By Michael Given
Archaeological perspectives on the transmission and transformation of culture in the Eastern Mediterranean, edited by Joanne Clarke (Oxbow Books, 2005)
Abstract: Archaeologists and art historians have often attempted to identify ethnic groups by means of specific stylistic traits in their art and architecture. Close contextual examination, however, reveals that different groups in different contexts can use the same styles. This article reviews some examples of architectural styles and features which were borrowed and transformed during the Medieval, Ottoman and British colonial periods in Cyprus (1191-1960). One building, the British colonial governor’s residence in Nicosia built in the 1930s, is particularly revealing in its deliberate use of styles normally associated with all the other ethnic groups of Cyprus.