Salamis of Cyprus, History and Archaeology from the Earliest Times to Late Antiquity

Text/Media source: Salamis of Cyprus, History and Archaeology from the Earliest Times to Late Antiquity, Edited by Sabine Rogge, Christina Ioannou & Theodoros Mavrojannis, Conference in Nicosia, 21–23 May 2015
Media: text

On a sweet spring afternoon in Nicosia in April 2014, when discussing with Vassos Karageorghis the history and archaeology of Cyprus, its past, present and future, we also mentioned our wish to organise a symposium in Nicosia in order to bring togeth- er people, whose research area is Cyprus. Vassos Karageorghis, the host of this meet- ing, at once suggested to focus on Salamis and celebrate the five decades of excavation and research work of the French-Cypriot team on that site (the joint enterprise had start- ed in 1964).

The conference held in the island’s capital in May 2015 was not the first confer- ence on that topic: In 1978, four year after the Turkish invasion, which meant the abrupt end of the excavations in Salamis and the loss of this most significant archaeological site for further archaeological investigations, the first international symposium on Sala- mis was held in Lyon. The scientific and academic community, which had been work- ing in Salamis before the invasion and had brought to light all the splendour of that city (city-kingdom), met in Lyon in a very sad and emotional atmosphere. The publication of the archaeological finds gave the opportunity to keep the interest in Salamis alive, and although the area was no longer accessible, everyone could continue with her/his studies on the history and archaeology of that most important and impressive site on Cyprus.

The objective of the organizers of the 2015 symposium was to start a new scientific discussion on Salamis by paying particular attention to the younger generation of schol- ars. They should be given the opportunity to get in touch with those, who have had a very direct ‘dialogue’ with the area of Salamis. The symposium held in Nicosia in 2015 was a success, and a most productive dialogue on Archaic, Classic, Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine Salamis resulted from the attempt to connect the old generation of schol- ars with the new one. The deplorable current situation of Salamis was a major issue during that conference, and the need to continue the scholarly work on Salamis was em- phasised as well.

We will close with a wish and a hope: We wish that this was the last conference on Salamis under the present political situation and we hope that the conference held in 2015 will prove to have been a catalyst for others to join us in our attempt to interna- tionally reveal the importance of Salamis and of the entire island of Cyprus.

Christina Ioannou & Theodoros Mavrojannis

Nicosia, spring 2019