Site of an ancient city on the south coast of Cyprus, c. 10 km east of Limassol, that flourished chiefly from the 11th century bc, when it was founded, to Roman times. Greek sources of the 4th century bc claimed that its inhabitants were descendants of the companions of Kinyras, a semi-legendary Cypriot king, or called them ‘autochthons’ (that is, neither Greek nor Phoenician settlers). Archaeological discoveries have confirmed that the still undeciphered Eteocypriot language was indeed in use in this small kingdom until the end of the 4th century bc.
In the 10th century bc Amathus established links with the Aegean world, which became stronger, especially in relation to Euboia and Attica, at the end of the 9th century bc and during the 8th. The Phoenicians must have been involved in the development of the town during this period (see also Cyprus, §II, 1, (iii)). Amathus seems to have continued to prosper throughout the ...