Houston Archeological Society presents The Gothic Ghost Towns of Famagusta
Dr. Charles Stewart, chair of the Art History Program at the University of St. Thomas, will present a program entitled The Gothic Ghost Towns of Famagusta. A few cities in the world have been all but abandoned, crystallizing their antiquity. Today visitors to the city of Famagusta, on the island of Cyprus, often get this sense.
By the year 1400, Famagusta was the most powerful city in the Near East, eclipsing the power of Alexandria and Constantinople, and Jerusalem. After the Ottoman conquest of 1570 the city was gradually forgotten. Fortunately its buildings and walls were constructed of stone and meant to withstand medieval conflict characteristic of the age of Crusaders.
Currently a team of archeologists are studying the city, trying to understand the medieval infrastructure and urban planning. Dr. Stewart’s presentation will provide a general tour of the city while focusing on the archeology of the major cathedral known as St. George of the Greeks.