Medieval Ceramics

Head of Apollo, marble

Renaissance, 15th - 16th century AD
Majolica ware
Paphs District Museum

The production of glazed pottery was a major industry of medieval Cyprus. These Cypriot ceramics generally followed Byzantine style, but with some local characteristics.


Sugar was a major export from Cyprus in the medieval period. Sugarcane made its first appearance on the island in the 10th century, brought from Egypt, and was intensely cultivated after crusaders settled there in 1192. Archaeological research reveals that medieval Cyprus was covered with sugar plantations, most of which were owned by the ruling families.

Jar and funnel for sugar production 1300–1400 ceramic excavated at Kouklia by German Archaeological Institute, University of Konstanz, and University of Zürich, Switzerland

These vessels were used in refining sugar. After the sugarcane was crushed, pressed, and boiled down, sugar syrup was poured into the funnel, which sat on top of the jar. A stopper kept the syrup from leaking out. A day or so later, the stopper was removed, liquid began to drip into the jar, and a cone of solid sugar formed in the funnel.

flat bottomed jar and conical mold for sugar production

Flat bottomed jar and conical mold, used for sugar production.
14th century AD
Plain white ware
Kouklia District Museum