The antiquities of Larnaka never cease to amaze… new discoveries are constantly being made, and the parallel work to preserve and exhibit the finds also continues so that we can best share this wealth of historical insights with you!
A priceless, surprise discovery was made during the recent construction of sewerage pipes in Larnaka town, with workers accidentally unearthing the ‘Hercules Mosaic’ (1st image).
This rare mosaic from the Roman Era (30 - 330 AD) is almost 20 metres long by 5 metres wide, with sections depicting the Labours of Hercules - the strong demigod. According to Dr. George Philotheou, Curator of Antiquities, it is part of a complex of baths and is in remarkable condition, making it incredibly significant.
It is believed that there is much more to be revealed at the site, with further excavations and studies planned, as Dr. Philotheou explains: "We are in the process of completing the expropriation of the abandoned house in which it is presumed that part of the mosaic will be found. Once this has taken place, the old house will be carefully demolished to expand the excavations - which will happen in 2018. In regards to the final exhibiton site of the mosaic, it is preferable for it to remain in situ, but this will be decided upon completion of the excavations."
Dr. Philotheou also says that with the transfer of the Larnaka Tennis Courts facilities to a new location, the Antiquities Department and the French Archaeological Mission are ready to begin the immediate excavations that will reveal the ancient harbour of Kition.
For the treasures of the region that have already been excavated, Dr. Despo Pilides, Curator of Antiquities, tells us that their home at the Larnaka District Archaeological Museum is on schedule to complete its long-awaited renovations.
More specifically, Dr. Pilides says that the West Hall is preparing to open to the public in the first quarter of 2018 – presenting the antiquities of the City Kingdom of Ancient Kition (2nd image). The new Carnivores Hall will also open around the same time, and will include very rare sarcophagi of immeasurable importance that were unearthed in Larnaka, and have been classified as originating from the Phoenician and Classical period.
And if all this has whet your appetite and you can’t wait to delve into Larnaka’s fascinating, ancient history, the Pierides Museum in town is always ready and waiting to take you on a journey through the ages courtesy of its impressive collection of artefacts.