SCY134 : Klirou Ayios Mamas

Possible Medieval-Ottoman Settlement

Grid reference: 518350/3874250
Cadastral plan:
SIA: SIA 9 (Klirou Ayios Mamas)
Survey units: 4518-4521, 4524-4626

Fifty metres west of the church of Ayios Mamas in SIA 9, an elongated north-south outcrop of bedrock rises above the arable land created by the check dams. Too rocky to be cultivated, its surface consists of bare bedrock, thin vegetation and a series of substantial if amorphous rubble piles. Some of this rubble is clearly due to recent field clearance, but most of it is heavily patinated with lichens, including the very slow-growing Rizocarpin tinei. Combined with the amount of pottery and tile mixed up with the rubble, these piles suggest that there some sort of habitation existed here, though possibly not of the size described by local tradition.

The pottery from the rubble piles and from the lines of circles radiating out from them contained nothing that was definitely pre-Medieval. With only three sherds of Medieval and 18 of Ottoman, it is hard to pin down the precise date and nature of the activities carried out here. In this respect Ayios Mamas is very different from the much more substantial and well-documented Medieval settlement of Mitsero Mavrovounos. What is striking about the pottery from Ayios Mamas is the large number of sherds of the coarse red-brown ware termed 'Cypriot W4'. with 159 pieces or 63% or the total. Whether these rubble piles and the scatter of material round them represent an actual village, or a much smaller farmstead or seasonal settlement, the material appears to be distinctly utilitarian in function with a comparatively low proportion of fine wares. Tile fragments numbered 43; given that most rural houses had brushwood and mud roofs until the 1930s, these may actually derive from the church’s predecessor.