Amathus Archaological Site

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Located on the southern coast of Cyprus, approximately 7 km east of the town of Lemesos, lies the ancient town of Amathous. This historically significant site has revealed traces of human presence dating back to the Neolithic period, as discovered through archaeological excavations conducted in the surrounding hills.

During the Archaic period, Amathous flourished as one of the Kingdoms of Cyprus, amassing substantial wealth and establishing notable trade connections with both the Aegean and the Syropalestinian coast. Although Amathous lacks a specific foundation legend, the Cypriot Goddess, commonly known as Aphrodite from the 4th century B.C. onwards, was worshiped atop the acropolis hill. While under Persian occupation, Amathous maintained a pro-Persian stance, resulting in a siege led by Onesilos of Salamis. The end of the 4th century B.C., during the Hellenistic period, witnessed the abolition of the Kingdom of Amathous and other kingdoms on the island due to its annexation by the Ptolemies. Amathous experienced prosperity during the Antonine and Severan periods. Despite surviving Arab raids in the mid-7th century A.D., the town appears to have been abandoned by the end of the same century. The Department of Antiquities is dedicated to the management, preservation, and promotion of the archaeological site of Amathous, implementing strategies to ensure its sustainability and development.

The first significant excavations at Amathous were conducted in 1893-1894 under the guidance of British archaeologists A.H. Smith and J.L. Myres, who unearthed numerous tombs. Following the independence of Cyprus, the Department of Antiquities continued with rescue excavations, chance discoveries, and systematic excavations starting in 1969. From 1975 onwards, the French School of Athens undertook systematic excavations on the acropolis and other areas of the ancient town.