StonePages had this at the beginning of the month, but it doesn’t seem to have hit the ‘English press’ until recently. Italian archaeologists working on Cyprus have excavated a triangular-shaped (!) temple at Pyrgos-Mavroraki believed to date to around 2,000 BC (which would make it the oldest temple on Cyprus; the jury’s still out on that one, apparently) . Maria Rosaria-Belgiorno (Archaeological Mission of the Italian National Council for Research) told Cyprus Weekly:
“This is the first evidence of religion in Cyprus at the beginning of the second millennium BC.”
“The temple is the most ancient found in Cyprus and of a unique triangular shape. The finding sheds new light on the existence of religion on the island, since the oldest temple found in Cyprus before that was Kition and Enkomi, both dating to 1,000 BC …”
“We found no statues, although there is evidence that it is a monotheist temple. The most important thing is the altar and the blood channel running on two sides.”
“Among the finds we found stone horns which are more ancient than the consecration horns found in Kouklia, Enkomi, Kition, and Myrthou (Pighades) seven centuries later.”
Belgiorno has a website with assorted photos and diagrams worth looking at as well (the home page has some annoying music, so we’re linking directly to the page of interest).
- ITALIAN ARCHAEOLOGISTS UNEARTH OLDEST TEMPLE IN REGION (Cyprus Weekly)
- Italian dig uncovers “oldest” temple in Cyprus (Reuters via Yahoo)