Kition. Mycenaean and Phoenician Discoveries in Cyprus



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Ancient Kition on the south coast of Cyprus, recently excavated by Dr Karageorghis, has revealed dramatic new information on a site whisch can be seen as a stepping-stone between the Aegean and the Levant from the Early Bronze Age onwards, and incorporating Minoan, Mycenaean and Phoencian elements. Previous excavators, overlooking the important Cretan and Mycenaean influence, considered Kition to have been founded by the Phoenicians. In this boo, however, the city’s greatness is evidenced in the wealth of Early Bronze Age tombs and intriguing Late Bronze Age buildings and tombs. In the Late Bronze Age the site flourishedas major harbour town with a unique sacred quarter for copper-smelting. Tombs have brought to light faience vessels, gold and bronze objects, daggers and spearheads and finely painted Mycenaean vessels as well as pottery incised with signs from the Cypro-Minoan syllabary. But it is the series of Late Bronze Age temples, incorporating such Aegean elements as horns of consecration and containing superb Mycenaean potteryin hitherto unprecented quantity, that are so outstanding for an increasein our knowledge of Mycenaean religious beliefs. Frequent references to Kittim (Kition) in the Bible attests the city’s fame as a maritime power owning to its Phoenician connections which last from the ninth to the fourth centuries BC. In the Phoenician period the temple of Astarte is the largest yet found anywhere. This final period at Kition is one of political unrest as history records: the Phoenicians, collaborating with the Persians, and their oppressive rule over the island, gave rise to efforts by the Cypriots to regain their freedom. Cyprus, however, was finally conceded to Persia in 386 BC. The last Phoenicin king of Kition, Pumiathon, was put to death by Ptolemy I of Egypt in 312 BC, thereby bringing the downfall of this Phoenician colony in the West. This book is a most valuable addition to our knowledge of life in the Eastern Mediterranean from 2000-312 BC. Vassos Karageorghis has admirably illustrated the text ground plans and photographs of the site finds.

Additional information

Weight 0.796 kg
Dimensions 19 × 26 cm



Sir Mortimer Wheeler




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