Judith Gatt - 2021 - University of Aix-Marseille PhD Scholar

In 2019 I graduated from the Department of History & Archaeology at the University of Cyprus and in June 2021 I completed my master’s degree at Aix-Marseille University in Maritime and Coastal archaeology with the support of the Honor Frost Foundation (more information is here). I have participated in terrestrial and underwater excavations and surveys in Cyprus, Greece and France. Currently, I am a PhD Honor Frost Scholar at Aix-Marseille University and the University of Cyprus, and have completed the second year of the PHD.

My main research interests concern harbour archaeology and more specifically the construction techniques of harbour works of the Classical and Hellenistic period, coastal geomorphology and geoarchaeology. In the framework of my PhD I aim in continuing my research on the Classical and Hellenistic harbours of Cyprus on a multidisciplinary level by studying in detail the construction techniques of their harbour works in comparison with those of the eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean, the supply chain of their building material and the diachronic development of their surrounding coastal landscape.

The PhD is a joint degree between Aix-Marseille University and the University of Cyprus. The doctoral research focuses on the construction techniques of the harbour structures of Cyprus in the Classical and Hellenistic Periods.

Cyprus’s harbour structures (Map 1) have been mainly dated between the Classical and Hellenistic periods (Τheodoulou 2006), a time of development for the Cypriot polities, which ended in political instability due to the rivalry between the Diadochi. These monumental structures have been frequently described in the bibliography as built following the Greek and/or the Phoenician tradition (see Goodwin 1984: 383; Młynarczyk 1990: 183; Raban 1995: 165; Marangou 1997: 69), but only a few of them have been systematically documented (Empereur et al. 2017; Blue et al. 2019). As a result, multiple questions remain open regarding the construction techniques applied, the various factors (environmental, political, economic) that led to the application of certain practices, their dating, as well as the provenance of the technological know-how. This Ph.D. thesis aims in continuing the study of the construction techniques identified in the best-preserved harbour sites of Cyprus. The site of Amathus will be used as the main case study, and further architectural documentation of its construction methods will be undertaken. Furthermore, the historical, architectural, and geoarchaeological landscape of the site will be equally examined, in order to understand the potential factors that influenced the type and quality of construction. The rest of the island’s harbour sites (Nea Paphos, Kition, Kourion, Salamis, Marion-Latsi, Soloi, Lapithos, Elaia-Knidos, Carpasia and Kyrenia) will be used as comparative and complementary material to further enrich the discussion. On a second level, the harbour construction techniques on the island will be compared to those identified in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean. The documented corpus of harbourworks in Cyprus that is expected to be created will add to our knowledge of Classical and Hellenistic harbour engineering in the Eastern Mediterranean.

During the second year the following work was completed:

  1. Treatment of fieldwork data from Amathus 2022 topographical survey campaign. A report was submitted to the Department of Antiquities by the end of the fieldwork. Furthermore, a publication of the results from Amathus is forthcoming in the Harbour Cities I proceedings.
  2. Initiation of catalogue of the harbour structures of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean. Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon and Egypt are inserted in the catalogue. Remaining are Israel, Greece and Turkey to be inserted.
  3. Preparation of the first drafts of Chapter 1 and Chapter 2 of the PhD.
  4. Research in the Archives of the EFA (French School at Athens) to further study the impact of the excavation during the 1980’s on the harbour structures of Amathus and completion of the research in the National Archives on the harbours of Cyprus especially, Marion, Paphos and Kyrenia.

A series of courses offered by the École Doctorale were followed during the second year of the PhD to complete the mandatory 100 hours of training. Also, preliminary results of the PhD were presented in two conferences Harbour Cities I and Under the Mediterranean II.


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