her niece, Dr. Joanna Smith. She brought with her an incandescent intellectual clarity, a keen interest in people and ideas, and a competence that we needed desperately. She was a financial analyst of formidable stature: a formative figure in the field of municipal bond analysis, and former Chair of the Municipal Analysts Group of New York. A graduate of Radcliffe College, she was one of the first women professionals in the municipal bond industry. She served in many roles at Moody’s Investors Service, as vice-president of Fitch’s Ratings, as a member of the Government Accounting Standards Advisory Council, and as an enormous educational resource to the National Association of State Treasurers. Recipient of a veritable bouquet of Career Achievement Awards, she was honored as a Trailblazing Woman by the Northeast Women in Public Finance. Her colleague Hy Grossman said of her: “She was a pioneer in many ways, never shy to express an opinion which was always thoughtful and without rancor.” And so she was in our Board meetings, very present, alert to issues and personalities, and responsive to the nuances of archaeology as well as of finance. She remained a generous friend to CAARI to the end, and we remember her with gratitude and great respect. 

We’re summoning our friends and helpers! As you’ve read above, CAARI needs bricks-and-mortar help. Please help as you can! Here is a picture of the space in question, looking down from the balcony on an evening reception. You can see how much we use and love it.
CAARI’s garden during the 40th Birthday celebration in 2018
We’re all committed to making CAARI a strong foundation. But here is a way to help give it a strong foundation. A gift to help build the garden wall is an opportunity to do genuine foundation-building, in a literal as well as a figurative way. CAARI will gratefully accept gifts of all dimensions, but we can promise all donors of $200 or over will have their names inscribed in the mortar, firmly affixed for all time to a little bit of Nicosia and written in CAARI’s fabric. You can donate online, or by mail:

11 Andrea Dimitriou Street
Nicosia 1066
209 Commerce Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
To ALL who help to give CAARI a firm foundation: our sincerest thanks! To all who help CAARI sustain its potent mission: thank you for your generous participation! We are very grateful for your support.