Kalavasos archaeological areas. The expert scientists' excavation-research and the systematic archaeological survey in the region of Kalavasos resulted in the discovery of many archaeological sites, which belong in almost all of the phases of Cyprus's prehistoric and historic chronological periods. The most significant of those sites, in a chronological sequence, are the pre-ceramic, Neolithic "Tenta" settlement (7000 -- 6000 BC), the Neolithic "Kalavasos A" settlement in Kokkinogia from the 2nd Ceramic Neolithic period (4500 -- 3800 BC), the Chalcolithic settlements in Agioi and "Kalavasos B" in Pamboules (3500 -- 2500 BC), as cemeteries of the Early and Middle Bronze Age, in the borders' immediate environment and the central residential sector of Kalavasos (2500 -- 1650 BC), and the settlement and cemetery of the Latter Bronze Age in Agios Dimitrios.
The settlements of "Tenta", Kalavasos A, and Kalavasos B were traced and studied in sections, in a small scale excavation of a probing nature, by the Antiquities Department in 1947. In 1976, a large scale, methodical excavation research in the "Tenta" settlement was undertaken by the American archaeological expedition of the Brandeis University, which continued uninterrupted in the summer months of 1977, 1978, and 1979 and was completed with the excavation period of 1984. During the excavation periods of 1978 and 1979, the same expedition expanded its excavation operations to the settlement in Agioi, which was detected in 1948 by the Antiquities Department, and from 1979 until 1984 it sequentially investigated the settlement in Agios Dimitrios, which was discovered in 1978 by the Antiquities Department during an extensive archaeological survey of the new Nicosia -- Limassol highway's directional line. Along its main excavation work, the expedition from Brandeis University undertook and successfully completed the thorough archaeological survey in the entire Kalavasos region and -at the same time -excavated 13 Mid Bronze Age tombs (1900 -- 1650 BC) in total, which were accidentally found during construction works in the centre of the village. The excavated settlements and all the others, the ones revealed after the Antiquities Department's archaeological survey and the expedition of Brandeis University, are mainly concentrated in the south-east and south-west area of Kalavasos, along the valley that is crossed by the Vasilikos River and are located in a close distance from each other. The shrinkage and the age-long survival of the settlements, especially the prehistoric ones, in this region of Kalavasos, is mainly due to the alluvial, fertile ground of the large valley and the plentiful water of the Vasilikos River, as well as the neighbouring rich copper mines and the mild, lowland and coastal climate, which undoubtedly worked as the basic factors and created the most favourable conditions for the development of the inhabitants' living standard in these handcrafts, stockbreeding, and agricultural communities.
The general excavational and archaeological data of the excavated settlements and cemeteries present the following characteristic image:
The settlement in "Tenta": Located in an imposing spot upon a small, natural hill,at a distance of about 2,5 kilometres from the south-east borders of Kalavasos and 150 meters from the west bank of the Vasilikos River. Just like in Choirokoitia, in Tenta also the residences with the simple, circular structure are entirely made of stone or built with rough-hewn stones in the lower section of the walls and with mud-bricks in the rest of their structure. In all the houses the floors have a flat surface and it is made of beaten ground. In many of them, traces of a reddish colour and some circular holes, in which wooden poles were stuck for supporting the roof, are still preserved.
The Kalavasos A Settlement: Although it is considered as part of the Kokkinogia venue, it is in the same archaeological site as the chalcolithic settlement of Kalavasos B, which is considered as part of the Pamboules venue. The houses of this settlement, which belonged to a small agricultural community of farmers and stockbreeders of the Neolithic era's second phase, are characterised by a completely original architecture. They are semi-underground, single chamber residences of an irregular, circular or ellipsoid shape, carved in the natural, hard rock, probably roofed with reeds and wood that were covered by a solid layer of clay. Apart from some small, circular openings at the central points of the bare - natural - floors, which seem to have been sockets for wooden poles that supported the roofs, there are no other indications for the structuring and the rest of the residences' architectural form. Because the extended corrosion of the ground has almost completely ruined the various, consecutive layers of the archaeological site, the excavation's conclusions were mostly based on the typology and the comparative parallelism of the movable findings. Several samples of stone-made scrubbing tools, beaters, mortars, hoes, fire-stone blades, pots, and other domestic implements and tools, as well as a large number of ceramic shells that belong to pots with a dotted decoration and other, white, red-painted pots, were found in the houses' floors.
The excavator and other researchers of Cyprus's Prehistory, comparing the houses in Kalavasos A with those of Beerscheba in south Palestine and seeing their relevant similarities, have reached to the possible conclusion that the houses of Kalavasos A were made by colonists that came from this Palestinian region and settled in the island around 4500 BC. Other scientists assume that these houses are somewhat more recent than those in Sotira, which were ruined by an earthquake, and are special anti-seismic shelters, while others do not exclude the possibility that they indeed were specially made for protection from earthquakes but that they were of the same era of the houses in Sotira. Although these theories seem plausible, they still remain simple conjectures. It is hoped that by continuing the excavation researches, new, sufficient and vested archaeological evidence will come to light, unravelling not only this problematic issue but also other dark corners of Cyprus's Neolithic civilisation.
The settlement in Kalavasos B:
It seems to be a continuation of the earlier Neolithic settlement of Kalavasos A and presents almost identical house architecture. Some of these houses' samples discovered are carved in sections on the natural rock, in an irregular, circular shape, their underground section being made of wood that is coated with a thick layer of clay. Very few others of the excavated samples of houses are entirely above the ground and in the shape of a cone. The foundations and the lower, circular part are made of stone and the upper structure is made of poles, ending at the top of another pole that is fastened at the centre of the floor. Some of the residences in the chalcolithic settlement in Erimi have exactly the same architectural shape.
The movable findings from the settlement include very few samples of stone-made vessels, some specimens of white clay, red-painted pots, bone-made items, and various other miniature items.
The settlement in Agioi:
Located at a distance of about 500 meters east of "Tenta" and 600 meters north of the Kalavasos A and Kalavasos B settlements. From the architectural samples of the semi-underground, carved residences that have been revealed through the excavations of the American expedition of the Brandeis University, which are identical with those of the Kalavasos B, chalcolithic settlement, it is inferred that this settlement succeeded the settlement of Kalavasos B. The excavator's opinion is reinforced by the dating of the settlement in Agioi, which is placed in the second phase of the Chalcolithic Age (3000 - 2500 BC), while the settlement in Kalavasos B is placed in the first phase (3500 - 3000 BC).
Out of the movable findings of the settlement, note-worthy are some excellent specimens of pottery with the advanced attributes of the various geometric motifs being very intense in the white, red-painted pots, several pieces of necklaces and amulets made of imported marble and carnelian stone, some stone-made axes, and various bone-made and other miniature pieces.
The settlement in Agios Dimitrios:
Situated at a small distance south of Tenta. It was located in 1978 and then a large part of its central section was excavated and -after it was charted -it was filled with earth so that a small part of the new Nicosia - Limassol highway of about 150 meters was constructed on top of it. In this covered part of the settlement there are architectural remains of large residences made of rough-hewn stones and hewed limestone. Similar houses and large building complexes were revealed, after the banking up, in the east, the south, the central, and the north-east sector of the settlement, which were not affected by the crossing of the road. The largest and most important of the discovered buildings is located in the settlement's north-east sector. This covers a range of about 1.000 square meters and consists of a large internal yard, surrounded by corridors and rooms in the north and south side. In the east section of the building there are many small, uniform rooms and in its west side there is only one large hall (19 X 7,5), with a series of six monolithic pilasters. Several storage earthenware jars were found in this hall, placed in a row and on top of special, stone-made, bases that were fastened on the floor. The entire building was made of rough-hewn stones and hewed limestone and it probably was one of the settlement's main public administrative areas. Both this building as well as the rest of the architectural remains in the settlement, which are paralleled with the majestic buildings in Egkomi and Kition, date back between 1325 and 1225 BC and are evidence of the great economic and cultural development of Kalavasos's region during the Cypro- Mycenean times.
The most important discovery of movable antiquities was achieved outside the west side of this imposing public building. It concerns the discovery of one of the richest archaeological treasures of Cyprus inside an intact carved tomb, which sheds abundant light on the socio-economic and cultural existence of this region's inhabitants in the beginning of the 14th century BC that this tomb and its gems is dated to. The sepulchral chamber of the tomb, 4,40 meters wide, is carved on the natural limestone rock and bears a bench in its east side. In it were found the skeletons of three young women, a child aged 4-8, and two infants. The funeral gifts / gems that escorted the dead were golden bracelets, necklaces, and rings with a total weight of 432 grams, similar silver jewellery, various other jewels and items made of faience, alabaster, and glass, along with some Mycenean pottery with an elaborate decoration of dolphins and a variety of geometrical motifs.
This luxuriant tomb, which is 50-70 years older than the Mycenean settlement in Agios Dimitrios, belongs to a cemetery of a more ancient, neighbouring settlement that has not been traced yet.
The 13 excavated tombs in the central residential sector of Kalavasos -of the Middle Bronze Age -and all the others, which were discovered from time to time in the immediate environment of the village's border and date back to the Early Bronze Age, have produced large quantities of pottery, a variety of miniature items, and various other funeral gifts / gems.