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ARTEFACTS


Ôhe location of the Preneolithic 
cave at Aetokremnos-Akroteri

In Room I the exhibition consists of artefacts from the Preneolithic site of Akrotiri- Aetokremnos, where evidence for the earliest human activity on the island has been revealed, related to the last phases of a hunter-gatherer economy. The most striking aspect is the coexistence of cultural materials with a huge assemblage of extinct Pleistocene animals, most probably pygmy Hippopotamus and pygmy Elephant which were  probably being exploited by humans.


The cave under excavation-stratigraphy

 

The process of Neolithisation is attested by the recently discovered site of Shillourokambos  in Parekklishia which belongs to Aceramic Neolithic I and dates as far back as the end of the 9th millenium to the 7th millenium BC. It is the earliest Neolithic settlement of the whole island . The future rearrangement of the exhibition will  include some of the finds from that site.


Red on white ware 
basket shape pot 
from the Chalcolithic
 settlement of Erimi

 


The Sotira Teppes 
Late neolithic settlement

 In the present exhibition one can see Late Neolithic material (stone tools and ceramics ) from the Sotira Culture (Neolithic II 4500-3800) as well as material from the Chalcolithic period. The earliest phase of this period, in Limassol District, was found at Erimi Pamboula . The stone idols are the most important artefacts of this period.

Sotira and Erimi artefacts

 

The representative material of the Early Bronge Age period ( 3000/2900-1900-1800 BC) and the Middle Bronze Age (1900-1600 BC) derives mainly from the City itself and the villages of Pyrgos, Evdimou and Paramali. This is the period when the know-how of exploitation and smelting of copper was acquired. Pottery shapes are imitating shapes in organic materials, they are covered with a characteristic Red Polished slip and decorated  with plastic and incised decoration. 

During the Middle Bronge Age the forms are becoming smaller and new techniques in surface decoration such as the painted patterns, are re-introduced.
The significant  changes in culture and economy that took place in the Late Bronze Age (1650-1050 BC) are decisive for the later history of the island. 


Ritual vessel of Red-Polished ware from Polemidhia. 
Early Bronze Age

 

 Commercial contact with the Aegean world is becoming more intensive. The Mediterranean indigenous people already inspired by the lively spirit of the Aegean cultures gradually assimilate features of Aegean culture. New settlers on the island create a peripheral centre of Greek culture with its special peculiarities that survives to our days.

The exhibited material of the Late Bronge Age represents the stages of that development  process. Among the local ceramic products,  Base Ring and White Slip wares, the visitors can see imported Mycenean vases like the floral style cup of Mycenean IIB from Crete or local imitations. Most of them derive from rescue excavations in the city of Limassol.  A large pithos from  Kourion Pamboula,   a settlement that according to historians was founded by the Peloponnesian Argives,  is  of local production and was used for storage or as a transport container for the exported products of Cyprus to the Mediterranean world. (The main part of the Kourion area finds are exhibited in the local Museum  of Episkopi).

Some contemporary artefacts from the necropolis of a  palatial monumental building at Alassa are also exhibited.

From the end of the Late Bronze Age (1050 BC) to the Hellenistic period,(325 BC) when Alexander the Great included Cyprus in his great Macedonian state, abolishing the Ancient Cypriot Kingdoms (310 BC) , there is little  historical information about the two kingdoms of our area (Amathus and Kourion). It is a period generally known for its continuous change of rulers (Phoenicians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians), but it is well represented in the archaeological record of the sites of those kingdoms.
The main archaeological source of information about this amalgamation of cultural influences are the rich funeral gifts of the cemeteries.

 


One handled cup of the floral Mycenean II B style (1400 BC).

The Limassol Museum is housing the material from Amathus and its surrounding settlements and sanctuaries. Such objects are local and imported Phoenician and Aegean  pottery, minor art products like jewellery, tools, coins, clay idols and stone statuettes, relief and inscribed funerary stelae.

The Archaic phase of the great sanctuary of Aphrodite on the top of the Akropolis of Amathus is represented by a group of terracottas of Eastern origin (masks, temple models, female idols of Ashtarte) and objects of western influence (charriot and rider compositions) .


Hathor free-standing pillar 
capital of late Cyproarchaic period from the palace of Amathus.

One of the most important works of art of the Museum , a free standing Hathor Capital found in the palace area of Amathus is dated to the Late Archaic period (500 BC) . A head of an eastern goddess made in the stylistic trends of the late Archaic Greek artists indicates  the fusion of cultural influences at a place where the civilization of the east meet with those of the West.

Rich funeral gifts and a group of clay statuettes found during the British period at a sanctuary in the foundation excavations of the Limassol Town  Police station belong to the Archaic period.

The Hellenistic period art production of Cyprus is following the trends of the new regime, the so called koine and foresees  the formalization of the Roman period. The exhibition in the last room consists of sculpture, plastic art , pottery, ivory objects, glass objects, lamps, funerary and dedicatory inscriptions indicating the assimilation of Cyprus to the new world.

 


Limestone statue of the God Bes from 
Amathus. Roman

Characteristic is a huge sculpture of the Egyptian fertility God Bes which was found in the Amathus Roman Agora and marks  the survival of this Archaic cult into Roman times as well as the 4th century AD sculptures from the Fasoula workshop.

A dedicator , Sozomenos, commissigned a statue from the same workshop of Zeus Labranios ( Zeus as the God of the double axes) a survival of an old Cretan cult of the God of arts who has his residence on the mountain Ida . Levantine people made references to that God  (ugaritic texts: Baal poems) as early as  the 14th century  BC , as Housor or God of the Double axe who lives in the land of Kefti (Crete).

Those figures confirm the strength and endurance of influences that  Cyprus  received, from the Aegean and the Eastern civilisations on account of the conservatism of its island environment.


Male head of a limestone statue fro the so called “ sanctuary of Lavranios 
Zeus” of Fasoula


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