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In a Contested Realm: An Illustrated Guide to the Archaeology and Historical Architecture of Northern Cyprus
Allan Langdale
ISBN 9781845301286
Paperback  536 pages
Published 3 August 2012    UK Price £24.95    US Price $32.95   

Allan Langdale's guide to the archaeology and historical architecture of northern Cyprus surveys the remarkable history of one of the most culturally rich regions in the world. Given the area's isolation, especially since 1974, such a book is a welcome resource as more people discover this virtually lost quarter of the Mediterranean. One can explore the ruins of ancient towns dating back 6000 years, descend into monumental tombs from the Bronze Age, and investigate centuries-old churches and monasteries, while also being delighted by marvelous sights such as an elegant 14th century French gothic cathedral, now a mosque, situated on the seashore merely 100 miles from the coast of Syria. This book is much more than a guide. Langdale's text enlivens the archaeological sites and ancient buildings with the rich historical contexts relevant to each monument. Liberally augmented by compelling accounts of ancient voyagers, and generously illustrated by the author's own photographs, this is a must read for anyone contemplating a trip to the northern part of Cyprus. The extraordinary depth of history in this region has been ebbing from our consciousness for decades, preempted by Cyprus's acutely contemporary political issues. Here new life is given to the area's long architectural heritage, surveying prehistoric settlements, Greco-Roman cities, Byzantine castles, Gothic cathedrals, and village shrines situated in landscapes laden with history; all supplemented by the personal testimonies of travelers throughout the centuries.

Langdale's text - accessible, enthusiastic and learned at once - is an invaluable 'Open Sesame' to the riches of the region and should be in every visitor's backpack. He makes each footstep an adventure in time.-- Annemarie Weyl Carr, University Distinguished Professor of Art History Emerita, Southern Methodist University.

Allan Langdale's Guide is a hugely important study of great interest to anyone with a passion for this Mediterranean island and its magnificent cultural heritage. Written with a deep knowledge of the field, and harnessed to an obvious personal passion for the art and architecture of Cyprus, Langdale has brought these exquisite monuments back to life. The book is a must read for scholars and amateur explorers alike. -- Associate Professor Michael J. K. Walsh, School of Art, Design and Media, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.

Informative and wide ranging. Allan Langdale knows what he is writing about: he has a close knowledge of the sites and buildings he describes, and what shines through is his enthusiasm and commitment. - Professor Peter Edbury, School of History, Archaeology and Religion, Cardiff University.


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