Completion of 2011 excavations at Idalion

Date:

Share post:

The Ministry of Communications and Works, Department of Antiquities, announces the completion of the 2011 Lycoming College archaeological expedition to Idalion under the direction of Dr Pamela Gaber. This summer’s investigations revealed a major Hellenistic and Roman Bath Complex beside the Lymbia Road. 

The bath complex is extraordinary in that it was founded in the Hellenistic Period, probably in the 3rd century BCE and continued in use into the Roman Period, certainly into the 1st century CE. A pipe trench was found in which numerous fragments of terracotta pipes were excavated. The large basin had three complete layers of hydraulic cement each laid at a different period. In the trench where the terracotta pipes that carried water to the installations, and in neighboring trenches, many fragments of limestone sculpture and terracotta figurines were found. 

In addition to the bath complex, the expedition excavated a temple known as “The Sanctuary of the Paired Deities”. It is dedicated to a pair of gods represented by standing stones. There are numerous altars and sacrificial ash pits in this temple, and this year the Lycoming College team discovered a series of impressive channels constructed to carry water into a kind of grotto in bedrock underlying the Temple structure. The Sanctuary of the Paired Deities at Idalion is unique to Cyprus. Its many altars and religious installations are preserved in situ as they were used from around 1050 BCE until the Roman Period in the 1st century CE. 

It is obvious that the place was sacred for a long time as ancient artifacts were found buried reverently in the mud brick debris above the sanctuary, probably in the Middle Ages. That would explain why the site of the Temple remained undisturbed until it was discovered in 1998. These installations relate to the 8th century BCE cuts in bedrock in the Goddess Temple atop the site of Ancient Amathus. Clearly something in the worship of the Great Goddess of Cyprus, who was later known to the Greeks as Aphrodite, related to water flowing into the rock of the Earth. 

The third area under investigation during the 2011 season was the Adonis Temenos on the East Acropolis, Mouti tou Arvili. There the Lycoming team discovered that the buildings uncovered in previous seasons, including the one in which a feasting set was found in 2010, date back to the Cypro-Geometric Period, probably to the 9th century BCE. This proves that at least two of the six known temples and sanctuaries at Ancient Idalion were in use for at least 1000 years. The earliest floor was formed on the bedrock itself. 

During the 2012 season the Lycoming College Expedition to Idalion intends to continue investigations into the Hellenistic and Roman Baths, the Adonis Temenos, and the Sanctuary of the Paired Deities. 

Author: Apostolos Papapostolou | Source: Greek Reporter [August 26, 2011]

ADVERTISEMENT

spot_img

Related articles

Mummified baby woolly mammoth found by gold miner in the Klondike

On June 21, 2022, a near complete, mummified baby woolly mammoth was found in the Klondike gold fields...

Dig season wraps up for ‘Mentor’, the brig carrying Acropolis antiquities looted by Elgin

Salvage work on the historic shipwreck of "Mentor" off Kythira island in southern Greece, which carried off sculpture...

Large Late Neolithic pit structure found near Stonehenge

What could be one of the largest prehistoric sites in the UK has been discovered near Stonehenge by...

5500-year-old amber burial found in northwestern Russia

During the archaeological expedition under the guidance of the Associate Professor Aleksandr Zhulnikov, students of Petrozavodsk State University...

Discovery of a 4,000 year old military network in northern Syria

The discovery of more than a thousand sites in Syria has revised our understanding of the settlement of...

136 ancient tombs discovered in Shandong

A total of 136 tombs have been unearthed in a cemetery dating back to the Eastern Zhou Dynasty...

Ancient Chinese city of Xi’an may be 2,500 years older than originally thought

The city of Xi'an, the ancient capital of Shaanxi Province, located in the centre of the Guanzhong Plain...

Roman shipwreck found off coast of Sardinia

Italian police released a video on Tuesday (June 23) showing a well-preserved ancient Roman ship that was recently...