|Prosperity period (centuries)
||4th B.C. - 3rd B.C.
|Existence of contemporary port
The remains of the ancient port of Amathus are today visible underwater. Three moles form a closed quadrilateral harbour basin. The entrance, about 20 meters wide, is located in the northeastern corner of the eastern side. The northern mole is 130 meters long, while the eastern and western are both 100 meters long. The city walls extend on the moles, creating a "limen kleistos" - enclosed harbour.
The piers were built using eight layers of plinths, seven of which are preserved. The blocks were used in the facets while the internal space was filled with rocks and rubble. Protective stones were placed to the external side. Tenons can be seen in the two small sides of the plinths, which were obviously used for lifting and placing them with a crane. The preceding natural gulf in the northern side of the basin was obviously included to the new harbour's plan.
|Construction period (centuries)
4th B.C. - 3rd B.C.
Artificial Harbour, Outer Harbour
of sea surface elevation
The ancient "closed" harbour of Amathus was built at the end of the 4th century possibly for supporting the warfare of Demetrios Poliorketes or Ptolemy Soter and it was abandoned, maybe even before its completion, when Ptolemy Soter reseized Cyprus at 294 B.C.
The naval trade and the war fleet of Amathus were stationed until then in the natural gulf north of the Hellenistic closed port. The basin of this natural port, which is today located under the old national road of Limassol - Nicosia, has been investigated with electromagnetic methods by the French Archaeological School of Athens that excavated the outer harbour from 1984 to 1986.
|References in ancient literature
Strabo Geography XIV.6.3
Aupert P., 1996, Guide d'Amathonte, De Boccard, Paris
Aupert P., 1980, "Amathonte. Rapport Preliminaire (1975-1979)", Report of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, Nicosia, 217-231
Empereur J.-Y., 1985, "Le Port d'Amathonte", Bulletin de Correspondance Hell?nique 109, 984-989
Empereur J.-Y., C.Verlinden, 1986, "Le Port d'Amathonte", Bulletin de Correspondance Hellenique 110, 899-907
Empereur J.-Y., C.Verlinden, 1986, "The Underwater Excavation at the Ancient Port of Amathus in Cyprus", The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 15.4, 1-13
Empereur J.-Y., C.Verlinden, 1986, "Le Port Antique d' Amathonte ? Chypre", Archeologia 215, 32-37
Empereur J.-Y., C.Verlinden, 1987, "The Underwater Excavation at the Ancient Port of Amathus in Cyprus", The International Journal of Nautical Archaeology 16.1, 7-18
Empereur J.-Y., C.Verlinden, 1987, "Le Port d' Amathonte", Bullentin de Correspondance Hellenique 111, 755-759
Empereur J.-Y., 1995, "Le Port Hellenistique d' Amathonte" in V. Karageorgis- D. Michaelides (eds), Proceedings of the International Symposium: Cyprus and the Sea, University of Cyprus-Cyprus Ports Authority, Nicosia, 131-138
Maragou Α., 1997, The ports of Cyprus, Cultural Center of Popoular Bank, Nicosia, 224-228 (in Greek)
Aupert P. (ed), Amathonte VI, "Le Port d' Amathonte", Ecole Francaise d' Athen
Aupert P., 1979 "Rapport sur les Travaux de la Mission de l' Εcole Francaise a Amathonte en 1978. Les Activite sur le Terrain. Le Port d' Amathonte" Bullentin de Correspondance Hellenique 103, 725-728
Aupert P. (ed), 1999, Οδηγός Αμαθούντας, Πολιτιστικό Ίδρυμα Τράπεζας Κύπρου, Λευκωσία
Raban A., 1995, "The heritage of ancient harbour engineering in Cyprus and the Levant" in V. Karageorgis- D. Michaelides (eds), Proceedings of the International Symposium Cyprus and the Sea, University of Cyprus-Cyprus Ports Authority, Nicosia, 158-161
Nicolaou Κ., 1966, "Ancient ports in Cyprus", Deltion Tmimatos Politistikis Anaptyxeos, Ministry of Education of Cyprus 6-7 (1966), Nicosia, 96-97 (in Greek)
Theodoulou T., 2002, "The port of the kingdom of Amathus" [http://www2.rgzm.de/navis2/home/FramesGR.cfm]
"Mission archeologique d'Amathonte
Chypre - Amathonte : le port" [http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/fr/actions-france_830/archeologie_1058/les-carnets-archeologie_5064/orient-ancien_5067/chypre-amathonte_5505/resultats-port_15671.html]