The ruins of this ancient city-kingdom are located on the banks of the Pedieos River, on the borders of the village of Politiko, about 20 kilometres southwest of Nicosia. Today, the villages of Psimolofou, Episkopio, Pera Orinis, Politico, Kampia, Analyontas and Kapedes occupie the site of the ancient city.
There’s strangely no information on the island regarding the city’s establishment, and later role as an important trade city. But an Assyrian inscription from around 673 B.C. names it as Tamesi, a city-state which paid tribute to the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
Due to the proximity of copper mines, it is thought that the city is Temese, a principal copper market in Cyprus that is mentioned by Homer in the Odyssey.
Archaeological expeditions have unearthed the temple of Aphrodite that, together with an altar made of rough limestone, as well as various vessels, incense burners and lamps, show that a cult that worshipped the ancient Greek goddess was flourishing in the area. Archaeologists also unearthed two majestic royal tombs and various smaller ones.
Part of the city’s fortifications and copper-processing installations can also be seen at the site, whilst excavations have also brought to light copper workshops associated with Aphrodite – Astarte, and six oversized limestone statues dating back to the 6th century BC, when Cyprus was under Egyptian rule. The statues are currently exhibited at the Archaeological Museum in Nicosia.
The sanctuary and the altar are thought to have been built during the Cypro – Archaic II period (600 – 475 BC). Evidence suggests the site was destroyed twice, first in the beginning of the 5th century, and again in the 4th century BC. It was rebuilt during the Hellenistic period. Terracotta and stone statuettes of pigeons (the bird sacred to Aphrodite) have also been uncovered.
Operating Hours: September 16 – April 15, Monday – Friday: 08:30 – 16:00
April 16 – September 15, Monday – Friday: 09:30 – 17:00
Closed on weekends.
Operating Period: All year round.
Closed on Public Holidays.
Entrance Fee: €2,50
For organised groups consisting of more than 10 persons there is a 20% reduction on the entry fees.
Disabled Access: Wheelchair accessible.
Opening and closing times as well as entrance fees, are subject to alterations without notice. Visitors are advised to check before visiting.