Cane Sugar Production in the Mediterranean (12th – 16th century)

The first research project in Medieval industrial archaeology in Cyprus originated with the investigation of the Lusignan cane sugar production centre at Kouklia (Stavros Project); it became an incentive for the exploration of the establishments of the Hospitallers at Kolossi and the Cornaro family at Episkopi. Excavations at Kouklia-Stavros (1980-82 and 1987-91) recovered a sophisticated structure of milling and refining installations, and revealed new economic and technological aspects of this important, but thus far hardly explored industry of the island in Lusignan and Venetian times. The wealth of new information gained made it possible to understand for the first time thoroughly how Levantine cane sugar refineries actually worked. The contextual approach of the Stavros Project, interrelating archaeological evidence and written information, suggests further interesting research topics such as the repercussions of the sugar industry on social structure, settlement patterns, and environment, or the transfer of the methods and technology of sugar production from Islamic lands to the western Mediterranean, and finally to the Americas. The final results will be published in the series "Ausgrabungen in Alt-Paphos".