Amathous Archaeological Site

The ancient town of Amathous is situated on the south coast of Cyprus, about 7 km east of the town of Lemesos. Traces of the earliest human presence, dating to the Neolithic period, have been detected during archaeological excavations on the hills neighboring Amathous.

During the Archaic period the town acquired special wealth as one of the Kingdoms of Cyprus, and had remarkable commercial relations both with the Aegean and the Syropalestinian coast. Amathous has not preserved a foundation legend. On the top of the hill of the acropolis, the Cypriot Goddess, named Aphrodite at least from the 4th c B.C., was worshipped. During the Persian occupation of the island, Amathous maintained a pro-Persian stance, a fact led to its siege by Onesilos of Salamis. The abolition of the Kingdom of Amathous, as well as of the other Kingdoms of Cyprus, at the end of the 4th c B.C (Hellenistic period), was due to the annexation of the island by the Ptolemies. Amathous enjoyed prosperity during the Antonine and Severan periods. Although the town survived the Arab raids of the mid 7th century A.D., it seems that it was definitely abandoned towards the end of the same century. The Department of Antiquities also focuses on the management, preservation and promotion of the archaeological site of Amathous, through the application of concrete strategies aiming at securing its sustainability and development.

The first imporτant excavations at Amathous began in 1893-1894 under the direction of British archaeologists A.H. Smith and J.L. Myres, who excavated many tombs. After the independence of Cyprus, in 1969 many rescue excavations, accidental discoveries and systematic excavations continued by the Department of Antiquities. From 1975 the French School of Athens undertook systematic excavations on the acropolis and other places of the ancient town.

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