Meet David, your Archaeologist and Cyprus-loving guide

David Pearlman
(Archaeologist/Licensed Tour Guide)

A true “hunter-gatherer” of the off-the-beaten-track exploration experience, David has logged countless hours in close contact with the history, culture, and landscapes of Cyprus. Holding various university degrees in Classical Studies, Archaeology and Soil Science, he’ll be the first to admit that “the true knowledge and insight” comes from the sweat and strain of digging, trekking, looking, probing, interacting, smelling the goat manure, falling down slopes, slipping in wet riverbeds, banging your knees against rock walls, getting lost and stuck in mud, and just generally mixing with so many varied, unique aspects of Cyprus and her fantastic people.

“I feel really lucky, blessed even, to have been gifted so many diverse and spontaneous experiences in Cyprus,” he once said. “Almost from the very day I set foot on Cyprus soil as a archaeological student in 1977, stuff just started happening to me, positive stuff, magical things: working with Dr Vassos Karageorghis in the late ’70s/early ’80s, being part of the Vasilikos Valley Project and digging at (aceramic Neolithic) Kalavasos-Tenta, doing rescue excavations and digging Bronze Age tombs under construction sites in villages, or at the Late Bronze Age settlement Ayios Dimitrios in the road line of the Nicosia-Limassol motorway.

Then there was the Candian Palaipaphos Survey Project along Cyprus’ four most western river valleys where, as part of a great international team, we discovered and mapped well over 100 new sites of all periods. We used to sleep under the stars at the Kouklia Village school football field, get up at sunrise and drive into unexplored areas and then walk until noon-time over the hills and fields to find artifacts on the surfaces and determine the boundaries of ancient sites. Great days!

Afterwards, in the late ’80s/early ’90s, when I left archaeology to pursue a career in tourism, there were so many private explorations and adventurous treks I made into the wilderness areas of the Paphos District, quite often in the company of good friend, superb archaeologist and stalwart explorer in his own right, Paul Croft. In those days, one had a sense that so much of Cyprus was untainted, untouched, not ruined. We would just go into places (caves, gorges, valleys, isolated stream areas in the forests) where it seemed nobody had ever been and the rewards were great! Looking back now, I can’t believe some of the s*** we did…we were a bit crazy, I guess.”

The author of several articles about the archaeology and tourism in Cyprus, and a veteran of over 600 overland excursions and trekking expeditions across different regions of the island, David remains an on-going student of Cyprus and her landscapes. “It’s all about opening the right doors for sophisticated travelers to walk through. Always try to aim high, not low. Deliver dynamic information with real-life stories, hard data, ‘no-bull’ and with a positive attitude mixed with a genuine sense of humour about life in Cyprus.”

Here I am on a bus excursion a few years ago with fellow Cypriot licensed guides in Cyprus. In background from l to r: Eliza (from Lemessos, Cyprus), on guitar Annival (Honduras/Ormidhia, Cyprus), Zsdenka (Czech Republic/Paralimni, Cyprus) and Markos (Lefkosia, Cyprus)

The licensed guides in Cyprus are one big happy family… (At centre is Maria Georgiadhou, head of the CTO Guides School for many years, and slightly left her husband, Dr Christos Georgiadhes, our teacher of Botany and Wildlife in Cyprus.)


  • B.A. in Classics, University of Cincinnati, 1980
  • M.A. in Archaeology and Soil Science, University of Minnesota, 1984
  • CTO Guide’s School, Nicosia, 2006

Archaeology History

  • 1976: Multi-national excavation team at prehistoric settlement of Kastellatio, Poggioreale, Blelice Valley, Sicily, Italy. (as a Student)
  • 1977: Brock University (Canada) excavation team at Late Bronze Age Temple site Larnaca-Kition, Cyprus. (as a Student)
  • 1978-87: Supervisor for Vasilikos Valley Project Excavations of Neolithic & Bronze Age Settlement/Cemetery Sites, Kalavasos, Cyprus.
  • 1980-84: Crew Leader & Ethnographic Consultant for Canadian Palaipaphos Survey Project, Kouklia, Cyprus.
  • 1980-87: Digger/Area Supervisor on various archaeological excavation projects around Cyprus, including: Kissonerga-Mosphilia, Peyia-Maa-Paliokastro, Pyla-Kokkinokremmos, Kato Paphos Helenistic/Roman Tomb Rescue Excavations (in the midst of hotel development of Paphos Resort), etc.

Tourism Experience

  • 1987-2003: Founder/Director/Chief Excursion Architect of EXALT (EXcursion ALTerntives) Travel, an off-the-beaten-track (4×4 and trekking) exploration company first based in Paphos, then island-wide.
  • 2004-2019: Free lance guide for mainstream and off-the-beaten-track excursions all over Cyprus.
  • 1986-2018: Author of several toursim-related publications, including newpaper/magazine articles, and documentary television episodes on Cyprus’ tourism. (Detailed list available upon request.)

Languages Spoken:

  • English, German and Greek.