and the City Kingdoms
It is thought that a total of twelve
kingdoms (Amathous, Chytroi, Idalion, Kition, Lapithos
Ledres, Marion, Paphos, Salamis, Soloi, Tamassos,
and Kourion) existed in ancient Cyprus, each having
the role of an administrative centre.
Kourion was associated by legend
with Argos of Peloponnese, and the Kouriois believed
that they were descendents of Argean immigrants who
founded the city. The large temple within the city
was probably dedicated to the goddess Hera, who was
worshipped in Argos.
Some jewellery, found inside
the royal tomb, may be a revival of the old Mycenean
Built on the hills that dominate the area, Kouiron
overlooked and controlled the fertile valley of the
river with the same name, called Kouris today.
At the site, the continuing excavations have brought
to light many important remains, mostly of the Hellenistic,
Roman and later years.
The extremely large and important,
monumental built tomb which, most probably, belonged
to king Stasanor and his family was excavated in the
large necropolis of Kourion in 1990-1991. It was probably
built at the end of the Cypro-Archaic Period, (between
500 and 475 BC) and continued with three burials during
the Cypro-Classical Period.
and its Antiquities
An amazing quality and quantity of movable
ancient objects and treasure was gathered, during
the previous century (1873), by Luiggi Palma di Cesnola the notorious
smuggler of antiquities. Some golden pieces from jewellery have been
identified as being similar to valuable jewellery known as the treasure
of Kourion in the Metropolitan Museum of New York gives an impression
of the great prosperity of this city.
So far at the site, the remains excavated comprise
of the monuments of the Theatre, the Early Christian basilica, the
Nymphaeum, the Fountain House, the Forum, the House of the Achilles,
the House of the Gladiators, the House of Eustolios, and the Public
Baths of the Town.
According to Herodotos, who lived at the beginning
of the 5th century BC., the two known kings of Kourion were Damasos,
who lived in the beginning of the 7th century BC, the other being
Stasanor or Stisinor. There have been no coins found or evidence
of other kings of the city in literary sources or on inscriptions.
It is noted that some researchers believe that
the last king of Kourion was Pasikratis, ( others believe he was
only a prince) a contemporary of Alexander the Great, for whom he
had helped in the siege and subsequent conquering of Tyre.