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Excavation of the ancient city of Kition, modern Larnaca

Larnaca which we know now wasn’t always Larnaca. Around the 12th century BC there was built the important ancient city-Kingdom of Kition. Kition was one of the centres of Phoenician and Mycenaean civilizations. The Mycenaean Greeks had built a huge wall and the complex of five temple, including the temple of the goddess of fertility Estate. After leaving Kition, the Mycenaeans went into decline and then revived with the arrival of Phoenicians on the island. The Phoenicians brought with them a developed craft, Maritime Commerce and their rich culture. Entire trading ships began to arrive in the harbour of Kition with the goods and leave with copper. After several centuries of reign island was conquered first the Persians and then Alexander the great himself.

In the 7th century Kition was almost destroyed by the raids of Arabs. And with the arrival of merchants from Genoa city was again transformed. Since the purpose of merchants was the extraction of salt from Salt lakes Kition was renamed Salina . But the name Larnaca, the town got during the reign of the Ottoman Empire. Larnaca in Greek means “tomb”.

From the known history of the names come from ancient Kition were : commander Cimon . who led the army at the time of the Greco-Persian wars. Now his statue stands on Finikoudes in Larnaca .

Even the famous philosopher Zeno . who was originally engaged in Maritime trade. And after moved to Athens and became the founder of stoicism . The goal of stoicism is soglasin nature and his destiny. When Cyprus had the Cypriot pound, the profile of Zeno was on coins of 20 cents .

Bust of the famous General Cimon stands on the promenade of Larnaca – Phinikoudes

And one of the most important events of Kition is the adoption of Christianity . together with the advent in the city of Lazarus, the first Bishop of Kition. After his resurrection in Jerusalem Lazarus suffered persecution, and to prove his origin, and not Holiness, he was sent to a broken boat from Palestine to the open sea. And oddly enough, after a while, he came ashore unharmed of Kition and settled in this city for a long time. Now the relics of St. Lazarus are kept in the Church of St. Lazarus in Larnaca .

Excavations of ancient Kition first started in 1920 by the Swedes. Though a large part of the ancient city is hidden under the modern buildings of modern Larnaca, was able to find some tombs and shrines, copper products, valuable artifacts.

Ancient coins found during the excavations of ancient Kition

Now the finds are kept in the archaeological Museum of Larnaca . located within the excavations and in Nicosia, Cyprus Museum.

The area of excavations open to the public, please check the timetable at the entrance.

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