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Salamis

Listed under Archaeological Sites in Cyprus.

  • Photo of Salamis
  • Photo of Salamis
Photo of Salamis
Photo by flickr user Anjadora
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Salamis was the Cypriot capital from about 1100BC, and was built on and over by the island’s successive occupiers, so excavation in layers reveals artefacts and architecture from the Romans, Persians, Egyptians and the Assyrians. Only some of the area has been excavated, but the earthquakes that floored the city several times over did a good job of keeping its secrets and only the top few layers are revealed. The Roman layer, with its colonnaded gymnasium built by Trajan and Hadrian and auditorium which the Christian invaders removed the columns from, is one currently exposed. The Christians were also responsible for decapitating the nude statues and defacing the Roman pagan mosaics, and their layer of basilicas and squarer Byzantine churches was subsequently sacked by the Arabs, before being covered in sand. But the churches, when they stood complete, would be the largest in Cyprus.

Later arrivals looted as many statues and pieces of marble as took their fancy to build and decorate their own castles and it wasn’t until the 20th Century that people were prevented from recycling bits of this city – but an impressive amount remains, and this is one of the most interesting of Cyprus’s archaeological sites.

Written by  World Reviewer Staff.

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