From phantom town to maritime cultural landscape and beyond: Dreamer’s Bay Roman-Byzantine ‘port’, the Akrotiri peninsula, Cyprus, and Eastern Mediterranean maritime communications
journal contributionposted on 09.09.2021, 14:43 by Simon James, Lucy Blue, Adam Rogers, Vicki Score
At Dreamer’s Bay on the Akrotiri Peninsula of Cyprus lie remains of what has been interpreted as a, perhaps the main, port for Roman and early Byzantine Kourion. New research reveals a significantly different picture. This was not a nucleated port town as sometimes assumed, but a concentration of maritime facilities with a variety of functions, including an artificially enhanced (but still mediocre) harbour, and shoreline installations partly facilitating Kourion’s commerce in commodities like wine and oil. It was also partly an industrial landscape focused on stone quarries above the bay and, perhaps equally important, a proposed watering and victualling stop for long-haul shipping between the Aegean, Egypt and the Levant. Dreamer’s Bay was hardly a distinct ‘site’or ‘place’, but rather a commercial/industrial zone forming part of an integrated landscape of settlement and activity spanning the entire peninsula, which itself constituted a major maritime crossroads in the eastern Mediterranean.