Lempa (Greek : Λέμπα ) is a village in Cyprus located approximately 4 km (2.5 mi) north of the town of Paphos. It is sometimes written as Lemba, which is also closer to the correct pronunciation. Neighboring villages are Empa (Emba), Kissonerga and Chlorakas.
The village is located on top of an escarpment overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, and is set in one of the most fertile parts of Cyprus. The area produces citrus, olives, tomatoes and market-garden vegetables, and is one of the few parts of Europe where commercial banana production is possible.
The village is one of the most ancient in Cyprus, and since 1976 has been the site of ongoing archaeological excavations by the School of Archaeology at the University of Edinburgh. Lempa is believed to have been first settled in the Chalcolithic Period (c. 3800 –2500 BC), and a number of cruciform female figurines, carved in stone, from this period have been found. In 1982, the Lemba Experimental Village was established as an archaeological project to recreate a Chalcolithic village and use it to undertake a number of historic activities, including use of building materials, pyrotechnology, pottery firing and prehistoric cooking methods. With the cooperation of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities, as well as the mayor and villagers of Lempa, the project has developed into an important visitor attraction as well as being for research into many aspects of experimental archaeology.
Lempa, Photo : Augusta Stylianou Artist
Lempa appears to have been occupied for most of the human history of Cyprus, and much later archaeological remains, including pottery fragments and coins from the Mediaeval period have been found there.
In more recent times, Lempa was until 1963 a predominantly Turkish village, with a small Greek minority, but following intercommunal violence in the 1960s the Turkish population abandoned Lempa and settled in Paphos town. Following the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974, the Turkish population moved to the north of Cyprus and the village was fully abandoned except for a small number of Greek refugees.
In 1981, Lempa became home to the Cyprus College of Art, which renovated the former school building for use as artists' studios. The first artist to use the building was the British artist Euan Uglow. Following the College a number of other artists have moved into the village which has since become an internationally known artists' colony.
Community Council President: Thoukydides Chrysostomou
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