Kourion & Amathus

The mount of Kourion, on which the ancient city-kingdom developed, occupies a dominant position on the coast 4 km southwest of the village of Episkopi in the Lemesos district. The earliest evidence of settlement in the broader area of Kourion dates to the Neolithic period (4500-3900 B.C.), whilst the most ancient remains in the area of the ancient city itself are connected with settlements and tombs of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. According to tradition Kourion was founded by Argives in the 13th century BC, during the first wave of the Mycenaean expansion and others followed the Argives in the 12th century as a result of the Dorian invasion of Greece.

The ancient town of Amathous is situated on the south coast of Cyprus, about 7 km east of the town of Lemesos. Traces of the earliest human presence, dating to the Neolithic period, have been detected during archaeological excavations on the hills neighbouring Amathous. However, we do not know with certainty the exact moment of the foundation of the town of Amathous, which is not included in the list of towns founded by the Greek settlers in the 11th century B.C. It seems that the acropolis of Amathous, which possesses a natural defense, was inhabited since 1050 B.C. by the autochthonous population of Cyprus, the Eteocyprians. During the Archaic period the town aquired special wealth as one of the Kingdoms of Cyprus, and had remarkable commercial relations with neighbouring countries. Already in the 8th century B.C. a strong group of Phoenicians settled in Amathous, probably sharing power with the Eteocyprians and the Greeks. During the Persian occupation of the island Amathous maintained a pro-Persian stance, a fact that led to its siege by the other Kingdoms of Cyprus. The abolition of the Kingdom of Amathous, as well as of the other Kingdoms of Cyprus, was sealed during the Hellenistic period due to the annexation of the island by the Ptolemies.