SCY105 : Aredhiou Panayia Odhiyitria

Medieval-Modern Village Margins

Grid reference: 518200/3878400
Cadastral plan: XXIX/56
Aerial photo: 1993, Run 177, No. 53
Survey units: 1296-1337

SCY105: GIS pottery distribution map

The late 15th-century church of Panayia Odhiyitria ('Our Lady who shows the Way') stands at one end of a rocky outcrop on the eastern edge of Aredhiou village. It is perhaps mentioned as 'Araizon' or 'Arasiou' in the 1330s, in the context of its Frankish landlords (de Mas Latrie 1852-61 II: 225, 164), and certainly appears in 1749 (Kyrris 1987: 45). Until 1974 it was the only mixed village in the survey area, with the Turkish Cypriot quarter situated immediately south of the church on the east side of the Koutis River. The church itself has two founders' tombs, while its oldest icon dates to ca. 1520, and its iconostasis to 1695.

During the course of regular transect survey, the 1995 team discovered notable quantities of pottery in the olive groves and barley fields east of the church, on a narrow plateau between two tributaries of the Aloupos River. Given this and the historical importance of Aredhiou, it was decided to extend the transect into a block survey. Poor visibility in many of the fields meant that the block survey could not be as extensive as originally hoped, particularly in the immediate area of the church.

Initial analyses of the distribution of the pottery seemed to show distinct concentrations of particular periods.These suggested a general westward movement of the settlement from the Roman to Modern periods, resulting in its current focus on the western side of the Koutis River (Given and Knapp 1996: 327-28). With the improving sophistication of our GIS techniques, however, it has become clear that the distribution of pottery in the fields east of the church is much more general, and much less dense than would be expected of an actual settlement. There is also a very low number of tile fragments from the area.

The distribution map shows four units with small numbers of Archaic and Classical sherds. Early Roman material is similar in extent and density, but Late Roman, while never very dense, is clearly widespread across the whole area. The extent and the density (never more than a Pottery Index of 800) show a very familiar pattern for the Late Roman period in the survey area, particularly on alluvial plains, and is most likely an indicator of general land use and manuring. Medieval, Ottoman and Modern material is similarly widespread, especially Medieval. While clearly more substantial in terms of density than the Late Roman (Pottery Index up to 2000), it is never substantial enough to indicate such major activity as a settlement, particularly given the small number of tile fragments. In comparison with pottery index levels in the alluvial plain northeast of the survey area, particularly around Episkopio and Politiko, this patterning of material in the landscape probably represents dumping and heavy manuring in the fields closest to the village (a well-established phenomenon in the last two centuries).