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Cypriot researcher gets EU grant to trace ancient sea routes

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A Cypriot researcher has earned a €1.25 mln grant from the European Research Council (ERC) to conduct her study of tracking ancient Mediterranean trade routes during the late Bronze – early Iron Age.

Dr Artemis Georgiou, a researcher at the University of Cyprus submitted her proposal entitled “ComPAS”, which was selected by the ERC’ “Starting Grant” for financing through the EU’s Horizons 2020 programme.

Georgiou to set up a team to explore sea trade routes and contacts among people in the eastern Mediterranean during the second and first millennium BC.

They will be examining evidence such as the amphorae from the Syro-Palestinian coast, Egypt and the Aegean that were imported to Cyprus in antiquity.

The research project will look at where the amphorae came from, what they contained, how they were made and the role of the inscription on them.

“The inter-disciplinary research gives us the opportunity to find out more about the trade contacts of ancient Cypriots with the peoples of Syro-Palestine, Egypt and the Aegean,” Georgiou said.

She said the ultimate goal of the research is to shed light on the complex nature of trade in the Mediterranean of the 2nd and 1st millennium BC, and Cyprus’ key role in the development of these networks.

The proposal was selected from among 3272 applications that were submitted. A total of 436 scientists were awarded grants.

The next ERC Starting Grant Invitation is expected to be announced by the end of 2020.

The Cyprus Research and Innovation Foundation has expressed its willingness to support interested researchers in preparing their application, providing consulting support and preview services.