Wednesday, 17 August 2011

North Cyprus Return to Salamis


We went again to Salamis a huge archaeological site that goes back to 11th C BC founded by Teucer who could not return home after the Trojan War because he failed to avenge his brother Ajax. It is also associated with Assyrian Kings and was ruled by Ptolemy Alexander the Great’s foremost general. Thence it became a Roman province and St Barnabas who brought Christianity to Cyprus was stoned to death her. Salamis was abandoned during the Arab invasions of the 7th century, as the city was in decline its harbour having silted up.

The site is vast. Excavations began in 1952. We saw a team at work last year and were able to look at their uncovering of another section of roman baths. Yet excavations have only uncovered a fraction (theatre, gymnasium, basilica, agora, and forum) of what must have been a huge and thriving community who’s necropolis covers seven square kilometres.

The place has a wild, delightfully unkempt feel as sea breezes displace some of the heat. Arrival at an early hour in the morning is recommended!