Massive sanctuary complex of Hellenistic era unearthed in Cyprus

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Massive sanctuary complex of Hellenistic era unearthed in CyprusView of the ‘peristyle in antis’ temple Photo Source: Cyprus Department of Antiquities

Cyprus Department of Antiquities of the Ministry of Transport, Communications, and Works announced the completion of the 2019 excavation season at the location of Pachyammos, Geroskipou (Plot 223) under the direction of Archaeological Officer Dr Eustathios Raptou, for the purposes of a development project for the construction of a hotel unit.

Investigations in the area commenced in 2015, initially with small trial trenches, with the work accelerating during in the past few months. Following the completion of the last season (June 2019), it has with relative certainty become clear that the remains uncovered belong to a large sanctuary complex of the Hellenistic period, which unfortunately has been seriously disturbed through the centuries, after its abandonment.

The series of rooms from northwest Photo Source: Cyprus Department of Antiquities


Even though mostly only the foundations of the buildings have been preserved to date, it has become clear from the architectural remains that the sanctuary complex comprises a Greek style temple ‘peristyle in antis’ surrounded by a ‘peribolos’ wall, or an enclosure.  The temple occupies the southeastern side of the complex.  On its northeastern side, there was a large courtyard or an atrium, surrounded by long stoas, possibly provided with colonnades and a series of rooms. Investigations have up to now revealed only the eastern side (almost in its entirety) and parts of the northern and western sides, where investigations need to be continued further.

In the northwestern corner of the courtyard, the foundation of a huge structure, almost square in plan, has been uncovered made from unworked stones. It is believed that this structure is the foundation of a cistern, since a partially preserved aqueduct leads into it.  The aqueduct consists of a long wall with debris from stone channels and clay water pipes. It runs across the plot under investigation in a northeasterly to southwesterly direction and has been uncovered over a distance of tens of meters. Along its course, to the north of the courtyard, a second cistern foundation has been revealed, which partly preserves the hydraulic plaster that coated the bottom of the cistern. Clay pipes extend from this structure along both sides of the cistern, running parallel to the aqueduct.

The organization of the space and the typology of the buildings refer to a Greek type sanctuary constructed during the Ptolemaic period, probably on the remains of a preexisting local sanctuary from which slight evidence has come to light during the excavation. The discovery of important hydraulic installations indicates an increased need for and extensive use of large quantities of water, perhaps suggesting the existence of groves and gardens related to the cults in antiquity.

The above views are preliminary, and only the continuation of investigations and study of the finds will enable us to draw firm conclusions concerning this important archaeological discovery.

The stone foundation of a cistern. The walls of the aqueduct are visible at the ends. Photo Source: Cyprus Department of Antiquities


In a recent consultation with the Archbishop, it was decided that the uncovered archaeological site should be preserved as a unit within its natural environment together with the coastal protection zone, at a safe distance from the hotel and within a green zone. The Department of Antiquities will continue the excavations to reveal the archaeological remains.

It has also been decided that any architectural plans of the development project should be modified in close collaboration with the Department of Antiquities and must be adapted to the archaeological finds so as to guarantee the unity of the archaeological site and its harmonious coexistence with the project.

Finally, the archaeological site will be made accessible to the public and its protection will be ensured, by not allowing extensions or additions of new buildings to the project in the future.

 

Tornos
  1. 18/08 20:31

    Greek Investment Ministry to accelerate public-private partnerships for 2020-2023

  2. 18/08 20:20

    Greek Development Minister tours Afandou in Rhodes with investor Angeliades

  3. 18/08 20:10

    Three bidders left for Hellenikon Casino investment in the Athens suburb

  4. 18/08 19:50

    Andros Jet to link Samothrace island with Alexandroupolis for two more days

  5. 18/08 19:26

    Exhibition opening on the Mosaic of Aegina in Greek island near Athens

  6. 18/08 19:15

    Aegean Regatta sets sail across Greece on Monday

  7. 18/08 19:05

    Impressive triangular home constructed in olive grove west of Athens

  8. 18/08 13:59

    New art director of Greek Festival

  9. 17/08 18:58

    Lighthouses open to public across Greece on August 18

  10. 16/08 23:23

    Full moon events at archaeological sites to conclude in Greece Sunday

  11. 16/08 23:12

    Greek Ministers to meet on Monday on Samothrace island transportation issue

  12. 16/08 21:47

    Greece records impresssive primary surplus of €1.779 billion in Jan-July

  13. 16/08 21:28

    Greek hospital worker fined 100 euros for violating smoking ban

  14. 16/08 20:59

    Cyclades International Classical Music Festival on Greek island of Syros

  15. 16/08 16:38

    Full moon shining bright over Koroni castle in southern Greece

  16. 16/08 12:40

    No active firefronts on Evia island but authorities still on alert

  17. 15/08 23:04

    Greek Prime Minister attends August 15 liturgy in island of Tinos

  18. 15/08 20:25

    Real estate report: Strong demand for office space in Greece

  19. 15/08 19:53

    Dormition of Virgin Mary celebrated across Greece on August 15th

  20. 14/08 17:00

    Greek flight safety expert to win sector's top international distinction

  21. 14/08 16:14

    Urgent measures to reduce flight delays at airports in Greece during peak season

  22. 14/08 15:22

    Passenger traffic in Greek airports soars 4.7% during first seven months of 2019

  23. 14/08 13:29

    Two ferries to arrive at Greek island of Samothrace on Wednesday

  24. 14/08 11:07

    Strong winds to temporarily subside in Greece

  25. 13/08 22:01

    AP: Kevin Spacey offers poetic tribute to Greek statue at Rome Museum (video)

  26. 13/08 21:56

    Greek Culture Minister meets with Chinese Ambassador to Athens Zhang Qiyue

  27. 13/08 21:56

    Two Greek beaches among world's top-50

  28. 13/08 17:24

    Media report: Secret ‘rooftop beach’ opens in the heart of Athens

  29. 13/08 13:13

    Visitors and revenues of Greek museums and ancient sites rise in April 2019

  30. 13/08 11:31

    Wildfire raging on Evia creates smoke cloud visible from Attica

  31. 13/08 09:42

    Schinias and Marathonas beaches out of bounds in Attica on Tuesday

  32. 12/08 19:28

    US Ambassador welcomes NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in Athens

  33. 12/08 18:52

    Mayor: Elafonissos island in Greece is a safe tourist destination

  34. 12/08 18:42

    Full moon events at archaeological sites in Greece to conclude Sunday

  35. 12/08 17:59

    Unique intact Hellenistic tomb found in Kozani of northern Greece

  36. 12/08 17:34

    Minister Theocharis: New strategic plan for the development of Greek tourism

  37. 12/08 14:24

    Wildfire on Mount Hymettus of Attica Region under total control

  38. 11/08 22:18

    Perseid meteor shower to peak on Greek sky on Monday

  39. 11/08 22:13

    Greek Prime Minsiter calls for shipowners to register their fleets locally

  40. 11/08 22:06

    Temperatures up to 40C to continue across Greece on Monday

  41. 11/08 22:01

    Building permits in Cyprus record big annual rise during first five months

  42. 11/08 21:47

    Greek island of Santorini becomes a global destination for parkour (videos)

  43. 11/08 21:29

    "Snakes of Virgin Mary" appear again in Greek island of Kefalonia (video)

  44. 10/08 18:32

    Media report: Roofless room in Greek island of Crete available on Airbnb

  45. 10/08 17:52

    First traditional Greek ‘Kafeneion’ opens up in the heart of Paris

  46. 09/08 21:03

    Fifth annual Molyvos International Music Festival opens in Lesvos

  47. 09/08 18:21

    Interest grows for 'last chance' debt settlement scheme in Greece

  48. 09/08 18:15

    French Finance Minister Le Maire meets with Greek officials in Athens

  49. 09/08 17:58

    Global Health Tourism figures honored in Ithaca, the island of Odysseus in Greece

  50. 09/08 17:53

    Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew wins 2019 ECOS Environmental Award (video)

  51. 09/08 17:48

    New PM reaffirms commitment Eldorado Gold's investment in Greece to proceed

  52. 09/08 17:41

    Window on Greek olive oil world marks 3rd anniversary

  53. 09/08 17:26

    Greek Minister visits beach for persons with disabilities in Voula suburb of Athens

  54. 09/08 16:43

    Greek Minister: Decisions unlocking Elliniko development project within August

  55. 09/08 16:36

    Turkish Rixos Hotels to operate all-inclusive resort on Red Sea Riviera

  56. 09/08 16:32

    Greek government abolishes 'written justification' clause by employers for firings

  57. 09/08 14:53

    Popular Chinese Travel Show films on Greek Islands of Santorini and Kefalonia

  58. 09/08 14:12

    Renowned Greek sculptor Takis passes at the age of 94

  59. 09/08 12:48

    Exquisite Classical Era grave steles discoverd at cemetery on Greek island of Tinos

  60. 09/08 10:16

    Athens city opens eight airconditioned spaces on Saturday due to heatwave

  61. 08/08 21:35

    Greek Health Minister meets British ambassador to Athens Kate Smith

  62. 08/08 20:49

    Law on return of critical executive powers to mayors passed by Greek Parliament

  63. 08/08 19:31

    Cyprus Antiquities Department on collapse of Venetian Walls in Nicosia

  64. 08/08 18:23

    British travel series comedy ‘The Trip’ comes to Greece

  65. 08/08 18:01

    Parliament Budget Office: Improvement in liquidity for Greece's four systemic banks

  66. 08/08 17:57

    ”Taste of the Danforth” Street Festival in Toronto’s Greektown on August 9-11 (video)

  67. 08/08 17:23

    Athens municipality and government discuss major upgrades in Greek capital

  68. 08/08 17:14

    1st Energy Ministerial Meeting in Athens promotes environmental co-operation

  69. 08/08 13:58

    Concession agreement for marina on Greek island of Chios signed

  70. 08/08 12:49

    Greek shipping expands dominance in European Union and the world

  71. 08/08 10:17

    New 6th century BC finds by excavation works on Despotiko island in Greece

  72. 08/08 00:49

    New York City Greek Film Festival to take place between October 17-23

  73. 07/08 22:42

    Report: How Airbnb fared against top hotel chains, Marriott, Hilton and Intercontinental

  74. 07/08 22:39

    New York Euripides Summer Festival presents "Iphigenia among the Taurians"

  75. 07/08 22:16

    Enaleia: First Professional Fishing School in Greece supported by THI grant

  76. 07/08 22:05

    The Ethnological Museum of Cyprus will be closed due to conservation works

  77. 07/08 21:21

    Tom Hanks finds 'perfect car' during August vacation in Greece

  78. 07/08 18:43

    Greece moving to end long airport delays at popular tourism spots

  79. 07/08 18:16

    IATA: Air freight drops for eighth consecutive month

  80. 07/08 15:17

    Greece ranks 26th globally in water scarcity issues

  81. 07/08 13:58

    Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis meets Patriarch of Alexandria Theodoros II

  82. 07/08 11:45

    Deputy FM for expats says Greeks in Australia a government priority

  83. 07/08 00:32

    Booking.com: Gen Z second most likely generation to volunteer when travelling

  84. 06/08 19:20

    Qatar's traditional sailboat 'Al Mubaraki' to dock at Piraeus Marina Zeas on Wednesday

  85. 06/08 17:50

    Ancient Greeks may have guided creation of China’s Terracotta Army (video)

  86. 06/08 17:28

    Greek PM Mitsotakis meets with chief of Orascom Group Naguib Sawiris

  87. 06/08 16:57

    Greek olive oil effective in the management of diabetes

  88. 06/08 13:43

    Greek Energy Minister meets US Assistant Secretary for Energy in Athens

  89. 06/08 10:08

    Greek Hoteliers Federation chief: 10%-15% drop in overnight stay rates during 2019

  90. 05/08 17:47

    Tax registry system to connect with police ID registry in Greece as of Wednesday

  91. 05/08 16:16

    Social security debtors in Greece can apply for 120-installments on Tuesday

  92. 05/08 15:56

    Greek Minister: No deadline extension for Helleniko casino concession

  93. 05/08 15:51

    Sports Tourism: Greek tennis star Tsitsipas climbs to No5 in ATP's world rankings

  94. 05/08 14:55

    Piraeus Bank completes €4.2 million property sales in Greece

  95. 05/08 13:44

    Cosco to re-submit €612 million Piraeus port master plan to new Greek government

  96. 05/08 10:55

    Mobilemoons: Newest travel trend of solo trips with a phone instead of a companion

  97. 04/08 22:54

    Tourism revenue drops by 5.8% in Cyprus during May

  98. 04/08 16:50

    Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs sends condolences after US mass shootings

  99. 04/08 10:10

    Jazz across the water: Sister festivals in Greek island of Rhodes and Bodrum

  100. 03/08 23:51

    Greek expressionism exhibition in Athens until January 5, 2020