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Seller: Top-Rated Seller ancientgifts (4,493) 100%, Location: Lummi Island, Washington, Ships to: Worldwide, Item: 382219088710 "From Ishtar to Aphrodite: 3200 Years of Cypriot Hellenism. Treasures from the Museums of Cyprus" by Sophocles Hadjisavvas. NOTE: We have 75,000 books in our library, almost 10,000 different titles. Odds are we have other copies of this same title in varying conditions, some less expensive, some better condition. We might also have different editions as well (some paperback, some hardcover, oftentimes international editions). If you don’t see what you want, please contact us and ask. We’re happy to send you a summary of the differing conditions and prices we may have for the same title. DESCRIPTION: Softcover. Publisher: Hellenic Museums (2003). Pages: 146. Size: 11¾ x 9 x ½ inches; 2 pounds. Summary: In Greek mythology, Cyprus is considered the birthplace of Aphrodite. Tracing an Eastern symbol in the origins of Aphrodite, so quintessentially Greek, symbolizes Cyprus' role as the easternmost bastion of Hellenism and the island's ability to assimilate the numerous cultural influences to which it was exposed over the centuries. "From Ishtar to Aphrodite: 3200 Years of Cypriot Hellenism", includes commentary and color illustration of the 85 works included in the exhibition - including sculptures and artifacts of household objects, in terracotta, copper, and marble - as well as enlightening essays on themes such as the importance of Cyprus in Mediterranean trading routes, ashlar architecture and tomb finds that provide a vivid glimpse into the sophistication of societies in Bronze Age Cyprus, as well as the importance of Cyprus in the Ptolemaic period. The objects presented in this catalogue are the material remains of the ongoing interaction between native genius and foreign influence that characterizes Cyprus. Contributors to the exhibition catalogue include in addition to the editor, Dr. Jennifer Webb, Research Fellow. Department of Archaeology La Trobe University Melbourne, Australia; Ms. Alison South, Director. Ayios Dimitrios Excavations; Dr. Maria Iacovou, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Cyprus; Dr. Antoine Hermary, Centre Camille Julian dArchéologie Mediterranéenne et Africaine. Université de Provence-CNRS, France; and Dr. Aristodemos Anastassiades, Cultural Officer, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus. CONDITION: NEW. HUGE new (albeit slightly "shopworn") softcover. Hellenic Museums (2003) 146 pages. Unblemished in every respect except for veyr mild shelfwear to the covers. Inside the book is pristine, the pages are clean, crisp, unmarked, unmutilated, tightly bound, unambiguously unread. Shelfwear to covers is principally in the form of very mild crinkles to the cover's spine head, heel, and "tips" (the four open corners of the covers, top and bottom, front and back). There's also a very faint ("skin deep") surface crack in the paper covering of the spine, near the spine heel. This is typically caused by the book being slightly flexed or stressed as it is being shelved between other books, and if the book is twisted as it is being inserted between two other books, sometimes the paper covering of the spine might crack as a result of the book being flexed as it is tightly inserted between two other books. It's merely a superficial cosmetic blemish, almost unnoticed (unless called out), and we touched it up with an ink based sharpie to even further diminish the prominence (or lack thereof) of the cosmetic blemish. Last, the flat surface of the back cover evidences mild scuffing/rubbing (the covers are matte black and so show rub marks very easily, even merely from being shelved between other books). The overall condition of the book is entirely consistent with new stock from an open-shelf book store (such as Barnes & Noble, or B. Dalton for instance) wherein otherwise "new" books often have become slightly blemished and/or show a little handling/shelf/browsing wear the consequence of routine handling, and simply being shelved and re-shelved. Satisfaction unconditionally guaranteed. In stock, ready to ship. No disappointments, no excuses. PROMPT SHIPPING! HEAVILY PADDED, DAMAGE-FREE PACKAGING! #9036e. PLEASE SEE DESCRIPTIONS AND IMAGES BELOW FOR DETAILED REVIEWS AND FOR PAGES OF PICTURES FROM INSIDE OF BOOK. PLEASE SEE PUBLISHER, PROFESSIONAL, AND READER REVIEWS BELOW. PUBLISHER REVIEWS: TABLE OF CONTENTS: Forward by the President of the Republic of Cyprus. Forward by President of Alexander S. Onassis Public Benefit Foundation (USA) . The Exhibition by Dr. Sophocles Hadjisavvas, Director, Department of Antiquities, Cyprus. From Ishtar to Aphrodite: The Transformation of a Goddess by Dr. Jennifer Webb, Research Fellow, Department of Archaeology, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia. Cyprus Discovers the World by Dr. Sophocles Hadjisavvas. Tomb II at Kalavassos-Ayios Dimitrios by Alison South, Director, Ayios Dimitrios Excavations. Ashtar Buildings by Dr. Sophocles Hadjisavvas. Catalogue Entries 1-40. Cyprus: A Melting Pot of Mediterranean Cultures by Dr. Sophocles Hadjisavvas. The Late Bronze Age Origins of Cypriot Hellenism and the Establishment of the Iron Age Kingdoms by Dr. Maria Iacovou, Associate Professor of Archaeology, Department of History and Archaeology, University of Cyprus. Catalogue Entries 41-64. The Hellenism of Cypriot Limestone Sculpture by Dr. Antoine Hermary, Centre Camille Julian d’Archeologie Mediterraneenne et Africaine, Universite de Provence-CNRS, France. Cyprus Under the Ptolemies: Royal Ideology and Cultural Innovation by Dr. Aristodemos Anastassiades, Cultural Officer, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus. Catalogue Entries 65-86. Bibliography. PROFESSIONAL REVIEWS: REVIEW: You don't want to miss "From Ishtar to Aphrodite: 3200 Years of Cypriot Hellenism. Treasures from the Cyprus Museum" now at the Onassis Cultural Center in New York. An outstanding exhibition, "From Ishtar to Aphrodite" looks at the course Hellenism in Cyprus, the eastern Mediterranean's crossroads of cultures and the mythological birthplace of Aphrodite. The 85 artifacts on display are exceptional in themselves and most have never been seen outside of Cyprus before, including a first-century marble torso of Aphrodite that is the exhibition's hallmark. If you are in New York before From Ishtar to Aphrodite closes on January 3, 2004, you should make the time to see it. This is a unique opportunity. Sophocles Hadjisavvas, director of the Department of Antiquities, summarizes the exhibition's theme in his introduction to the accompanying catalog: "The long journey of the bloodthirsty goddess of sexuality, Ishtar, from the Fertile Crescent (Mesopotamia) to the island of Cyprus can be traced through various stages of transformation. In Syria and Palestine she is known as Astarte, whereas in Cyprus she acquires all the attributes of the goddess of love, Aphrodite...The transformation of the goddess symbolizes an island society embraced and influenced by the great civilizations of the East as it evolved into the easternmost bastion of Hellenism. Aphrodite's antecedent, a terra-cotta figurine PART OF THE EXHIBITION (Late Cypriot II, circa 1450-1200) combines aspects of earlier Cypriot fertility images with aspects (such as the placement of the hands) derived from Syrian and Mesopotamian goddesses. Its oversize, flat ears are pierced and once held terra-cotta earrings. The artifacts displayed and accompanying information panels trace these developments over the centuries. The cosmopolitan nature of Cyprus in the Late Bronze Age is emphasized through rich burials of the fourteenth century B.C., the time of the first commercial expansion of Mycenaean Greeks to the island. The end of the fourteenth century saw the introduction of ashlar buildings, based on Syrian prototypes, to the island. Toward the end of the Bronze Age, in the eleventh century, Cyprus received an influx of Greeks from the Aegean, who Hadjisavvas describes as "people who fled from the collapsing Mycenaean world." In ninth century, new peoples arrived, Phoenician colonists from the east, bringing with them distinctive styles of pottery and terra-cotta figurines. The overlying and blending of various cultures with the Cypriot Greek based continued until Alexander's day, after which the island was more and more absorbed into the shared Hellenistic culture of the times. The cosmopolitan nature of Cypriot culture in the Late Bronze Age is attested by grave offerings from tombs at Kalavassos-Ayios Dimitrios including a silver Hittite figurine from Anatolia, a glass vessel from Egypt, and a Mycenaean pot from the Aegean. Complementing the displays is an excellent catalog. Jennifer Webb (La Trobe University, Melbourne) examines the link between Ishtar and Aphrodite, from the fusion of early Cypriot precursors of the goddess with Near Eastern goddesses worshiped by the Phoenicians, Assyrians, and Persians. Webb notes how the Greeks adopted the goddess, who returned to the island in fully Hellenic guise in the fourth century B.C. Other essays in the catalog look at Cyprus in the context of the eastern Mediterranean, monumental ashlar buildings of Syrian inspiration, and the island as ancient "melting pot" (Hadjisavvas); Late Bronze Age origins of Cypriot Hellenism (Maria Iacovou, University of Cyprus); Hellensim of Cypriot limestone sculpture (Antoine Hermary, Université de Provence); and Cyprus under the Ptolemaic Dynasty of later Egypt (Aristodemos Anastassides, Ministry of Education and Culture, Cyprus). Especially welcome is a brief chapter on Tomb 11 at Kalavassos-Ayios Dimitrios by Alison South, who directed the excavation of the site. Although all the artifacts in this exhibition are impressive, 20 objects come from this single wealthy tomb dated to 1400-1375. They include gold jewelry, Cypriot pottery, five Mycenaean pots imported from mainland Greece, and an Egyptian miniature glass vessel. This suite of artifacts, which accompanied the burials of three young woman (one 19-20 years old, and two slightly earlier interments of women aged 21 to 24 and about 17 years), highlights the wide-ranging influences on Cypriot culture, as well as the culture's own achievements, in the middle of the Late Bronze Age. Also part of the exhibition, a Late Cypro-Archaic (late seventh century B.C.) terra-cotta figure of a woman wearing a long garment, "turban," and three necklaces is from the sanctuary at Arsos. Identified as priestesses, such figures have also been found at sanctuaries in the eastern Aegean, of Hera on Samos and of Athena on Rhodes, linking Cyprus with that region. After closing in New York, From Ishtar to Aphrodite moves to Athens (2004), and then on to London. Found in 1979, another exhibition artifact is a model of a chariot was deliberately broken or "killed" before being placed in a Cypro-Classical I (fifth century B.C.) tomb in the Phoenician cemetery of Kition. The model shows two male figures in a chariot, their different sizes indicating different status: the larger figure is distinguished by a tall headdress, the smaller figure is the nobleman's charioteer. Only three of the four horses remain. A mixed Greek and Phoenician population at Kition, a Phoenician colony from the ninth century onward, is attested by funerary inscriptions. [Archaeological Institute of America]. READER REVIEWS: REVIEW: Fabulous wide-ranging exhibit. Gorgeously illustrated catalog. REVIEW: Stunning exhibition, splendid catalogue! ADDITIONAL BACKGROUND: REVIEW: Lying at the crossroads of the eastern Mediterranean, the island of Cyprus has long been a meeting point for many of the world’s great civilizations. Situated where Europe, Asia and Africa meet, its location shaped its history of bringing civilizations together. Many powers conquered the island, and Cyprus was ruled in turn by the Hittites, the Egyptians, the Persians and the Greeks until it was absorbed by the Romans. Cyprus is also known as the “Island of Love”. According to mythology Aphrodite, the ancient Greek goddess of love and beauty, was born from the foam of the sea on the south-western coast of Cyprus. The earliest settlements in Cyprus appeared during the Neolithic era, around 7000-6000 B.C. With the development of copper between 3900 B.C. and 2500 B.C., a flourishing trade brought wealth and prosperity to the island. Cyprus became a leading commercial centre between the Near East and the West. But the event that stamped permanently the life of Cyprus was the arrival of the Mycenaeans and the Achaeans between the 13th and 11th centuries B.C. They introduced their language, customs, culture and their arts and established new cities. The strategic location of Cyprus and its natural resources attracted the attention of many invaders. The Greek geographer Strabo who visited Cyprus described the island in his Geographica (23 A.D.): “in excellence it falls behind no one of the islands, for it is rich in wine and oil, and uses home-grown wheat. There are mines of copper in plenty.” Gradually the Greek city-states fell into the hands of the Assyrians (700 B.C.), the Egyptians (565 B.C.) and the Persians (546 B.C.). Persian rule lasted until 332 B.C. following the intervention of Alexander the Great and his victory at Tyre. After Alexander the Great’s death, Cyprus became part of Egypt under the rule of the Ptolemies. During the Hellenistic period, cultural life and the arts flourished. It was a time of important public works and the city of Pafos became the capital. In 58 B.C., Cyprus was annexed by Rome. The island was given the status of Province and a period of large public building projects began. The Roman period came to an end in the 4th century A.D. with the division of the Roman Empire and Cyprus became part of the Byzantine Empire with Christianity becoming the official religion. Other people would later take control of the island, the Franks, Venetians, Ottomans, the British, and currently the Turks in Northern Cyprus. With this impressive historical legacy, Cyprus is inevitably an archaeologist’s dream destination. It has become famous for its archaeological sites and treasures, including three UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Any listing of the most significant archaeological sites would include ancient Salamis. Once a thriving port city and an important Greek city-state on the eastern shore of Cyprus, Salamis offers a tantalizing glimpse into the vast history of the island. According to ancient Greek tradition, Salamis was founded after the Trojan War by the archer Teukros, son of King Telamon, who came from the island of Salamis, off the coast of Attica. Half-brother to the hero Ajax, Teukros was unable to return home from the war after failing to prevent his half-brother’s suicide, leading him to flee to Cyprus where he founded Salamis. Successively controlled by various dominant powers, Salamis served as the island’s main port and capital for a thousand years. The city saw great wealth and dominated the island until its near-destruction in the 4th century CE following a series of earthquakes. Most of the ruins we see today are from the Roman period. Set along the sea-shore, they cover an area over one kilometre long. Among the many impressive sights to be seen at Salamis are the gymnasium, the Roman baths, the theatre and the basilicas. The gymnasium was devoted to the training of athletes. Its remains, with colonnaded courtyard and adjacent pools, allude to Salamis’ glory days. The vast exercise ground was destroyed by a number of earthquakes and was restored during the reign of Hadrian in the 2nd century CE as well as in the 4th century by the Byzantine emperor Constantius II who renamed the city Constantia. The visible remains of the gymnasium date from these two late restorations. The gymnasium had latrines. It was a semicircular colonnaded structure with seating for 44 people. They are the largest ever found in Cyprus. East of the gymnasium lies the bath complex with a sweating-room, marble-lined pools, cold and hot rooms and an exposed hypocaust (underfloor heating system). The building was decorated with stunning mythological-themed mosaics and frescoes. One mosaic depicts the slaying of the Niobids by Apollo and Artemis while another one represents the well-known legend of Leda and Zeus. A fresco depicts Hylas, the young friend of Hercules, and a water nymph. Like the gymnasium, the baths were rebuilt in Byzantine times. The Roman theatre is another spectacular sight. Built during the reign of emperor Augustus, it originally held over 15,000 spectators. Much of it was destroyed by consecutive earthquakes and its stones were removed to provide building material for the Early Christian reconstructions of the gymnasium and the baths. The theatre has now been partially restored and occasionally hosts theatrical and other cultural performances during the summer. The ruins of the Kambanopetra Basilica built in the 4th century A.D. occupy a magnificent position overlooking the sea. Originally it would have been an impressive complex with a large colonnaded rectangular courtyard with porticoes on all four sides, adjoining a three-aisled basilica. For more than a thousand years Salamis lay buried beneath a thick layer of sand which helped preserve the city from looting and destruction. Other notable sites around Salamis include Enkomi (Alasia), an important Bronze Age city dating back as far as 1800 B.C. and an important trading centre for copper. The ruins of the site are located about two kilometres west of Salamis. Even though the site was looted several times over the centuries, some of Enkomi’s most important finds were unearthed in the early 20th century. The finds include two bronze statuettes dated to the early 12th century B.C. (now in the Cyprus museum. The first one is the so-called “horned god” which depicts a deity portrayed as a young athlete wearing a horned helmet. The second statuette is the “ingot god”, a statue standing on a base in the form of a copper ingot. The god is represented bearded and wears a horned conical cap on his head. He is armed with a round shield and a spear. Other finds are part of the Greek & Roman Antiquities collection of the British Museum. After an earthquake circa 1050 B.C., the site was abandoned, leaving an opening for the rise of Salamis. Paphos is one of the island’s most mesmerising archaeological sites and the most accessible to visitors. Located in the resort of Paphos on the south-west coast of the island, Nea Pafos -as it was called in antiquity- is home to a treasure trove of some of the most lavish ancient mosaics in the world. Founded in the late 4th century B.C., Pafos became the capital of the island, replacing Salamis, during the Hellenistic and Roman eras. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the site is a vast archaeological area with remains of four Roman villas, an odeon, an agora, an Asclepeion (a healing temple, sacred to the god Asclepius, the god of medicine) and royal tombs. The city originally occupied an area of about 950,000 square metres and reached its zenith during the Antonine and Severan periods (second half of 2nd / early 3rd century A.D.. This is reflected by the number of opulent buildings, both public and private, which survive from this period. Like Salamis, Nea Pafos was severely damaged by earthquakes on several occasions and went into decline following the devastating earthquake of the 4th century A.D. A chance discovery made in 1962 by a farmer ploughing his field has brought to light exquisite mosaics that decorated the floors of wealthy residences of the Roman period. One of the most exquisite and best-preserved mosaics unearthed at the site is the round mosaic of Theseus and the Minotaur in the Villa of Theseus, named after the representation of the Athenian hero fighting the Cretan monster in the Labyrinth. The Villa of Theseus occupies an area of about 9600 square metres and so far more than 1400 square metres of mosaic pavement have been found within the building. With more than 100 rooms, the house is the largest residential structure on the island and one of the largest in the Mediterranean. It was the residence of the governor of Cyprus (proconsul). This house is still being excavated today. The other mosaic to look for in the Villa of Theseus is the one depicting the Birth of Achilles. The hero lies in the arms of his mother Thetis who is shown in the centre lying on a bed. This part of the scene has been greatly damaged. Achilles is also shown sitting on the knees of his nurse who is preparing to dip the infant in a basin. The most spectacular group of mosaics comes from the House of Dionysus. The building occupies an area of about 2000 square metres, of which 556 are covered with mosaic floors. The name given to the house is due to the central mosaic featuring Dionysus, the god of wine. Almost each mosaic has a mythological theme. On entering the house the first thing you see is a mosaic depicting Narcissus gazing at his own reflection as well as a mosaic with the personification of the four seasons. Next to these two mosaics lies the oldest mosaic ever found in Cyprus. It dates to the Hellenistic period (late 4th / early 3rd century B.C.) and represents the mythical sea-monster Scylla, part woman, part fish and part dog. Unlike later Roman mosaics, it is monochrome and made of pebbles. The Triumph of Dionysus and Phaedra and Hippolytus are among the most impressive mosaics in the house. The former depicts the triumphal return of the god from a military expedition to India from where he brought Indian slaves and panthers we see on the mosaic. The latter represents the tragic story of Phaedra and Hippolytus. The scene shows the moment after Hippolytus has received and read the love letter from his stepmother Phaedra. The fate of Phaedra and Hippolytus has been recounted by numerous playwrights throughout history. Two other stunning mosaics in the House of Dionysus are the Rape of Ganymede and the Hunting scene mosaics. The nearby covered House of Orpheus takes its name from the large mosaic panel depicting Orpheus seated on a rock and playing his lyre, charming the animals. Two other mosaics that decorated the house show Hercules and the Lion of Nemea and the Amazon, sadly both covered. Finally, the House of Aion is named after Aion, the god of eternal time, depicted in the mosaics. Only a small part of the building has been excavated. The uncovered rooms are decorated with exceptional geometric and figural mosaic floors. They include representations of Apollo, Cassiopeia, Hermes, Marsyas, Dionysus and various sea creatures. A short walk away lie the Agora (forum), the Asclepeion and the Odeon where musical performances were held. These buildings constituted the heart of the ancient city. The Odeon is located in the northeastern part of the ancient city. Built in the 2nd century A.D., it held approximately 1,200 spectators. Heading slightly north along the coast beyond the old city walls of Paphos you will find the Tombs of the Kings. This fascinating archaeological site contains a set of remarkable underground tombs used by the residents of Nea Pafos during the Hellenistic and Roman periods (from the 3rd century B.C. to the 3rd century A.D.). Eight tomb complexes have been opened for viewing. Despite the name, the tombs were built when there were no more kings on Cyprus. The grandeur and magnificence of the tombs inspired the scholars of the second quarter of the 20th century to nickname the area “Tomb of the Kings”. Spread over a vast area covering 200,000 square metres, these impressive underground tombs were carved out of solid rock while some were decorated with Doric pillars. The burial complex contains over 100 tombs and is part of the World Heritage List together with the Pafos Archaeological Site. Prominent and wealthy citizens of Nea Pafos were buried there in pit-shaped tombs, chamber tombs and tombs with a colonnaded atrium. Other notable sites in or near Paphos include Panagia Chrysopolitissa, located just east of the Paphos archaeological park where you can take a fascinating walk around the foundations of a 4th century CE Christian basilica, the largest ever excavated in Cyprus. Several magnificent marble columns with Ionic and Corinthian capitals have been re-erected while others lie scattered around the site. The floor of the basilica was covered with colourful geometric mosaics, some of which are still preserved. To the western side of the basilica stands the so-called St Paul’s Pillar, where St Paul was allegedly flogged before he converted the Roman Governor, Sergius Paulus, to Christianity. The Sanctuary of Aphrodite (Palaepaphos) is located in the village of Kouklia, 14 kilometres east of Paphos. Palaepaphos was a city-kingdom of Cyprus and one of the most important religious centres of the ancient Greek world. Here stood the famous Sanctuary of Aphrodite, a large centre of worship established in the 12th century B.C. Already famous in the time of Homer who referred to the Goddess as Kipris (the “Cyprian”), the sanctuary remained the renowned cult place of Aphrodite until the 4th century A.D. Unfortunately all that is left of the sanctuary are its foundations and scattered columns. Palaepaphos is part of the Aphrodite’s Cultural Route which focuses on the archaeological sites dedicated to the ancient cult of Aphrodite. Agios Georgios in Pegeia includes the ruins of three early Christian basilicas dating back to the 6th century A.D. with lovely mosaic floors depicting animals and sea-creatures. Located near the village of Pegeia, 18 kilometres north of Paphos along the coast of Cape Drepano, it was the site of a late Roman and early Byzantine town and important harbor. Sitting on top of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean stands the remains of the best-preserved Greco-Roman city of Southern Cyprus, Kourion (or Curium in Latin). According to legend, the ancient city of Kourion was founded by Achaean colonists from Argos in the Peloponnese. Systematic excavations have revealed that the city became an major settlement in the 13th century B.C. when Mycenaean colonists settled there. The city prospered under the Ptolemies and the Romans and became an important cultural and religious centre with the nearby Sanctuary of Apollo Ylatis. Christianity started to be established at Kourion by the beginning of the 3rd century A.D. and eventually supplanted Apollo. Kourion, like all other coastal cities of the island, was ruined by the disastrous earthquakes of the late 4th century CE. The city was rebuilt at the beginning of the 5th century before it was entirely destroyed by fire during the Arab raids of the 7th century CE. Kourion declined and was finally abandoned, its inhabitants having moved to a new site two kilometres to the east (the modern village of Episkopi). Kourion was not rediscovered until 1820 while systematic excavations began in 1934. The excavated remains at Kourion lie about 19 km west of Limassol on the road to Paphos. Visitors can wander around impressive ruins such as the theatre, the House of Eustolios, the Early Christian Basilica, the Forum, the public baths and other houses with fascinating mosaics. Apart from the basilica and the House of Eustolios, all the other buildings belong to the Roman period. The tour of the archaeological site begins with the theatre which enjoys a magnificent location overlooking the sea. The original theatre was probably constructed around the end of the 2nd century B.C. and was relatively small. It was later radically remodelled during the time of emperor Nero (50-75 A.D.) as well as in the beginning of 2nd century A.D. after the earthquake of 76 A.D. It could accommodate an audience of approximately 3500 people. During the reign of emperor Caracalla (214-217 A.D.), the theatrical performances gave way to the popular gladiatorial games and the theatre was mostly used as an arena. At the end of the 3rd century CE, the spectacle of fights declined in popularity and the theatre regained its original character. It was destroyed and finally abandoned in the late 4th century A.D. The stage building (scaenae frons) is preserved only in its foundations. The theatre we see today is the result of reconstruction work in the middle of the last century. Nowadays it is used for open air performances and is one of the venue of the International Festival of Ancient Greek Drama. Next to the theatre are the remains of the House of Eustolios, a palatial residence built in the early Christian period over the ruins of an earlier house dating to the early Roman era. Some 30 rooms are arranged around two interior courtyards with a bathing complex. The majority of the rooms are paved with colourful and mosaic pavements, with many carrying early Christian symbols. The building complex we see today is the result of extensive modelling during the last years of rule of the Emperor Theodosius II (408-450 A.D.). A mosaic with a welcoming inscription graces the entrance with the phrase: “Enter for the good luck of the house”. Another notable mosaic panel within the house is the one with a bust of a young woman in a medallion holding a measuring tool in her right hand equivalent to a Roman foot. The head of the woman is surrounded by a Greek inscription which identifies her as Ktisis, the personification of Creation. A short walk away from the theatre and the House of Eustolios lies the Early Christian Basilica which is located at the top of the southeastern cliffs overlooking the sea. Dating to the beginning of the 5th century A.D., it is one of the most important Early Christian monuments on the Island. Its foundations show the existence of a baptistery, a narthex, a chapel, a diaconicon where objects used in the services were stored as well as various other rooms. Mosaic floor panels and floor inscriptions are visible among the ruins. Adjacent to the Early Christian Basilica are the remains of the Roman Forum as well as two bath complexes and a nympheaum. The Forum was a monumental colonnaded public building serving as a market-place and meeting-place. At the northwestern extremity of the site are the remains of two luxurious private houses. The first one is the House of Gladiators, so called because of its two mosaic panels depicting gladiators armed with daggers, shields and helmets and fighting in pairs. The north panel represents two gladiators facing each other and ready for the fight. Above their heads are their names in Greek: MAPΓAPEITHΣ – Margarites and EΛΛHNICOS – Hellenikos. The other mosaic panel depicts two armed gladiators in attacking positions and a third figure between them who is the referee. The gladiator on the left who is named ΛΥTPAΣ -Lydras- is about to kill his opponent with a dagger but the referee ΔAPEIOΣ -Darios- intervenes and prevents Lydras’ attempt by terminating the combat. The second house is the House of Achilles where a fragment of a mosaic composition depicting the unmasking of Achilles has survived. The scene portrays Achilles meeting with Odysseus in Lykomedes’ house on the Greek island of Skyros where Achilles, disguised as a girl, was sent by his mother to avoid his participation in the Trojan war. Other notable places in or around Kourion include the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, located west of the archaeological site of Kourion, is the largest religious center on the island where Apollo was worshipped as the god of the woodlands. The sanctuary was established in the 8th century B.C. and was used continuously until the 4th century CE. Covering an area of more than 15,000 square metres, the remains of the sanctuary consist of the Temple of Apollo, the priests’ quarters, the baths, the palaestra where athletic games used to take place and a long colonnaded stoa. The stadium of Kourion is located between the archaeological site of Kourion and the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates. It was constructed during the rule of emperor Antoninus Pius in the 2nd century CE and was used for the sports of the Hellenic pentathlon like running, jumping, wrestling and throwing the discus or javelin. With seven rows of seats, the stadium of Kourion could accommodate around 6000 spectators. The remains of the ancient city of Amathous are located on the south coast of the island, about 11 kilometres east of Limassol. They cover a large area on top of a hill and on the slopes reaching the Mediterranean sea to the south. Amathous was one of Cyprus’ four ancient kingdoms with Salamis, Soli and Pafos. Founded in the 11th century B.C., the city had an unbroken history of settlement until the 7th century A.D. when it was gradually abandoned following the Arab raids. Amathous is also the other great site dedicated to Aphrodite (after Palaepaphos) where remains of sanctuaries and temples of the goddess can still be seen. The Roman Temple of Aphrodite, built over the ruins of a former temple from the Hellenistic era, occupies a large part of the acropolis. Before the Great Goddess of Cyprus was identified as Aphrodite in around 300 B.C., she appeared under the name of “Goddess of Paphos” or “The Lady” or simply “The Goddess”. From the 10th century B.C. the Great Goddess, under the influence of the Minoans, was represented with raised arms. She was later assimilated with the Phoenician goddess Astarte as well as with the Egyptian goddess Hathor. The Great Goddess of Cyprus was perhaps worshipped on the acropolis of the Amathous as early as the 11th century B.C. Traces of a sanctuary dating to the 8th century B.C. have been found as well as two colossal stone vases of the 6th and 5th century B.C. What we see today are the remains of the Temple of Aphrodite (known locally as Aphrodite Amathousia) built in the 1st century CE on the site of previous temples dating to the Hellenistic period. The colossal stone vessels on the site are copies. They were used as monumental cisterns to supply water to the crowds of people who came to the temple. Water was needed for rituals, libations, and ablutions. The original of the most complete of the two vessels is on display in the Louvre in Paris. The lower city lies between the acropolis and the sea. It was inhabited during the Hellenistic and Roman periods. An Agora, public baths, a fountain complex and a nymphaeum have been uncovered whilst the ruins of the harbour are preserved under the sea. Amathous is part of the Aphrodite’s Cultural Route which focuses on the archaeological sites dedicated to the ancient cult of Aphrodite. You cannot leave Cyprus without visiting the island’s largest and best archaeological museum. The Cyprus Museum, located on Museum Street in central Nicosia, houses the most extensive collection of Cypriot antiquities in the world from the Neolithic Era (7000 B.C.) to the end of Roman rule (395 A.D.). The museum consists of fourteen display halls organised in chronological order and by themes. Among the highlights of the Cyprus Museum are the two thousand votive clay figurines that were found in situ in the sanctuary of Agia Irini on the northwest coast Cyprus. Dating back to the 7th and 6th centuries B.C., the figurines are displayed as they were found and depict priests with bull-masks, sphinxes, minotaurs, centaurs, bulls and warriors on chariots. Another highlight is the collection of five unique archaic sculptures found in 1997 in the royal necropolis at Telmessos. They represent three pairs of sculptures: two large lions (only one is exhibited as only half of the other one is preserved), two lions of smaller dimensions and two sphinxes. Also look out for the bronze statuettes from Enkomi, the Roman sculptures from Salamis, the bronze statue of the emperor Septimius Severus as well as the famous marble statue of Aphrodite from Soli which has become a popular symbol of Cyprus. There are also district museums in the four principal towns (Famagusta, Limassol, Paphos and Larnaca) as well as local museums near the main archaeological sites (Kourion, Salamis, Palaepaphos). [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Cyprus is a large island located in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, east of Greece, south of Asia Minor, west of the Levant, and north of Egypt. The naming of the island is a matter of dispute amongst historians. One theory suggests that the large quantity of copper deposits on the island gave the name Cyprus, as copper has the Latin name of cuprum (the Latin symbol is Cu). Another theory is based on mythology: It proposes that the name was given by the goddess Aphrodite (also known as Kyprida) who was born on the island. Cyprus has always had strategic importance. It was a must-have strategic point for all major powers at different times. The island was occupied by the Assyrians, the Egyptians, the Persians, the Rashidun and Umayyad Arab Caliphates, the Lusignans, the Venetians, the Crusaders, the English, and finally the Ottomans. The first human presence on the island dates back to 7000 B.C. There were two important Neolithic villages on the island, both near the modern town of Limassol: Khirokitia and Kalavasos. Khirokitia had approximately 3000 to 4000 residents, and it was the first location on the island to create a strong community with houses and social organization. At the end of the Neolithic era (circa 3900 B.C.), a group of settlers from Palestine came to the island, attracted by the copper deposits. From 3900 B.C. to 2500 B.C., the Cypriots started working with copper and the island started rising as an economic force in the Mediterranean. During this time, there was profound interaction with the Egyptians, especially in art and the use of hieroglyphics by many Cypriot kings. The Bronze Age (circa 2500 B.C. to 1050 B.C.), was both a time of growth and foreign occupation for Cyprus. After the end of the war with Troy and due to the Dorian invasion in Greece, the Mycenaean Greeks started permanently settling on the island (circa 1100 B.C.). There were ten coastal Mycenaean kingdoms on the island. It was then that the Cypriots started feeling more Greek and adopted the Greek language and religion. The Cypriot Archaic Era (circa 750 B.C. to 475 B.C.) was a problematic time for the island's inhabitants, as the Assyrians, Egyptians, and Persians succeeded one another as rulers of the island. Around 709 B.C. Sargon II of Assyria extorted submission taxes from Cyprus in exchange for the island's independence. By 699 B.C. the Assyrians were involved in other conflicts and had to leave Cyprus. Pharaoh Amasis of Egypt used the same policy as the Assyrians, when he claimed to be ruler of the island, around 560 B.C. Full occupation of the island came with the Persians, around 546 B.C. The Persians came to the island in a peculiar way. When they heard that King Cyrus of Persia was heading west, the Cypriot kings sent him a message, surrendered their kingdoms to him, and even agreed to supply him with military forces in order to aid his conquest of Caria. Cyrus accepted the offer and in return allowed the Cypriots to mint their own coins and have their own leadership, but he also sent military troops and settlers to Cyprus in order to control the island and the Eastern Mediterranean. The Persians remained on the island until Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire and in doing so freed the island again. After Alexander's death in 323 B.C., the island became part of the Ptolemaic Empire during the Hellenistic Period. After the death of Alexander the Great, Cyprus passed on to the Ptolemaic rule. Still under Greek influence, Cyprus gained full access to the Greek culture and thus became fully Hellenized. When the Romans became the largest power in the Meditteranean, Cyprus became their focus for various reasons. It became a Roman province in 58 B.C., when Marcus Cato took control of the island. Cyprus suffered under Roman rule, along with bad management and severe taxes. The island also suffered great losses during the Kitos War (also known as the Second Jewish-Roman War) of 115-117 A.D. The Jewish leader Artemion killed many Cypriots (reportedly up to 240,000), until he was defeated by a Roman army in 117 A.D. Subsequently, the Roman government passed laws banning Jews from the island. The apostles Paul and Varnavas, along with the evangelist Marcus came to Cyprus and spread Christianity among the Cypriots. Τhe Cypriots accepted the new religion, and because the Church of Cyprus was founded by Apostles, the Cypriot church had and still has the right to have her own Archbishop – autokefalus. After the division of the Roman Empire into eastern and a western halves, Cyprus came under the rule of the Eastern Roman Empire (also known as the Byzantine Empire).The Byzantine Emperors paid much attention to Cyprus, due to its vital position in the empire. Alas, Cyprus' position once more proved to be a curse for the island: The Arabs, in their strategy of encircling the Byzantine Empire, started invading Cyprus, first in 648/9 A.D., when Emir Moabia invaded and destroyed the city of Constantia (the capital of Cyprus at the time). The same thing happend in 653, 743, 806, and finally 911 A.D., until Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas reconquered Cyprus for the Byzantine Empire (944-966 A.D.). [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean and the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean. It is located south of Turkey, west of Syria and Lebanon, northwest of Israel, north of Egypt, and southeast of Greece. The earliest known human activity on the island dates to around the 10th millennium B.C. Archaeological remains from this period include the well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia, and Cyprus is home to some of the oldest water wells in the world. Cyprus was settled by Mycenaean Greeks in two waves in the 2nd millennium B.C. As a strategic location in the Middle East, it was subsequently occupied by several major powers, including the empires of the Assyrians, Egyptians and Persians, from whom the island was seized in 333 BC by Alexander the Great. Subsequent rule by Ptolemaic Egypt, the Classical and Eastern Roman Empire, Arab caliphates for a short period, the French Lusignan dynasty and the Venetians, was followed by over three centuries of Ottoman rule between 1571 and 1878 (de jure until 1914). Cyprus was placed under British administration based on the Cyprus Convention in 1878 and formally annexed by Britain in 1914. While Turkish Cypriots made up 18% of the population, the partition of Cyprus and creation of a Turkish state in the north became a policy of Turkish Cypriot leaders and Turkey in the 1950s. Turkish leaders for a period advocated the annexation of Cyprus to Turkey as Cyprus was considered an "extension of Anatolia" by them; while, since the 19th century, the majority Greek Cypriot population and its Orthodox church had been pursuing union with Greece, which became a Greek national policy in the 1950s. Following nationalist violence in the 1950s, Cyprus was granted independence in 1960. In 1963, the 11-year intercommunal violence between Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots started, which displaced more than 25,000 Turkish Cypriots and brought the end of Turkish Cypriot representation in the republic. On 15 July 1974, a coup d'état was staged by Greek Cypriot nationalists and elements of the Greek military junta in an attempt at enosis, the incorporation of Cyprus into Greece. This action precipitated the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July, which led to the capture of the present-day territory of Northern Cyprus in the following month, after a ceasefire collapsed, and the displacement of over 150,000 Greek Cypriots and 50,000 Turkish Cypriots. A separate Turkish Cypriot state in the north was established by unilateral declaration in 1983; the move was widely condemned by the international community, with Turkey alone recognizing the new state. These events and the resulting political situation are matters of a continuing dispute. The Republic of Cyprus has de jure sovereignty over the entire island, including its territorial waters and exclusive economic zone, with the exception of the Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, which remain under British control according to the London and Zürich Agreements. However, the Republic of Cyprus is de facto partitioned into two main parts: the area under the effective control of the Republic, located in the south and west, and comprising about 59% of the island's area; and the north,] administered by the self-declared Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, covering about 36% of the island's area. Another nearly 4% of the island's area is covered by the UN buffer zone. The international community considers the northern part of the island as territory of the Republic of Cyprus occupied by Turkish forces. The occupation is viewed as illegal under international law, amounting to illegal occupation of EU territory since Cyprus became a member of the European Union. Cyprus is a major tourist destination in the Mediterranean. With an advanced,[34] high-income economy and a very high Human Development Index, the Republic of Cyprus has been a member of the Commonwealth since 1961 and was a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement until it joined the European Union on 1 May 2004. On 1 January 2008, the Republic of Cyprus joined the eurozone. In antiquity, Cyprus was a major source of copper. The earliest attested reference to Cyprus was in the 15th century B.C. by Mycenaean Greeks, written in Linear B syllabic script. It's suggested that the name "Cyprus" may have its roots in the Sumerian word for copper (zubar) or for bronze (kubar), from the large deposits of copper ore found on the island. Through overseas trade, the island has given its name to the Classical Latin word for copper through the phrase aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus", later shortened to Cuprum. The earliest confirmed site of human activity on Cyprus is Aetokremnos, situated on the south coast, indicating that hunter-gatherers were active on the island from around 10,000 BC, with settled village communities dating from 8200 B.C. The arrival of the first humans correlates with the extinction of the dwarf hippos and dwarf elephants. Water wells discovered by archaeologists in western Cyprus are believed to be among the oldest in the world, dated at 9,000 to 10,500 years old. Remains of an 8-month-old cat were discovered buried with a human body at a separate Neolithic site in Cyprus. The grave is estimated to be 9,500 years old (7500 B.C.), predating ancient Egyptian civilization and pushing back the earliest known feline-human association significantly. The remarkably well-preserved Neolithic village of Khirokitia is a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating to approximately 6800 B.C. During the late Bronze Age the island experienced two waves of Greek settlement. The first wave consisted of Mycenaean Greek traders who started visiting Cyprus around 1400 B.C. A major wave of Greek settlement is believed to have taken place following the Bronze Age collapse of Mycenaean Greece from 1100 to 1050 B.C., with the island's predominantly Greek character dating from this period. Cyprus occupies an important role in Greek mythology being the birthplace of Aphrodite and Adonis, and home to King Cinyras, Teucer and Pygmalion. Beginning in the 8th century BC Phoenician colonies were founded on the south coast of Cyprus, near present-day Larnaca and Salamis. Cyprus is at a strategic location in the Middle East. It was ruled by Assyria for a century starting in 708 B.C., before a brief spell under Egyptian rule and eventually Persian rule in 545 B.C. The Cypriots, led by Onesilus, king of Salamis, joined their fellow Greeks in the Ionian cities during the unsuccessful Ionian Revolt in 499 B.C. against the Achaemenid Empire. The revolt was suppressed, but Cyprus managed to maintain a high degree of autonomy and remained oriented towards the Greek world. The island was conquered by Alexander the Great in 333 B.C. Following his death and the subsequent division of his empire and wars among his successors, Cyprus became part of the Hellenistic empire of Ptolemaic Egypt. It was during this period that the island was fully Hellenized. In 58 B.C. Cyprus was acquired by the Roman Republic. When the Roman Empire was divided into Eastern and Western parts in 395 A.D., Cyprus became part of the East Roman, or Byzantine Empire, and would remain so until the Crusades some 800 years later. Under Byzantine rule, the Greek orientation that had been prominent since antiquity developed the strong Hellenistic-Christian character that continues to be a hallmark of the Greek Cypriot community. Beginning in 649, Cyprus suffered from devastating raids launched by Muslim armies from the Levant, which continued for the next 300 years. Many were quick piratical raids, but others were large-scale attacks in which many Cypriots were slaughtered and great wealth carried off or destroyed. There are no Byzantine churches which survive from this period; thousands of people were killed, and many cities – such as Salamis – were destroyed and never rebuilt. Byzantine rule was restored in 965, when Emperor Nikephoros II Phokas scored decisive victories on land and sea. In 1191, during the Third Crusade, Richard I of England captured the island from Isaac Komnenos of Cyprus. He used it as a major supply base that was relatively safe from the Saracens. A year later Richard sold the island to the Knights Templar, who, following a bloody revolt, in turn sold it to Guy of Lusignan. His brother and successor Aimery was recognised as King of Cyprus by Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor. Following the death in 1473 of James II, the last Lusignan king, the Republic of Venice assumed control of the island, while the late king's Venetian widow, Queen Catherine Cornaro, reigned as figurehead. Venice formally annexed the Kingdom of Cyprus in 1489, following the abdication of Catherine. The Venetians fortified Nicosia by building the Walls of Nicosia, and used it as an important commercial hub. Throughout Venetian rule, the Ottoman Empire frequently raided Cyprus. In 1539 the Ottomans destroyed Limassol and so fearing the worst, the Venetians also fortified Famagusta and Kyrenia. Although the Lusignan French aristocracy remained the dominant social class in Cyprus throughout the medieval period, the former assumption that Greeks were treated only as serfs on the island is no longer considered by academics to be accurate. It is now accepted that the medieval period saw increasing numbers of Greek Cypriots elevated to the upper classes, a growing Greek middle ranks, and the Lusignan royal household even marrying Greeks. This included King John II of Cyprus who married Helena Palaiologina. In 1570, a full-scale Ottoman assault with 60,000 troops brought the island under Ottoman control, despite stiff resistance by the inhabitants of Nicosia and Famagusta. Ottoman forces capturing Cyprus massacred many Greek and Armenian Christian inhabitants. The previous Latin elite were destroyed and the first significant demographic change since antiquity took place with the formation of a Muslim community. Soldiers who fought in the conquest settled on the island and Turkish peasants and craftsmen were brought to the island from Anatolia. This new community also included banished Anatolian tribes, "undesirable" persons and members of various "troublesome" Muslim sects, as well as a number of new converts on the island. The Ottomans abolished the feudal system previously in place and applied the millet system to Cyprus, under which non-Muslim peoples were governed by their own religious authorities. In a reversal from the days of Latin rule, the head of the Church of Cyprus was invested as leader of the Greek Cypriot population and acted as mediator between Christian Greek Cypriots and the Ottoman authorities. This status ensured that the Church of Cyprus was in a position to end the constant encroachments of the Roman Catholic Church.[65] Ottoman rule of Cyprus was at times indifferent, at times oppressive, depending on the temperaments of the sultans and local officials, and the island began over 250 years of economic decline. The ratio of Muslims to Christians fluctuated throughout the period of Ottoman domination. In 1777–78, 47,000 Muslims constituted a majority over the island's 37,000 Christians. By 1872, the population of the island had risen to 144,000, comprising 44,000 Muslims and 100,000 Christians. The Muslim population included numerous crypto-Christians, including the Linobambaki, a crypto-Catholic community that arose due to religious persecution of the Catholic community by the Ottoman authorities. This community would assimilate into the Turkish Cypriot community during British rule. As soon as the Greek War of Independence broke out in 1821, several Greek Cypriots left for Greece to join the Greek forces. In response, the Ottoman governor of Cyprus arrested and executed 486 prominent Greek Cypriots, including the Archbishop of Cyprus, Kyprianos, and four other bishops. In 1828, modern Greece's first president Ioannis Kapodistrias called for union of Cyprus with Greece, and numerous minor uprisings took place. Reaction to Ottoman misrule led to uprisings by both Greek and Turkish Cypriots, although none were successful. After centuries of neglect by the Turks, the unrelenting poverty of most of the people, and the ever-present tax collectors fuelled Greek nationalism, and by the 20th century idea of enosis, or union, with newly independent Greece was firmly rooted among Greek Cypriots. Under the Ottoman rule, numeracy, school enrollment and literacy rates were all low. In some countries, these low levels of human capital level persisted sometime after Ottoman rule ended. Greece and Cyprus were no exception, they faced the same issue of paths taken under Ottoman educational policies. In these two countries (Greece and Cyprus), numeracy increased rapidly during the twentieth century. In the aftermath of the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878) and the Congress of Berlin, Cyprus was leased to the British Empire which de facto took over its administration in 1878 (though, in terms of sovereignty, Cyprus remained a de jure Ottoman territory until 5 November 1914, together with Egypt and Sudan) in exchange for guarantees that Britain would use the island as a base to protect the Ottoman Empire against possible Russian aggression. The island would serve Britain as a key military base for its colonial routes. By 1906, when the Famagusta harbour was completed, Cyprus was a strategic naval outpost overlooking the Suez Canal, the crucial main route to India which was then Britain's most important overseas possession. Following the outbreak of the First World War and the decision of the Ottoman Empire to join the war on the side of the Central Powers, on 5 November 1914 the British Empire formally annexed Cyprus and declared the Ottoman Khedivate of Egypt and Sudan a Sultanate and British protectorate. In 1915, Britain offered Cyprus to Constantine I of Greece on condition that Greece join the war on the side of the British, which he declined. In 1923, under the Treaty of Lausanne, the nascent Turkish republic relinquished any claim to Cyprus, and in 1925 it was declared a British crown colony. Many Greek and Turkish Cypriots fought in the British Army during both world wars. During the Second World War, many enlisted in the Cyprus Regiment. The Greek Cypriot population, meanwhile, had become hopeful that the British administration would lead to enosis. The idea of enosis was historically part of the Megali Idea, a greater political ambition of a Greek state encompassing the territories with Greek inhabitants in the former Ottoman Empire, including Cyprus and Asia Minor with a capital in Constantinople, and was actively pursued by the Cypriot Orthodox Church, which had its members educated in Greece. These religious officials, together with Greek military officers and professionals, some of whom still pursued the Megali Idea, would later found the guerrilla organisation Ethniki Organosis Kyprion Agoniston or National Organisation of Cypriot Fighters (EOKA). The Greek Cypriots viewed the island as historically Greek and believed that union with Greece was a natural right. In the 1950s, the pursuit of enosis became a part of the Greek national policy. Initially, the Turkish Cypriots favored the continuation of the British rule. However, they were alarmed by the Greek Cypriot calls for enosis as they saw the union of Crete with Greece, which led to the exodus of Cretan Turks, as a precedent to be avoided, and they took a pro-partition stance in response to the militant activity of EOKA. The Turkish Cypriots also viewed themselves as a distinct ethnic group of the island and believed in their having a separate right to self-determination from Greek Cypriots. Meanwhile, in the 1950s, Turkish leader Menderes considered Cyprus an "extension of Anatolia", rejected the partition of Cyprus along ethnic lines and favored the annexation of the whole island to Turkey. Nationalistic slogans centred on the idea that "Cyprus is Turkish" and the ruling party declared Cyprus to be a part of the Turkish homeland that was vital to its security. Upon realising the fact that the Turkish Cypriot population was only 20% of the islanders made annexation unfeasible, the national policy was changed to favor partition. The slogan "Partition or Death" was frequently used in Turkish Cypriot and Turkish protests starting in the late 1950s and continuing throughout the 1960s. Although after the Zürich and London conferences Turkey seemed to accept the existence of the Cypriot state and to distance itself from its policy of favoring the partition of the island, the goal of the Turkish and Turkish Cypriot leaders remained that of creating an independent Turkish state in the northern part of the island. In January 1950, the Church of Cyprus organised a referendum under the supervision of clerics and with no Turkish Cypriot participation, where 96% of the participating Greek Cypriots voted in favour of enosis. The Greeks were 80.2% of the total island' s population at the time (census 1946). Restricted autonomy under a constitution was proposed by the British administration but eventually rejected. In 1955 the EOKA organization was founded, seeking union with Greece through armed struggle. At the same time the Turkish Resistance Organisation (TMT), calling for Taksim, or partition, was established by the Turkish Cypriots as a counterweight. The British had also adopted at the time a policy of "divide and rule". Woodhouse, a British official in Cyprus, revealed that then British Foreign Secretary Harold Macmillan "urged the Britons in Cyprus to stir up the Turks in order to neutralize Greek agitation". British officials also tolerated the creation of the Turkish underground organisation T.M.T. The Secretary of State for the Colonies in a letter dated 15 July 1958 had advised the Governor of Cyprus not to act against T.M.T despite its illegal actions so as not to harm British relations with the Turkish government. On 16 August 1960, Cyprus attained independence after the Zürich and London Agreement between the United Kingdom, Greece and Turkey. Cyprus had a total population of 573,566; of whom 442,138 (77.1%) were Greeks, 104,320 (18.2%) Turks, and 27,108 (4.7%) others. The UK retained the two Sovereign Base Areas of Akrotiri and Dhekelia, while government posts and public offices were allocated by ethnic quotas, giving the minority Turkish Cypriots a permanent veto, 30% in parliament and administration, and granting the three mother-states guarantor rights. However, the division of power as foreseen by the constitution soon resulted in legal impasses and discontent on both sides, and nationalist militants started training again, with the military support of Greece and Turkey respectively. The Greek Cypriot leadership believed that the rights given to Turkish Cypriots under the 1960 constitution were too extensive and designed the Akritas plan, which was aimed at reforming the constitution in favor of Greek Cypriots, persuading the international community about the correctness of the changes and violently subjugating Turkish Cypriots in a few days should they not accept the plan. Tensions were heightened when Cypriot President Archbishop Makarios III called for constitutional changes, which were rejected by Turkey and opposed by Turkish Cypriots. Intercommunal violence erupted on 21 December 1963, when two Turkish Cypriots were killed at an incident involving the Greek Cypriot police. The violence resulted in the death of 364 Turkish and 174 Greek Cypriots, destruction of 109 Turkish Cypriot or mixed villages and displacement of 25,000–30,000 Turkish Cypriots. The crisis resulted in the end of the Turkish Cypriot involvement in the administration and their claiming that it had lost its legitimacy. The nature of this event is still controversial. In some areas, Greek Cypriots prevented Turkish Cypriots from traveling and entering government buildings, while some Turkish Cypriots willingly withdrew due to the calls of the Turkish Cypriot administration. Turkish Cypriots started living in enclaves; the republic's structure was changed, unilaterally, by Makarios and Nicosia was divided by the Green Line, with the deployment of UNFICYP troops. In 1964, Turkey threatened to invade Cyprus in response to the continuing Cypriot intercommunal violence, but this was stopped by a strongly worded telegram from the US President Lyndon B. Johnson on 5 June, warning that the US would not stand beside Turkey in case of a consequential Soviet invasion of Turkish territory. Meanwhile, by 1964, enosis was a Greek policy that could not be abandoned; Makarios and the Greek prime minister Georgios Papandreou agreed that enosis should be the ultimate aim and King Constantine wished Cyprus "a speedy union with the mother country". Greece dispatched 10,000 troops to Cyprus to counter a possible Turkish invasion. On 15 July 1974, the Greek military junta under Dimitrios Ioannides carried out a coup d'état in Cyprus, to unite the island with Greece. The coup ousted president Makarios III and replaced him with pro-enosis nationalist Nikos Sampson. In response to the coup, five days later, on 20 July 1974, the Turkish army invaded the island, citing a right to intervene to restore the constitutional order from the 1960 Treaty of Guarantee. This justification has been rejected by the United Nations and the international community. The Turkish air force began bombing Greek positions in Cyprus, and hundreds of paratroopers were dropped in the area between Nicosia and Kyrenia, where well-armed Turkish Cypriot enclaves had been long-established; while off the Kyrenia coast, Turkish troop ships landed 6,000 men as well as tanks, trucks and armoured vehicles. Three days later, when a ceasefire had been agreed, Turkey had landed 30,000 troops on the island and captured Kyrenia, the corridor linking Kyrenia to Nicosia, and the Turkish Cypriot quarter of Nicosia itself. The junta in Athens, and then the Sampson regime in Cyprus fell from power. In Nicosia, Glafkos Clerides assumed the presidency and constitutional order was restored, removing the pretext for the Turkish invasion. But after the peace negotiations in Geneva, the Turkish government reinforced their Kyrenia bridgehead and started a second invasion on 14 August. The invasion resulted in the seizure of Morphou, Karpass, Famagusta and the Mesaoria. International pressure led to a ceasefire, and by then 36% of the island had been taken over by the Turks and 180,000 Greek Cypriots had been evicted from their homes in the north. At the same time, around 50,000 Turkish Cypriots moved to the areas under the control of the Turkish Forces and settled in the properties of the displaced Greek Cypriots. Among a variety of sanctions against Turkey, in mid-1975 the US Congress imposed an arms embargo on Turkey for using American-supplied equipment during the Turkish invasion of Cyprus in 1974. There are 1,534 Greek Cypriots and 502 Turkish Cypriots missing as a result of the fighting. After the restoration of constitutional order and the return of Archbishop Makarios III to Cyprus in December 1974, Turkish troops remained, occupying the northeastern portion of the island. In 1983, the Turkish Cypriot leader proclaimed the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC), which is recognized only by Turkey. The events of the summer of 1974 dominate the politics on the island, as well as Greco-Turkish relations. Around 150,000 settlers from Turkey are believed to be living in the north—many of whom were forced from Turkey by the Turkish government—in violation of the Geneva Convention and various UN resolutions. The Turkish invasion, the ensuing occupation and the declaration of independence by the TRNC have been condemned by United Nations resolutions, which are reaffirmed by the Security Council every year. The last major effort to settle the Cyprus dispute was the Annan Plan in 2004, drafted by the then Secretary General, Kofi Annan. The plan was put to a referendum in both Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Cyprus. 65% of Turkish Cypriots voted in support of the plan and 74% Greek Cypriots voted against the plan, claiming that it disproportionately favored the Turkish side. In total, 66.7% of the voters rejected the Annan Plan V. On 1 May 2004 Cyprus joined the European Union, together with nine other countries. Cyprus was accepted into the EU as a whole, although the EU legislation is suspended in Northern Cyprus until a final settlement of the Cyprus problem. In July 2006, the island served as a haven for people fleeing Lebanon, due to the conflict between Israel and Hezbollah (also called "The July War"). Efforts have been made to enhance freedom of movement between the two sides. In April 2003, Northern Cyprus unilaterally eased border restrictions, permitting Cypriots to cross between the two sides for the first time in 30 years. In March 2008, a wall that had stood for decades at the boundary between the Republic of Cyprus and the UN buffer zone was demolished. The wall had cut across Ledra Street in the heart of Nicosia and was seen as a strong symbol of the island's 32-year division. On 3 April 2008, Ledra Street was reopened in the presence of Greek and Turkish Cypriot officials. North and South relaunched reunification talks on 15 May 2015. [Wikipedia]. REVIEW: Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, beauty, pleasure, and procreation. She is identified with the planet Venus; her Roman equivalent is the goddess Venus. Myrtle, roses, doves, sparrows and swans were sacred to her. In Hesiod's Theogony, Aphrodite was created from the sea foam (aphros) produced by Uranus's genitals, which had been severed by Cronus. In Homer's Iliad, however, she is the daughter of Zeus and Dione. In Plato (Symposium, 180e), these two origins are said to be of hitherto separate entities: Aphrodite Ourania (a transcendent, "Heavenly" Aphrodite) and Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite common to "all the people"). She had many other names, each emphasizing a different aspect of the same goddess, or used by a different local cult. Thus she was also known as Cytherea (Lady of Cythera) and Cypris (Lady of Cyprus), both of which claimed to be her place of birth. In Greek mythology, the other gods feared that Aphrodite's beauty might lead to conflict and war, through rivalry for her favours; so Zeus married her off to Hephaestus. Despite this, Aphrodite followed her own inclinations, and had many lovers — both gods, such as Ares, and men, such as Anchises. She played a role in the Eros and Psyche legend, and was both lover and surrogate mother of Adonis. The cult of Aphrodite in Greece was imported from, or at least influenced by, the cult of Astarte in Phoenicia, which, in turn, was derived from the cult of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, which itself was largely derived from the cult of the Sumerian goddess Inanna. Pausanias states that the first to establish a cult of Aphrodite were the Assyrians, after the Assyrians, the Paphians of Cyprus, and then the Phoenicians at Ascalon. The Phoenicians, in turn, taught her worship to the people of Cythera. An origin of or significant influence on the Greek love goddess from Near Eastern traditions was seen with some skepticism in classical 19th century scholarship. Authors such as A. Enmann attempted to portray the cult of Aphrodite as a native Greek development. Hans Georg Wunderlich attempted to connect Aphrodite with the Minoan snake goddess. This theory found some support in the fact that the Egyptian snake goddess Wadjet was associated with the city known to the Greeks as Aphroditopolis, which means "City of Aphrodite." Scholarly opinion on this question has shifted significantly since the 1980s, notably due to Walter Burkert (1984). The significant influence of the Near East on early Greek religion in general (and on the cult of Aphrodite in particular) is now widely recognized as dating to a period of orientalization during the 8th century B.C., when archaic Greece was on the fringes of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. In native Greek tradition, the planet Venus had two names: Hesperos as the evening star and Eosphoros as the morning star. The Greeks adopted the identification of the morning and the evening stars, as well as its identification as Ishtar/Aphrodite, during the 4th century B.C., along with other items of Babylonian astrology, such as the zodiac (Eudoxus of Cnidus). The ancient Greeks also identified Aphrodite with the Ancient Egyptian goddess Hathor. It has long been accepted in comparative mythology, regardless of possible oriental influences, that Aphrodite preserves some aspects of the Indo-European dawn goddess *Haéusōs (properly Greek Eos, Latin Aurora, Sanskrit Ushas). Janda (2010) etymologizes her name as "she who rises from the foam [of the ocean]" and points to Hesiod's Theogony account of Aphrodite's birth as an archaic reflex of Indo-European myth. Aphrodite rising out of the waters after Cronus defeats Uranus as a mytheme would then be directly cognate to the Rigvedic myth of Indra defeating Vrtra, liberating Ushas. By the late 5th century B.C., Platonists distinguished two separate "Aphrodites". Aphrodite Ourania, the celestial Aphrodite, born from the sea foam after Cronus castrated Uranus, was thought the older form; she also inspired homosexual male desire or, more specifically, ephebic eros. The "younger" Aphrodite Pandemos, the common Aphrodite "of all the folk", born from the union of Zeus and Dione, inspired all love for women. Among the neo-Platonists and, later, their Christian interpreters, Aphrodite Ourania is associated with spiritual love, and Aphrodite Pandemos with physical love (desire). A representation of Aphrodite Ourania with her foot resting on a tortoise came to be seen as emblematic of discretion in conjugal love; it was the subject of a chryselephantine sculpture by Phidias for Elis, known only from a parenthetical comment by the geographer Pausanias). She was also called Kypris or Cytherea after her birth-places in Cyprus and Cythera, respectively, both centers of her cult. She was associated with Hesperia and frequently accompanied by the Oreads, nymphs of the mountains. She was also often depicted with the sea, dolphins, doves, swans, pomegranates, sceptres, apples, myrtle, rose trees, lime trees, clams, scallop shells, and pearls. Her festival, Aphrodisia, was celebrated across Greece, but particularly in Athens and Corinth. At the temple of Aphrodite on the summit of Acrocorinth (before the Roman destruction of the city in 146 B.C.), intercourse with her priestesses was considered a method of worshiping Aphrodite. This temple was not rebuilt when the city was re-established under Roman rule in 44 B.C., but the fertility rituals likely continued in the main city near the agora. Pausanias records that, in Sparta, Aphrodite was worshipped as Areia, which means "warlike." This epithet stresses Aphrodite's connections to Ares, with whom she had extramarital relations. Pausanias also records that, in Sparta and on Cythera, there were extremely ancient cult statues of Aphrodite portraying her bearing arms. One aspect of the cult of Aphrodite and her precedents that Thomas Bulfinch's much-reprinted The Age of Fable; or Stories of Gods and Heroes (1855 etc.) elided was the practice of ritual prostitution in her shrines and temples. The euphemism in Greek is hierodoule, "sacred slave." The practice was an inherent part of the rituals owed to Aphrodite's Near Eastern forebears, Sumerian Inanna and Akkadian Ishtar, whose temple priestesses were the "women of Ishtar," ishtaritum. The practice has been documented in Babylon, Syria, and Palestine, in Phoenician cities and the Tyrian colony Carthage, and for Hellenic Aphrodite in Cyprus, the center of her cult, Cythera, Corinth, and in Sicily (Marcovich 1996:49); the practice however is not attested in Athens. Aphrodite was everywhere the patroness of the hetaera and courtesan. In Ionia on the coast of Asia Minor, hierodoulai served in the temple of Artemis. As one of the Twelve Olympians of the Greek pantheon and thus a major deity, worship of Aphrodite or Aphrodíti as a living goddess is one of the more prominent devotionals in Hellenismos (Hellenic Polytheistic Reconstructionism), the revival of ancient Greek religious practices in the present day. Hellenic polytheists of today celebrate their religious devotion to Aphrodite on two annual and monthly festival days. Aphrodisia is her main festival day, which is celebrated on the 4th day of Hekatombaion in the Attic calendar, falling in the months of July and August in the Gregorian calendar, depending on the year. Adonia, a joint festival of Aphrodite and her partner Adonis, is celebrated on the first full moon following the Northern spring equinox, often roughly as the same week the Christian festival of Easter is celebrated. The fourth day of each month is considered a sacred day of both Aphrodite and her son Eros. Devotional offerings to Aphrodite can include incense, fruit (particularly apples and pomegranates), flowers (particularly fragrant roses), sweet dessert wine (particularly Commandaria wine from Cyprus), and cakes made with honey. Aphrodite is usually said to have been born near her chief center of worship, Paphos, on the island of Cyprus, which is why she is sometimes called "Cyprian", especially in the poetic works of Sappho. However, other versions of her myth have her born near the island of Cythera, hence another of her names, "Cytherea". Cythera was a stopping place for trade and culture between Crete and the Peloponesus, so these stories may preserve traces of the migration of Aphrodite's cult from the Middle East to mainland Greece. According to the version of her birth recounted by Hesiod in his Theogony, Cronus severed Uranus' genitals and threw them behind him into the sea. The foam from his genitals gave rise to Aphrodite (hence her name, meaning "foam-arisen"), while the Giants, the Erinyes (furies), and the Meliae emerged from the drops of his blood. Hesiod states that the genitals "were carried over the sea a long time, and white foam arose from the immortal flesh; with it a girl grew." The girl, Aphrodite, floated ashore on a scallop shell. This iconic representation of Aphrodite as a mature "Venus rising from the sea" (Venus Anadyomene) was made famous in a much-admired painting by Apelles, now lost, but described in the Natural History of Pliny the Elder. According to the Iliad, Aphrodite was considered a daughter of Zeus and Dione, the mother goddess whose oracle was at Dodona. Aphrodite is consistently portrayed as a nubile, infinitely desirable adult, having had no childhood. She is often depicted nude. In many of the later myths, she is portrayed as vain, ill-tempered, and easily offended. Although she is married—she is one of the few gods in the Greek Pantheon who is—she is frequently unfaithful to her husband. According to one version of Aphrodite's story, because of her immense beauty Zeus fears that the other gods will become violent with each other in their rivalry to possess her. To forestall this, he forces her to marry Hephaestus, the dour, humorless god of smithing. In another version of the story, his mother, Hera casts him off Olympus, deeming him too ugly and deformed to inhabit the home of the gods. His revenge is to trap his mother in a magic throne. In return for her release, he demands to be given Aphrodite's hand in marriage. Hephaestus is overjoyed to be married to the goddess of beauty, and forges her beautiful jewelry, including the cestus, a girdle (more properly a strophion, an undergarment which accentuated the breast that makes her even more irresistible to men. Her unhappiness with her marriage causes Aphrodite to seek other male companionship, most often Ares, but also sometimes Adonis. Aphrodite's husband Hephaestus is one of the most even-tempered of the Hellenic deities, but in the Odyssey, she is portrayed as preferring Ares, the volatile god of war, because she is attracted to his violent nature. Aphrodite is a major figure in the Trojan War legend. She is a contestant in the "Judgement of Paris", which leads to the war. She had been the lover of the Trojan Anchises, and mother of his son Aeneas. Later, during the war, she saves Aeneas from Diomedes, who wounds her. The most prominent lover of Aphrodite is Adonis. He is the child of Myrrha, cursed by Aphrodite with insatiable lust for her own father, King Cinyras of Cyprus, after Myrrha's mother bragged that her daughter was more beautiful than the goddess. Driven out after becoming pregnant, Myrrha is changed into a myrrh tree, but still gives birth to Adonis. Aphrodite finds the baby, and takes him to the underworld to be fostered by Persephone. She returns for him when he is grown and strikingly handsome, but Persephone wants to keep him. Zeus decrees that Adonis will spend a third of the year with Aphrodite, a third with Persephone, and a third with whomever he wishes. Adonis chooses Aphrodite, and they are constantly together. Adonis, who loves hunting, is wounded by a wild boar, and bleeds to death. Aphrodite can only mourn over his body. She causes anemones to grow wherever his blood fell, and decrees a festival on the anniversary of his death. The shade of Adonis is received in the underworld by Persephone. Aphrodite wants to return him to life. Consequently, she and Persephone bicker. Zeus intervenes again, decreeing that Adonis will spend six months with Aphrodite and six months with Persephone. The gods are all invited to the marriage of Peleus and Thetis (the eventual parents of Achilles), except Eris, goddess of discord. In revenge, Eris makes a golden Apple of Discord inscribed kallistēi ("to the fairest one"), which she throws among the goddesses. Aphrodite, Hera, and Athena all claim it. Zeus delegates the choice to a mortal, Paris. The goddesses offer him bribes. Hera offers him supreme power and Athena offers him wisdom, fame, and glory in battle. Aphrodite offers him Helen of Troy, the most beautiful mortal woman in the world, as a wife. As the goddess of desire, she causes Paris to become inflamed with desire for Helen at first sight, and he awards the Apple of Discord to her. Helen is already married to King Menelaus of Sparta. The other two goddesses are enraged by this, and through Helen's abduction by Paris, they bring about the Trojan War. In one version of the legend of Hippolytus, Aphrodite is the cause of his death. He scorned the worship of Aphrodite, preferring Artemis. Aphrodite caused his stepmother, Phaedra, to fall in love with him, knowing Hippolytus would reject her. This led to Phaedra's suicide, and the death of Hippolytus. Glaucus of Corinth angered Aphrodite. During the chariot race at the funeral games of King Pelias, she drove his horses mad and they tore him apart. Polyphonte was a young woman who chose virginal life with Artemis instead of marriage and children, as favoured by Aphrodite. Aphrodite cursed her, causing her to have children by a bear. The resulting offspring, Agrius and Oreius, were wild cannibals who incurred the hatred of Zeus. Ultimately the whole family were transformed into birds of ill omen. [Wikipedia]. REVIEW: Ishtar was the Mesopotamian goddess of love, beauty, sex, desire, fertility, war, combat, and political power, the East Semitic (Akkadian, Assyrian, and Babylonian) counterpart to the Sumerian Inanna, and a cognate of the Northwest Semitic goddess Astarte and the Armenian goddess Astghik. Ishtar was an important deity in Mesopotamian religion from around 3500 B.C., until its gradual decline between the 1st and 5th centuries CE with the spread of Christianity. Ishtar's primary symbols were the lion and the eight-pointed star of Ishtar. She was associated with the planet Venus and subsumed many important aspects of her character and her cult from the earlier Sumerian goddess Inanna. Ishtar's most famous myth is the story of her descent into the underworld, which is largely based on an older, more elaborate Sumerian version involving Inanna. In the standard Akkadian version of the Epic of Gilgamesh, Ishtar is portrayed as a spoiled and hot-headed femme fatale who demands Gilgamesh to become her consort. When he refuses, she unleashes the Bull of Heaven, resulting in the death of Enkidu. This stands in sharp contrast with Inanna's radically different portrayal in the earlier Sumerian epic of Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld. Ishtar also appears in the Hittite creation myth and in the Neo-Assyrian Birth Legend of Sargon. Although various publications have claimed that Ishtar's name is the root behind the modern English word Easter, this has been rejected by reputable scholars, and such etymologies are not listed in standard reference works. Ishtar is a Semitic name of uncertain etymology, possibly derived from a Semitic term meaning "to irrigate". George A. Barton, an early scholar on the subject, suggests that the name stems from "irrigating ditch" and "that which is irrigated by water alone", therefore meaning "she who waters", or "is watered" or "the self-waterer".Regardless of which interpretation is correct, the name seems to derive from irrigation and agricultural fertility. The name Ishtar occurs as an element in personal names from both the pre-Sargonic and post-Sargonic eras in Akkad, Assyria, and Babylonia. A few scholars believe that Ishtar may have originated as a female form of the god Attar, who is mentioned in inscriptions from Ugarit and southern Arabia. The morning star may have been conceived as a male deity who presided over the arts of war and the evening star may have been conceived as a female deity who presided over the arts of love. Among the Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians, the name of the male god eventually supplanted the name of his female counterpart, but, due to extensive syncretism with the Sumerian goddess Inanna, the deity remained as female, despite the fact that her name was in the masculine form. The Akkadian poetess Enheduanna, the daughter of Sargon, wrote numerous hymns to the Sumerian goddess Inanna in which she identified her with her native goddess Ishtar. This helped to cement the syncretism between the two. Ishtar was believed to be the daughter of Anu, the god of the sky. Although she was widely venerated, she was particularly worshipped in the Upper Mesopotamian kingdom of Assyria (modern northern Iraq, north east Syria and south east Turkey), particularly at the cities of Nineveh, Ashur and Arbela (modern Erbil), and also in the south Mesopotamian city of Uruk. Ishtar was closely associated with lions and with the eight-pointed star, which were her most common symbols. In the Babylonian pantheon, she "was the divine personification of the planet Venus." The cult of Ishtar may have involved sacred prostitution, though this is debatable. Felix Guirand refers to her holy city Uruk as the "town of the sacred courtesans" and to Ishtar herself as the "courtesan of the gods." Androgynous and hermaphroditic men were heavily involved in the cult of Ishtar. Kurgarrū and assinnu were servants of Ishtar who dressed in female clothing and performed war dances in Ishtar's temples; they also may have engaged in homosexual intercourse. Gwendolyn Leick, an anthropologist known for her writings on Mesopotamia, has compared these individuals to the contemporary Indian hijra. In one Akkadian hymn, Ishtar is described as transforming men into women. During the reign of the Assyrian king Assurbanipal, Ishtar rose to became the most important and widely venerated deity in the Assyrian pantheon, surpassing even the Assyrian national god Ashur. During the Akkadian Period, Ishtar was often depicted as a heavily armed warrior goddess, frequently accompanied by lions, which were among the many symbols Ishtar adopted from the Sumerian goddess Inanna. In Mesopotamian iconography, the most common symbol of Ishtar is an eight-pointed star, though the exact number of points sometimes varies. Six-pointed stars also occur frequently, but their symbolic meaning is unknown. The eight-pointed star was originally associated with Inanna and seems to have originally borne a general association with the heavens, but, by the Old Babylonian Period, it had come to be specifically associated with the planet Venus, with which Ishtar was identified. Starting during this same period, the star of Ishtar was normally enclosed within a circular disc. During later times, slaves who worked in Ishtar's temples were sometimes branded with the seal of the eight-pointed star. On boundary stones and cylinder seals, the eight-pointed star is sometimes shown alongside the crescent moon, which was the symbol of Sin, god of the Moon, and the rayed solar disk, which was a symbol of Shamash, the god of the Sun. The rosette was another important symbol of Ishtar which had originally belonged to Inanna. During the Neo-Assyrian Period, the rosette may have actually eclipsed the eight-pointed star and become Ishtar's primary symbol. The temple of Ishtar in the city of Aššur was adorned with numerous rosettes. Ishtar had many lovers; Guirand writes: "Woe to him whom Ishtar had honoured! The fickle goddess treated her passing lovers cruelly, and the unhappy wretches usually paid dearly for the favours heaped on them. Animals, enslaved by love, lost their native vigour: they fell into traps laid by men or were domesticated by them. 'Thou has loved the lion, mighty in strength', says the hero Gilgamesh to Ishtar, 'and thou hast dug for him seven and seven pits! Thou hast loved the steed, proud in battle, and destined him for the halter, the goad and the whip.'" Even for the gods Ishtar's love was fatal. In her youth the goddess had loved Tammuz, god of the harvest, and—if one is to believe Gilgamesh —this love caused the death of Tammuz." Ishtar's most famous myth is the story of her descent into the Underworld, which is based on an older Sumerian version involving the goddess Inanna. The Sumerian version of the story is nearly three times the length of the later Akkadian version and contains much greater detail. The Akkadian version begins with Ishtar approaching the gates of the Underworld and demanding the gatekeeper to let her in: "If thou openest not the gate to let me enter; I will break the door, I will wrench the lock; I will smash the door-posts, I will force the doors; I will bring up the dead to eat the living, and the dead will outnumber the living." In the Akkadian version, the gatekeeper's name is not given, but in the Sumerian version, his name is Neti. The gatekeeper hurries to tell Ereshkigal, the Queen of the Underworld. Ereshkigal orders the gatekeeper to let Ishtar enter, but tells him to "treat her according to the ancient rites." The gatekeeper lets Ishtar into the underworld, opening one gate at a time. At each gate, Ishtar is forced to shed one article of clothing. When she finally passes the seventh gate, she is naked. In a rage, Ishtar throws herself at Ereshkigal, but Ereshkigal orders her servant Namtar to imprison Ishtar and unleash sixty diseases against her. After Ishtar descends to the underworld, all sexual activity ceases on earth. The god Papsukkal, the Akkadian counterpart to the Sumerian goddess Ninshubur, reports the situation to Ea, the god of wisdom and culture. Ea creates an intersex being called Asu-shu-namir and sends them to Ereshkigal, telling them to invoke "the name of the great gods" against her and to ask for the bag containing the waters of life. Ereshkigal becomes enraged when she hears Asu-shu-namir's demand, but she is forced to give them the water of life. Asu-shu-namir sprinkles Ishtar with this water, reviving her. Then, Ishtar passes back through the seven gates, receiving one article of clothing back at each gate, and exiting the final gate fully clothed. Here there is a break in the text of the myth, which resumes with the following lines: "If she (Ishtar) will not grant thee her release, To Tammuz, the lover of her youth, Pour out pure waters, pour out fine oil; With a festival garment deck him that he may play on the flute of lapis lazuli, That the votaries may cheer his liver. [his spirit] Belili [sister of Tammuz] had gathered the treasure, With precious stones filled her bosom. When Belili heard the lament of her brother, she dropped her treasure, She scattered the precious stones before her, "Oh, my only brother, do not let me perish! On the day when Tammuz plays for me on the flute of lapis lazuli, playing it for me with the porphyry ring. Together with him, play ye for me, ye weepers and lamenting women! That the dead may rise up and inhale the incense." Formerly, scholars believed that the myth of Ishtar's descent took place after the death of Ishtar's lover Tammuz and that Ishtar had gone to the underworld to rescue him. However, the discovery of a corresponding myth about Inanna, the Sumerian counterpart of Ishtar, has shed some light on the myth of Ishtar's descent, including its somewhat enigmatic ending lines. In the Sumerian version of the story, Inanna can only return from the Underworld if someone else is taken there as her replacement. A horde of galla demons follow her out of the Underworld to ensure this. However, each time Inanna runs into someone, she finds him to be a friend and lets him go free. When she finally reaches her home, she finds her husband Dumuzid, the Sumerian equivalent of Tammuz, seated on his throne, not at all grieved by her death. In anger, Inanna allows the demons to take Dumuzid back to the underworld as her replacement. Dumuzid's sister Geshtinanna is grief-stricken and volunteers to spend half the year in the underworld, during which time Dumuzid can go free. The Ishtar myth presumably had a comparable ending, Belili being the Babylonian equivalent of Geshtinanna. The Epic of Gilgamesh contains an episode involving Ishtar, in which she is portrayed as a femme fatale, who is simultaneously petulant, bad-tempered, and spoiled. She asks the hero Gilgamesh to marry her, but he refuses, citing the fate that has befallen all her many lovers: "Listen to me while I tell the tale of your lovers. There was Tammuz, the lover of your youth, for him you decreed wailing, year after year. You loved the many-coloured Lilac-breasted Roller, but still you struck and broke his wing. You have loved the lion tremendous in strength: seven pits you dug for him, and seven. You have loved the stallion magnificent in battle, and for him you decreed the whip and spur and a thong [...] You have loved the shepherd of the flock; he made meal-cake for you day after day, he killed kids for your sake. You struck and turned him into a wolf; now his own herd-boys chase him away, his own hounds worry his flanks." Infuriated by Gilgamesh's refusal, Ishtar goes to heaven and tells her father Anu that Gilgamesh has insulted her. Anu asks her why she is complaining to him instead of confronting Gilgamesh herself. Ishtar demands that Anu give her the Bull of Heaven and swears that if he does not give it to her, she will, in her own words: "...break in the doors of hell and smash the bolts; there will be confusion [i.e., mixing] of people, those above with those from the lower depths. I shall bring up the dead to eat food like the living; and the hosts of the dead will outnumber the living." Anu gives Ishtar the Bull of Heaven, and Ishtar sends it to attack Gilgamesh and his friend Enkidu. Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill the Bull and offer its heart to the Assyro-Babylonian sun-god Shamash. While Gilgamesh and Enkidu are resting, Ishtar stands up on the walls of Uruk and curses Gilgamesh. Enkidu tears off the Bull's right thigh and throws it in Ishtar's face, saying, "If I could lay my hands on you, it is this I should do to you, and lash your entrails to your side." (Enkidu later dies for this impiety.) Ishtar calls together "the crimped courtesans, prostitutes and harlots" and orders them to mourn for the Bull of Heaven. Meanwhile, Gilgamesh holds a celebration over the Bull of Heaven's defeat. Later in the epic, Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh the story of the Great Flood, which was sent by the god Enlil to annihilate all life on earth because the humans, who were vastly overpopulated, made too much noise and prevented him from sleeping. Utnapishtim tells how, when the flood came, Ishtar wept and mourned over the destruction of humanity, alongside the Anunnaki. Later, after the flood subsides, Utnapishtim makes an offering to the gods. Ishtar appears to Utnapishtim wearing a lapis lazuli necklace with beads shaped like flies and tells him that Enlil never discussed the flood with any of the other gods. She swears him that she will never allow Enlil to cause another flood and declares her lapis lazuli necklace a sign of her oath. Ishtar invites all the gods except for Enlil to gather around the offering and enjoy. Ishtar briefly appears in the Hittite Creation myth as the sister of the Hittite storm god Teshub. In the myth, Ishtar attempts to seduce the monster Ullikummi, but fails because the monster is both blind and deaf and is unable to see or hear her. In a pseudepigraphical Neo-Assyrian text written in the seventh century B.C., but which claims to be the autobiography of Sargon of Akkad, Ishtar is claimed to have appeared to Sargon "surrounded by a cloud of doves" while he was working as a gardener for Akki, the drawer of the water. Ishtar then proclaimed Sargon her lover and allowed him to become the ruler of Sumer and Akkad. As Ishtar became more prominent, several lesser or regional deities were assimilated into her, including Aja (eastern mountain dawn goddess), Anatu (a goddess, possibly Ishtar's mother), Anunitu (Akkadian light goddess), Agasayam (war goddess), Irnini (goddess of cedar forests in the Lebanese mountains), Kilili or Kulili (symbol of the desirable woman), Sahirtu (messenger of lovers), Kir-gu-lu (bringer of rain), and Sarbanda (power of sovereignty). The cult of Ishtar gave rise to the later cult of the Phoenician goddess Astarte, which, in turn, gave rise to the cult of the Greek goddess Aphrodite. The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis is likely derived from the myth of Ishtar and Tammuz. Joseph Campbell, a scholar of comparative mythology from the late twentieth century, equates Ishtar, Inanna, and Aphrodite; he also draws a parallel between the legend of Ishtar and Tammuz and the Egyptian story of the goddess Isis and her son Horus. Modern scholars are not alone in associating Ishtar with Aphrodite. Writing in the fifth century B.C., the Greek historian Herodotus reports that the oldest temple to Aphrodite Ourania in the world was located in the city of Ascalon, Syria. In his Description of Greece, the ancient Greek travel writer Pausanias, who lived during the second century CE, affirms Herodotus's report, claiming that the first people to worship Aphrodite Ourania were the "Assyrians." The Romans also identified Ishtar with their goddess Venus. Cicero, in his treatise On the Nature of the Gods, equates Astarte, the later Phoenician version of Ishtar, with Venus. The later writer Hyginus recounts an otherwise unattested tradition regarding the birth of Venus, demonstrating the syncretism between her and Ishtar: "Into the Euphrates River an egg of wonderful size is said to have fallen, which the fish rolled to the bank. Doves sat on it, and when it was heated, it hatched out Venus, who was later called the Syrian goddess. Since she excelled the rest in justice and uprightness, by a favour granted by Jove, the fish were put among the number of the stars, and because of this the Syrians do not eat fish or doves, considering them as gods." In his book The Two Babylons, the nineteenth-century pseudohistorian Alexander Hislop attempted to connect the name Ishtar with the word Easter. Mainstream scholars have refuted all of Hislop's major claims. The name Easter is, in fact, most likely derived from the name of Ēostre, a Germanic goddess whose Germanic month bears her name (Northumbrian: Ēosturmōnaþ; West Saxon: Ēastermōnaþ; Old High German: Ôstarmânoth ). She is solely attested by Bede in his 8th-century work The Reckoning of Time, where Bede states that during Ēosturmōnaþ (the equivalent of April), pagan Anglo-Saxons had held feasts in Ēostre's honor, but that this tradition had died out by his time, replaced by the Christian Paschal month, a celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Ēostre may be a reflex of the Proto-Indo-European dawn goddess *Haéusōs. Although the names Ishtar and Ēostre are similar, they are etymologically unrelated; the name Ēostre is derived from the Proto-Indo-European root *aus-, meaning "dawn." The word for Easter in most European languages is usually some variant of the Greek word Pascha, meaning "Passover." [Wikipedia]./ REVIEW: Ancient Greek goddess of love, beauty, and desire, Aphrodite (Roman name: Venus) could entice both gods and men into illicit affairs with her good looks and whispered sweet nothings. In mythology the goddess was born when Cronos castrated his father Uranus and cast the genitalia into the sea from where Aphrodite appeared amidst the resulting foam (aphros). Believed to have been born close to Cyprus, she was worshipped in Paphos on the island (a geographic location which hints at her eastern origins as a fertility goddess and possible evolution from the Phoenician goddess Astarte). Compelled by her mother Hera to marry Hephaistos, she was less than faithful, having notorious affairs with Ares, Hermes, and Dionysos. She was the mother of Eros, Harmonia (with Ares), and the Trojan hero Aeneas (with Anchises). The goddess had a large retinue of lesser deities such as Hebe (goddess of youth), the Hours, Dike, Eirene, Themis, the Graces, Aglaia, Euphrosyne, Theleia, Eunomia, Daidia, Eudaimonia, and Himeros. In mythology Aphrodite is cited as partly responsible for the Trojan War. At the wedding of Peleus and Thetis, Eris (goddess of strife) offered a golden apple for the most beautiful goddess. Hera, Athena, and Aphrodite vied for the honour, and Zeus appointed the Trojan prince Paris as judge. To influence his decision, Athena promised him strength and invincibility, Hera offered the regions of Asia and Europe, and Aphrodite offered the most beautiful woman in the world. Paris chose Aphrodite and so won fair Helen of Sparta. However, as she was already the wife of Menelaos, Paris’s abduction of Helen provoked the Spartan king to enlist the assistance of his brother Agamemnon and send an expedition to Troy to take back Helen. Hesiod describes the goddess as ‘quick-glancing’, ‘foam-born’, ‘smile-loving’, and most often as ‘golden Aphrodite’. Similarly, in Homer’s description of the Trojan War in the Iliad, she is described as ‘golden’ and ‘smiling’ and supports the Trojans in the war, in notable episodes, protecting Aeneas from Diomedes and saving the hapless Paris from the wrath of Menelaos. The birth of Aphrodite from the sea (perhaps most famously depicted on the throne base of the great statue of Zeus at Olympia) and the judgment of Paris were popular subjects in ancient Greek art. The goddess is often identified with one or more of the following: a mirror, an apple, a myrtle wreath, a sacred bird or dove, a sceptre, and a flower. On occasion, she is also depicted riding a swan or goose. She is usually clothed in Archaic and Classical art and wears an elaborately embroidered band across her chest which held her magic powers of love, desire, and seductive allurement. It is only later (from the 4th century B.C.) that she is depicted naked or semi-naked. [Ancient History Encyclopedia]. REVIEW: Love is a Battlefield: The Legend of Ishtar, First Goddess of Love and War. As singer Pat Benatar once noted, love is a battlefield. Such use of military words to express intimate, affectionate emotions is likely related to love’s capacity to bruise and confuse. So it was with the world’s first goddess of love and war, Ishtar, and her lover Tammuz. In ancient Mesopotamia - roughly corresponding to modern Iraq, parts of Iran, Syria, Kuwait and Turkey - love was a powerful force, capable of upending earthly order and producing sharp changes in status. From Aphrodite to Wonder Woman, we continue to be fascinated by powerful female protagonists, an interest that can be traced back to our earliest written records. Ishtar (the word comes from the Akkadian language; she was known as Inanna in Sumerian) was the first deity for which we have written evidence. She was closely related to romantic love, but also familial love, the loving bonds between communities, and sexual love. She was also a warrior deity with a potent capacity for vengeance, as her lover would find out. These seemingly opposing personalities have raised scholarly eyebrows both ancient and modern. Ishtar is a love deity who is terrifying on the battlefield. Her beauty is the subject of love poetry, and her rage likened to a destructive storm. But in her capacity to shape destinies and fortunes, they are two sides of the same coin. The earliest poems to Ishtar were written by Enheduanna — the world’s first individually identified author. Enheduanna (circa 2300 B.C.) is generally considered to have been an historical figure living in Ur, one of the world’s oldest urban centres . She was a priestess to the moon god and the daughter of Sargon of Akkad (“Sargon the Great”), the first ruler to unite northern and southern Mesopotamia and found the powerful Akkadian empire. The sources for Enheduanna’s life and career are historical, literary and archaeological: she commissioned an alabaster relief, the Disk of Enheduanna, which is inscribed with her dedication. In her poetry, Enheduanna reveals the diversity of Ishtar, including her superlative capacity for armed conflict and her ability to bring about abrupt changes in status and fortune. This ability was well suited to a goddess of love and war — both areas where swift reversals can take place, utterly changing the state of play. On the battlefield, the goddess’s ability to fix fates ensured victory. In love magic, Ishtar’s power could alter romantic fortunes. In ancient love charms, her influence was invoked to win, or indeed, capture, the heart (and other body parts) of a desired lover. Ishtar is described (by herself in love poems, and by others) as a beautiful, young woman. Her lover, Tammuz, compliments her on the beauty of her eyes, a seemingly timeless form of flattery, with a literary history stretching back to around 2100 B.C. Ishtar and Tammuz are the protagonists of one of the world’s first love stories. In love poetry telling of their courtship, the two have a very affectionate relationship. But like many great love stories, their union ends tragically. The most famous account of this myth is Ishtar’s Descent to the Underworld, author unknown. This ancient narrative, surviving in Sumerian and Akkadian versions (both written in cuneiform ), was only deciphered in the 19th Century. It begins with Ishtar’s decision to visit the realm of her sister, Ereshkigal, Queen of the Underworld. Ostensibly, she is visiting her sister to mourn the death of her brother-in-law, possibly the Bull of Heaven who appears in the Epic of Gilgamesh . But the other gods in the story view the move as an attempt at a hostile takeover. Ishtar was known for being extremely ambitious; in another myth she storms the heavens and stages a divine coup. Any questions over Ishtar’s motives are settled by the description of her preparation for her journey. She carefully applies make-up and jewellery, and wraps herself in beautiful clothing. Ishtar is frequently described applying cosmetics and enhancing her appearance before undertaking battle, or before meeting a lover. Much as a male warrior may put on a breast plate before a fight, Ishtar lines her eyes with mascara. She’s the original power-dresser: her enrichment of her beauty and her choice of clothes accentuate her potency. Next, in a humorous scene brimming with irony, the goddess instructs her faithful handmaiden, Ninshubur, on how to behave if Ishtar becomes trapped in the netherworld. First, Ninshubur must clothe herself in correct mourning attire, such as sackcloth, and create a dishevelled appearance. Then, she must go to the temples of the great gods and ask for help to rescue her mistress. Ishtar’s instructions that her handmaiden dress in appropriately sombre mourning-wear are a stark contrast to her own flashy attire. But when Ereshkigal learns that Ishtar is dressed so well, she realises she has come to conquer the underworld. So she devises a plan to literally strip Ishtar of her power. Once arriving at Ereshkigal’s home, Ishtar descends through the seven gates of the underworld. At each gate she is instructed to remove an item of clothing. When she arrives before her sister, Ishtar is naked, and Ereshkigal kills her at once. Her death has terrible consequences, involving the cessation of all earthly sexual intimacy and fertility. So on the advice of Ishtar’s handmaiden, Ea - the god of wisdom - facilitates a plot to revive Ishtar and return her to the upper world. His plot succeeds, but there is an ancient Mesopotamian saying: "No one comes back from the underworld unmarked." Once a space had been created in the underworld, it was thought that it couldn’t be left empty. Ishtar is instructed to ascend with a band of demons to the upper world, and find her own replacement. In the world above, Ishtar sees Tammuz dressed regally and relaxing on a throne, apparently unaffected by her death. Enraged, she instructs the demons to take him away with them. Ishtar’s role in her husband’s demise has earned her a reputation as being somewhat fickle. But this assessment does not capture the complexity of the goddess’s role. Ishtar is portrayed in the myth of her Descent and elsewhere as capable of intense faithfulness: rather than being fickle, her role in her husband’s death shows her vengeful nature. Women and vengeance proved a popular combination in the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, where powerful women such as Electra, Clytemnestra and Medea brought terrible consequences on those who they perceived as having wronged them. This theme has continued to fascinate audiences to the present day. The concept is encapsulated by the line, often misattributed to Shakespeare, from William Congreve’s The Mourning Bride: "Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned." Before she sees her husband relaxing after her death, Ishtar first encounters her handmaiden Ninshubur, and her two sons. One son is described as the goddess’s manicurist and hairdresser, and the other is a warrior. All three are spared by the goddess due to their faithful service and their overt expressions of grief over Ishtar’s death — they are each described lying in the dust, dressed in rags. The diligent behaviour of Ishtar’s attendants is juxtaposed against the actions of Tammuz, a damning contrast that demonstrates his lack of appropriate mourning behaviour. Loyalty is the main criteria Ishtar uses to choose who will replace her in the underworld. This hardly makes her faithless. Ishtar’s pursuit of revenge in ancient myths is an extension of her close connection to the dispensation of justice, and the maintenance of universal order. Love and war are both forces with the potential to create chaos and confusion, and the deity associated with them needed to be able to restore order as well as to disrupt it. Still, love in Mesopotamia could survive death. Even for Tammuz, love was salvation and protection: the faithful love of his sister, Geshtinanna, allowed for his eventual return from the underworld. Love, as they say, never dies — but in the rare cases where it might momentarily expire, it’s best to mourn appropriately. Ishtar was one of the most popular deities of the Mesopotamian pantheon, yet in the modern day she has slipped into almost total anonymity. Ishtar’s legacy is most clearly seen through her influence on later cultural archetypes, with her image contributing to the development of the most famous love goddess of them all, Aphrodite. Ishtar turns up in science fiction, notably as a beautiful yet self-destructive stripper in Neil Gaiman’s comic The Sandman: Brief Lives . Gaiman’s exceptional command of Mesopotamian myth suggests the “stripping” of Ishtar may involve a wink to the ancient narrative tradition of her Descent. She is not directly referenced in the 1987 film that carries her name (received poorly but now something of a cult classic), although the lead female character Shirra, shows some similarities to the goddess. The Descent of Inanna into the Underworld: A 5,500-Year-Old Literary Masterpiece. The Ishtar Gate and the Deities of Babylon. The Sumerian Seven: The Top-Ranking Gods in the Sumerian Pantheon. In the graphic novel tradition, Aphrodite is credited with shaping the image of Wonder Woman, and Aphrodite’s own image was influenced by Ishtar. This connection may partially explain the intriguing similarities between Ishtar and the modern superhero: both figures are represented as warriors who grace the battlefield wearing bracelets and a tiara, brandishing a rope weapon, and demonstrating love, loyalty and a fierce commitment to justice. There are intriguing similarities between Ishtar and Wonder Woman. Ishtar, like other love goddesses, has been linked to in ancient sexual and fertility rituals , although the evidence for this is up for debate, and frequently overshadows the deity’s many other fascinating qualities. Exploring the image of the world’s first goddess provides an insight into Mesopotamian culture, and the enduring power of love through the ages. In the modern day, love is said to conquer all , and in the ancient world, Ishtar did just that. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: Aphrodite is the Greek goddess of love, sex, and beauty. In one of the most famous images of the goddess, we see her emerge from the sea, a reference to her origin story. In this older of the two stories of Aphrodite’s birth, she emerges from the sea a grown woman. Her father is Uranos, the god of the sky, and she has no mother. This story takes place two generations before Zeus, when Uranos reigned with his wife Gaia, the goddess of the earth. Uranos hated his children and hid them in the depths of the earth, until Gaia, loathing her husband, devised a plan with her son Cronus. She equipped her son with a sickle and, when Uranos next came to sleep with Gaia, Cronus chopped off his genitals. The severed parts fell into the ocean and sea foam enveloped them. From this foam emerged the goddess Aphrodite. This story was handed down to us by Hesiod, one of the earliest Greek poets. He explains that Aphrodite’s name comes from the Greek word aphros, meaning “foam,” which could refer to the sea foam or to Uranos’ semen. This myth is etiological, with Aphrodite’s birth from foam explaining the origin of her name. This is a poetic invention, however, and the true etymology of Aphrodite’s name remains unknown. In his story, Hesiod has Aphrodite float past Cytherea and emerge at Cyprus. In Ancient Greece, both of these cities had huge cults to Aphrodite. In fact, the temple of Aphrodite at Cyprus is as old as the 12th century BC, long before Hesiod lived. Just as he used a Greek word to explain the mystery of Aphrodite’s name, Hesiod here uses geographical details to explain why she was worshipped in these two cities. In Aphrodite’s second birth story, she is a daughter of Zeus. Zeus is the grandson of Uranos and the son of Cronus. Like Cronus, Zeus overthrew his father to become ruler of heaven. In this story, Aphrodite’s mother is a goddess called Dione, about whom little else is known. It is notable that the name Dione is a feminized form of the Zeus’ alternate epithet, Dios. The Greek poet Homer, a contemporary of Hesiod, subscribed to this second myth of Aphrodite’s origin and she appears in his epic poems the Iliad and the Odyssey. This Aphrodite was later absorbed into the Roman pantheon as the goddess Venus. In this role she is credited with founding Rome through her mortal son, Aeneas. She also features as the cruel mother-in-law in Apuleius’ romantic epic Cupid and Psyche, and she has important roles in many other myths. Because of Aphrodite’s dichotomous origin stories, there is some confusion about her among Greek and Roman writers. In Plato’s Symposium, the characters discuss the differences between Aphrodite Urania, meaning “Heavenly Aphrodite,” and Aphrodite Pandemos or “Common Aphrodite.” Heavenly Aphrodite is the daughter or Uranos. She inspires the love between two men and the love of learning and wisdom. Men who are under the spell of Common Aphrodite, however, have no preference between loving women or men. Interested in the body and not the soul, their love is base and uninspired. This interpretation, however, is unique to Plato. In Athens, where Aphrodite was worshiped with the title “Pandemos,” she was not thought to preside over base love, but rather her quality of being common meant that she was involved in civic matters. Although these myths surrounding Aphrodite are Greek, Aphrodite is not a Greek creation, but more of an acquisition. She is a version of the goddess Ashtart, also called Astarte, Ishtar, Isis, and a number of other variants, when she appears in different places around the Mediterranean and throughout the Middle East. As a goddess, Astarte held dominion not only over love, but also heaven and war. Aphrodite’s function was narrowed down to the goddess of love, although she is occasionally depicted with weapons or married to Ares, the Greek god of war, which is evidence of her bellicose beginnings. Aphrodite resulted from a syncretism, or merging, between a Greek deity and this goddess of many names from the east. The myth of Aphrodite and Adonis supports this version of her history. In this tragic romantic tale, Aphrodite falls in love with a mortal named Adonis, but he is killed by a boar’s tusk while hunting. Shakespeare wrote a version of this story and so did the Roman poet Ovid in the first century AD, but its roots are much older than these two writers. In ancient Mesopotamia, the goddess was called Inanna and her mortal lover was Dumuzi. Just as the goddess’ name varies by region, Dumuzi has his other epithet “Adonis.” This name has Semitic roots, and it is the same as the invocation “oh my lord,” or adonai in Hebrew. This tragic love story between the great goddess and the ill-fated mortal man appears in many cultures throughout the Middle East, and attests to Aphrodite’s origins outside of Greece. The Greeks had two contradicting birth myths for Aphrodite, their goddess of love. Hesiod tried to explain her name and places of worship when writing her origin story, while Homer took up the version that made her subordinate to the greatest god, Zeus. Through study of religion in other ancient cultures, we see that both stories were attempts by Greek poets to ingratiate a foreign goddess into their existing belief structure. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: The Ancient Ruins of Salamis, the Once Thriving Port City of Cyprus. Ancient cities can be a window into the past of human society. It is difficult to imagine a thriving city during different times, without the advantages and conveniences of modern technology, but such cities did exist. Even without today’s infrastructure and technology, large cities were built with sophisticated planning, and sustained flourishing societies and growing populations. In many instances, a city located near a major body of water made a great port, and could benefit from imports and ships arriving from all around the world. One such city was Salamis, located on the island of Cyprus. Salamis was a large city in ancient times. It served many dominant groups over the course of its history, including Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, and Romans. According to Homeric legend, Salamis was founded by archer Teucer from the Trojan War. Although long abandoned, the city of Salamis serves as a reminder of the great cities that existed in antiquity, and an indicator of how far we have come in the past few centuries. Salamis was believed to have been the capital of Cyprus as far back as 1100 B.C. Located on the eastern side of the island of Cyprus, it was considered a very important port city. Ships arrived from all over the world, making it a major hub of activity. At one point during the Roman period Salamis was the largest city on Cyprus, stretching 2 kilometers (1 mile) down the shore, and 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) inland. In Homeric legend, the founder of Salamis, Teucer, was the son of King Telamon and his wife Hesione, who was the daughter of King Laomedon of Troy. This lineage made Teucer the cousin of the legendary Hector and Paris of Troy, but Teucer fought against all of them, as he was an opponent of Troy in the Trojan War. It is said Teucer fought in the War as an archer, but his shots at Hector were deflected by Apollo. At one point Hector threw a large rock at Teucer, injuring him. While his injury prevented him from fighting for a time, he was said to be one of the individuals who invaded Troy in the Trojan horse. Teucer’s half-brother, Ajax committed suicide, for which King Telamon disowned Teucer, leading him to flee to Cyprus, where he founded Salamis. Some say that the legendary tale of Teucer coincides with occupation of Cyprus by the Sea People. The city of Salamis has a rich past. It was recorded as founded by inhabitants of Cyprus known as Enkomi around 1100 B.C. In 525 B.C., Persians took control of the city. The city was destroyed during the Jewish revolt in 115 A.D., during which time an estimated 250,000 Greeks were killed. Destruction of the city also occurred as a result of many earthquakes in the area, with cumulative damage over time. Ultimately, the city of Salamis was rebuilt by Christian emperor Constantius II, who reigned from 337-361 AD. The city was ultimately destroyed after the Arab invasions under the control of Muʿāwiyah in 648 A.D., after which the city was permanently abandoned. Salamis is also believed to have been the first stop on Paul the Apostle’s first journey. Keys to discovering the mysteries of the ancient city of Salamis have been discovered over time. Gold coins were found within the city, giving researchers a glimpse into the city’s important wealth during ancient times. The coins are believed to be from 411 – 374 B.C. and they bear the name “Evagoras.” The city also contains large, arched tombs, dating back to the 7th and 8th century, B.C. As with any culture, the tombs give a glimpse into the social hierarchy of the ancient residents of the city. Royalty was not buried within the tombs, as they were reserved for nobles. The tombs were constructed from large ashlars (fine cut masonry) and mud brick. When one was buried, the horse and chariot from the procession would be sacrificed in front of the tomb. The sacrifice of a horse in this method was a common ritual for funerals. Tombs also included grave good such as weapons and jewelry. Rock-cut tombs in other locations were used for commoners. As the individuals in society were classified into their roles during life, so they maintained those roles in death. Salamis also contains a massive outdoor theater, which would have sat up to 15,000 people over 50 rows of seating. Around the buildings buried marble statues have been excavated. They are damaged, and with heads missing, as the statues were destroyed as Christianity took hold. The Theater of Salamis was built at the beginning of the 1st century A.D. and destroyed by the earthquakes of the mid-4th century. The auditorium was erected above a podium built of limestone monoliths. Whether Salamis was founded by the legendary Teucer, or by the local Enkomi, Salamis today survives only as an ancient abandoned city which, if ruins could talk, would have a million tales to tell. Perhaps with further studies we can get a better idea of how inhabitants of Salamis lived, and what other Homeric rites they may have performed. For now, we can listen to the legends and tales and simply try to imagine what a sight it must have been when Salamis was a thriving port city on the island of Cyprus. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: 3,500-Year-Old Tomb with Remains of 17 Elites and Precious Artifacts Found in Cyprus. Excavations in a Bronze Age city on Cyprus have revealed an industrious people whose community was burned twice in attacks, possibly during the upheaval caused by the Sea Peoples. The most recent discovery by Swedish archaeologists is of a tomb from years before the attacks in which they found remains of 17 high-status people buried with rich grave goods. The offerings, from around the Mediterranean, include gold jewelry, pearls, scarabs and beautiful pottery. The tomb dates to about 1500 BC, at the end of the Late Bronze Age, and contains the bodies of nine adults and eight children. The items buried with the bodies were probably from Greece, Anatolia (Turkey), Mesopotamia and Egypt. Religious markings on the vessels show they were important symbolic offerings. The tomb is in the harbor town of Hala Sultan Tekke. Lead archaeologist Peter Fischer’s website and his e-mails to Ancient Origins reveal a fascinating place that was occupied from at least the Bronze Age forward. "Around 1200 BC—about 300 years after this tomb was being used—the city was twice destroyed by fire, possibly caused by attacks", Dr. Fischer said. Finds at the city have included an artificially deformed skull and many rich, interesting artifacts. They have found gold, silver and other types of jewelry, numerous stone tools and many other important objects around the ancient city. The newly found tomb is large, measuring 3 by 4 meters (10 by 13 feet) and is the most elaborate and luxurious known from the late Bronze Age on Cyprus. The skeletons were scattered, apparently to make way for new bodies, Dr. Fischer said in e-mail. Nearby is an offering pit. There were no bodies in it, but the pit contains artifacts that the researchers think were meant to honor deceased ancestors. Dr. Fischer and his team of Swedish archaeologists expect the discovery will shed even more light on the early history of Cyprus. Dr. Fischer specializes in Cypriot and Near Eastern archaeology. "It appears Bronze Age peoples occupied Hala Sultan Tekke in three phases, the two most recent of which were destroyed by fires", Dr. Fischer said. Some of the town’s buildings are constructed of massive stone. Dr. Fischer told Ancient Origins that it appears the town was burned both times in attacks by hostile forces. Archaeologists have found many sling bullets that they believe may have been used during the attacks. They also unearthed a defensive wall at the city. Excavations have turned up clay sling bullets, possibly used in an attack that destroyed the town. “There are a number of Cypriot sites which were destroyed at the end of the Late Bronze Age,” Dr. Fischer said in e-mail.”This … is also known as the ‘Crisis Years’ and often connected with the phenomenon called ‘the Sea Peoples,’ but there is no consensus about the importance and effect of south-eastward migration around 1200 B.C. The archaeologists found evidence of textile manufacturing—spinning and weaving and. They found a basin in which cloth apparently was dyed, and crushed murex shells from which the ancient people probably extracted dye. They also found evidence of local pottery-making and metalworking. There was mining of copper at another place on Cyprus, but not at Hala Sultan Tekke, he said. Dr. Fischer wrote in e-mail: "The island was very much depending on export. As regards Hala Sultan Tekke, refining of copper ore, the production of bronze objects together with purple-dyed textiles (maybe the most precious single group of items at that time, i.e. the Late Bronze Age), and the export of Cypriot pottery [were] the economic backbone of the [city]. Cypriot pottery was extremely popular in the Mediterranean and beyond. You can find it from southern Egypt over Mesopotamia, Anatolia, the Greek mainland and islands, Italy and further west. Today, Cypriot pottery is used to establish synchronisation of various cultures, for instance, a certain Cypriot vessel type is found in Italy, the same in Egypt etc. which means one can establish a synchronisation of cultures." In 2014 the team discovered a skeleton that had an artificially deformed skull. The discovery, in a well, was not associated with the tomb and offering pit discovered this year. “The artificial deformation of skulls became a fashion, especially during the Late Bronze Age,” Dr. Fischer wrote. “There were various types of deformations. However, not only in Cyprus but also, for instance, in Egypt. However, in the tomb from 2016 there is no evidence of artificial skull deformation. But remember, the skeletons were scattered.” Apparently it wasn’t all hard work making textiles and pottery, metal-smithing, and fiery tragedy at the city. They had music, too. Dr. Fischer’s site states: "One of the finds from R30 is a complete very large violin bow fibula of bronze. It has been argued that this early type of fibulae is concentrated on the southern and eastern coast of Cyprus. It seems therefore that this object was mainly in use at urban sites connected to the sea trade. This observation supports the assumption that the fibula arrived in Cyprus through contacts with the Aegean and the western Mediterranean, or even central Europe. Dr. Fischer’s website has many interesting articles, photos, drawings of artifacts and maps of the city and links to his scholarly articles. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: Archaeologists have unearthed a unique 4,000 year-old cosmetics workshop at the Pyrgos-Mavroraki archaeological site in Limassol, Cyprus. It is the first time that evidence has been found of cosmetics produced for commercial use dating back to the Bronze Age. The discovery was described as “a complete surprise”. Archaeologists unearthed 70 stone palettes used to mix ingredients, 50 pestles and ochre nuggets in the ruins of a building, which also contained an inner court. "In the same room a rare workshop for trinket jewellery made of picrolite and shell, including 37 different pieces of picrolite and 58 shells was identified," said University of Cyprus archaeology professor Demetris Michaelides. All previous discoveries of cosmetics both in Cyprus and elsewhere have been for personal use. "This is a unique discovery as in Egypt, palettes were found but they were linked to tombs and were therefore evidence that they were cosmetics for personal use," said Maria Rosaria Begiorno, , head of the Italian archaeological mission. "At Pyrgos the palettes for cosmetics were linked to a workshop which means the cosmetics were produced for sale and not for personal use.“ The excavations also revealed that cosmetics weren’t the only luxurious goods that were manufactured and sold there. Evidence was also found for the production of prestigious products such as perfumes, medicines, bronzes, textiles and wine. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: Discovery Reveals Cyprus was part of Neolithic Revolution. Artifacts found at an archaeological site in Cyprus suggest that humans occupied the Mediterranean island about 1,000 years earlier than previously believed. The implication is that Cyprus was part of the Neolithic revolution that saw the growth in agriculture and domestication of animals. Archaeologists from the University of Toronto, Cornell University and the University of Cyprus were excavating at the Ayia Varvara-Asprokremnos site, which was first discovered in the 1990s, when they uncovered a complete human figurine dated to between 8800-8600 B.C. – the earliest ever found on the island. This period in history was when the Neolithic Period was beginning and hunter-gatherer groups were beginning to make settlements and start farming activities. However, until now Cyprus was thought to have been permanently settled much later than the Middle East and mainland areas surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. Now it seems that settlers may have crossed the water from what are now northern Syria, Turkey and Lebanon. "With these discoveries we really are getting a clearer picture of how much was going on Cyprus," said Sally Stewart, a research fellow at University of Toronto's Archaeology Centre and Department of Anthropology. "We can no longer think of it as being on the fringe of what was happening across the region at the time." Archaeologists also uncovered stone tools, one with significant traces of red ochre, which provides evidence of the production of stone instruments and the processing of ochre. "This tells us that Cyprus was very much a part of the Neolithic revolution that saw significant growth in agriculture and the domestication of animals," says Sally Stewart, a research fellow at University of Toronto's Archaeology Centre and Department of Anthropology. "With farming came a surplus of wealth, in both food and time. People now had the time to specialize in other roles such as manufacturing, and they had the time to spend making figurative art." The results of the study have filled an important gap in Cypriot history. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: A mosaic floor dating back to the 4th century AD has been unearthed in Cyprus. It illustrates scenes from chariot races in the hippodrome. Previously, another team working on the island found a mosaic showing scenes from the labors of Hercules. That mosaic is two centuries older than the one that was just excavated. Together, these mosaics provide a fascinating glimpse into the interests of ancient Romans that once lived on the Mediterranean island. The chariot race mosaic was discovered in Akaki village, 19 miles (30.58 km) from the capital city of Cyprus – Nicosia. The mosaic’s existence had been known since 1938 when farmers discovered a small piece of the floor. However, it took 80 years until researchers decided to unearth the whole thing. This magnificent find made the village world famous. The mosaic is the only one of its kind in Cyprus and one of just seven in the world. According to the Daily Mail, the floor is 11 meters (36 feet) long and 4 meters (13 feet) wide. It probably belonged to a nobleman who lived there during the Roman domination on Cyprus. The mosaic is stunningly detailed, decorated with complete race scenes of four charioteers, each being drawn by a team of four horses. The researchers believe that the mosaic shows different factions that competed in ancient Rome. They say that the hippodrome was a very meaningful place in ancient Roman times and it was a center for many events. It was not only a place for sports competitions, but also where the emperor appeared in front of the people and projected his power. The name “hippodrome” comes from the Greek words hippos ('horse') and dromos ('course'). It was sort of an open-air stadium, used in ancient Greece, Rome, and Byzantine civilizations. The hippodrome was used for many different purposes, but the most spectacular ones were the chariot and horse races. Inscriptions are seen near the four charioteers depicted in the mosaic which are believed to be their names and the name of one of the horses as well. Three cones can also be seen along the circular arena. According to Daily Mail, each one of them is “topped with egg-shaped objects, and three columns seen in the distance hold up dolphin figures with what appears like water flowing from them.” As Marina Ieronymidou, the director of the Department of Antiquities told journalists during a press conference: “It is an extremely important finding, because of the technique and because of the theme. It is unique in Cyprus since the presence of this mosaic floor in a remote inland area provides important new information on that period in Cyprus and adds to our knowledge of the use of mosaic floors on the island." The floor reveals some information about the interests of the upper classes during the 4th century AD. It sheds light on the ancient past of the island's interior and shows that the Roman nobles still cultivated Roman cultural traditions in the 4th century. In July 2016, a team of researchers working in the coastal city of Larnaca in Cyprus discovered a 2nd century floor showing the labors of Hercules. It is 20 meters (65 ft.) long and seems to be a part of some ancient baths. It depicts Hercules performing his feats of strength as penance for killing his wife and children in a rage. Larnaca was an ancient city state of Kition, and it was destroyed by earthquakes in the 4th century AD. Cyprus was a very attractive place for the nobles during the Roman Empire’s domination of the Mediterranean. Arguably, the most fascinating site on Cyprus is the ancient city of Salamis, which was settled circa 11th century BC. The motif of the chariot also appeared in tombs that were discovered there, showing a continued interest in chariot-related traditions. As April Holloway from Ancient Origins explained in her article from April 6, 2015: “Salamis was a large city in ancient times. It served many dominant groups over the course of its history, including Assyrians, Egyptians, Persians, and Romans. According to Homeric legend, Salamis was founded by archer Teucer from the Trojan War. The city contains large, arched tombs, dating back to the 7th and 8th century, B.C." "As with any culture, the tombs give a glimpse into the social hierarchy of the ancient residents of the city. Royalty was not buried within the tombs, as they were reserved for nobles. The tombs were constructed from large ashlars (fine cut masonry) and mud brick. When one was buried, the horse and chariot from the procession would be sacrificed in front of the tomb. The sacrifice of a horse in this method was a common ritual for funerals. Tombs also included grave good such as weapons and jewelry.” These discoveries help show how the Roman nobility’s interests transformed over the ages. While some motifs remained popular over the years, others were introduced or altered to reflect current practices. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: Details on the 2,400-year-old tomb belonging to a rich family that was excavated in Soloi (Soli), Northern Cyprus from 2005-2006 are being unveiled. Jewelry, weapons, human remains, figurines, and symposium vessels were awaiting the archaeologists that found the tomb and the early analysis of these artifacts is providing a glimpse into the social structure and trade practices of ancient Soloi. The tomb complex consists of three burial chambers, one of which was looted. The others contained the aforementioned artifacts. Of these objects, one of the most impressive is a golden wreath in the shape of an ivy plant, complete with details such as berries. These goods led the archaeologists to make the claim that the tomb belonged to an aristocratic family. In one of the chambers the remains of a man, woman, and young girl were found. There were also a woman and young girl present in another chamber. The looted chamber did not contain any human remains. The archaeologist who studied the Soloi tomb complex, Hazar Kaba, told Live Science that: "A DNA project is running on the bones to identify the degree of kinship between the deceased." Kaba also asserted that the artifacts further suggest that there was trade between Soloi and Athens 2,400 years ago: "This tomb complex surely proves that Soloi was in direct relationship with Athens, who was the naval power of the period. Soloi was supplying Athens with its rich timber and copper sources, and in return, was obtaining luxurious goods such as symposium vessels.” Kaba also believes that there were Athenian artists living in Soloi at the time who influenced the craftsmanship of the Soloi citizens. However, the Athenian artists were not the only ones who had an impact on Soloi. The archaeologist said that the golden wreath is similar to those placed in the tombs of wealthy Macedonians. Furthermore, the symposium vessels and some of the jewelry appear comparable to the styles used in the contemporary Achaemenid Empire. Some of the symposium vessels also may have been from Ionia and Macedonia. This accumulation of imported high-class objects further supports the idea that the family was part of the elite class in Soloi. Soloi was one of the most important cities in Cyprus and was first populated by Mycenaean settlers in the late Bronze Age. It was probably chosen as a good site for a city as the location was rich in copper, water, and had good quality soil. Soloi was prosperous for many years and did especially well throughout the Classical, Hellenistic, Roman, and Early Christian periods. Within the city, ruins have been found of a temple of Athena, a Hellenistic palace, a Nymphaeum, an Early Christian Basilica, and a Roman theater. All of these support the claim of a wealthy class of the ancient Soloi society as well. These ruins are also a draw for many tourists to visit Soloi today. Kaba is currently publishing four articles on the analysis of the tomb complex and the artifacts (which continue to be conserved) that were contained within. Many of the artifacts from the 2005 excavation have already been put on display at the Guzelyurt Museum of Archaeology & Natural History in Cyprus. [Ancient Origins]. REVIEW: Archaeologists at Akaki, about 20 miles from the Cypriot capital of Nicosia, have uncovered a rare mosaic depicting a horse-racing venue known as a hippodrome. The work, one of fewer than 10 extant ancient mosaics on the subject in the world, was likely part of a lavish villa from the fourth century A.D., when the Romans controlled Cyprus. The villa site so far measures more than 36 feet long and 13 feet wide, though it may well be much larger. Although horse races were some of the most important spectacles staged by the emperor, they are an especially unusual artistic subject in the eastern Mediterranean. Notably, above each four-wheeled chariot are inscribed two names, which Cyprus Department of Antiquities archaeologist Fryni Hadjichristofi believes belong to the charioteer and one of the horses. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: The Famagusta Gazette reports that a team of researchers from the University of Cyprus has unearthed an ancient rampart with two staircases and watchtowers at the ancient city of Paphos. The sixth-century B.C. rampart was found on the plateau of Hadjiabdoulla, where a palace and storage and industrial facilities were in use until the end of the fourth century B.C. Traces of olives, grapes, and wheat have been found in the complex. Additional samples have been taken for micro-morphological studies and the possible identification of additional crops. The team also found a thick layer of crushed murex shells on the floor of one of the storage rooms. Team leader Maria Iacovou noted that this is the first time that archaeological evidence for the production of the highly valued purple dye from murex shells has been found in Cyprus. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Traces of two large public buildings have been found in Nea Paphos, an ancient city founded in Cyprus at the end of the fourth century B.C. “One of them was probably a temple, the other probably served as a warehouse. Both were very well built,” Ewdoksia Papuci-Wladyka of Jagiellonian University told Science & Scholarship in Poland. The buildings are in the city’s agora, or central gathering place. An ancient well was found at its eastern entrance. “When the well was no longer in use, it served as the trash: it was mainly filled with broken vessels and kitchenware. Inside we also found fragments of statues and coins,” she said. The vessels, many decorated with red, glossy surface slips, date to the Hellenistic period. “They testify to the wealth of the residents of Paphos.” [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Polish archaeologists working at the site of Nea Paphos in Cyprus have discovered a 1,500-year-old amulet containing an inscription that reads the same backwards as forwards, making it a palindrome. Livescience reports that on one side of the amulet are crude carvings depicting the Egyptian god Osiris lying on a boat, as well as Harpocrates, the Greek god of silence. On the reverse, a 59-letter inscription reads "[a god] is the bearer of the secret name, the lion of Re secure in his shrine." Amulets depicting gods were long used as good-luck talismans in the ancient world, but at the time this one was made, Cyprus was part of the Eastern Roman Empire and Christianity was the official religion. Both the iconography and inscription show that people persisted in practicing traditional religions into the Christian era and that Christianity overlapped with pagan beliefs for some time. But the amulet also demonstrates that familiarity with traditional beliefs may have been fading by the time it was made. For instance, while the artisan who made the amulet correctly depicted Osiris as mummified, they also chose to show Harpocrates covered with bandages, which is incorrect. This suggests the artisan may not have fully understood the religious iconography being depicted. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: More than 20 round buildings dating to as early as the ninth century B.C. have been unearthed at a village site near the southern coast of Cyprus. The Associated Press reports that the walls of the buildings were made of earth and wooden poles, and many of the buildings had plastered floors. Most also had fireplaces. The structures had been placed around a larger, circular building thought to have served as a communal space. The excavation team, led by Francois Briois of France’s School for Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences and Jean-Denis Vigne of France’s National Center for Scientific Research-National Museum of Natural History, also unearthed stone tools and vessels, shell beads and pendants, a millstone, the remains of domesticated dogs and cats, and bones of hunted boar and birds. The scientists also found evidence that the village inhabitants cultivated emmer wheat. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Six limestone sculptures--four lions and two sphinxes--were discovered during maintenance and restoration work on one of two sixth-century B.C. royal tombs at Tamassos, 12 miles south of Nicosia, Cyprus. Found intact, the sphinxes are depicted sitting with their wings unfolded. The lions, also sitting, are shown with their teeth bared and tongues protruding. Two of the lions are life-size and complete; two are more than life-size, but one is missing an ear and the other was found in three pieces. The sphinxes are identical in shape and style to contemporary Egyptian ones, but their facial details are similar to those of Greek Archaic period (sixth century B.C.) statues. They were probably carved on Cyprus by local sculptors in the mid-sixth century B.C.; the island was under Egyptian control from 565 to 545 B.C. The sculptures will be displayed at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia after traces of original red and blue paint on the sphinxes are treated to preserve them. Tamassos was the capital of one of 11 ancient kingdoms on Cyprus that were abolished at the end of the fourth century B.C. and replaced by a unified administrative system. The first excavations at the site were conducted between 1889 and 1894 by the German archaeologist Max Ohnefalsch Richter and resulted in the discovery of the two limestone-block royal tombs (built in the form of gabled wooden houses), sanctuaries dedicated to Apollo and the Mother of the Gods, and nearly 50 rock-cut tombs that yielded a great quantity of pottery, jewelry, and other finds. In the 1970s the German Archaeological Institute and the University of Giessen, under the direction of Hans-Günter Buchholz, excavated the remains of a temple of Aphrodite, houses, and copper workshops. Tamassos was well known in antiquity as a major center of copper production. The Cyprus Department of Antiquities has begun excavations at the royal burials to determine the relationship between the sculptures and the tombs. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: The AFP reports that a Roman-period mosaic thought to depict the 12 labors of Hercules has been discovered by sewerage workers in an area that was once part of the Roman city of Kition. So far, a section of the mosaic measuring 62 feet long and 23 feet wide has been uncovered. “The intention is to transfer it to a museum, to build a specific room [where it will be displayed]… because this is the best way to protect it,” said Transport Minister Marios Demetriades. [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: Archaeologists are getting a new look at how the other half lived in Classical-era Cyprus thanks to artifacts unearthed at a 2,400-year-old necropolis on the island’s northern coast. Discovered during construction of a pipeline, the tombs were near the ancient city of Soloi, a leading supplier of copper and timber for the Athenian navy. The remains of three adults and two young girls were found in two unlooted chambers. The grave goods that accompany them suggest that the Athenian trade was prosperous. “This was a rich aristocratic family,” says Ankara University archaeologist Hazar Kaba, who analyzed the artifacts. “Even the children were adorned with elaborate funerary jewelry.” Many objects discovered in the tombs, including a delicate gold wreath shaped like an ivy plant, and 16 bronze and silver vessels, were from Greece. A figurine depicting Aphrodite and her son Eros was made locally but in the Athenian style, suggesting to Kaba that artisans from Athens may have been living in Soloi. Other artifacts came from Anatolia to the north and the Achaemenid Empire to the east. “While the majority of the goods used by these aristocrats were imported from Greece, it was exciting to see that a large amount of Cypriot and Eastern goods were also present,” says Kaba. “All this evidence points to a way of living that was combining Greek, Cypriot, and Eastern customs and culture together.” [Archaeological Institute of America]. REVIEW: An excavation in Cyprus’ ancient harbor town of Hala Sultan Tekke has uncovered a late Bronze Age tomb and an associated pit filled with precious artifacts imported from Mesopotamia, Greece, Egypt, and Anatolia. Led by Peter Fischer of the University of Gothenburg, the excavators from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition recovered the remains of eight infants and nine adults who may have been family members. The researchers think the pit may have served as a way to present objects, such as a diadem, pearls, earrings, gold scarabs, and pottery decorated with religious symbols, to the deceased without reopening the tomb. “In the late Bronze age period in Cyprus, people tended to be buried inside their houses rather than in cemeteries. No cemeteries from the period have been found so far, so this could be quite an exciting find in that respect,” Fischer said in an International Business Times report. [Archaeological Institute of America]. I always ship books Media Mail in a padded mailer. This book is shipped FOR FREE via USPS INSURED media mail (“book rate”). All domestic shipments and most international shipments will include free USPS Delivery Confirmation (you might be able to update the status of your shipment on-line at the USPS Web Site) and free insurance coverage. A small percentage of international shipments may require an additional fee for tracking and/or delivery confirmation. If you are concerned about a little wear and tear to the book in transit, I would suggest a boxed shipment - it is an extra $1.00. Whether via padded mailer or box, we will give discounts for multiple purchases. International orders are welcome, but shipping costs are substantially higher. Most international orders cost an additional $12.99 to $33.99 for an insuredshipment in a heavily padded mailer, and typically includes some form of rudimentary tracking and/or delivery confirmation (though for some countries, this is only available at additional cost). This book does barely fit into a flat rate envelope, but with NO padding, it will be highly susceptible to damage. We strongly recommend first class airmail, which although more expensive, would allow us to properly protect the book. There is a discount program which can cut postage costs by 50% to 75% if you’re buying about half-a-dozen books or more (5 kilos+). Rates and available services vary a bit from country to country. You can email or message me for a shipping cost quote, but I assure you they are as reasonable as USPS rates allow, and if it turns out the rate is too high for your pocketbook, we will cancel the sale at your request. ADDITIONAL PURCHASES do receive a VERY LARGE discount, typically about $5 per book (for each additional book after the first) so as to reward you for the economies of combined shipping/insurance costs. Your purchase will ordinarily be shipped within 48 hours of payment. We package as well as anyone in the business, with lots of protective padding and containers. All of our shipments are sent via insured mail so as to comply with PayPal requirements. We do NOT recommend uninsured shipments, and expressly disclaim any responsibility for the loss of an uninsured shipment. Unfortunately the contents of parcels are easily “lost” or misdelivered by postal employees – even in the USA. That’s why all of our domestic shipments (and most international) shipments include a USPS delivery confirmation tag; or are trackable or traceable, and all shipments (international and domestic) are insured. We do offer U.S. Postal Service Priority Mail, Registered Mail, and Express Mail for both international and domestic shipments, as well United Parcel Service (UPS) and Federal Express (Fed-Ex). Please ask for a rate quotation. We will accept whatever payment method you are most comfortable with. If upon receipt of the item you are disappointed for any reason whatever, I offer a no questions asked return policy. Send it back, I will give you a complete refund of the purchase price (less our original shipping costs). Most of the items I offer come from the collection of a family friend who was active in the field of Archaeology for over forty years. However many of the items also come from purchases I make in Eastern Europe, India, and from the Levant (Eastern Mediterranean/Near East) from various institutions and dealers. Though I have always had an interest in archaeology, my own academic background was in sociology and cultural anthropology. After my retirement however, I found myself drawn to archaeology as well. Aside from my own personal collection, I have made extensive and frequent additions of my own via purchases on Ebay (of course), as well as many purchases from both dealers and institutions throughout the world - but especially in the Near East and in Eastern Europe. I spend over half of my year out of the United States, and have spent much of my life either in India or Eastern Europe. In fact much of what we generate on Yahoo, Amazon and Ebay goes to support The Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, as well as some other worthy institutions in Europe connected with Anthropology and Archaeology. I acquire some small but interesting collections overseas from time-to-time, and have as well some duplicate items within my own collection which I occasionally decide to part with. Though I have a collection of ancient coins numbering in the tens of thousands, my primary interest is in ancient jewelry. My wife also is an active participant in the "business" of antique and ancient jewelry, and is from Russia. I would be happy to provide you with a certificate/guarantee of authenticity for any item you purchase from me. There is a $2 fee for mailing under separate cover. Whenever I am overseas I have made arrangements for purchases to be shipped out via domestic mail. If I am in the field, you may have to wait for a week or two for a COA to arrive via international air mail. But you can be sure your purchase will arrive properly packaged and promptly - even if I am absent. And when I am in a remote field location with merely a notebook computer, at times I am not able to access my email for a day or two, so be patient, I will always respond to every email. Please see our "ADDITIONAL TERMS OF SALE." TRANSLATE Arabic Chinese French German Greek Indonesian Italian Hindi Japanese Korean Swedish Portuguese Russian Spanish Condition: NEW (albeit slightly "shopworn"). See detailed condition description below., Material: Paper, Title: From Ishtar to Aphrodite, Provenance: Ancient Cyprus

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