Tombs of the Kings
By Alex H. Panteli
, Local expert
|Located near the town of Paphos, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea, these impressive ruins were built during the 3rd century B.C.
Despite the name, the necropolis is not connected with the burial of kings; the name derives itself from the immense structures and magnificent appearances of its tombs. The place was used as a burial site for the higher administrative officers, aristocracy and their family members.
The tombs are located underground, rock cut and characterized by an underground open air rectangular atrium. The walls were originally covered with frescoes, however today only small parts are preserved. The similarities of the tombs with the ones found in Alexandria indicate the close relations between the two cities.
The tombs were severely looted at the end of the 19th century; some excavations took place in the 1916 and 1937 by the Cyprus Museum and the Paphos Museum, however more systematic excavations were undertaken by the Department of Antiquities in 1977, revealing this archaeological treasure in all its glory.
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