Tenta Kalavasos

EXCURSIONS / Archaeological Sites / Larnaca / Tenta Kalavasos
Tenta, the name of a lens - shaped hill that rises about 20 metres above the western side of Vasilikos Valley, lies about 2.5 kilometres from the village of Kalavassos. The earliest remains of human habitation at Tenta date back to the Aceramic Neolithic period (c. 7500 BC - c. 5200 BC).

There appears to be a gap from the end of this period until the site was reoccupied in the Ceramic Neolithic period (c. 4500 BC).

The main characteristic of the houses is the simple circular or double circular layout that is also found at Choirokoitia. The houses are either entirely of stone, or built with rough stones in their lower part, with mud - brick above. Unlike Choirokoitia, the internal walls of the houses were covered with clay. All the floors of the houses are flat and made of beaten earth. The form of the roofs has not been established. Some of the walls survive up to 1,5 metres high, but there is no evidence of chimneys, as at Choirokoitia.

The burial customs present some differences compared to those of Choirokoitia. Remains of a human figure with raised hands painted in red, has been found on the smooth surface of the internal wall of one of the houses. There are traces of red at various other points of the wall and it is not unlikely that this figure formed part of a larger composition. This discovery, dated to the beginning of the 7th millennium BC, is the earliest example of wall painting on the island and testimony to the high artistic skills of the inhabitants of Aceramic Neolithic Cyprus.

A stone - built outer wall surrounded the settlement, at least in its early phase. The wall may have been defensive in character or merely defined the limit of the settlement. No definite evidence of a gateway was found in the excavated area.


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