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Guide to the collection

Tomb groups and contexts

Registration numbers

1898,12-1.177–312: First batch of items from the 1898 excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke (some items in the sequence come from other sites such as Maroni)

1898,12-31.1–27: Second batch of items from 1898 excavations at Hala Sultan Tekke


1912,2-17.7 (see 1898,12.1.220): Registration number applied to Syrian glazed ceramic bottle from Walters’ Tomb VIII when transferred to Egyptian and Assyrian Antiquities in this year

1971,3-25.1–2: Two Myc. sherds from Walters’ excavations in 1898


Note on chronology and bibliographic citations

As already noted, the results of the British Museum excavations of 1897–8
were never published in detail, though many individual items appeared in various
catalogues of the British Museum collection issued over the following decades as
well as in the Corpus Vasorum Antiquorum (CVA) and the volumes of the Swedish
Cyprus Expedition (SCE). The first comprehensive study was carried out by Donald
Bailey as part of the first volume of the renewed Hala Sultan Tekke excavations
published in 1976, referred to throughout in the discussion below as Bailey 1976.

The individual object entries in the Collections Online database refer in the first
instance to this catalogue, in which may be found details of older publications. More
recent studies of material from Hala Sultan Tekke are also included, such as C.
Vermeule and V. Karageorghis’ Mycenaean Pictorial Vase Painting (1982) and I.
Jacobsson’s Aegyptiaca in Late Bronze Age Cyprus (1994) together with several
related publications by E. Peltenburg (esp. 1986; 2007), and many scholarly
monographs and articles featuring individual items from the site. Comments on
tomb contents in inverted commas provided in tomb descriptions below are quotations
from the tomb lists unless otherwise stated.

As with other LBA sites explored by the British Museum in the late 19th century, the
absence of properly excavated contexts makes it difficult to assign precise dates to
many of the artefacts, especially those of generic form which remained unchanged
throughout the span of this period. The dates assigned usually reflect the likely range
of the object type as understood by modern scholarship, with some adjustments to take
account of Bailey’s arguments about the chronological range of the more closely
dateable material (especially the Mycenaean pottery). Also, as the settlement was
abandoned during the course of LC IIIA, none of the material is likely to have been
deposited in the subsequent LC IIIB period, even though some types continued to be
used down into the beginning of the Iron Age.

Bailey also provided full discussion of the problems in assigning objects to specific tombs.
His attributions (and doubts) are followed except where new evidence has emerged since
his study. The reader is referred to reports of more recently excavated burials at Hala Sultan
Tekke and elsewhere for a more contextualised view of object types in general.