Elephants and hippos used to live at Limassol's Akrotiri!

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Akrotiri peninsula is still today an undiscovered treasure. Apart from the priceless natural beauties and the important habitats, it has a history, of which we only know the peak so far, and it still is impressive.

The peninsula on the west side of Limassol host the most ancient traces of life and human activity on the island. At Aetokremmos area of Akrotiri, bones of the pygmy hippopotamus and elephant of Cyprus were found. These animals are dated 12,000 years B.C. and the findings suggest that they used to be a prey for the hunters of that era in Cyprus.

It is estimated that pygmy elephants and hippopotamuses moved in the island from neighboring areas (such as Asia Minor), seeking shelter during the ice age. Pygmy hippos were also found in other Mediterranean areas, such as Crete, Malta and Sicily. Pygmy elephants would only grow up to 1,5 meter, while pygmy hippos were just 0,75 cm.

The long history of Akrotiri area still holds a lot of secrets, which may be unraveled after some years, with the implementation of the ongoing excavations. Bones of the pygmy hippopotamus and even more historical information are available at the Akrotiri Environmental Education Center.

Header picture: Tsiridion Foundation

From the show case at the Akrotiri Environmental Education Center.

* NOTE: The tributes of the Project "History of Limassol" present information that has emerged from historical research thus far. Any new data is embedded into the tributes, once it has been confirmed.