AN inscription has been found by archeologists conducting excavations in the Lower City of Amathus that provides new information about Cypriot society in the Ptolemaic period, a statement from the Antiquities Department said yesterday.
The inscription was found on the floor of the interior doorway connecting two rooms and is as old as 3rd century BC. Although it is quite worn, it consists of 12 verses and is one of the longest texts from the Hellenistic period discovered in Cyprus. This inscription with arithmetic in Greek may refer to land portions given by the Ptolemaic General. It appears that it was laid in the floor in secondary use. Once the inscription is studied further, it is expected to provide more information about that period.
Another noteworthy find was a large gold cross that must have belonged to a high ranking official of the early Byzantine period (7th century AD). It was discovered in the complex of rooms with few fragments of paintings on the walls, and a lot of coins were found on the floor in the same room with the cross. The official may have resided in the room or in the entire complex.
Apart from the above, the movable finds also consisted of plaster interior architectural fragments with plant and geometrical motifs, vessels, lamps, copper objects, Hathoric capital and a pithos jar found in the southeastern corner of a room on the main avenue leading from the Amathus West Gate to the Agora. Also an almost life-size head depicting Alexander the Great was found in the room with inner arch, but its features were almost worn away.
The dig lasted six weeks and this was the last season of the second series of excavations carried out by the Department of Antiquities in the Lower City of Amathus. Overall conclusions will be published in separate volumes in the near future. Following the necessary conservation work, the excavated remains will be open to the public.