Project

SaRoCy: Delineating probable sea routes between Cyprus and its surrounding coastal areas at the start of the Holocene: A simulation approach

Goal: SaRoCy responds to the cutting-edge, frontier research requirement of the “Excellence Hubs” Programme by seeking to create new knowledge on a topic that has recently attracted global archaeological attention within the broader context of island and coastal archaeology. Project also aspires to offer novel insights based on physical/environmental modelling and computer simulation into the possible prehistoric maritime pathways between Cyprus and other Eastern Mediterranean coastal regions at the boundary between Terminal Pleistocene – early Holocene (Epipaleolithic / early Neolithic), a critical period for understanding the origins of the early visitors in Cyprus in connection with the Neolithic transition.

The SaRoCy project proposal was ranked 2nd (score 14.52 / 15) out of a total of 65 proposals submitted to the “Social and Humanities” scientific area of the specific call. The project will run for 24 months with an overall budget of €150k, mainly allocated to young researchers participating in the project.

Website: http://sarocy.cut.ac.cy/

This project has received funding from the “Excellence Hubs” Programme within the “RESTART 2016-2020” funding framework for Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) administered by Cyprus’s Research & Innovation Foundation under Grant Agreement No EXCELLENCE/0918/0143.

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Project log

George Leventis
added an update
On 15 June 2021, during the Annual Conference of the Computer Applications and Quantitative Methods in Archaeology (CAA), SaRoCy’s project coordinator Phaedon Kyriakidis gave a presentation entitled “A null model of drift-induced maritime connectivity between Cyprus and its surrounding coastal areas at the onset of the Holocene”, in session S26. Moving Over Seas: Modeling Seafaring Routes to Analyze Past Connections.
This year’s CAA conference took place on-line, and was co-organized by the Cyprus University of Technology (Phaedon Kyriakidis was the Chair of the Local Organising Committee). CAA 2021 was initially scheduled to take place in Limassol Cyprus, the 3rd largest island in the Mediterranean Sea lying at the crossroads of civilisations since prehistory.
 
George Leventis
added an update
On April 30 – May 2, 2021, Dr. Theodora Moutsiou within the context of the SaRoCy project presented her work on Obsidian Maritime Interconnections in Early Holocene Eastern Mediterranean at the International Obsidian Conference (IOC). The aim of the IOC is to invite specialists on all aspects of obsidian studies extending from natural sciences to anthropology. Her outstanding work received The International Association for Obsidian Studies (IAOS) Craig E. Skinner Poster Award.
 
George Leventis
added an update
The objectives, methods and some preliminary results of project SaRoCy were  presented by the PI Phaedon Kyriakidis on October 9th, 2020, at the online CAA-GR 2020 series “Greece, Cyprus, Turkey”, aimed to highlight the current status and the future of Digital Archaeology in the Eastern Mediterranean.
 
George Leventis
added a research item
The poster is available online at EGU website: https://meetingorganizer.copernicus.org/EGU2020/EGU2020-19782.html | Particle flows animations are available at SaRoCy's website: http://sarocy.cut.ac.cy/news/particles-flow-animations/ | Maritime connectivity between Cyprus and other Eastern Mediterranean coastal regions on the mainland constitutes a critical factor towards understanding the origins of the early visitors to Cyprus during the onset of the Holocene (circa 12,000 years before present) in connection with the spread of the Neolithic in the region (Dawson, 2014). In this work, ocean circulation modeling and particle tracking are employed for characterizing drift-induced sea-borne connectivity for that period, using data and assumptions to approximate prevailing paleo-geographical conditions (re-constructed coastline from global sea level curves), and rudimentary vessel (rafts, dugouts) characteristics, as well as present-day weather conditions. The Regional Ocean Modeling System (ROMS, Shchepetkin and mcWilliams, 2005), forced by Copernicus Marine portal hydrological data, with wave and wind forcing derived from a combination of global reanalysis data and regional-scale numerical weather predictions (ERA5 and E-WAVE project products), are employed to provide the physical domain and atmospheric conditions. Particle-tracking is carried out using the OpenDrift model (Dagestad et al., 2018) to simulate drift-induced (involuntary) sea-borne movement. The sensitivity of the results on the hydrodynamic response (e.g. drag) of rudimentary vessels, such as rafts of postulated shape, size, and weight, that are believed to have been used for maritime travel during the period of interest, is also investigated. The simulation results are used to estimate the degree of maritime connectivity, due to drift-induced sea-borne movement, between segments of Cyprus coastline as well as its neighboring mainlands, and identify areas of both coastlines where landing/departure might be most favorable. This work aims to provide novel insights into the possible prehistoric maritime pathways between Cyprus and other Eastern Mediterranean coastal regions, and is carried out within the context of project SaRoCy (https://sarocy.cut.ac.cy), a two-year research project implemented under the “Excellence Hubs” Programme (contract number EXCELLENCE/0198/0143) of the RESTART 2016-2020 Programmes for Research, Technological Development and Innovation administered by the Research and Innovation Foundation of Cyprus.
George Leventis
added an update
On November 4th, 2019 the kick-off meeting of project SaRoCy took place at CUT’s premises in Limassol:
 
George Leventis
added a project goal
SaRoCy responds to the cutting-edge, frontier research requirement of the “Excellence Hubs” Programme by seeking to create new knowledge on a topic that has recently attracted global archaeological attention within the broader context of island and coastal archaeology. Project also aspires to offer novel insights based on physical/environmental modelling and computer simulation into the possible prehistoric maritime pathways between Cyprus and other Eastern Mediterranean coastal regions at the boundary between Terminal Pleistocene – early Holocene (Epipaleolithic / early Neolithic), a critical period for understanding the origins of the early visitors in Cyprus in connection with the Neolithic transition.
The SaRoCy project proposal was ranked 2nd (score 14.52 / 15) out of a total of 65 proposals submitted to the “Social and Humanities” scientific area of the specific call. The project will run for 24 months with an overall budget of €150k, mainly allocated to young researchers participating in the project.
This project has received funding from the “Excellence Hubs” Programme within the “RESTART 2016-2020” funding framework for Research, Technological Development and Innovation (RTDI) administered by Cyprus’s Research & Innovation Foundation under Grant Agreement No EXCELLENCE/0918/0143.