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The Fortified Site of Pyla-Vigla in the Coastal Zone of Pyla, Cyprus William Caraher, University of North Dakota © 2010

Introduction
Excavations and surface finds from the fortification at Vigla have revealed a substantial fortified site most likely of Classical to Hellenistic date. This section provides a basic overview of the evidence for the date, construction style, design, and function of these fortifications. This includes our interpretation of soundings in 2008 and 2009. The location and topography of Vigla offered several advantages. First, its steep southern, eastern, and western sides made the flat top of Vigla easy to fortify. The only vulnerable approach was on the north side of the hill and to approach this side from the coast, on would have to pass in the view the fortifications. The easily defensible height of Vigla most likely served to monitor the now in-filled natural embayment along this stretch of coastline. This embayment would have provided a natural harbor or anchorage. Moreover, in this same area, the main coastal road east from Kition to Salamis and points west turned inland exposing coastal land traffic to potential disruption by seaborne forces.1 The prominent coastal height also provided clear views of almost the entire Larnaka bay from Cape Pyla in the east to Cape Kiti in the west adding to the strategic value of the site. At the same time, the presence of Bronze Age and Iron Age material throughout the region indicates the longstanding value of this area and mitigates against any interpretation based on a single, particular military contingency or geopolitical situation. The excavations on Vigla suggest that a settlement on the hill may have predated the construction of the fortification walls. At the same time, the position of Vigla near the eastern border of the chora of Kition, the presence of a local cult site,2 the abundant cultivatable land, and access to a natural anchorage might have attracted local residents to the defensible height

                                                                                                               
W. Caraher, R. S. Moore, J.S. Noller, and D. K. Pettegrew, “The Pyla-Koutsopetria Archaeological Project: First Preliminary Report (2003-2004 Seasons),” RDAC (2005), 248-250 2 O. Masson, “Kypriaka II: Recherches sur les antiquités de la région de Pyla,” BCH 90 (1966), 1-21.
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prior to the end of the Cypro-Classical period and the dissolution of the citykingdoms. The topographic, geopolitical, and economic potential of the region the tactical and strategic standpoint, Vigla represented an easy to fortify and useful position on the coast of Larnaka bay.

Description of the Wall
The fortification wall at Vigla itself encompasses an area of approximately 9900 sq. meters. On the western, southern, and eastern sides of the plateau, the wall follows the natural contour of the slope. Very little of the wall itself is preserved today with the longest exposed section along the southern slope of the hill visible only one course above the level of the surrounding surface. Despite the poor state of preservation, we traced the wall for over 100 meters, and in numerous places both faces of the wall was visible indicating a width of 1.7-1.8 meters. In this section, the wall consisting of faces of locally-quarried, roughly-dress blocks averaging generally less than 0.5 m in length with a rubble core. There is very little evidence for mortar. At the southeastern corner of the promontory, the wall turns to the north and appears to follow the steeply sloping eastern side of the hill. Erosion appears quite significant in this area with sections of bedrock having collapsed down slope. It seems probable that parts of the wall along this side of the height have fallen down the slope. At the southeastern corner of the wall there is a small, curved section of wall approximately 0.50 m wide and 2.3 m in length with conspicuous quantities of white, gypsum based mortar. This wall does not clearly relate to wall running along the southern face of the Vigla nor does the construction style fit well with walls elsewhere on the hill. Further north from this point, the wall does not appear to be visible along most of the eastern side of the hill, until a 12 m long section of wall reappears approximately 100 m to the north of the southeastern corner wall. Soundings conducted in 2008 along this stretch of wall showed that the wall was 1.7 m wide at this point. The wall consisted of two faces roughly-cut dressed blocks with rubble fill. The northern stretch of the wall is almost completely invisible, but it appears to have followed a slight ridge along the northern part of the Vigla plateau. Excavations by looters in the early summer or spring of 2010 exposed a small

 

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section of the wall’s southern face. Further to the west, more sections of the wall are visible, but these appear to follow a different course from section exposed by looters suggesting that the wall changes course at some point near the northwestern corner. Further north, there are clearly visible remains of an 1820 m fosse or taphros cut into the local bedrock. This imposing feature probably combined the practical contingency of local quarrying with the tactical advantage of providing defenders of additional height from which to assault attackers approaching the fortification from the north. The fosse effectively separates the Vigla promontory from the mass of the Mavrospilos/Kazamas plateau. The western side of the wall is the least visible on Vigla as it is most likely covered with soil eroding from the top. Soundings at the northwestern corner of Vigla exposed a 5 m long stretch of wall that clearly underwent repair. The northwestern corner appears to be a different construction style than the other stretches of wall. Significant quantities of a gypsum-based mortar was used to create a substantial rubble core faced with heavily mortared blocks. It seems likely that this represents the remains of a tower designed to protect an entrance to the enciente at the northwestern corner. Further to the south near what must have been the southwest corner of the enciente, the wall appears once more and continues for approximately 20 m. While only the external face of the wall is visible here, it appears similar in construction to the wall that runs along the southern face of Vigla.

Excavations
In 2008 and 2009, PKAP excavated two units near the perimeter fortification wall in an effort to establish a stratigraphic basis for dating of the wall and determine whether the wall was the product of a single phase. The challenge to excavating the wall was that the significant slope and erosion present along the wall’s well-preserved southern side made stratified deposits unlikely. As a result, we focused our soundsing on areas where the wall appeared less effected by local erosion and had the potential to preserve some local soil depth and local stratigraphy associated with the construction of the wall. EU 6 bisected the course of the wall visible the eastern side of Vigla. It revealed at least three phases of construction, the latest of which was the substantial

 

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fortification wall visible on the eastern side of the hill. The earliest feature present in this trench was a mud-brick wall running across the contour (5603_F1). This wall featured a fine plaster face but lacked the customary stone socle suggesting that this wall was not a structural wall or designed to bear significant weight. This wall appears to have been cut and then incorporated into the second phase of construction, which consisted of a rough stone wall running parallel to the edge of the slope (5601_F2). In the final phase of activity in this sounding was a substantial perimeter wall built parallel to the rough stone wall (5601_F1). This substantial perimeter wall was 1.7 m in width and built with two faces of larger, roughly-dressed stones and a cobble fill. It is almost certainly the eastern side of enciente. The chronological relationship between the three walls in this sounding is clear. The mud-brick wall (5603_F1), first to be constructed, must have been an interior wall, since it had no stone socle making it susceptible to damage from water leaching in from the soil below; bits of plaster face were found at its base. Despite this vulnerability, the mud-brick wall still partially preserved when the second wall in the unit, made of fieldstones stone with a fine plaster face, was built (5601_F2).3 This wall is associated with a floor (5607) which included bits of plaster and mudbrick in its packing (5609). The relatively well-preserved plaster bits adhering to parts of the mud-brick wall indicated that the mud-brick wall was not exposed to the elements for a long period of time and suggests short interval between the end of the primary use of the mudbrick wall and the construction of a stone wall (5601_F2). In fact, the builders of the stone wall used part of the mudbrick wall in their construction rather than cutting completely away. This stone wall’s appearance is similar to that of the walls found in soundings elsewhere atop the Vigla plateau; it is less than 0.5 m in width and made of stacked fieldstones. A hard packed floor associated with the stone wall (5607) was cut when the far more substantial fortification wall was built. The presence of well-preserved fragments of plaster and mud-brick under the surface of the floor through which the fortification wall cut suggests that all of the walls present in this trench were erected over a short span of time. The chronological relationship between these

                                                                                                               
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For mud-brick see G. R. H. Wright, Ancient Building in Cyprus. (Leiden 1992), 376-381. 4  

 

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walls indicates that the events precipitating the construction of the perimeter wall on the eastern side of the height were sudden. The finds from this sounding (EU6) date almost exclusively to the Hellenistic period and earlier save a single sherd of Early Roman, red slip from disturbed levels (5602.17) near the surface. The sounding produced a number of secure contexts that allowed us to establish a basic chronology for the depositional processes and the features in the unit. Units 5204 and 5213 consist of the mudbrick wall (5203_F1) which was excavated as a single context. The wall featured medium coarse ware, coarse ware, kitchen ware, and fine ware fragments as well as shells. The latest, diagnostic material from the mud-brick wall are fragments of Hellenistic cooking ware (5613.1), Hellenistic fine ware (5613.3), and Hellenistic coarse ware (5604.3). The builders of this wall presumably added ceramic fragments unintentionally along with other kinds of organic material as temper for the bricks which were most likely produced on site. A group of sealed deposits (5608, 5609, 5611) also exist below the hard packed floor (5607) associated with the stone wall (5601_F2). Unfortunately no artifacts were associated with the floor. Like in the mud-brick wall, the latest material from these contexts dates to the Hellenistic period. This includes examples of Hellenistic black glaze (5611.10), color coated ware (5608.11), fine ware (5608.6, 5608.8, 5609.5, 5611.5-6), and amphora (5608.5). The unit also produced a significant quantity of earlier Iron Age fine ware (5608.9-10, 5609.8, 5611.11) and medium coarse ware. The rest of the ceramic assemblage from these contexts consisted of less chronologically diagnostic coarse, medium coarse, and kitchen wares. These sealed contexts also featured some faunal material including teeth from sheep/goats (5608.12, 5609.11) and a chicken bone (5611.9) as well as a number of water worn shell fragments (5609.12 and 5611.18). The over all impression of this assemblage is domestic activity. Since much of this material appeared in floor packing or subfloor leveling, it is likely to be local and should perhaps be associated with contexts associated with the earlier mud-brick wall or earlier habitation elsewhere on the height. Some of the ceramic material in this area undoubtedly derived from the fragments of eroded mud-brick found throughout

 

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the floor packing. In fact, since the units associated with the mud-bricks tended to produce material of Hellenistic date, it may be possible to associate the Hellenistic material with the fragments of mud brick wall and the Iron Age material with an assemblage deriving from another, albeit local, context. In 2009, we excavated a section of the fortification wall at the northwestern corner of Vigla (EU 9) after determining that the soil to the south of this section of wall was of sufficient depth to preserve possible foundation deposits. The section of wall present in this sounding also appeared to be a different style of construction than that visible elsewhere on Vigla. The northern stretch of wall visible in this area was built using considerable quantities of a gypsum mortar that is not dissimilar to the mortar fragments found elsewhere in the region including the Koutsopetria plain to the south, but appears only rarely along other stretches of wall on Vigla. In contrast, the western wall visible in this area appeared from the surface to be similar to the wall along the southern or eastern edge of plateau. It was constructed with two faces of roughly-dressed larger stones and a cobble fill. The excavation of this sounding revealed more of the complicated construction history of the Vigla fortifications. The mortared northern wall (5801_F1) was built directly on the bedrock, with no sign of a foundation trench or any ceramic material associated with its construction. The western section of wall (5802_F1), however, was built directly atop a distinctive layer of red soil (5808) which was mostly like slope wash postdating the construction and initial use of the mortared northern wall. Finally, the western wall was partially built atop a section of the mortared northern wall providing definite evidence for at least two phases of construction associated with the perimeter wall. The latest chronologically diagnostic artifacts found in the layer running beneath the western wall (5808) date to the Hellenistic-Early Roman period. This context clearly continued under the western wall (5802_f1) and therefore we can say that it represented a single depositional event and a secure stratigraphic context. The assemblage includes Classical-Early Roman fineware (5808.10), Hellenistic fine ware (5808.9), Hellenistic black glaze (5808.4-6), and Hellenistic to Early Roman kitchen ware (5808.2). There are also two fragments of Iron Age medium

 

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coarse ware (5808.7-8). The Hellenistic – Early Roman material provides a

terminus post quem for the western wall.
A much broader terminus ante quem for this wall comes from the material from the layers (5805, 5806, 5807) that directly abut the wall. This assemblage, as one might expect, is far more diverse and includes examples of Late Roman fine ware (5806.13), Kopetra-type rooftiles (5805.1-2), and Early Roman fine wares including ESA (5806.11), and more generic Roman red slips (5806.8, 5805.9). The western wall functioned as a terrace holding back these depositional layers meaning that at least some of the wall was visible above the surface as late as the Late Roman period. Unfortunately the existing stratigraphy could not provide a

terminus post quem for the northern wall in this trench. Since the western wall
overlaps the northern wall, it was certainly constructed earlier, but since it was founded on the bedrock, we were not able to assign a date based on stratigraphy alone. The final excavated section was uncovered by looters in the time between the 2009 and 2010 field season. Their work revealed a significant part of the perimeter fortification wall just beneath the plowzone. The southern, or inner face of the wall was preserved in several irregular courses and to a height of over 1.5 m. The blocks in the wall show a similar construction style to those along the southern face with the largest blocks nearing 1 m in length. Neither the outer face of the wall nor the core was visible in the irregular and illegal excavated hole. There were no artifacts visible in the crudely excavated “trench”. Our efforts to date the circuit wall based on the results of these excavations were inconclusive. The excavated eastern section of the wall suggested a date of the Classical or Hellenistic period. At the same time, the southwestern corner of the wall indicates that the fortification had at least two phases of construction and repair. In this area, Hellenistic artifacts found in slope wash running under the western wall and against a section of the northern wall built directly on the bedrock would seem to indicate that this wall dated to before the erosion of material datable to the Hellenistic period. A subsequent repair of the western section of the wall which was built atop both the same slope wash and the northern wall indicates that at least some sections of the wall were repaired later

 

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than the Hellenistic material eroding from the slope. Unfortunately the paucity of highly diagnostic material from excavated areas near the wall make more precise dating of the fortification impossible on archaeological grounds alone.

Construction style
Lacking clear stratigraphic dates for the fortifications on Vigla, we hoped that construction style would provide some basic indication of the chronology of the fortification. Unfortunately, the relatively poor state of knowledge regarding monumental architecture and fortifications from the Classical to Hellenistic date in Cyprus presents a significant difficulty in establishing comparanda for construction styles.4 True ashlar construction, for example, typical in other parts of the Greek world is rare in fortification on Cyprus in the historical era.5 Moreover, such elaborate and diagnostic construction techniques would be unwarranted on a rural fortification such as this and unsuited to the relatively porous local (pouropetra) limestone.6 The wall construction, then, along the bestpreserved sections of the fortification at Vigla offers only modest insights into the absolute chronology of the fortification, but nevertheless does not contradict the dates provides by the soundings. The best-preserved elevation of wall occurred along the northern side of the Vigla fortification overlooking the rock cute fosse. The course of the wall in this section suggest that parts of the wall featured uncoursed masonry with roughly dressed facing with smaller stones acting as chinking. The relatively well-ordered arrangement of stones, however, suggests some interest in ascetics and may indicate that this face of the wall would be visible. This approach, moreover, is

                                                                                                               
Wright, Ancient Building, 254-255 simply claims that it large scale fortification did not exist, which is possible, but this appears contradicted by the catalog produced by C. Balandier, “The defensive network of Cyprus at the Hellenistic period and during the first centuries of the Roman Empire (3rd century B.C.- 3rd century A.D.)” RDAC (2002), 323337. 5 Wright, Ancient Building, 252 for the ashlar fortifications at Nea Paphos which might be among the only properly ashlar fortification wall on the island. 6 Wright, Ancient Building, 358-360
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more or less compatible with the construction of better-preserved walls of Hellenistic date from the nearby site of Panayia-Ematousa.7 The evidence for the sequence of construction at the site presents little evidence for absolute dating. The seemingly rapid sequence of local building preserved in the wall’s eastern side initially suggested that the wall was built in response to a particular episode. Other evidence from Vigla, however, remains difficult to reconcile with that reconstruction of events. For example, the rock cut fosse represents a significant investment in the fortification although it is impossible to associate this feature with a particular phase of building. Moreover, the evidence for repair at the walls northwestern corner indicates that the wall remained in use for more than a single event. The seemingly hasty construction of the eastern wall, then might best represents a repair to this section of wall brought about by local erosion which caused part of the wall tumble down the steep eastern face of Vigla. The mortared foundation present at the southwest corner would seem to represent the more substantial and monumental foundation required for a tower or protected entrance. The apparent shift in the line of the northern wall between the section exposed by looters and the wall visible to the west would be consistent with a kind dogleg designed to provide additional protection for the entrance to the fortified enciente on Vigla and would reinforce the association of the mortared foundation at the southwestern corner with fortified entrance. The wall exposed at the northern side of the northwestern corner made extensive use of a gypsum based mortar which was particularly well-preserved at the wall’s lower courses which were below the ground level. The mortar was only visible on the exterior of the wall, and places stones approximately 0.20 cm in length are evident within the mortar matrix. There was no evidence for facing stones and there was no evidence for coursed masonry at the walls lowest levels. Higher on the wall, the mortar appears to have eroded from the parts of the wall above ground level, and exposed large, thin stones stacked to provide leveling courses. A similar stacking technique appears at the nearby site of Panayia-Ematousa in walls dating to the

                                                                                                               
E.g. Wall 21 in L. W. Sorensen, “Architectural Analysis,” in L. W. Sorenson and K. W. Jacobsen, Panayia Ematousa: A Rural Site in South-Eastern Cyprus. (Athens 2006), 7173
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Hellenistic period, but these walls lack gypsum based mortar and do not appear designed to carry any substantial load.8 On a more monumental scale, thin stacked stone appear to have served as leveling courses at the sanctuary of Apollo Hylates at Kourion.9 The leveling courses from Vigla may have added stability to walls which seems to consist largely of fieldstones set into a gypum mortar. Gypsum mortar has existed on Cyprus since at least the Archaic period and was known from Idalion. The use of courses of stone labs and mortar would have provided structurally stability suitable for the foundations of a tower.10 In sum, the various construction styles present at Vigla fit comfortably within the Archaic to Hellenistic periods. The absence of mortar in visible sections of wall most likely indicates that the wall is of pre-Roman date where mortared fortifications become more common. The presence of gypsum mortar at the walls southwestern corner could indicate a Roman period addition to the wall when the use of mortar and concrete became more common, but the limited stratigraphy available in our soundings suggest that this mortared section of wall could just as easily date to the Classical or Hellenistic period.

Design
The study of rural fortifications in the Eastern Mediterranean remains in its infancy and on Cyprus is particular undeveloped.11 C. Balandier’s recent efforts to catalogue and analyze ancient fortifications on Cyprus provide a point of departure for comparative study.12 Her work brought together the evidence for the fortified sites on Cyprus including a group of little know rural fortification that would seem to provide the best comparanda for our site at Vigla. While most rural fortifications are towers or are not published in sufficient detail for analysis, two larger scale fortifications at the sites of Paleokastro and Kornos on the

                                                                                                               
See Sorensen, “Architectural Analysis,” 67-85 for similar wall construction without mortar; 9 Wright, Ancient Building, 416. 10 Wright, Ancient Building, 249, 394-395; Get Idalion citation. 11 The standard work on rural fortifications in the Eastern Mediterranean remains J. R. McCredie Fortified Military Camps in Attica (Hesperia Suppl. 11), Princeton 1966. 12 Balandier, “The Defensive Network of Cyprus”
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Kormakiti peninsula in the Kyrenia district near the site of Melabon provide useful comparanda for our rural site.13 Originally identified by the Cyprus Survey, an Italian mission documented these sites more systematically in the 1970s before their work was interrupted by the Turkish invasion. The site of Kornos features a significant fortification wall fortifying a steep outcrop above the main settlement area. The full course of the wall is not preserved, but it is traceable for over 200 m. The wall is built with two faces of dry stones, stacked in irregular courses and the space between them filled with loose stones and, presumably, mud mortar. At the site of Paleokastro, a fortification wall encircles an area of approximately 3.5 ha on a gentle coastal rise.14 Principle access to the fortified enciente is from the inland, southern side of the fortification and this side received the most substantial fortifications with a pair of towers protecting a central gate.15 The construction style of the walls appears similar to that of the walls at Kornos and Vigla, although the entire structure appears more monumental in both size and design. The walls feature two faces of roughly-dressed stone with a loose stone and mud-mortar fill between them. While it was not possible to systematically publish the chronology of these fortified sites, excavations of the settlement in the interior of the enciente date the wall at Paleokastro to the start of the Hellenistic period (4th-3rd centuries). Neither of these fortifications appear to contain the most striking feature of the walls on Vigla: the 18 to 20 m wide fosse cut into the bedrock although a series of possible earthworks which are now highly eroded may have provided a similar type of fortification for the fortress at Paleokastro.16 The only published comparanda for the rock cut fosse derives from Nea Paphos.17 The early Hellenistic walls around the newly established city which were likely built by Nikokles or by Ptolemy I shortly thereafter and would date to the late 4th century.

                                                                                                               
L. Quilici and S. Quilici-Gigli, “Ricerche intorno a Melabron,” RIASA 19-20 (Rome 1972/1973), 7-102 (especially 13-19 and 38-49) 14 Quilici and Quilici-Gigli, “Ricerche,” 39. 15 Quilici and Quilici-Gigli, “Ricerche,” Tav. 1. 16 Quilici and Quilici-Gigli, “Ricerche,” 41. 17 Wright, 183; K Nicolaou, “The Topography of Neapaphos,” in Mélanges offerts à Kazimierz Michałowski. (Warsaw 1966), 516-601 (pp. 567-578).
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This date would be consistent with the date assigned to Paleokastro and provides a plausible date for the foundation of the fortifications at our site.

Historical Situation
There have been efforts elsewhere in the Mediterranean to associated rural fortification with particular historical situations.18 The historical situation in Cyprus from the 4th to 2nd century BC was unsettled politically and, at times, militarily.19 As a result, the island saw significant investment in military activities at various points over these centuries. Nikokles fortification of his new capital in of Paphos represented some of the earliest responses to the island wide conflicts that emerged as the imperial aspirations of the Diadochi fueled local political rivalries. It is possible that the last dynastic kings of Kition fortified Vigla both to defend a major route into the city as well as a vulnerable stretch of coastline. This would be consistent with Balandier’s suggestion that the Antigonids sponsored the first wave of post-Classical fortification on the island in an effort to forestall a Ptolomaic reconquest.20 Moreover, this would be in keeping with the early Hellenistic date for the fortification at Paleokastro which may have served as a regional power base and as a convenient stopping point on the dominant sea route from Alexandria to Rhodes.21 If this fortification was Antigonid inspired, it was unsuccessful in preserving the political integrity of the kingdom of Kition. By 312, however, the Ptolemaic forces had executed the last king of Kition and, despite some initial military success following the siege of

                                                                                                               
W. Caraher, D. K. Pettegrew, S. James, “Towers and Fortifications at Vayia in the Southeast Corinthia,” Hesperia 79 (2010), 385-415; Caraher and T. E. Gregory, “Fortifications of Mount Oneion, Corinthia,” Hesperia 75, 327-356; M. H. Munn, The Defense of Attica: The Dema Wall and the Boiotian Ware of 378-375 B.C. (Berkeley 1993); J. Ober, Fortress Attica: Defense of the Athenian Land Frontier, 404-322. (Leiden 1985); McRedie, Fortified Camps. 19 For a good summary see: A. Avraamides, “Studies in Hellenistic Cyprus 323-380 B.C.” diss. University of Minnesota 1971, 5-39; G. Hill, A History of Cyprus. Vol. 1 (Cambridge 1940), 164-211. 20 Balandier, “The Defensive Network,” 326-330. 21 Balandier, “The Defensive Network,” 332; L. Quilici “La Mission Italienne a Ayia Irini (Kyrenia),” in Archaeology in Cyprus 1960-1985. Edited by V. Karageorghis (Nicosia 1985), 190.
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Salamis in 315, the Antigonid efforts to secure control of the island receded in the early 3rd century.22 The eventual suppression of local dynasties and rise of Ptolemaic power shifted the institutional structure of the military presence on the island. Bagnall and Mitford made efforts to reconstruct the shifting military and political administration of the island over the course of the 3rd and 2nd centuries.23 While the entire island fell under the command of a strategos, local military organization most likely followed older civic organization of the island with hegemones serving as the local military administrators.24 There is evidence for a hegemon at Kition including an inscription referring to the office from around Ormidhia.25 As Balandier noted, this time of administrative re-organization would have been suitable for the construction of fortifications across the island designed to accommodate garrisons and mercenaries under the command of newly created administrative officers.26 Unfortunately textual sources for the political and military situation on the island during the 3rd century are scant making it impossible to assign the activities on Vigla specific threats or defensive requirements. There is some evidence from the site that might suggest military activity at the site of a third century date. Unauthorized metal detector activities at the site in the 1970s produced a series of lead sling bullets (see Appendix XX for a complete discussion of these objects). An inscribed group of these sling bullets featured the name Boiskos.27 A man of the same name appeared on a dedicatory inscription from Kition accompanied by the Poseidippos, who is named as the phrourarchos of the city of Kition and hegemon of the “citadel” and the city.28 While the text is now lost and parts of the inscription are restored, a reference to Bernike the wife

                                                                                                               
Avraamides, “Studies,” 14; Diod. 19.56-57 R. Bagnall, The Administration of the Ptolemaic Possessions outside of Egypt. (Leiden 1976), 38-79; T. B. Mitford, “Seleucus and Theodorus,” Op. Ath. 1 (1953), 130-171. 24 Bagnall, Adminsitration, 49-57. 25 SEG 6.823; Bagnall, Administration, 52 26 Balandier “The Defensive Network”, 333 27 I. Michaelidou-Nicolaou, The Prosopography of Ptolemaic Cyprus. (Goteborg 1976), s.v. “B.10,” 47-48, Poseidippos, s.v. “P. 41,” 100-101; For Boiskos: Avraamides, 42 and for Poseidippos: Avraamides, 45. 28 SEG 20.132, CIG 2614; OGIS 20; Yon, Kition Dans Les Textes. (Paris 2004), 2015
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of Ptolemy Euergetes I dates the text to between 246-221 BC. While the name Boiskos appears elsewhere in the epigraphy of Kition specifically and Cyprus, more broadly, the presence of a Boiskos with a specific military function make the third century Boiskos a likely candidate for the name on the inscribed sling pellets. Moreover the presence of these objects at a fortified site would fit within the presumed responsibilities of the hegemon who would have commanded the garrisons stationed at cities and, mostly likely, at crucial rural sites. Mitford argued that by the middle decades of the 2nd century, these hegemones largely commanded mercenary forces organized by ethnic group.29 There is evidence some slight evidence for the presence of mercenaries on the height of Vigla. An inscribed game board, perhaps dating the 3rd century, includes the inscriptions for Lakon and Thassalos.30 Elsehwere on the board and in a different hand are the words Salaminia, Kitias, Sidonia, and Aradia. These four words might either refer to the names of women, or, more likely perhaps considering the fortified nature of the site, to ethnic names for garrisons from those places.31 This would add context to the words Lakon and Thessalos and suggest that these are foreign names as well. The presence of foreign names may provide some evidence for mercenaries at the site and hint at the organization of these mercenary groups around their ethnic names. Nicolaou dated the inscription of the beginning of the 3rd century on the basis of letter forms, but this is a rather inexact method made more problematic by the informal character of the text itself. The presence of repairs to the fortifications datable to some point after the beginning of the Hellenistic era indicates that the fortification was not a singleuse construction but maintained for some time. Balandier suggested that sites initially fortified under the Antigonids, like Paleokastro on the Kormakiti peninsula, saw renewed activity in the 3rd or 2nd century,32 and it seems possible that Vigla would follow this pattern. The continued strategic importance of the coastline at Vigla would have allowed the fortifications to continue to play a role in the defense of the island throughout the dynastic intrigues of the Ptolemies in

                                                                                                               
Mitford, “Seleucus and Theordorus,” 130-171; Bagnall, Administration, 54-55 I. Nicolaou, “Table a jeu de Dhekelia (Chypre)” BCH 89 (1965), 122-127. 31 Nicolaou, “ Table a jeu,” 127. 32 Balandier, “Defensive Network,”
29 30

 

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the second century. Moreover, it is difficult to imagine that the fortification remain in use and were maintained during the Roman period. In fact, the presence of numerous cut blocks throughout the plain of Koutsopetria may show that the fortifications were quarried for building material by the Late Roman period. Ultimately the best indicator for the date of the fortification at Vigla might derive from the historical situation on the island of Cyprus. The island saw a systematic program of external garrisoning over the course of the Hellenistic era, and it seems plausible to associate the fortifications at Vigla with this process.

Conclusions
The fortifications at Vigla mark the second major wave of fortifications in the coastal zone of Pyla. The first fortifications date to the Late Bronze age and appear to encircle an area that may have approached 10 ha on the coastal height of Pyla-Kokkinokremos. The second wave involves the fortification of the smaller height of Vigla. It is notable that Kokkinokremos saw little activity during the Classical or Hellenistic periods and the center of activity appears to have shifted to the west as early as the Iron Age. The fortification of Vigla complemented the western center of activity in the region. Moreover, the smaller area of Vigla may have provided a more easily fortified feature than the larger Kokkinokremos. The absence of significant quantities of cut block atop Kokkinokremos may indicate that the site was quarried for cut stones during the contruction of Vigla. It is also worth considering the role of memory in the decision to fortify Vigla. We have no idea how Iron Age age, Classical, or Hellenistic residence of the Pyla littoral regarded the fortifications present on Kokkinokremos, but the absence of evidence for significant activity on the hill prior to the Roman period suggests that the ruins of the Late Bronze Age settlement did not make up part of their regular activity area.

 

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