On the borders of the occupied village of Davlos, at the location of Vikli (Galounia) lays an amazing geological formation consisting of a series of alternating layers of clay, marl, sandstone, limestone and other rocks.
The area in the past was identified, by older researchers, with the famous “Achaean Coast”, mentioned by the ancient geographer Strabo. But this is not documented archaeologically, Maria Makri, Archaeological Official at the Department of Antiquities, explains to Cyprus News Agency.
However, an ancient settlement was found in the area and due to its importance, the Department of Antiquities, since 1971, declared the site and the remains of the ancient city as an Ancient Monument. Achaeans colonized Cyprus from 1210 to 1000 BC.
This area was initially “discovered” by Cyprus News Agency’s photojournalist Katia Christodoulou who visited it last April. Seeing the unique photos of the rocks and the video she took, we were intrigued to investigate it further, bearing in mind the rumor that it is the “Achaean Coast”.
We contacted Makri, who knew about the area. According to her, along the northern coast of Cyprus, from Kormakitis to Apostolos Andreas, the most widespread geological formation of the Pentadaktylos geotectonic zone, the Flyschis of Kythrea, can be found.
It is, she told us, a lithological formation consisting of a series of alternating layers of clay, marl, sandstone, limestone and other rocks which, according to Dr. G. Konstantinou and Panagidis I., was formed by 95% from sediment deposits carried by strong marine currents, during the Middle Miocene from Southern Asia Minor and by 5% from erosion materials of the Pentadaktylos mountain range.
“Over thousands of years, the layers of clay, marl and limestone were eroded by seawater in contrast to the layers of sandstone that resist erosion, resulting in some areas of the northern coast of the island and especially in the area of Davlos a special landscape has been formed which, while it creates the impression of a man-made construction, i.e. a shipyard, in reality it is an exclusively geological phenomenon”, said Makri.
Research in the 70s , an ancient settlement
The area is located on the borders of the village of Davlos, specifically at the location of Vikli (Galounia). Makri said that this site was archaeologically investigated during the early 1970s, and before the 1974 illegal Turkish invasion, by the Department of Antiquities, by the former Director of the Department, Dr. S. Hadjisavva.
Makri explained that according to Dr. Hadjisavva, a large settlement dating from the Hellenistic (312-58 BC), the Roman (58 BC-395 AD) and the Early Christian period (395-mid 7th AD) was found in the area.
The settlement is located approximately 5 km North-East of Davlos and 5.5 km North-West of Komi.
“The remains occupy an area of 300X200 meters on rocky ground, located on the borders of the two villages. The area is dominated by a small bay to the west which was probably an ancient port. Large amounts of pottery and building materials found scattered throughout the area demonstrate the long use and importance of the site,” she said.
In fact, due to its importance, as early as 1971, the Department of Antiquities declared the site and the remains of the ancient city, which are located within private property in the Galounia area, as an Ancient Monument (Table B).
It was not possible to carry out excavations in the wider area in the period 1971-1974. According to Makri, in the past this position was identified, by older researchers, with the famous “Achaean Coast”, mentioned by the ancient geographer Strabo.
That is, the coast where Achaean settlers landed during the Late Bronze Age (around 1,200 BC) after the destruction of the Mycenaean Palaces.
“Certainly, something like this is not documented archaeologically, since during the archaeological investigations no remains of the Late Bronze Age were found at all, as is the case in other areas of Cyprus where the archaeological remains found (e.g. cyclopean walls, building complexes with architectural and other elements that refer to the Aegean, Mycenaean pottery, etc.) and which date to the Late Bronze Age, testify to the presence of Mycenaean settlers,” she explained.
A typical example, she explained, is the site Maa-Paleokastro which is located approximately 13 km northwest of the city of Paphos where the excavations brought to light a fortified settlement of the Late Bronze Age, built on a small peninsula, connected to the permanent settlement of the Achaeans in Cyprus.