/ / Amatus


Photos and description

City of Amathous, or as it is called Amaphuntum, is one of the most ancient settlements of Cyprus. It was located in the southern part of the island on the coast of the Mediterranean sea.

The history of amatus has more than 2 thousand years, and its founder is of Cinyras, the first king of Cyprus and father of Adonis. He is also the founder of the cult of Aphrodite on the island. According to one version, the city was named in honor of his mother, Amatai (amatus), according to another version, the city was previously the eponymous grove, where he died during child birth and was buried Ariadne after she was abandoned lover of Theseus.

Thanks to its extremely convenient location the Amathus almost immediately after its inception, has become the economic and commercial centre of the island. In a convenient natural harbour, the port was built, which contributed to the development of trade with the Levant (present-day Palestine, Syria and Lebanon) and Greece - they are mostly traded in grain, copper and wool.

Later, the city again became a battlefield, and after its conquest by Alexander the great gradually lost its economic importance. With the advent of Christianity the cult of Aphrodite and Adonis also came to nothing.

At the moment on the site of this ancient city only a few ruins remain. The first excavations there were started in the late nineteenth century, American archaeologist and military Luigi Palma di Cesnola, who gave his discoveries to the British Museum and the Metropolitan Museum. More seriously, the archaeologists undertook Amathus just 100 years later, and still this ancient city never ceases to amaze them their treasures. So, scientists have discovered the temple of Aphrodite (on the whole territory of the city was built two temples in honor of this goddess, which was considered as the patroness of Amathus, but, unfortunately, one of them was never completed), the Acropolis, the port, the Basilica and the city wall. Found value have joined the collection of the Cyprus Museum, Nicosia.