Amathus - A settlement in Cyprus
Amathus was an ancient city and one of the ancient royal cities of Cyprus until about 300 BC. Its ancient cult sanctuary of Aphrodite was the second most important in Cyprus, her homeland, after Paphos.

Amathus was built on the coastal cliffs with a natural harbour and flourished at an early date, soon requiring several cemeteries. Greeks from Euboea left their pottery at Amathus from the 10th century BC. During the post-Phoenician era of the 8th century BC, a palace was erected and a port was also constructed, which served the trade with the Greeks and the Levantines.

In the Roman era Amathus became the capital of one of the four administrative regions of Cyprus. A Roman temple was built in the 1st century AD on top of the Hellenistic predecessor. The temple facilities remained so important in Roman times that 'Amathusia' was used as a synonym for 'Cypriot'.

Later, in the 4th century AD, Amasus became the see of a Christian bishop and continued to flourish until the Byzantine period.

Modern location: Ruins

(1) Rhoikos ca. 350 BC
Obverse: Lion's head right, jaws open.
Reverse: Forepart of lion right, head facing
Ref: Tziambazis 5; BMC Cyprus ; GCV 5730