Kingdom of Paphos [Palaepaphos]
According to Nicolaou, very little is known of the earlier history of Palaipaphos. The name appears on the prism of Esarhaddon (673-672 B.C.) where Ituander, king of Pappa, is interpreted as Eteandros king of Paphos. Two gold bracelets of the late 6th or early 5th c. B.C. which are said to have been found at Kourion bear in Cypriot script the name Eteandros, king of Paphos [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Of particular importance are the NE fortifications of the city. The sector uncovered thus far is at the Marcello hill, due NE of the village of Kouklia. A wall running for ca. 90 m in a SE-NW direction was cleared. At the SE end a rectangular tower projecting from the outward face of the wall was uncovered. At the NW end are two bastions with a gate in between. But most important perhaps of all the fortifications is the siege mound between the gate and the tower. The city defenses date from Late Geometric or early archaic down to Late Hellenistic times [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Of particular interest are the fortifications of the time of the Ionian Revolt (499-498 B.C.) with the construction of siege and countersiege works. The mound was raised by the Persians when besieging the city. The most striking feature of the siege mound is the variety of its contents: stones, earth, ashes, burnt bones, carbonized wood, and numerous architectural, sculptural and epigraphical fragments, many of which were damaged by fire [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
The architectural finds include fragments of Proto-Ionic volute capitals, acroteria, architraves, and various moldings. There are a number of altars, bases, and many votive columns. More remarkable are the great quantities of limestone sculpture, among which are Kouroi clad in the Cypriot “belt” and parts of sphinxes and lions. All the sculptured remains date from the archaic period, mostly of the middle or the later part of the 6th c. B.C. To the same context belong over 190 syllabic inscriptions, many of them obviously dedications. The large amount of sculptural and architectural debris proves that there existed an important archaic sanctuary in the vicinity outside the walls and that this shrine was used by the Persians as a quarry for building the ramp in a hurry. The siege mound also contained a large number of rough, round-shaped stones, probably used as ballistic missiles. Besides the materials described the mound contained great quantities of weapons: javelin points, spearheads and arrowheads both of iron and bronze, and an exceptionally well-preserved late archaic bronze helmet of the Greek type with engraved ornaments, resembling the so-called Miltiades helmet from Olympia [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Several thousand fragments of Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman terracottas not only demonstrate a strong Greek influence on the original fertility cult, but also Phoenician traces reflecting the impact of Astarte on the worship of Aphrodite [Academia Paphou].
According to Nicolaou, the principal monuments uncovered up to the present day include part of the fortifications of the city excavated in recent years and the Temple of Aphrodite, which was excavated towards the end of the 19th c. Most of the ruins of this large city, however, remain unexcavated. The existence of a gymnasium and of a theater is attested by inscriptions but their sites remain unidentified. The oracle is known both from an inscription and from literary sources [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Classical Period Paphos
Excavations have shown that heavy fighting took place at the NE defences of the city at the time of the Ionian Revolt (499-498 B.C.). The sequence of its kings from the beginning of the 5th c. B.C. is fairly well fixed from coins and from inscriptions [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Kouklia-Hadji Abdullah (Site KB)
In the Archaic and Classical Periods the Eastern Settlement Area was again densely populated. Potters continued to produce storage jars, cooking vessels and table wares, spinners and weavers mannufactured textile fabrics. Besides the locally made pottery, imported Attic vessels were used, as shown by the fill of the wells TE I and TE VII. Amongst private houses and workshops rose a number of important public buildings, such as a large Late Classical peristyle house and a remarkable palatial building with Achaemenid features at Hadji Abdullah which most likely represents a Royal residence [Academia Paphou].
Trade networks maintained by ancient Pafos in the Cypro-Classical period (end of the 6th century BC) with Carthage, Egypt, the coast of modern-day Lebanon, Syria, the Aegean (Thasos, Kos, Mende, Rhodes and Chios) and the coast of Asia Minor (Ephesus, Samos, Miletus), especially from the 4th to the 2nd century BC [University of Cyprus].
Kingdom of Salamis
According to Nicolaou, Salamis was the most important city in Cyprus and King Evelthon (560-525 BC) claimed to be the ruler of the whole island. He was the first king of Cyprus to issue coins, and his silver staters of Persic standard show on the obverse a lying ram with the reverse at first smooth and then with an ankh. His name appears on the obverse in syllabic script [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Trial trenches at the S sector of Salamis near the harbour brought to light the existence of a complete system of defences consisting of many parallel walls. The lower course of the walls was of stone, while the upper part was built of mudbricks. The city defences at this point run E-W along the edge of the plateau, which overlooks the harbour. This circuit has been provisionally dated to the end of the Geometric and to the archaic period [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Tombs dating from Late Geometric to Graeco-Roman times are known in the vast necropolis W of Salamis, but the most important of these are the archaic Royal Tombs, a number of which were excavated (1956 onwards). Unfortunately only the dromoi were found intact, the burial chambers having been looted long ago. The characteristic features of these tombs are their large dromoi, and their Homeric burial customs. One of these tombs, Tomb 50, is the so-called Prison or Tomb of Agia Ekaterini. The sloping dromos, measuring 28 x 13 m, had its sides revetted with well-dressed stones. The skeletons of two yoked horses, their iron bits still in their mouths, and several vases were found in the dromos. The tomb in its original form dates from the 7th c. B.C [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
A number of rock-cut tombs were excavated due S of the Royal Tombs. These tombs were enclosed by a peribolos wall. Of particular interest is the discovery of pyres in the dromos on which clay figurines and fruit were offered in honor of the dead. This custom was known in ancient Greek religion as pankarpia or panspermia. Several infant burials made in jars were brought to light. The jars are as a rule of Rhodian import but two came from Attica. The furniture of the tombs includes a number of beautiful vases of the 7th c. B.C. decorated with lotus flowers, alabaster vases, bronze mirrors, gold jewelry, seals, and scarabs [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Half-way between the Salamis forest and the Monastery of St. Barnabas, in the middle of the plain, lies a large tumulus of soil, Tomb 3. Above the tumulus traces of a beehive construction have been found, probably a reminiscence of the Mycenaean tholos tomb. The dromos measures 29 x 6 m. Remains of two chariots have been found in it. The four horses which drew the chariots were sacrificed with all their trappings. Various weapons were found including an iron sword, .92 m in length. The border of the broad tang was of silver soldered on the iron by means of copper. This tomb dates from ca. 600 B.C. [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
According to Herodotus, Gorgos was reigning at the time of the Ionian Revolt (499-498 B.C.) but refused to rise against the Persians, so he was overthrown by his younger brother Onesilos, who succeeded in liberating most of the island for a while. Onesilos, however, fell in the battle that ensued on the plain of Salamis, and the Cypriots, after a year of freedom, were “again enslaved to Persia” [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
The most important of all the kings of Salamis was Evagoras I (411-373 B.C.). In an attempt to liberate Cyprus from the Persians Evagoras met with little resistance. He was a close ally of Athens and received much military help but in spite of all his initial successes, he was forced to submit to the Great King although he did retain his throne as king of Salamis. Evagoras remained throughout his reign a friend of Athens and under his philhellenic policy Greek philosophers, artists, and musicians enjoyed the patronage of his court [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969]. He was the first Cypriot king to issue golden coins [Andros Pavlides, 2013] but without his image, as it was accustomed [George Hill, 1940].
Kingdom of Kition
Excavations have shown that the founders were Mycenaeans coming from the Peloponnese. After a large earthquake in about 1050 BCE, the Post-Mycenaean settlement was more or less evacuated by its inhabitants. In the second half of the ninth century BCE, however, settlers from Tyre repopulated Kition, which rapidly became a center of Phoenician civilization. The site was often called Kart hadašt, “the new city”. In Temple 1, the goddess Astarte was venerated, the Levantine equivalent of Aphrodite [Livius].
According to Nicolaou, substantial remains of the city wall of Mycenaean Kition, later of Classical Kition as well, can be seen on the N extremity of the ancient town. Houses of the Geometric period were built in this part of the city above the Mycenaean remains and follow the architecture of the previous period, for in most cases the older foundations were reused [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
A Temple of Aphrodite-Astarte may have stood on the acropolis side by side with that of Herakles-Melkart. The Temple to Astarte was built towards the end of the 9th c. on the foundations of an earlier Mycenaean temple which had fallen into disuse ca. 1000 B.C. when this part of the Mycenaean town was abandoned. And from inscriptions we know of the worship of Zeus-Keraunios, Asklepios and Hygeia, Aphrodite, Esmun-Adonis, Baal Senator, and Esmun Melkart, the last by the Salt Lake [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
From the port of Kition, the ships of Tyre and Sidon would continue to the west, to Sicily, to Carthage, and beyond. The importance of the town may be deduced from the fact that in Hebrew, Kittim (“people from Kition”) became the word to indicate all gentile westerners, Cypriote or not [Livius].
Four built tombs (Archaic) can be seen in the W necropolis of Kition [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
The arrival of Phoenicians
The Phoenicians arrived at Kition at the end of the 9th c. B.C. at first as traders during their expansion to the W, and later as settlers; yet the vast population of the city must have remained Greek, as the archaeological evidence testifies. Later, however, with the help of the Persians, the Phoenicians established a dynasty which ruled the city in the 5th and 4th c. B.C [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
In the year 479, a Phoenician dynasty had been established, which ruled Kition until it fell to Ptolemy I Soter in 312 B.C. The Phoenician dynasty, however, was broken for a short period in 388-387 B.C. by the installation at Kition of King Demonikos at the time when most of Cyprus was liberated by King Evagoras I of Salamis with the help of the Athenian general Chabrias [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
During the revolt of Onesilos against the Persians at the time of the Ionian Revolt King Stasanor of Kourion, commanding a large force, fought at first on the Greek side but at the battle in the plain of Salamis (498 B.C.) he went over to the Persians and his betrayal won them the day. Nothing is known of the other kings of Kourion until Pasikrates, probably its last king, who sailed in the Cypriot fleet, which went to the aid of Alexander the Great at the siege of Tyre in 332 B.C [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Kingdom of Amathus
Foundation and Location
It is puzzling that there is no evidence of tombs in Amathus of the Bronze Age. This, along with the absence of a foundation legend, renders it a city without past, despite the attribute «αρχαιοτάτη», given by Stephanus Byzantinus. Hence according to the up-to-date findings, it emerged at the end of the 11th c. in the centre of Cyprus’ southern coastline. The city developed on the slopes and foothills of the naturally protected acropolis, which was gradually strengthened with walls. Extensive, organized cemeteries have been also identified in the immediate surroundings of the city. Amathus had also a hinterland rich in copper, timber, fertile fields and pastures [Archaeology Wiki].
Eteocypriot and Phoenician inhabitants
From Amathus originates, a group of syllabic inscriptions (8th-4th c. B.C.) written in an unknown language, which has been conventionally named “Eteocypriot” and may be associated with the language that was in use on the island during the Late Bronze Age [Archaeology Wiki].
Around 800 BC, Phoenicians settle in Amathus and build a temple on the acropolis, dedicated to Astarte. The Greeks will identify this goddess with their Aphrodite [Livius].
The entrance of the Sanctuary of Aphrodite was dominated by two large monolithic jars dating back to the 7th century. B.C. One survives today in fragments on the spot, while the other was transferred as early as 1865 to the Louvre Museum [No Stone Left Unturned].
East and west of the city of Amathus, there are two extensive and important necropolises with carved tombs, dating from the Geometric to the early Christian period [No Stone Left Unturned]. Of particular importance are finds from excavations at the site of Loures, which suggest a kind of funerary cult associated with built tombs of the Geometric period [Archaeology Wiki].
We know of the worship in Amathous of Zeus, Hera, Hermes and Adonis, but nothing about the position of their sanctuaries [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Kingdom of Marion
Based on present evidence Marion was inhabited towards the end of the Neolithic and throughout the Chalcolithic period. It began to prosper from the Cypro-Archaic period onwards and became one of the most important ancient Cypriot city-kingdoms in the Cypro-Classical period with important commercial relations with the East Aegean islands, Attica and Corinth. [Cyprus Department of Antiquities].
Excavations showed that Marion originally extended from the area of the modern town and east across the field of Peristeries. After the early 5th century BC the inhabited area of the city shrank [Princeton University].
Excavations of Marion in the field of Peristeries revealed a sanctuary dedicated to a female fertility goddess that dates from the 10th through the early 5th century BCE, a finely constructed building of the 6th century BCE that may have served as a palace, and the remains of workshops and domestic structures. To the west in the field called Maratheri, the team uncovered a sanctuary dedicated to Zeus and Aphrodite of the late 6th through the 4th century BCE. In the field of Petrerades, the team uncovered remains of houses and cult places [Princeton University].
The site of a sanctuary is known at the far end of a small ridge at Maratheri between the E and W cities. Casual finds date it from the archaic to Graeco-Roman times. This sanctuary may well be that of Zeus and Aphrodite, known from an inscription of the time of Tiberius which almost certainly came from this site. Strabo (14.683) speaks of a Sacred Grove to Zeus. It is interesting to note that some coins of King Stasioikos II show on the obverse the head of Zeus and on the reverse that of Aphrodite [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Marion during the Classical Period
After the early 5th century BC the inhabited area of the city shrank and centred on the western plateau, a field long-known as Petrerades, field of stones, which lies north of the modern town centre. Excavations of Marion in the field of Peristeries revealed a sanctuary dedicated to a female fertility goddess that dates from the 10th through the early 5th century BC and the remains of workshops and domestic structures. To the west in the field called Maratheri, the team uncovered a sanctuary dedicated to Zeus and Aphrodite of the late 6th through the 4th century BC. In the field of Petrerades, the team uncovered remains of houses and cult places [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Based on present evidence Marion began to prosper from the Cypro-Archaic period onwards and became one of the most important ancient Cypriot city-kingdoms in the Cypro-Classical period with important commercial relations with the East Aegean islands, Attica and Corinth. [Cyprus Department of Antiquities].
According to Nicolaou, the earliest coins attributed to Marion date to the second quarter of the 5th c. B.C. These were struck by Sasmaos son of Doxandros. Coins were also minted by Stasioikos I (after 449 B.C.), Timocharis (end of the 5th c. B.C.), and Stasioikos II (330?-312 B.C.). Nothing is known of the kings between Timocharis and Stasioikos II [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Aepeia or Aipeia according to ancient sources was the predecessor of Soloi and was situated in a nearby position. Aepeia seems to flourished during the Geometric Period. Aepeia was abandoned for the city of Soloi [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969]. The evidence that supports the existence of Aepeia in the Geometric Period is its necropolis. According to the Department of Antiquities, from 1965 up to 1974 the Laval University of Quebec discovered 28 tombs, which belonged from the Geometric to the Classical Period. Additionally, the Cyprus Department of Antiquities unearthed another 28 tombs in 1972 in the same necropolis. All the tombs had irregular circular shape with rectangle dromos, curved on natural rock. The excavations proved that the necropolis was in a continuous use from the Early Geometrical Period till the Late Archaic Period [Cyprus Department of Antiquities]. Hence, since Soloi were founded during Solon’s time [Middle Archaic Period], Aepeia existed.
Kingdom of Soloi [former Aepeia]
According to Herodotus [484-425], Soloi were founded during the Archaic Period, in the 6th century BC by Solon [c. 630-560 BC]. The name is connected with the visit of the Athenian lawgiver Solon to Cyprus and to Philokypros of Aipeia. Solon advised the king to remove the city of Aipeia from its inconvenient position in rough country to the plain by the sea. Philokypros took the advice and founded a new city, which he called Soloi in honour of his friend [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Soloi is situated on the northwestern coast in the area of Morphou Bay. The ruins cover a large area, part of which is now occupied by the modern village. The city extended on the summit of a hill, a little back from the coast and over its north slope overlooking the bay; it also extended over a narrow strip of flat land below as far as the harbour. The city consisted of two parts, the acropolis and the lower city [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Classical Period Soloi
Little is known of its earliest history, though from Classical times onwards the city played an important role in the history of Cyprus and at least in the times of Alexander the Great seems to have been the most important city of the island after Salamis [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Kingdom/City of Tamasos
Very little is known of the history. On the prism of Esarhaddon (673-672 B.C.) is mentioned the name Atmesu, king of Tamesu (Admetos, king of Tamassos), were the identification certain [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Two imposing royal built tombs, one with two chambers, dating from the Archaic period, were excavated in 1889. These tombs had been looted long before their excavation but both are well preserved [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969]. Worth noting are the limestone sculptures (sphinxes and lions) that were found adjacent to these tombs. Since sphinxes and lions were believed to be protecting the tombs, they must have been placed at the tombs’ entrances. While lions symbolise strength, power and enforcement, the sphinx sculptures, appearing to sit comfortably with one foot on the other, represent a fusion of Egyptian and Greek art elements. Today the sculptures are exhibited in the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia [Big Cyprus].
The temple of Aphrodite and the temple of the Mother Goddess, identified as Cybele, were constructed in the Cypro-Archaic II period and were destroyed during the revolt against the Persians at the beginning of the 5th century B.C. Towards the end of the 4th century, these were rebuilt with a different architectural plan. It seems that there were many more shrines around Tamasos but these have not yet been uncovered [Cyprus Island]. Other deities believed to have been worshipped were the 12 Olympians like Apollon and Dionysus [Big Cyprus].
Classical Period Tamasos
According to Nicolaou, the earliest known historical event goes back to the middle of the 4th c. B.C., when Pasikypros, king of Tamasos, sold his kingdom for 50 talents to Pumiathon, king of Kition, and retired to Amathous, where he spent his old age [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969]. Later, around 331 BC, Alexander the Great gifted Pnytagoras, king of Salamis, Tamasos, as a reward for his services in the field of war [George Hill, 1940].
The absence of coins or royal inscriptions that can be attributed to Tamasos suggest that this inland settlement may have lost its independent status before the introduction of the numismatic economy, in the early sixth century BC [Maria Iacovou, 2008].
Kingdom/City of Idalion
By the Middle and Late Cypriot period (1900-1000 BC) settlement in the region had consolidated into the urban centre of Agios Sozomenos, about 7 kilometres downriver from Idalion. Agios Sozomenos appears to be the predecessor of Idalion and the sites reflect a pattern seen elsewhere on the island in which cities go out of use at the end of the Late Cypriot period followed by new Iron Settlements established nearby. By the 7th century BC the residents were erecting monumental buildings of sandstone imported from elsewhere on the island. The wealth of the city drew the envy of others [Open Context].
Religion and Shrines
According to Nicolaou, the western acropolis of Idalion became a fortified stronghold with a cult place. This later became the place of the Temenos of Athena, whom the Phoenicians identified with their own Anat, and of which it remains are to be seen today. It belongs to Late Cypro-Geometric times but several additions and rebuildings were made during the Cypro-archaic period until it was finally abandoned at the beginning of the Cypro-Classical period. The summit of the eastern acropolis was occupied by a Temenos of Aphrodite and in the narrow valley between the two acropoleis was the Temenos of Apollo [Amyclae], whom the Phoenicians identified with their Reshef, and of which there is nothing to be seen today. The Sanctuaries of Aphrodite and of Apollo, summarily excavated at the end of the 19th century, yielded a series of sculptures of stone and terracotta dating from the archaic, Classical, and Hellenistic periods [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969]. The worship of Apollo Amyclae reveals that the Greeks came from Laconia [Big Cyprus].
Excavation on the East Terrace revealed a large, outdoor sanctuary that was founded in the Late Geometric or Early Archaic period and remained in use through Roman times. The sanctuary was dedicated to the Wanax, or Lord, of the Cypriot pantheon. He was the consort of the Wanasa, the Lady, and the pair were worshipped across the Mesaoria Plain of Cyprus as Master and Mistress of Animals. By the Roman period, the Wanax was known as Adonis and the Wanasa had become Aphrodite [Open Context].
The initial inhabitants had settled on the western acropolis whereas the city later expanded to the north and to the east, reaching around 10 thousand inhabitants by 500 B.C [Big Cyprus].
Classical Period in Idalion
Little is known of the history of Idalion and the sequence of its kings from the beginning to the middle of the 5th century B.C. is fairly well fixed. The city fell in the siege by the Persians and the Kitians and thereafter was governed by Kition, which was itself ruled by a Phoenician dynasty. The presence of Phoenicians at Idalion after its fall is witnessed by inscriptions [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
The wealth of the city drew the envy of others, and around 500 BC a massive wall was built around the site. These defences held through at least one attack, but around 450 BC the city was conquered by the people of Kition. The invaders destroyed the administrative complex and replaced it with buildings of their own, but the rest of the city was left to carry on with little interruption and remained undamaged [Open Context]. It economically and culturally declined when it was besieged and captured by the Phoenician kings of Kition [Big Cyprus].
The Idalion Tablet
The famous “Idalion Tablet”, a bronze tablet engraved with a script in the Cypriot syllabary, was unearthed in the western acropolis. The tablet testifies the events of the siege and submission of Idalion. It records that during the reign of Staskypros, the city was besieged by the Phoenician kings of Kition with the help of the Persian Medes. King Staskypros and the “city” made an agreement with the physician Onasilos and his brother: the physicians would provide health services for the causalities and they will be rewarded with money or land. The engraved agreement was placed in the temple of Athena, the main goddess of the city, suggesting that such agreements and oaths were inviolable. The tablet was discovered around 1850, then owned by the French duke de Luyn until it was bequeathed by the National Library of Paris in 1862. Important is the fact that the agreement was not only made between the physician and the crowned head, but citizens participated too. This shows that the king was democratic in governing even in times of emergency. The joint decision by the king and citizens designates the nature of the city, apparently influenced by the Athenian city models. Like the rest of the island, after the Phoenician’s defeat, the city of Idalion lost its prestige when it became part of the vast Ptolemaic Kingdom. Nonetheless, it remained a sculptural centre with a unique character that dominated many areas of the island. [Big Cyprus].
Before falling to the Kitians it issued its own coins, the first of which date from shortly before 500 B.C. These coins show on the obverse a sphinx and on the reverse a lotus flower [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Kingdom of Ledra
Foundation and Location
The earliest evidence that appears of what could have formed the city of Ledra appear during the Geometric Period. According to Flourentzos (1981), at least eight tombs were found in the area of the old Town Hall of Nicosia, which date from the Geometric to the Archaic Period. New finds of the Archaic Period, this time at the hill of Agios Georgios at which many buildings including workshops were found. The finds at Agios Georgios determine the existence of a town and not just a settlement. A necropolis of the Archaic and Classical Period was found in the area of Agioi Omologites [Andreas Oratiou, 2018].
Ancient mentions of existence
The earliest witnessing of the existence of Ledra comes from the prism of Neo-Assyrian King Esarhaddon of 673/2 BC, on which the first listing of Cypriot kings and their cities is recorded. On that prism, Onasagoras appears as the King of Ledra. The same names appear 5 years later on another inscription of his son King Ashurbanipal [Andreas Oratiou, 2018].
Ledra during the Classical Period
The evidence that links the name of the kingdom to the archaeological remains, dates from about 485 BC: the author of the Acts of Barnabas, a Christian text written on Cyprus, mentions a village of the Ledrans where a travel companion of Barnabas found refuge. From the description, it becomes clear that it was at the upper valley of the Pediaeus river [Livius]. Also, another evidence that Ledra existed during 358 is the following: several Cypriot mercenaries in Egypt carved their names in the walls of the temple of Ahori in Karnak. Among them is a soldier from Ledra [Livius]. He wrote, «Κύδιλος Λέδριγος τας Κύπρων», which means “Kydilos from Ledra of Cypros” [Andreas Oratiou, 2018].
A necropolis of the Archaic and Classical Period was found in the area of Agioi Omologites [Andreas Oratiou, 2018].
The absence of coins or royal inscriptions that can be attributed to Tamasos, suggest that this inland settlement may have lost its independent status before the introduction of the numismatic economy, in the early sixth century BC [Maria Iacovou, 2008].
Kingdom/City of Chytroi
According to K. Nicolaou (1969), little is known of the history of the site. The name appears on the prism of Esarhaddon in 673-672 B.C. if the identification were beyond dispute. The prism mentions Pilagura, king of Kitrusi, identified as Pylagoras or Philagoras, king of Chytroi [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Geometric Period Necropolis
According to K. Nicolaou (1969), a Geometric necropolis to the SW of Kythrea may also belong to early Chytroi. [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
The ruins of a small inland town, east of the village of Kythrea, have been identified with those of Chytroi. The town consisted of two parts, the acropolis and the lower town. The acropolis situated on a hill now called Katsourkas lies north of the town. The lower town extends to the south around the ruined Church of Agios Dimitrianos. No traces of a city wall are visible. A large necropolis extends south and southeast. A Geometric necropolis to the southwest of Kythrea may also belong to early Chytroi [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Classical Period Chytroi
According to Nicolaou, the Sanctuary of Apollo Agyates at Voni, ca. 3.2 km south of Chytroi, should be associated with this town. Excavated in 1883, it yielded a large quantity of sculpture dating from Archaic to Hellenistic times. This sanctuary consisted of two courts, one inner and one outer, enclosed by walls. The inner court was probably that for burnt offerings and communicated with the outer court in which votive statues were erected. Of this sanctuary, nothing survives above the surface of the ground [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
The absence of coins or royal inscriptions that can be attributed to Tamasos, suggest that this inland settlement may have lost its independent status before the introduction of the numismatic economy, in the early sixth century BC [Maria Iacovou, 2008].
Kingdom of Lapithos
The University of Pennsylvania Museum Excavations of 1931-1932 at the Upper Geometric Cemetery at Lapithos [there is also the “more humble” Lower Geometric Cemetary and the wealthier Kastros, located in the centre of Lapithos village] recorded 1236 artefacts of which 1146 of them were vessels, from 19 explored chamber tombs, in use from the Cypro-Geometric (CG) I to CG III/Cypro-Archaic I. Most of the chamber tombs were re-opened after the initial burial for additional interment(s) suggesting that the tombs were used over generations by family or social groups. Imports (flasks) and specialized vessels (e.g., kernoi, askoi) were rare. Infrequent small finds included jewellery, fibulae, pins, spindle whorls, and knives. According to Erin Walcek Averett (2020), probably not all members of the community were buried in chamber tombs. In fact, it is even possible that not all members of the elite family or social groups were granted burial in the existing tombs [Bryn Mawr Classical Review].
Lapithos in the Classical Period
According to Nicolaou, from coins we know the names of some of its kings of the 5th and 4th c. B.C., and the name is mentioned by Skylax the geographer (mid 4th c. B.C.). After that it is frequently mentioned by other ancient authors. Lapethos seems to have flourished mainly from archaic down to Early Byzantine times [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
To Lapethos are attributed coins of the mid 5th c. B.C. with Phoenician legends and heads of Athena. Some of them name a king Sidqmelek, thus indicating a temporary Phoenician rule. Earlier coins show Athena and Aphrodite. To the later king, Praxippos are attributed coins with the head of Apollo on the obverse and a krater on the reverse. The temporary Phoenician rule, however, does not prove the existence of Phoenician settlers in Lapethos [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Town of Golgoi
According to K. Nicolaou, excavations on the site were started for the first time in 1969 and were confined to the Eastern sector by the Eastern Gate, where a number of private houses and workshops dating mainly from the 4th century BC, came to light; the lowest strata, however, produced sherds of the Archaic and Early Classical periods. Part of the city wall is preserved to a height of 2.50 m; its lower course consists of rubble with mudbricks above. The Eastern Gate with steps leading up into the town has also been cleared [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
According to K. Nicolaou, from a tomb comes a late archaic stone sarcophagus with low relief decoration, now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. One of the long sides shows a hunting scene; the other, a banquet scene of four couches on which recline one older and three younger men. One of the short sides shows Perseus carrying off the head of Medusa followed by his dog; the other, a four-horse chariot with a beardless driver conveying an elderly man, who probably represents the occupant of the sarcophagus. The cover is in the form of a gable with four crouching lions at the ends [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Town of Karpasia
According to K. Nicolaou (1969), Karpasia was founded, according to tradition, by Phoenician Pygmalion of Tyre [Phoenician: 𐤐𐤌𐤉𐤉𐤕𐤍 Pūmayyātūn 831-785 BC, hence in Geometrical Period]. Present archaeological evidence precludes an earlier date than the 7th c. B.C. for its founding [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Location and other information
Karapasia, according to Nicolaou, lays on the north coast of the Karpasia peninsula circa 3 km from the village of Rizokarpasso. The ruins of the town, nearly 3 square km in area, are now largely covered with sand dunes; the rest is under cultivation. The town extended mainly along the shore but also inland as far as the foot of the high plateau. The town had a harbour; its ancient moles are still visible. Traces of a city wall, which begins and ends at the base of the two moles, can be followed for its whole course. This wall, however, built to protect only a small part of the town on the north side, should date from Early Byzantine times. Nothing is known so far of a bigger circuit. The necropolis extends west at the locality Tsambres. There is no evidence so far for the worship of any deities in Karpasia, but there can be no doubt that sanctuaries existed. From an inscription found we know that there was a gymnasium [unknown dating] to be located at a short distance to the SW of the Church of Haghios Philon. [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Karpasia from the Classical Period and onwards
According to Nicolaou (1969), Karpasia flourished in Classical, Hellenistic, Graeco-Roman, and Early Christian times [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
According to Nicolaou, the west necropolis occupies a large area extending from the cliffs at Tsambres to the plain below as far as the shore. In the cliff of Tsambres itself, there is a series of fine rock-cut tombs with unusual features. The chambers of the tombs are of the usual type but their facades seem to be unique in Cyprus. The face of the rock is carefully scarped and on the right or left of the tomb doors plain stelai are cut in relief, either simply or in groups of two or three. Sometimes they are of the conventional shape with pediment or they are anthropoid. These stelai were not inscribed but were probably painted. The tombs may be dated to the Late Classical or Early Hellenistic period [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Town of Ourania
Nothing is known of the origins of Ourania. Geometric and archaic tombs known in the neighbourhood of the Classical site may belong to it. However, archaeological evidence is at present against a date earlier than the Classical period for its founding. A number of tombs, dating from Classical to Hellenistic times, were excavated in 1938 in the necropolis but these are for the most part filled in [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
According to Nicolaou, the ruins of a small coastal town about 8 km due northeastern of the village of Rizokarpasso in the Karpasia peninsula, have been identified with those of Ourania. The ruins cover a sizable area back from the coast on the last slopes of the ridge and on the plain below. The acropolis bounded the town to the south. The town possessed a harbour, west of which the necropolis lies near the shore. Three Byzantine churches are the only prominent monuments still standing [in 1969] [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
According to Nicolaou, nothing is known of the origins of Ourania. Geometric and archaic tombs known in the neighbourhood of the Classical site may belong to it. However, archaeological evidence is at present against a date earlier than the Classical period for its founding [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Town of Makaria [Moulos]
Makaria probably existed during this period but it was not one of the most important cities.
Town of Kyrenia
Keryneia was traditionally founded by Kephios from Achaia in the Peloponnese. Evidence for the arrival of the Mycenaeans in the area occurs at the villages of Kazaphani and of Karmi, both very near the site. Archaeological evidence for the town itself, however, does not at present support a date earlier than the Geometric period for its founding [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
The ruins of this ancient city cover a large area now occupied by the modern town. The townsite is situated on the shore, but its limits are difficult to define. The town had a harbour, used to this day by small craft, whose ancient breakwaters are still visible behind Kyrenia Castle. The necropolis extends west along the shore [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].
Practically nothing survives in the way of monuments except for some rock-cut tombs in the western part of the town, looted long ago. In a sanctuary in the upper part of the town, many statuettes of terracotta and of limestone were found, dating from the Archaic to the Hellenistic period. In the same area, some other buildings also came to light but nothing is visible today [Kyriakos Nicolaou, 1969].