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Bust of Alexander the Great found in Cyprus

A second three-aisled basilica was brought to light by archaeologists on the site of Katalymmata ton Plakoton, of the Akrotiri peninsula, in Cyprus.

Bust of Alexander the Great found in Cyprus
The marble stele with a bust of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius
personified as Alexander the Great [Credit: ΑΠΕ-ΜΠΕ]
Excavations by the Cyprus Antiquities Department in the area have been in progress since 2007 when the first basilica was revealed.

However, the new basilica is not the only important finding. Archaeologists also discovered a marble stele with a bust of the Byzantine emperor Heraclius personified as Alexander the Great.

It is believed that the two basilicas are part of a monumental ecclesiastical complex which according to Eleni Procopiou, an area officer for the Antiquities Department, is related to St John the Merciful, Patriarch of Alexandria, the patron saint of Limassol.

Bust of Alexander the Great found in Cyprus
The south transept of the first basilica excavated at Katalymmata
ton Plakoton [Credit: Cyprus Dept. of Antiquities]
The first basilica is a burial monument 36 meters in width and 29 meters in length, without the apse protruding to the west. Procopiou stated that the second basilica is also a burial monument 20 meters in width and 47 meters in length. It is estimated that the findings date back to the second decade of the 7th century, between 616-617 A.D.

“This literally helps us understand and re-write the history of the 7th century in Cyprus. We estimate that after its construction, it had a very short life-span of approximately 30 years before it was abandoned and destroyed. This was a very important place and housed the relics of some very important people,” Procopiou stated.

Author: Nikoleta Kalmouki | Source: Greek Reporter [April 28, 2014]
TANN

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