Ancient Treasures – New Information
Larnaka’s rural villages are historical treasure troves, with new discoveries and information continually being unearthed. In particular, Pervolia and Pyla villages have both been under the spotlight recently for fascinating, new insights into their ancient history.
Pervolia is home to the ‘Rigena’ tower; one of Larnaka region’s four Venetian watchtowers (the other three are in Kiti, Pyla and Xylofagou). Built in 1563, the network of towers was used by the Venetians to alert both the Larnaka and Famagusta areas of any Arab raids.
Dr Nasa Patapiou recently revealed new information pertaining to the meaning behind the three coats of arms (COA) engraved on the entrance of the tower. The central COA is the only instance in Cyprus where the Republic of Venice’s official COA depicts the winged lion of St. Mark raising a sword instead of a bible, indicating the underlying war between Venice and the Ottoman Empire at that time. The left coat of arms (with three rosettes) belongs to Zuan Mattio Bembo, General Proveditor of Cyprus, who completed the construction of the tower, whilst the third belongs to the Gradenigo family, who may have donated money for the construction of the tower.
In Pyla, the Mediterranean’s oldest, organised library has been discovered at the Kokkinokremos archaeological site in Pyla village, which was once a Mycenaean city (3rd image).
Hailed as the most significant discovery on the island in the last 50 years, the library, which holds clay tablets on shelves – along with other Minoan and Mycenaean artefacts – reveal much about the evolution of civilizations on the island, and speak of a high degree of organisational and administrative functioning.
A trip to either village is a great option for autumn, and each is unique, with much to explore and discover.
Cover image: Louis Perentos