Tamassos (Cyprus) 12 SE Politiko - Ταμασσός

Ταμασσός - Tamassos, Archaic to Roman polis near SE Politiko in Nicosia Cyprus
Hits: 12
Works: 10
Latitude: 35.028422
Longitude: 33.242186
Confidence: Low

Greek name: Ταμασσός
Place ID: 350332PTam
Time period: ACHR
Region: Cyprus
Country: Cyprus
Department: Nicosia
Mod: SE Politiko

- Pleiades

Search for inscriptions mentioning Tamassos (Ταμασσ...) in the PHI Epigraphy database.

Modern Description: In the copper mining area SW of Nicosia. The ruins of a large town lying on the left bank of the river Pediaios extend on the top and over the N slopes of a hill overlooking the rich Pediaios valley below. The site is now partly occupied by the village of Politiko. The town consisted of two parts, the acropolis and the lower town. The acropolis is believed to lie on top of the hill to the S of the town, where now stands the village elementary school. Remains of the city wall can still be traced for part of its course. The necropolis extends N and W.
Tamassos, one of the ancient kingdoms of Cyprus was probably the Homeric Temese. Nothing is known of its origin but it certainly succeeded a Late Bronze Age settlement in the area, the best known one being on the other side of the river on a height due N of Pera village. A Late Bronze Age necropolis, however, exists at Lambertis, a small hill due SE of the ancient town and E of the Monastery of Haghios Herakleidios. Owing mainly to the existence of copper mines, the area of Tamassos was inhabited even earlier. The city naturally owed its prosperity to these mines, as has been stressed by ancient writers.
Very little is known of the history. On the prism of Esarhaddon (673-672 B.C.) is mentioned the name Atmesu, king of Tamesu (Admetos, king of Tamassos), were the identification certain. The earliest known historical event goes back to the middle of the 4th c. B.C., when Pasikypros, king of Tamassos, sold his kingdom for 50 talents to Pumiathon, king of Kition, and retired to Amathous, where he spent his old age. Later on we hear again of Tamassos when this city was taken away from Pumiathon by Alexander the Great and presented to Pnytagoras, king of Salamis. Thereafter it is frequently mentioned (Strab. 14.684; Ptol. 5.14.6; Plin. HN 7.195; Steph. Byz.). Tamassos is one of the Cypriot cities mentioned in the list of the theodorokoi from Delphi (early 2d c. B.C.). The city flourished mainly from archaic to Graeco-Roman times; in Early Christian times it became the seat of a bishop.
The worship of Apollo and of the Mother of the Gods at Tamassos is attested by epigraphic or archaeological evidence. The Sanctuary of Apollo may be located to the NE of the town by the left bank of the river Pediaios. It was near here in 1836 in the bed of the river that a bronze statue of Apollo was found. Its head only has been preserved. Known as the Chatsworth head, it is now in the British Museum. The Sanctuary of the Mother of Gods may be located just inside the N city wall. From inscriptions or from literary sources we learn of the worship of Aphrodite, of Dionysos, of Asklepios, and of Artemis, but nothing is known of their sites.
There are no coins attributed to Tamassos and nothing is known of the existence of a gymnasium or of a theater though a town of this importance should have had both.
The town site is practically unexcavated but two imposing royal built tombs, one with two chambers, dating from the archaic period, were excavated in 1889. These tombs had been looted long before their excavation but both are well preserved.
The first tomb has a stepped dromos, the sides of which are revetted with well-dressed stones. The facade is beautifully molded. On either side of the stomion the walls are decorated with a pilaster surmounted by Proto-Ionic capitals of extremely fine workmanship. The chamber is rectangular; its side walls are built of large ashlar blocks; the roof is saddle-shaped and made of two huge slabs resting on the side walls and leaning against each other. Along the rear wall there is an open sarcophagus.
The second tomb, near the first, is very much the same construction but it has a more elaborate decoration imitating wood carvings. A stepped dromos leads down to the entrance. The two chambers have molded saddle-shaped roofs imitating wooden logs, which are supported on a molded beam running lengthwise at the top of the roof. Along the rear wall of the back chamber there is a sarcophagus. The first chamber is provided with two square niches in the shape of false doors. On the upper part of these doors a door-lock is sculptured in stone: four vertical projections through which a bar has been pushed horizontally. (Excavations. K. NICOLAOU)
Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tamassos
Wikidata ID: Q1720688
Trismegistos Geo: 3613

Info: Princeton Encyclopedia

(Princeton Encyclopedia of Classical Sites, from Perseus Project)

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Author, Title Text Type Date Full Category Language

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