Dep Antiqu

 The Department of Antiquities of the Ministry of Transport, Communication and Works is the government organization responsible for the management of the archaeological heritage of Cyprus. Established in 1935, the Department’s main areas of activity and responsibility are the following: (1) conducting systematic and rescue excavations as well as archaeological surveys, (2) the establishment, management and operation of archaeological and ethnographic museums, (3) the conservation, restoration, protection and promotion of Ancient Monuments of the First and Second Schedule of the Antiquities Law, of archaeological sites and of cultural objects. The Department of Antiquities also promotes the use of both ancient monuments and museums for educational purposes and cultural events, as well as for the stimulation of cultural tourism. In order to achieve the above, the department’s specialized staff organize conferences, exhibitions and lectures both in Cyprus and abroad, as well as conducting scientific research in the field of cultural heritage. The activities of the Department of Antiquities are published in its two annual publications, namely the Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus and the Annual Report of the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus.


Key Personnel 

Dr Marina Solomidou -Ieronymidou, Director of the Department of Antiquities

Dr Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou, Director of the Department of Antiquities, graduated from Sorbonne University (Paris IV) in 1980 and obtained her D.E.U.G. (1979), Licence (1980) and Maîtrise (1981) in Archaeology and Art History, while in 1984 she received her postgraduate title D.E.A. in Archaeology.  In 2001 she received her PhD with honors in Medieval Archaeology from Sorbonne University (Paris I).  She is a member of the Department of Antiquities since 1986.  She was promoted to an a Curator of Antiquities (Ancient Monuments Sector) in 2006, where she was responsible for the coordination of works in relation to the conservation, restoration, protection and promotion of all Ancient Monuments in Cyprus. In 2014 she was appointed Director of the Department of Antiquities.

Dr Solomidou-Ieronymidou participated as an expert of the Republic of Cyprus for the provision of guidelines to facilitate the implementation of the Second Protocol to the Hague Convention of 1954 for the Protection of Cultural property in the Event of Armed Conflict, and became one of the 12 members of the Committee for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict (2005-2011) and one of the 6 members of the Bureau of this Committee (2005-2010).  In December 2015 she was re-elected as a Member of the above Committee. Dr Solomidou-Ieronymidou is the Focal Point of Cyprus for the Cypriot World Heritage Sites and the Focal Point for the European Heritage Label. Since 1994, she is the director of the excavations of the medieval sugar-mills of Episkopi-Serayia and Kolossi.  She is a member of the Cyprus National Commission for UNESCO, the National Committee of ICOM and was a founding member and Member of the Advisory Board of the National Committee of ICOMOS and a founding member and Member of the Advisory Board of the Cypriot Society of Byzantine Studies. She participated in many scientific seminars, fora, radio and television programmes in Cyprus and abroad for the promotion of Cypriot archaeology and the cultural heritage of Cyprus in general and she is the author of more than 40 scientific publications on matters of Cypriot archaeology.

Ms Demetra Aristotelous, Archaeological Officer 

Ms Demetra Aristotelous obtained her undergraduate degree in Archaeology and History of Art at the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens in 2006, after which she continued her studies at the University of Southampton receiving her MA in Osteoarchaeology with Honors (2008). Between the years 2008- 2011 she was employed at the Committee of Missing Persons in Cyprus (CMP) as a Field Archaeologist and as a Forensic Anthropologist at the CMP Anthropological Laboratory. Since 2011 she has been working at the Cyprus Department of Antiquities as an Archaeological Officer, during which she has directed a number of rescue excavations and surveys in the Lemesos District. She is an Associate Member of the Anthropology Section of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences (AAFS) since 2012. She has participated in many international and local conferences and specialized workshops, and has been actively involved in various research programmes.

Dr Despina Pilides, Curator of Antiquities

Dr Despina Pilides studied Archaeology at the Institute of Archaeology, London. Her doctoral dissertation at University College London was on the Handmade Burnished Wares of the Late Bronze Age in Cyprus. She subsequently continued her research and publication of  utilitarian pottery of the Late Bronze Age. She joined the Department of Antiquities, Cyprus in 1995 and is now Curator of Antiquities. She was Acting Director of the Department of Antiquities in 2012-13. From 1996 to 2010 she excavated a multi-period site on the Hill of Agios Georgios Nicosia, an extensive settlement that provided documentation for various periods of the city’s history. She secured funding and created a site museum-educational centre at the Hill of Agios Georgios while the archaeological site is being landscaped so as to become accessible to visitors. She also conducted excavations at the Podocataro Bastion, on the Venetian Walls of Nicosia.  As of 2012 she has undertaken a new project in the centre of the island which involves survey, using new technologies and problem-oriented excavations in the region of Agios Sozomenos, to investigate the socio-economic organization of the island in the Late Bronze Age.  As Curator of Antiquities responsible for museums, she is promoting the renovation of museums, the creation of new ones and the organization of periodical exhibitions. A major part of her work involves the digitization of collections, sites and monuments through several EU or other co-funded projects, including research projects and the fight against illicit trafficking of cultural objects.  She is also responsible for the protection of Underwater Archaeology and is currently promoting the development of a specialised unit, with external and government funding. She benefited from a number of fellowships for her research projects; she was external examiner for PhD theses at La Trobe University and the University of Queensland, Australia and Vrije Universiteit, Brussels. She is a member of the Editorial Board of the archaeological journal Studies in Mediterranean Archaeology (SIMA). In 2010 she was elected Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London. She was President of ICOMOS Cyprus National Committee and President of the National Committee for the Fight Against Illicit Trafficking of Cultural Objects and she is currently President of the Committee for Export Licenses of Archaeological materials, president of the ICOM National Committee,  and is participating as an expert in UNESCO Committees and the European Union on the subject of illicit trafficking of cultural objects as well as on issues concerning the management of museums. She was president of the Association of Cypriot Archaeologists from 2009-2018. She took part and organised many conferences and exhibitions and lectured in many universities abroad. She published 4 monographs and edited several others, including exhibition catalogues in several languages and conference proceedings. She also contributed numerous articles in archaeological journals or conference proceedings.