Saturday, November 24, 2007

Biblical Tombs

One thing about the Cypriot landscape is it looks as though it has changed little over the centuries if not millennia. Geographically the island is more Middle-Eastern than Greek. There are areas where it looks just as it was in Biblical times. We went on a little tour and visited these (now empty) tombs near Agia Napa on the south-eastern corner of the island. A notice board says they are ancient Egyptian. They remind me of how the sepulchre must have looked where Christ was interred after the Crucifixion. They certainly fit the description.

There are steps carved out of the rock leading down to the entrance. The flat slab of stone would have been used to seal the entrance. Perhaps this cavity would have been filled with rubble or boulders, - who knows?
Inside is a ledge around three walls of the chamber. The fourth one is the doorway. The chamber is about six feet or so deep and the ledge is three feet or so wide.

All of these tombs have been cut into this flat area of limestone. Limestone pavements are a common feature of this part of Cyprus. A bit like the Yorkshire Dales but without the damp. These are just holes in the ground. Don't wander round here after dark!
Standing here one can easily believe we are somewhere in the distant past but only a 200 yard walk and you are very much back in the 21st. century. Protoras Beach with its sunbeds and tourists quietly frying in Piz Buin heated by a relentless Sun, and if not sunbathing then water skiing, paragliding etc.
After visiting here we went for a kafe, but not here, not at the inflated prices the tourist centres charge. Our guide for the day who lives near Famagusta took us to a Greek kafenion just down the road....
During our tour we got the chance to look over the Green Line at the deserted city of Famagusta. It is a large town and has lain empty since the Turkish invasion in 1974. This is the other face of Cyprus. The armed military presence of the Turkish army on one side of the Green Line and the UN peacekeepers on the other. There is a sense of menace in the air. The present political situation is unresolved.
Later we returned to the more relaxed air of Larnaca.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Now this I'd like to see! One day....

Very similar to Crete. Knossos is very Minoan.

Cath x