Ten years ago I participated in the Athienou Archaeological Project in Cyprus as my introduction to archaeological fieldwork, particularly excavation. Part of the field school was traveling throughout Cyprus to gain a better understanding of the prehistory and history of the island. On one of the field visits, we explored Paphos, a UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Kato Pafos, or Paphos, is a beautiful archaeological park that includes beautiful mosaic floors from four different Roman villas. There are a number of monuments in the archaeological park (a whole other blog post to be), such as a huge necropolis. But back to the mosaics. The mosaics are the following: The House of Dionysus, Theseus, Aion, Orpheus, and Four Seasons. They date between the second century AD and fourth century AD.
The necropolis at Kato Paphos is a fantastic combination of completely creepy tombs and unique history. The use of the tombs has varied, from a necropolis to a home for squatters. The Tomb of the Kings (Tafoi ton Vasileon)—named for it’s impressive structure although there isn’t any evidence of a king being buried there—was built during the Hellenistic period, sometime during the 3rd century BC. It was used as a burial area through the Roman era until the Medieval period, when the necropolis was used as a quarry and home for squatters. All that is left are the niches and rooms for human remains.
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