The prominent figure of Alexander the Great is revealed at the Sovereign Base Areas in Limassol!

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Alexander the Great was an undeniably prominent figure that stigmatized both the Greek and the world history, as the king of the ancient, Macedonian kingdom. The expansive strategy of the Great Alexander, established him as one of the greatest generals of all time. Thus its connection with Limassol, as it has been recently discovered, could only be considered as a great historical fact.

A few years ago, the Department of Antiquities under the guidance of Dr. Eleni Prokopiou, Archaeological Officer A’, found out an important discovery, which revealed the remains of 2 early Byzantine temples, in Akrotiri area, at the site called “Katalymata ton Plakoton”. However, the most impressive finding from the excavation came up with the discovery of a marble bust on a tablecloth, featuring characteristics that refer to the figure of Alexander the Great, which seems to be a personification of the Byzantine emperor Heraklius.

Heraklius is presented through the excavations as a "new" Alexander, who, according to a legend, returns to rescue his empire and free the Eastern Provinces from the Persians. The marble bust and the 2 basilicas belongs to a monumental ecclesiastical that it is assumed to relate to the migration of refugees during the Persian raids. At the same time the complex, estimated to have been erected between 616 and 619 AD, seems to be linked with the philanthropic works of the region by St. John of Amathus, who is also called "Merciful".

The representation of the Byzantine emperor as the Great Alexander in Limassol and the connection of the ecclesiastical complex with the works of Saint John the Merciful, are among the most important historical features of Katalymata ton Plakoton, which are located at the Sovereign Base Areas in Akrotiri. The specific place is part of an important set of archaeological sites that extend across the Akrotiri Peninsula.

The site Katalymata ton Plakoton was located in 1954 AD by the, then, British director of the Department of Antiquities, so he could advise on the establishment of the British Bases in Limassol.

Source of information: Procopiou Eleni, «The Excavations at Akrotiri-Katalymata ton Plakoton 2007-2014», in  Sabbine Rogge (ed.), International Conference, Cyprus in Medieval Times, A Place of Cultural Encounter, Munster 6-8/12/2012, 185-218

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