Guest Author - Ann Carroll Burgess
There are not many places in the world where you can gaze on a Neolithic settlement composed of circular buildings and wonder just when did a dwelling become rectangular in shape? You can in Cyprus.
There are few locations on Earth where you can follow in the paths of Phonecians, Assyrians, Persians and Ottomans. You can in Cyprus.
There are not many places on the planet where you can walk in the footsteps of Richard the Lionheart and the Knights Templar. You can in Cyprus. You can do all of those things and simultaneously enjoy all the splendors and conveniences of 21st century Mediterranean life. Cyprus is a time capsule of 10,000 years of civilization.
The history of the island can be traced to the Neolithic settlement of Choirokoitia, 32 km south of Larnarka. This ancient site is considered to be the best preserved Neolithic site in all of the Eastern Mediterranean area. Five circular houses in close proximity have been constructed, using the techniques and materials of the time, to create a village of that period and the surrounding area has been planted with trees and plants that were either cultivated or indigenous to Cyprus at that time in antiquity.
In Pafos take time to wander the Kato Pafos archeological area, on the World Heritage List, that includes monuments from prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. The majority of the remains date to the Roman period. Nearby, the Tombs of the Kings date back to the 4th century BC. The tombs carved out of solid rock were never the final resting place of Kings but the magnificence of the site lent the locality its name.
Pafos also boasts an immense area of mosaic floors of noblemen’s villas dating from the 3rd to the 5th century AD. Mostly the mosaics depict scenes from Greek mythology. You will find yourself staring in awe at the time-consuming work that created these floors.
History is more than a collection of museum pieces and archaeological sites on this magic island. It is a living part of life today. Young women still learn lace-making techniques just as their grandmothers and those before them did. Local potters turn out classic urn shapes in clay. Weavers still operate handlooms to create the traditional baggy trousers known as ‘vraka’ worn by men. And the immortal words of Euripides and Sophocles still ring out at ampitheatres on warm summer nights. In Cyprus history not only combines the past and the present, it does this seamlessly.
Cyprus will steal your heart and mind in just one visit.