In the Footsteps of the Phoenicians

As one of the oldest cities in the world, Larnaka has a rich history of different civilisations that have left their mark on the region, including the Phoenicians. The long-awaited excavations of the ancient port of Kition in 2021, along with the city’s role in the Phoenicians' Route tourism project, will further enhance its link to the Phoenicians. 

The Phoenicians' Route refers to the connection of the major nautical routes used by the Phoenicians as essential routes for trade and cultural communication in the Mediterranean from the 12th century BC. The collective initiative includes 11 countries with links to the Phoenicians. Network members Albania, Croatia, Cyprus, France, Greece, Italy, Lebanon, Malta, Palestine, Spain, and Tunisia.

Working together, the countries will create new strategies for cultural tourism of the Euro-Mediterranean, with recognition of the cultural route by the Council of Europe.

Cyprus’ involvement in this significant project is further enhanced by the election of the esteemed Elena Tanou as President of the ‘Phoenican’s Routes’ project for the term 2021/2022, with Nana Asmeni-Pavlou - Larnaka Tourism Board's Officer - on the Steering Committee.

Ms Tanou said of initiative’s vision: “The incredible legacy left to us by the Phoenicians, skilled masters in trade and in the circulation of culture thanks to the encounter with other great Mediterranean civilizations, will be our source of inspiration for the production of contemporary and creative tourism practices.”

Planned events for 2021 include virtual exhibitions and travelling exhibits, as well as online conferences and other events involving the 30 museums and archaeological sites in the member countries that are part of the network.

Cyprus was a juncture for the Phoenicians in the 8th century BC, and Ancient Kition (Larnaka city), played a pivotal role as evidenced by significant archaeological findings from the excavations of the French Archaeological Mission of Kition (dir. Sabine Fourrier) at Kathari (image 1), Bamboula and Kamilarga. There are also findings relating to the Phoenician civilisation on display at Pierides Museum (image 2 - small pendant in human form made of sand-core glass. Phoenecian art. Roman Period 50 BC - 395 AD).

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