- Listed in Museums
- near Episkopi, Lemesos
Monday - Sunday: 08.15 - 17.15
Summer hours (16/4 - 15/9)
Monday - Sunday: 8.15 - 19.45
Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates: Daily as above
The hill of Kourion, on which the acropolis of the ancient city-kingdom developed, occupies a dominant position on the coast 4 km southwest of the village of Episkopi in the Lemesos district. The earliest evidence of settlement in the broader area of Kourion dates to the Neolithic period (5500-3900 B.C.), whilst the most ancient remains in the general area of the ancient city are associated with settlements and tombs of the Middle and Late Bronze Age. According to tradition Kourion was founded by Argives in the 12th century B.C. This foundation myth may be associated with the decline of the Mycenean world and the consequent influx of Aegean populations to the East.
Systematic excavations were undertaken in 1933 by the Pennsylvania University Museum, and continued, with a break during the war years, until 1954. In 1974-1979 the American Mission of the Dumbarton Oaks Center for Byzantine Studies carried out excavations in the Early Christian Basilica of Kourion. From 1975 until 1998 the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus excavated the Agora, the House of Gladiators, the Small Basilica next to the Stadium and the Coastal Basilica. The Department of Antiquities also focuses on the management, preservation and promotion of the archaeological site of Kourion, through the application of concrete strategies aiming at securing its sustainability and development.