Vast necropolis discovered from rescue excavations at ancient Larnaca site

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Vast necropolis discovered from rescue excavations at ancient Larnaca siteUnderground water channel of the Abu Bhekir aqueduct discovered on St. Constantinos Street. Photo: Cyprus Department of Antiquities

Cyprus Ministry of Transport, Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces the results of the salvage excavations conducted in conjunction with the construction of the sewerage network of Larnaka in the period of 27th June 2016 to 31st October 2018. Throughout this period more than 110 tombs have been excavated and recorded, in a wide area of several kilometres, testifying to the presence of a vast necropolis, as well as to the architectural evidence for the city-kingdom of Kition. The dating of the tombs ranges from the Early Bronze Age to the late Roman period (4th century AD).

Burial in a ‘mnima’-type tomb on Derbis Yusuf Street.  Photo: Cyprus Department of Antiquities

 

The large majority of tombs are subterranean rectangular chamber tombs, carved in the natural bedrock, consisting of one or two adjoining chambers. The entrance to the tomb was via a sloping corridor or a carved staircase. Sometimes, niches were carved on the walls of the corridor, possibly to place offerings for the deceased. Every time a burial was placed inside, the stomion (the point-of-entry into the chamber), was sealed either with a gypsum slab or with stones. These tombs were used for collective burials and in most instances, appear to have been used for centuries. They are characterized by the wealth of the finds consisting of utilitarian/storage vessels and fine wares and also items of personal adornment made of gold, bronze and semi-precious stones.

The excavations in Archbishop Kyrillos II Street brought to light two tombs that date to 2,500 BC. They are of vital importance for the city since they provide evidence for the use of St John’s Quarter in the Early Bronze Age.

Unique finds of Geometric date were unearthed in two chamber tombs in Empress Theodora and Esperidon Streets. The wealth of the finds and the remarkable craftsmanship of the vessels are worth noting.

 

The monastic building discovered on St Francis of Assisi Street. Photo: Cyprus Department of Antiquities


One type of tomb dating to the Hellenistic period that has been attested for the first time in Kition (a known type in Nea Pafos and Kourion), was excavated in Ali Dede, Sittika Hanoum and Derbis Yusuf Streets and in the Hamit Bey Square. A total of more than 47 ‘mnima’-type tombs were recorded in this area. The cist tombs were used for single inhumations, usually with very few finds or without any at all.

Simultaneously with the excavation of the necropolis of Kition, further work was undertaken in the nucleus of the ancient settlement, the Chrysopolitissa Quarter, which revealed the urban topography of the Hellenistic and Roman periods.

The number of statuettes found at Tefkrou Street, in conjunction with elaborate walls, leads to the conclusion that the foundations belong to a sanctuary spanning the Archaic through to the Hellenistic period.

Detail from the excavation of a tomb on Esperidon Street.Photo: Cyprus Department of Antiquities

 

The urban nucleus of Kition was revealed, in Kyriacou Matsi and Kimonos Streets, while walls possibly of public buildings were found in Chrysopolitissa Avenue. Clay pipes of the Hellenistic period, running along the same avenue, must be associated with the water network of the city. Impressive underground water channels, carved on the natural bedrock, were found at Michali Partella Street. These impressive structures, that extend for several kilometres in the Chrysopolitissa Quarter, testify to the importance given to water as a natural resource by the inhabitants of the city.

An extensive part of the Sewerage contract C12 covers the heart of medieval Larnaka. The excavations carried out on St Francis of Assisi Street uncovered a monastery dating to the end of the 15th-16th century. Foundations of small adjoining rooms were found, divided by a single wall running across the north-south axis with a parallel horizontal narrow corridor on the western part of the building and other vertical corridors that secure private access. These rooms may be identified with monastic cells of the Monastery of the Order of the Franciscans, mentioned in travellers’ accounts from 1546, as a stop/hospice for pilgrims on their journey to the Holy Lands.

Burial in a ‘mnima’-type tomb on Derbis Yusuf Street. Photo: Cyprus Department of Antiquities


During the Ottoman period a water system of clay pipes was installed and regularly maintained in Larnaka. The pipes were inserted into a stone channel and they were protected with gypsum slabs on top. These features constitute  a unique indication for the plan and road networks of the settlement.

A subterranean part of the Bekhir Pasha aqueduct was located at St. Constantinos Street. It consists of a channel carved in the limestone that joins the visible part of the aqueduct.

The above-mentioned excavations provided a unique opportunity to discover and document the development of the history of the city of Larnaca. They have revealed a city inhabited for more than 5000 years, one of the most prominent city-kingdoms in the Iron Age and a stop for pilgrims on their way to the Holy Lands during the Medieval period. The goal of the Department of Antiquities is to enable modern development to co-exist with the rich past of the city and to show that construction works of social importance, despite the short-term inconvenience caused to the inhabitants, has long-term and beneficial results.

 

Tornos
  1. 16/07 14:47

    Hot air from Africa causes high temperatures in Greece

  2. 16/07 11:55

    Very high risk of fire for nine regional units across Greece on Tuesday

  3. 15/07 23:28

    AADE implements mandatory digital export notification system beginning September

  4. 15/07 23:26

    Hellenic Land Cadastre to be the first Greek state service to implement AI tools

  5. 15/07 21:06

    US Embassy event marking July 4th: Embracing inclusion and accessibility

  6. 15/07 19:13

    Athens Municipality opens air-conditioned halls during heatwave

  7. 14/07 14:39

    Greek National Tourism Organization and Netflix ink cooperation memo to promote Greece

  8. 13/07 23:31

    OECD report: Greece makes significant strides in competition strengthening

  9. 10/07 22:53

    Greek-American congressmen meet Greek Prime Minister in Washington DC

  10. 10/07 22:50

    Greek National Gallery's 'Democracy' looks at Southern European history and art

  11. 10/07 21:56

    Greek parliament approves upgrade of Academy of Athens

  12. 10/07 19:59

    Cypriot President visits Athens for event on 50th anniversary of Turkish invasion

  13. 10/07 15:44

    24-hour taxi strike in Athens on Thursday

  14. 09/07 22:28

    The SFGFF comes to Athens in cooperation with Feelgood Entertainment

  15. 09/07 20:34

    Prolonged heatwave forecast in Greece during July

  16. 09/07 18:30

    Deal for development of Sani-Kassandra property in Chalkidiki is inked

  17. 09/07 14:57

    Golf & Maritime for a Good Cause at the 10th Greek Maritime Golf Event

  18. 09/07 11:56

    The Ultimate Sports Event of Santorini Experience Coming to Santorini on October 3-6

  19. 08/07 22:53

    Capital Link Invest in Greece webinar series continues on July 9 and 16

  20. 08/07 22:25

    Summer sales to last in Greece until August 31

  21. 08/07 20:43

    New data on the burial site of Lord Byron's illegitimate daughter Allegra

  22. 08/07 15:37

    German ambassador: 'To live and work in Greece has always been my dream'

  23. 05/07 22:14

    Greek port of Piraeus approves distribution of highest dividend in its history

  24. 04/07 23:09

    Culture Minister inaugurates renovated theater at Dion in Central Macedonia

  25. 04/07 19:17

    The 43rd Thessaloniki Book Festival opens at the waterfront Friday until July 21

  26. 04/07 17:20

    Piraeus Port greenlights distribution of highest dividend in its history

  27. 03/07 00:24

    Olympic Festival Paris 2024 held at the SNFCC

  28. 03/07 00:02

    Hotrec reveals digital trends in tourism: Hotels, Booking.com and DMA

  29. 01/07 19:28

    Higher June temperatures in Greece compared to 2010–2019 average

  30. 01/07 19:13

    More firefighting aircraft to reinforce firefighting efforts in Greek island of Kos

  31. 01/07 17:26

    SNF extends support for the Greek National Opera in Athens with an €11 million grant

  32. 01/07 12:31

    Amendment extending duration of measures against high prices tabled in Greek Parliament

  33. 28/06 19:18

    Mount Pelion steam tourist train resumes daily service beginning July 1

  34. 27/06 14:36

    Minister: Mycoast app received 8,911 complaints of illegal activities on beaches

  35. 26/06 22:56

    Significance of OECD anti-bribery report for Greece's good image highlighted

  36. 25/06 19:08

    FTI insolvency: Operational business of hotels remains unaffected

  37. 25/06 16:19

    FinMin urges Greek banks to emulate European counterparts regarding commission charges

  38. 25/06 12:12

    AEGEAN elected "Best Regional Airline in Europe" at the World Airline Awards 2024

  39. 25/06 10:16

    Platform for Greece's 'Thessaly & Evros Pass 2024' opens on Tuesday

  40. 23/06 14:52

    State Minister: Greece is the 8th cheapest country in the European Union

  41. 22/06 22:49

    Bank of Greece: Travel receipts increased by 22.0% during January-April 2024

  42. 22/06 18:11

    Greek Tourism Ministry and embassies cooperate to address sector issues

  43. 22/06 18:05

    Wyndham inked deal with Oikos for the first Ramada Residences in Greece

  44. 21/06 17:57

    Event organized to present 'The Ilisian' - the new name of the former Athens Hilton

  45. 19/06 23:47

    Greek state ten-year bond auction concluded with yield at 3.56%

  46. 19/06 23:41

    Shipping Minister: Greece supports EU's efforts to modernise maritime safety rules

  47. 19/06 22:32

    Culture minister reviews NSRF projects on the Greek island of Lesvos

  48. 19/06 19:41

    US Ambassador to Athens applauds Greece’s comeback and investors interest

  49. 19/06 11:44

    Minister: Reforms must follow investments to boost regional competitiveness

  50. 18/06 18:15

    ARF 2024: US Ambassador to Athens on Greece's economic miracle

  51. 18/06 16:33

    Capital Region AHEPA organizes 5th Annual Golf Outing in New York

  52. 18/06 14:58

    Wellness, Longevity, Gastronomy at Navarino Challenge 2024 | The multi-sport event presented its activities for this year

  53. 18/06 14:24

    Greek Minister refers to multiple benefits from the restoration of the Athens Riviera

  54. 18/06 13:35

    Regional Governor of Attica: Greeks living abroad are the most important ambassadors

  55. 17/06 19:02

    Conference focuses on Sifnos and sustainable development on Greek islands

  56. 17/06 18:56

    Council of State discusses relocation of Mount Parnitha casino to Marousi again

  57. 17/06 18:56

    Ministers and Super League chief talk digital tickets for upcoming soccer matches

  58. 17/06 15:59

    Forecast: Very high risk of fire in two Greek regions including Attica

  59. 17/06 13:42

    Passenger traffic in Greek ports records an increase of 11.1% during Q4 2023

  60. 14/06 22:58

    Greek port of Preveza attracts visitors from Serbia

  61. 14/06 22:03

    Temperature drop expected in Greece on Saturday

  62. 14/06 17:58

    Athens and Thessaloniki added 250 new electric buses to their urban transport networks

  63. 13/06 22:43

    National Theater to perform Aristophanes at ancient Greek theaters over the summer

  64. 12/06 11:48

    Athens Acropolis site closed down from 12:00 to 17:00 due to high temperatures

  65. 12/06 00:01

    'Poor Things' costumes exhbition at Benaki Museum in downtown Athens

  66. 11/06 15:53

    Schools in Athens to stay closed on Wednesday and Thursday due to heatwave

  67. 11/06 00:10

    Greek Port Authority to acquire 11 boats for transfer of patients from remote islands

  68. 11/06 00:03

    Greece's Interior Ministry issues directions for remote work during heatwave

  69. 10/06 23:45

    Digital app for travellers to Greece 'mAIGreece' goes live on Monday

  70. 10/06 22:28

    Greek Interior Ministry issues directions for remote work during heatwave on Tuesday-Thursday

  71. 10/06 19:38

    Traffic restored on new Greek national highway leading to Corinth after truck explosion

  72. 10/06 14:42

    Very high temperatures in Greece during the following days

  73. 09/06 22:47

    High prices of consumer goods in Greek supermarkets are on a downward trend

  74. 09/06 11:18

    UK Tourism 2024: Greece named top destination in the world with best value for money

  75. 08/06 00:22

    Insolvency: FTI Touristik GmbH cancels all trips up to and including 05 July 2024

  76. 07/06 02:54

    ERTFLIX International takes part in the Los Angeles Greek Film Festival

  77. 07/06 02:42

    NBG: Greek tourism to break record in 2024 with 35 million arrivals and €22 billion in revenue

  78. 06/06 20:50

    Greece elected to UN Security Council for 2025-26 in a 'historic day'

  79. 06/06 13:57

    Hellenic National Archaeological Museum presents "The last Aphrodites" exhibition

  80. 05/06 22:00

    FTI provisional insolvency admin strives for fastest possible solutions for clients

  81. 05/06 00:13

    Turkey denies allowing Lord Elgin take Parthenon Marbles off Athens Acropolis

  82. 04/06 20:04

    Migration & Asylum Ministry greenlights extra funding for 5 Greek island municipalities

  83. 04/06 14:55

    Greek wine promotion event in London held under the auspices of GNTO

  84. 04/06 09:33

    Firms of the FTI GROUP file for insolvency

  85. 01/06 23:59

    Regalia of King Otto on display in the Greek parliament in Athens until 2073

  86. 30/05 22:04

    Eight groups submit expression of interest for Greek port of Lavrio

  87. 30/05 21:01

    Traffic restrictions in Athens on Sunday morning for Cancer Survivors Day event

  88. 30/05 20:19

    Conference and Summit of Global Archons conclides with dinner at Zappeion

  89. 30/05 18:15

    Posidonia 2024: Minister wants more ships and related firms registered in Greece

  90. 30/05 15:23

    Greek government spokesperson announces launch of new Entrepreneurship Fund

  91. 29/05 23:31

    National Opera adds fifth performance of 'Tosca' due to high demand in Athens

  92. 29/05 21:24

    Japan's Princess Kako tours Greece and visits National Foundation for the Deaf in Corfu

  93. 29/05 19:20

    Attica Region governor talks synergies with firms, agencies at Shanghai conference

  94. 29/05 18:16

    ATTICA GREEN EXPO 2024: Deputy Tourism Minister promotes sustainable tourism

  95. 29/05 15:11

    Greek Prime Minister meets Emir of Qatar and two bilateral agreements are signed

  96. 29/05 14:47

    Registrations Open for Navarino Challenge 2024

  97. 28/05 22:58

    Greek PM: We will continue to work hard to curb rising prices

  98. 28/05 22:54

    Greek FinMin utilizes Recovery Fund, NSRF to be in vanguard of green transition

  99. 28/05 19:46

    'The Enigma of Keros' clinches Audience Favorite prize at International Festival in Oregon

  100. 28/05 17:49

    Former US Secretary of State Pompeo addresses Archon Conference in Athens