The ancient city of Idalion
The land on which once stood the ancient city of Idalion, is present in the district of Nicosia, not far from Dali city.
The city that existed about three thousand years ago, was one of the first Cypriot city-States, among nine similar settlements mentioned in the annals of the Assyrian king Esarhaddon, where there was a democratic structure. In addition, it even had its own school of art.
What valuable results of excavations at the site of Idalion, it’s the fact that give a clear view about religion and the beliefs of the time. The most revered deities in the city was Athena, and Aphrodite. It is in honor of the last and the city was named as one of the names of Aphrodite in Latin sounds like “Italia”. According to one legend this was the place where Ares killed her lover Adonis.
Excavations on this site began in the mid-nineteenth century, when in 1868 the British traveler LEng stumbled upon the ruins of the temple where the inscriptions on Cypriot and Phoenician languages. This temple was dedicated to Aphrodite, or, as called in Cyprus, Vanese – goddess of the Sky. Moreover, as scientists believe, the temple is also worshipped her “spouse” Wanaka – the Lord of animals. In this sanctuary, which, judging by the found fragments, were decorated with painted stucco, there were stone altars,pits for ash and vertical rocks, symbolizing deities.
At the moment the site of the ancient village are still being excavated. To date, there is already found a lot of values that are stored in the Museum, located next to the ruins. So, for example, archaeologists have found terracotta figurines, fragments of dishes and lamps. Particularly noteworthy are the sculptures – since the limestone from which they were made, sufficiently soft material, the masters has been amazing to work out the details of figures and faces.
Unfortunately, many found in the ruins of Idalion treasures were exported from the island.