You can find them in almost every museum that houses ancient objects: ceramics from the island of Cyprus. If you are fascinated by this unique type of pottery – what can happen rather quickly – and if you want to know more about it, you will be confronted with a large amount of literature on special aspects of ancient Cypriot pottery published here and there, but you will look in vain for an up-to-date handbook on this type of pottery. In 1976 the “Manuel de céramique chypriote — problèmes historiques, vocabulaire, méthode” written by the renowned archaeologist Marguerite Yon had been published – a volume in which fundamental aspects of Cypriot ceramics are dealt with in an exemplary manner – but almost four and a half decades after the publication of this book our knowledge of Cypriot ceramics has increased significantly. A group of experts in Cypriot ceramics are now meant to present this new state of knowledge in a book (written in English) that can rightly be considered a Handbook of Ancient Cypriot Ceramics – a handbook, presenting the Cypriot pottery from the Neolithic period until Late Antiquity (5th millennium BC until 7th century AD). Supported by the AMRICHA non-profit organization the archaeologist Sabine Rogge, Managing Director of the Institute for Interdisciplinary Cypriot Studies (University of Münster) for more than 20 years, has succeeded in attracting well-known experts to this project.
In April 2020, there should have been a meeting of these experts (from Australia, Cyprus, Denmark, France, Greece, Great Britain, Cyprus) in Leipzig, where the AMRICHA non-profit organization is based – a meeting that should have started this handbook project. All fundamental questions concerning the book’s structure and content should have been discussed there in the form of a workshop, and immediately afterwards the experts should have started to write their respective book chapters. As the corona virus became more and more widespread in February/March of this year, it became clear that it was no longer possible to think about holding the long-planned workshop in Leipzig, especially with such an international group of participants. Even the idea of solving the problem by postponing the workshop for a few months (to autumn 2020) quickly turned out to be illusory. We briefly considered holding the workshop in the form of a video conference, but it soon became clear that the return of such a digital meeting could not compete with the return of a real meeting where the participant meet face to face. Now we hope to be able to realize the workshop in spring 2021 – one year later. Those who want to acquire a solid basic knowledge of ancient Cypriot pottery, briefly and comprehensively, will have to wait a little, but in the not too distant future they will be able to do so, due to the then published Handbook of Ancient Cypriot Ceramics.