Two man in one tomb, well-healed fractures that happened during their youth

Souskiou Laona, Chalcolithic Period

“ I’m from a village in the hills, in the south part of the island. We love the sea, the cold water and the sun on our skin.

I love to go diving in the deep waters for fish and molluscs, and we gather shells by the sea shore. Me and my brother do everything together, and although we get along well, sometimes we get a bit over enthusiastic. We are doing a lot of wrestling and punching, it drives my mother crazy.


The other day I wanted to catch my brother off guard, and I punched him in the side. I did not realise he was just carrying a block of picrolite and I hurt my hand so bad. Now he is making fun of me because I cannot use it properly to grab anything. My uncle said he used the fight all the time, and that he hurt his thumb so often, proudly showing off a crooked angled finger. He says not to worry and that it will heal fine. But for now it hurts so bad. We are out fishing, and holding the cold and wet ropes hurts a lot. Of course I’m not complaining, because I do not want my brother to think I am weak!“

Individual 1

  • Age: 34-38 years at death
  • Sex: Male
  • Stature: ~167-168cm

Individual 2

  • Age: 44-50 years at death
  • Sex: Male
  • Stature: ~167cm

Chalcolithic period

Observation from the skeleton 1

Very well healed fracture of one of the left hand bones (break must have happened
during youth) but left the hand deformed during life.


Observation from the skeleton 2

Very well healed fracture of the right hand bone, and healed . Very well healed fracture of the wrist – breaks must have happened during youth

While the Souskiou cemeteries are widely known, the settlement attracted little interest because it was felt to be too eroded and presumably lacked the valued objects that typify the cemeteries. It is located on the prominent, narrow Laona ridge and is largely oriented to the south, hidden on slopes facing away from the Dhiarizos valley. It is nevertheless positioned at a nexus of communication routes along the coast and between the coast and the mountains. Sophocles Hadjisavvas was the first to systematically survey the site in 1975 when he recorded heaps of stones marking the position of destroyed houses.

The course of discoveries at the settlement can be monitored by annual reports from 2005. As of 2009, we have identified a concentration of Middle Chalcolithic activities that left visible traces in an area 160 x 300m on the East Ridge, Saddle and South Slope, and intermittent traces in a 300m long strip along the 150m contour of the West Ridge. Occupants seem to have preferred areas of least gradient for settlement. The South Slope, as elsewhere along the ridge, has a stepped surface formed by nearly horizontal bands of tabular limestone outcrop that split transversely into regular blocks suggesting walls. These steps form natural terraces that may have served as platforms for building purposes. In addition, there are some terrace walls of uncertain date, conceivably Classical or later. We estimate an overall settlement size of c.2.2 ha.

The site became famous for the wealth of recovered objects, especially iconic cruciform figurines and fantastic animal vases found inside the tombs.

Souskiou Laona

The Neolithic settlement of Khirokitia, occupied from the 7th to the 4th millennium B.C., is one of the most important prehistoric sites in the eastern Mediterranean. Its remains and the finds from the excavations there have thrown much light on the evolution of human society in this key region. Since only part of the site has been excavated, it forms an exceptional archaeological reserve for future study.

Choirokitia is a part of Unesco's world heritage list.