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Re-approaching ancient Cyprus


Principal Investigator

Dr Anastasia Christophilopoulou



Jenny Marchant


Funding received

This project is supported by a generous donation from the A. G. Leventis Foundation (£75,000).


Project summary

The “Cyprus in Context” project (2016-2019) is aiming to:

  • Demonstrate Cyprus’s role as a ‘big island’ in both a Mediterranean and global context.
  • Reflect the close affinities of the island of Cyprus with its neighbours, particularly the Aegean, Near Eastern and North African cultures, across time.
  • Bring to light the fundamental role the island has played in trade across the Mediterranean region, as well as the way its insularity has shaped a unique cultural identity, allowing indigenous cultural forms to be preserved and transmitted whilst new ideas and external influences are simultaneously assimilated.
  • Build on the partnerships formed in recent years with Museums and institutions in Cyprus and the United Kingdom (e.g. the A.G. Leventis Museum in Nicosia, the Cyprus Institute and the Cyprus High Commission in London) to continue to reveal and promote the heritage and culture of Cyprus from Prehistory to the present day (as opposed to focusing solely on its ancient cultures).
  • The project will culminate with the physical refreshment of the A. G. Leventis Gallery of Ancient Cyprus, as part of the Fitzwilliam’s ongoing efforts to enhance the experience of our visitors.


Major outputs 


Christophilopoulou, Re-examining the history of Cypriot antiquities in the Fitzwilliam Museum: a closer look at the collection's past and future, in G. Bourogiannis and C. Muhlenbock eds., Ancient Cyprus Today: Museum Collections and New Research (SIMA pocket-book 184), Uppsala 2016, p.13-19.

A `quest' for Salamis within the Collection of Cypriot Antiquities of the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, in Salamis 2015’ International conference, University of Cyprus, Nicosia, 2015.

Christophilopoulou and J. Marchant, Cyprus in Context: Researching and re-assessing the Cambridge Cypriot Collections, Annual Conference of the American Institute of Archaeology, Toronto 2017.


The Fitzwilliam Museum will host a special display (starting January 2018) focusing on the Early Cypriot writing systems and their relations to other Aegean Writing systems. This display will be conducted as a collaboration with the 'Contexts of and Relations between Early Writing Systems' (CREWS) research project of the Faculty of Classics.  

A complete refurbishment of the A.G. Leventis Gallery of Ancient Cyprus is planned, starting early 2019.