Friday, April 4, 2014

Kition Archaeological Site

The Kition Archaeological Site (also known as the Ancient City of Kitium) is located within the city of Larnaca, which is in the Larnaca district of Cyprus.

Kition (also known as Citium) is considered the one of the oldest ancient city-kingdoms of Cyprus, and it was known as being a rich sea port and major copper trade center.
Kition is actually two sites: Kathari and Pampoula.  The main Kition Archaeological Site is the Kition Kathari Site, while the Kition Pampoula Site will be featured in a future blog post.

The Kition Kathari Archaeological Site was established during the 13th century BC.  Kition was a thriving city for the Mycenaean-Achaeans during the Late Bronze Age.  There are ancient ruins of several temples dedicated to Aphrodite, as well as workshops for melting copper. 

According to a sign at the Kition Kathari site, "New cultural elements appearing between 1200 and 1000 BC (personal objects, pottery, new architectural forms and ideas) are interpreted as indications of significant political changes and the arrival of the Achaeans, the first Greek colonists of Kition.  During the Iron Age, Kition was one of the most important Cypriot City-Kingdoms (11th to 4th centuries BC).  During the 9th century BC, Kition became a Phoenician colony."

The Phoenicians settled in Kition and rebuilt the city, as well as a temple dedicated to Astarte in the same area, which was utilized until its destruction.

According to a sign at this site, "Towards the end of the 4th century BC, the Cypriot City-Kingdoms were dissolved and the Phoenician dynasty of Kition was abolished."

Over the years, Kition has suffered repeatedly from earthquakes, so the ancient ruins aren't completely intact.  It's believed that some of the ancient ruins of Kition are buried beneath the modern city of Larnaca.

After various discoveries during the 18th and 19th centuries, excavation work for all of Kition began in 1929, under the leadership of Einar Gjestard.  Later, the excavation focused on the Kathari site of Kition.

According to a sign at this site, "This area was excavated by the Department of Antiquities between 1963 and 1981....  The remains consist of the northern part of the ancient town and part of the defensive wall dating from the 13th century BC.  Habitation continued down to the Hellenistic period."

Ancient artifacts that were discovered in the Kition ruins are now on display at the Larnaca District Archaeological Museum.

As one of main features of the Aphrodite Cultural Route in Cyprus, the Kition Archaeological Site is a small site that provides a quick glimpse into the ancient life of Kition.

Site: Kition Archaeological Site. 

Category: Archaeological Site. 

Location: Kimonos Street with the current entrance on Archbishop Kyprianos Avenue in the city of Larnaca, within the Larnaca district of Cyprus. 

Phone Number: 24304115. 

Operating Hours: 8:30 AM to 4:00 PM on Monday to Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday, during the winter months.  9:30 AM to 5:00 PM on Monday to Friday, and closed on Saturday and Sunday, during the summer months. 

Entrance Fee: €2,50. 

Date of Visit: 2010.

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