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Book: Critical Approaches to Cypriot and Wider Mediterranean Archaeology

Chapter: 16. Ceramics and Stone Anchors: Re-assessing the Anchorage of Maroni Tsaroukkas

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.42492


An anchorage at Maroni Tsaroukkas lies directly offshore from a late Cypriot complex along the south-central coast of Cyprus. Underwater survey of the anchorage was conducted in 1995-1996 as part of the Tsaroukkas, Mycenaeans and Trade Project as well as in 2017-2019 as part of the Kalavasos and Maroni Built Environments Project. The goals of the most recent survey were to determine the full extent of the anchorage and to implement new recording methodologies for accurate underwater survey. At the anchorage, a minimum of 70 anchors have been documented, alongside 11 stone blocks and over 400 ceramic sherds. Most notably, seven of these anchors are unfinished: roughly hewn into the shape of anchors with holes only partially carved. Very little is known about stone anchor manufacturing because few unfinished anchors or production sites have been documented. Therefore, the unfinished anchors at Tsaroukkas provide some of the only evidence for where sailors could have acquired their anchors and where anchors were carved. But, more than that, the anchors also attest to different scales of maritime trade when interpreted alongside the ceramic remains. Many of the unfinished anchors were found in close proximity to two assemblages of LCIA ceramics, indicating that this area might have been part of a terrestrial building complex, which is now submerged and being exposed by wave action. These two ceramic assemblages include locally produced ceramics, imports from other regions of Cyprus, and long-distance imports from the Levant and Egypt. Consequently, the remains at Tsaroukkas provide evidence not only for the production of anchors at a Late Bronze Age anchorage, which would have been a vital node in the supply chain of Bronze Age ships, but also for complex multi-scalar maritime trade networks in the Late Bronze Age.

Chapter Contributors

  • Carrie Atkins ( - caitkens) 'University of Toronto'