Love Artists

Today, we visited Aphrodite’s rock, the Tomb of the Kings, and the House of Dionysius. Each has its cultural significance for Cyprus, having appealing stories that have been passed upon generations.

First, Aphrodite’s Rock has one of the largest myths on record in today’s world. According to the legend, white sea foam produced Aphrodite, the goddess of love, on top of the rock. During the Roman age, she was widely referred to as Venus where a local myth was produced. It is said if you swim three times around her rock naked, at midnight, with a full moon, you will be granted eternal beauty. This is an undeniable myth because scientifically this could not transpire.

Second, the Tomb of the Kings is a large necropolis lying just outside of Pathos. The tombs were buried just outside the city walls as this was the culture dating back to the 4th century BC. Although impressively old, most of the tombs have been discovered and raided. Signs of the first excavations date back to 1783 when 30,000 items discovered within the tombs were obtained by Richard Pockocke. This ruined much of the dating within the tombs, making learning about the history behind the tombs difficult. Government-sanctioned excavations began in 1915, when they discovered an untouched tomb, creating a new history. Through this excavation, scientists found a hidden baby. This was fascinating because it explains a lot about the culture of these tombs. When buried, it was believed that you have an afterlife until somebody finds the tomb. Hence, this baby was wrapped in a cloth, put into an airtight capsule, and planted into a fake wall within a tomb. The baby was then discovered 2,000 years later, therefore the baby’s ancestors allowed the baby to live for an additional 2,000 years. These tombs were built for the wealthy as it took years to carve out the stone and tombs. The culture behind these tombs amazed me as these beliefs put the 4th century BC into perspective. I found it fascinating.

Finally, the House of Dionysius was a luxury building dating back to the 2nd century. It was partially destroyed due to earthquakes in the 4th century, yet most of the houses remained. The part of the house that fascinated me was its flooring. It contained 2,000 square meters with each room having a different mural depicting mythology and animals. My favorite was the room with a colorful peacock, being the only mural using colored glass shards instead of colored stones, adding to the grotesque beauty of this house.

Overall, today a lot was learned about Cyprus’ history and culture. Aphrodite’s rock, the tombs, and Dionysius’s’ house all were beautiful yet had their brief yet important histories. This provided insight into Cyprus’ ancient history and just made the country that much more intriguing.  Today, we saw the love artists.

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