The Cyprus Museum, the island's largest and best arcaheological Museum occupying a late 19th century Neo-Classical building is where we spent part of the morning. We followed the chronological arrangement in which the Museum has arranged the artefacts, having started with displays of the oldest traces of mankind's presence on the island.
Room 1 displayed objects from Khirokitia, primitive human and animal figures in andesite, limestone idols, early ceramics both without decoration and or with simple geometric patterns. We then moved onto the second room with clay bowls and vessels decorated with figurines of animals.
Room three housed a collection of ceramics up to Roman times including Mycenaean vases dating from the 15th century B.C as well as a collection of several thousand terracotta figurines depicting smiling Gods, whilst Room 4 housed a collection of terracotta votive figurines found in the Agis Eirini sanctuary in the Northern part of the island and room five a stone head of Aphrodite and the famous marble statue of Arphrodite of Soloi dating from the first century AD.
Many of the artefacts might not have been thoroughly admired had it not been for the precious explanations provided by Michel. So we made our way amidst the various pieces of artistry with a hundred thousand years of history with contemplative eyes.
We learned that the red polished pottery which was predominant in the Early Bronze Age is said to have been replaced by the white painted hand-made ware of the Middle Bronze Age, whilst the red-on-black, appeared in the second half of that period. The wide variety of any of those was quite impressive and in no way similar to any of the ones I had seen in previous Museums displaying ware.
Attributed to the period of floruit the dedicatory figures from the Sanctuary of Ayia Irini in Northwest Cyprus date to the 6th and 7th centuries B.C. A larger number of these figurines portray warriors and war-chariots, demon-servants of the God and snake representations symbolising fertility and the underworld.
Limestone head of youth - Neo-Cypriot style 550-500 B.C. (left).
Head of limestone votive statue of bearded figure - 500-530 B.C.
Limestone statuette of a male - 6th century B.C. (right)
Limestone votive statuette of musician - 560-550 B.C
Limestone torso of male votary holding a ram - 500-480 B.C.
Unique Arcahic sculpture from Tamassos.
Head of a female votary - 500-450 B.C.
Marble head of Aphrodite.
Double sided limestone stelle depicting Bacchus.
(To be continued)