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. 03/04 15:11

    European states to ensure EU fundamental values in face of Covid-19

  2. 03/04 15:02

    Greek Minister: Commissioners propose activation of emergency support

  3. 03/04 14:53

    MIT Professor: Greece’s lockdown saved thousands of lives (video)

  4. 03/04 14:47

    Greek Finance Minister: Plan for tourism sector support to follow

  5. 03/04 14:34

    Greece’s coronavirus lockdown could tighten within next few days

  6. 03/04 14:29

    Prime Minister to CNN: Greek society has shown great solidarity (video)

  7. 03/04 14:21

    Coronavirus: Refugee camp and passenger ship quarantined in Greece

  8. 03/04 14:14

    Greece suspends reform in real estate market prices regime due to Covid-19

  9. 03/04 14:08

    Greek supermarket sales rise during coronavirus outbreak

  10. 03/04 13:50

    Dual weather fronts from north and south to 'split' Greece during weekend

  11. 03/04 13:45

    Philo4Thought announces virtual coffee hour starting on April 5

  12. 03/04 13:32

    24 million doses of chloroquine medicine given to hospitals in Greece on Friday

  13. 03/04 13:19

    Archbishop Ieronymos of Athens and All Greece addresses Greek flock

  14. 03/04 11:13

    MyBusinessSupport platform opens in Greece on Friday

  15. 03/04 02:59

    Swiss hotel sells luxury quarantine including $500 coronavirus test

  16. 02/04 23:17

    Greek government tables another 5 billion to combat Coronavirus outbreak

  17. 02/04 23:06

    Update from The National Hellenic Museum on coronavirus pandemic

  18. 02/04 22:56

    Minister: Patients with coronavirus in Greek public hospitals now at 530

  19. 02/04 22:47

    Cyprus extends Covid-19 flight ban for two weeks on April 2

  20. 02/04 22:44

    Applications for 800-euro special purpose benefit reach 80,400 in Greece

  21. 02/04 22:11

    AP: Thai Airways International suspends all flights from abroad

  22. 02/04 21:42

    AP: Health advisors not worried about Covid-19 in food

  23. 02/04 21:18

    Hellenic Film Society presents YouTube channel and proposes films to stream

  24. 02/04 20:26

    #GreeceFromHome: Greek Tourism Ministry's innovative platform keeps the dream destination in the heart of fans

  25. 02/04 15:24

    Development and Investments Minister: Supply chain in Greece at 100%

  26. 02/04 15:01

    Greek clinic offers more ICU beds and its ER to the public health system

  27. 02/04 14:21

    Ecumenical Patriarchate's new announcement on Covid-19 church closings

  28. 02/04 14:02

    Greek PM: April could prove 'decisive' for the future of the coronavirus pandemic

  29. 02/04 12:24

    Ritsona refugee camp on full lockdown after 20 coronavirus cases detected

  30. 01/04 23:54

    More assistance considered by Shipping Ministry for ferries in Greece

  31. 01/04 23:42

    Ivanka Trump studies Greek mythology during COVID-19 pandemic

  32. 01/04 23:36

    International Air Transport Association: Airlines facing rapid cash burn

  33. 01/04 23:25

    Greek forces stay alert at border after Turkey is forced to pull migrants back

  34. 01/04 23:04

    Greece and Cyprus record highest growth in seeking online health information

  35. 01/04 21:39

    World Tourism Organization calls for action for tourism's COVID-19 mitigation

  36. 01/04 21:25

    IATA: Secretary-General's remarks at media briefing on coronavirus pandemic

  37. 01/04 21:16

    Free e-learning for 200 islanders and border residents by University of Athens

  38. 01/04 20:58

    UNWTO sends massage from Madrid on tourism industry and COVID-19 pandemic

  39. 01/04 20:52

    Greek government considering 'cap' in duration of citizens' movements

  40. 01/04 17:53

    Hellenic College Holy Cross School of Theology holds commencement online

  41. 01/04 17:34

    2,561 fines handed out in Greece as curfew violations continue rising

  42. 01/04 15:10

    AP: Goats invade locked-down town in North Wales (video)

  43. 01/04 13:04

    Labour Ministry: Nearly 10,000 Greeks applied for €800 special purpose benefit

  44. 01/04 11:03

    Professor: Limit social contact and keep distances to slow infection

  45. 31/03 22:34

    New dates for Tokyo Summer Olympic Games 2021 announced

  46. 31/03 21:12

    Retail shops to remain closed in Greece until April 11

  47. 31/03 21:04

    Financial Times report: Turkey’s “refugee extortion diplomacy” must end

  48. 31/03 20:48

    Coronavirus cases across Greece rise by 56 to reach 1,212 on Monday

  49. 31/03 20:36

    USNS Comfort in NY to help relieve city hospitals from Covid-19 (video)

  50. 31/03 20:25

    Thessaloniki waterfront promenade to close after 2 pm and during weekends

  51. 31/03 20:17

    More than 1.7 million masks arrive in Greece from China by air

  52. 31/03 20:07

    Young people invited to take part in 2020 European Youth Audience Award

  53. 31/03 19:16

    Greek banks to raise limit for contactless card payments until May 31

  54. 31/03 19:00

    Greek private hospitals and hotels to receive €40m in compensation for coronavirus crisis

  55. 31/03 16:28

    Government spokesperson: Curfew measures to become stricter in Greece

  56. 31/03 15:06

    Greek study: Hope that summer heat may block Covid-19

  57. 31/03 14:13

    Syntagma area in central Athens reopens after EYDAP digging is halted

  58. 31/03 13:44

    Airbnb offers hosts 25% of COVID-19 cancellation costs and grants up to $5,000

  59. 31/03 13:43

    Greek dairy company offers 20 ICUs to hospitals in the mainland

  60. 31/03 11:57

    Greek PM: Party members and Ministers to offer 50% of salaries to fight Covid-19

  61. 31/03 01:35

    Onassis Foundation announces donation of 13.5 million surgical masks to Greece

  62. 31/03 01:17

    Greece’s construction sites remain operational amid the coronavirus crisis

  63. 30/03 20:08

    Greeks continue to party in balconies despite coronavirus isolation (video)

  64. 30/03 19:59

    Restriction measures are extended by Greek authorities during April

  65. 30/03 19:45

    Greek Prime Minister insists on issuing a ‘coronabond’ by the EU

  66. 30/03 19:35

    Minister: Coronavirus outbreak could shut down Greece’s airports too

  67. 30/03 19:26

    Confirmed coronavirus cases in Greece rise to 1,212 on Monday due to 56 new cases

  68. 30/03 19:01

    Infographic: Behaviour change recorded following coronavirus pandemic

  69. 30/03 18:55

    New Athens and Epidaurus Festival program to depend on Covid-19 outbreak

  70. 30/03 15:40

    A group of seven people in Xanthi make 3D-printed plastic masks in Greece

  71. 30/03 15:13

    Greek government announces fourth package of economic support measures

  72. 30/03 14:32

    MMGY chief: Travel bookings will return ‘more quickly’ than predictions

  73. 30/03 13:52

    Greek Foreign Ministry welcomes North Macedonia as 30th NATO member

  74. 30/03 11:20

    Acropolis restoration service in the spotlight at Acropolis Museum in Athens

  75. 29/03 21:40

    Greece suspends flights to and from the Netherlands and Germany until April 15

  76. 29/03 21:34

    Coronavirus deaths reach 131 in Turkey as 23 people pass in one day

  77. 29/03 21:28

    Operation suspension of all places of worship extended to April 11 in Greece

  78. 29/03 21:20

    Fashionable face masks made in Greek island of Amorgos available globally

  79. 29/03 21:08

    Greece drops to 40th rank among countries with coronavirus cases

  80. 29/03 20:25

    AP: COVID-19 changes menus and operations in restaurants

  81. 29/03 20:18

    Athens Polytechnic supports Greek healthcare system against COVID-19

  82. 29/03 18:49

    Arcturos' wild animals in need of assistance due to Covid-19 lockdown

  83. 29/03 10:04

    AP: States impose new restrictions on travelers from New York City

  84. 28/03 14:38

    OTE donates €2 million for coronavirus equipment in Greece

  85. 28/03 14:30

    China to close borders to foreigners in effort to block coronavirus entering from abroad

  86. 28/03 14:25

    Greek FM appoints special envoy to UK for repatriation of Greeks

  87. 28/03 14:20

    "Man of War" filming continues in Cyprus despite Covid-19 outbreak

  88. 28/03 14:15

    Greek President and Israeli counterpart agree on cooperation against Covid-19

  89. 28/03 14:02

    Greek fruit and vegetable exports grow in Q1 2020

  90. 28/03 13:54

    Greek-American eateries turn to takeout due to coronavirus

  91. 28/03 13:46

    Aegean and Hellenic Petroleum to fly medical supplies from China to Greece free of charge

  92. 28/03 13:40

    Five tons of chloroquine are being distributed to public hospitals in Greece

  93. 28/03 11:34

    Four Greek patients go off mechanical support in encouraging news

  94. 27/03 22:34

    European Union waives slot use rule for summer season in 2020

  95. 27/03 22:23

    UNWTO: Internationai tourist arrivals could drop by 20-30% in 2020 due to Covid-19

  96. 27/03 22:05

    IATA praises European Commission's efforts to keep air cargo flowing

  97. 27/03 21:39

    Kylie Jenner offered $1 million to provide first responders with face masks

  98. 27/03 20:32

    Greek government announces new economic measures against Covid-19

  99. 27/03 20:25

    Fraport Greece to Group donate 500,000 surgical masks to fight the coronavirus

  100. 27/03 20:24

    First Covid-19 infected woman in Greece to give birth discharged from hospital