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date: 18 January 2021

Amathuslocked

  • Hector Catling

Extract

Amathus, a major coastal city of *Cyprus, on a hill near mod. Ayios Tychonas, 10 km. (6 mi.) east of Limassol, surrounded by extensive and much excavated cemeteries, and immediately adjacent to its built harbour. Its foundation on a virgin site in the 11th cent. bce without nearby bronze age predecessors accords oddly with its alleged autochthonous identity. As late as the 4th cent. bce it used the Cypro-Minoan syllabary to write an unknown language (Eteo-Cyprian: see pre-alphabetic scripts (greece)). But it stood apart from the other cities in 498, refusing to join the *Ionian Revolt; Onesilus of *Salamis (2) therefore besieged it. A series of coins has been attributed to its 5th- and 4th-cent. kings, the last of whom, Androcles, fought with his ships for *Alexander (3) the Great at *Tyre. Recent excavation has located its famous *Aphrodite sanctuary.

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