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KITION PLANETARIUM & OBSERVATORY

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The KITION PLANETARIUM & OBSERVATORY was founded on February 14, 2008.

The organization was ascribed the name KITION PLANETARIUM & OBSERVATORY.

It is named after the ancient city of KITION which was found in the area where nowadays, the town of Larnaca, Cyprus, is located.

For this reason it is considered an honorary act on behalf of the local authorities to grant us the permission to utilize the name of this significant landmark as a prefix to the name of our organization.

The idea was the establishment of as a science center, where people could learn through fun and entertainment, but also receive education in astronomy and general sciences, to get the chance to get involved in real science research, but also to offer service to the society and the local community.

Astronomy is considered to be the most ancient science and since it has been evolving, offering knowledge and development but also answering many of the unexplained questions humans have. Like "Where do we come from?", "What is our position in the Universe?" and more endless number of questions.

The milestones of our organization's evolution are described in the History section. The Mission and Vision of the KITION PLANETARIUM & OBSERVATORY plays an important role in the development of astronomy, space science and space exploration in Cyprus, but also helps Cyprus to achieve a worldwide recognition in the area of astronomy and science. KITION PLANETARIUM & OBSERVATORY helped and continues to help to increase the level of awareness in preservation of the dark skies and biodiversity of Cyprus and to achieve this it developed international cooperations.

The founder and director of the KITION PLANETARIUM & OBSERVATORY, Mr. George Troullias, emphasizes, in his message, that astronomy interweaves our everyday life. In our events everything is explained in simple words and in common language to be understood by the general public.

Our organization is depended on volunteer Staff who are dedicated to achieve all goals of the KITION PLANETARIUM & OBSERVATORY. Visit the Staff page to find out who we are and what we are doing.

If you have any querries or suggestions, do not hesitate to contact us via e-mail or call +357 9999 1111.

 

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND

KITION (Greek ΚΙΤΙΟΝ, Latin CITIUM): IMPORTANT PORT AND CITY-STATE IN CYPRUS (MODERN LARNACA)

 

ANCIENT KITION ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE

Image Credits: https://www.visitcyprus.com/media/k2/items/cache/5288462d048e0d3f60f64bb84cff6df4_XL.jpg

The archaeological area of Kition consists of two sites: Kathari and Pampoula. It is located within the limits of the modern city of Larnaka. Various finds came to light between the 18th and the 19th century, during excavation work conducted by foreign travelers and tomb looters. One such find is the famous Assyrian stele of king Sargon II, now in Berlin. A plaster cast of the stele is exhibited in the Larnaka Museum. The first systematic excavations began in 1929 by the Swedish Cyprus Archaeological Expedition, under the direction of Einar Gjestard. In 1959, the Department of Antiquities, under the direction of Vassos Karageorghis, began excavating the site of Kathari. Following the events of 1974, the French Expedition of the University of Lyon, which was digging until then at the site of Salamina, undertook the responsibility of excavating the site of Pampoula.

The earliest phases of human habitation and religious worship in Kition, are found at the site of Kathari. Five consecutive temples and workshops for the smelting of copper, have already been excavated and are dated from the end of the 13th to the end of the 11th century B.C. This corresponds to the Late Bronze Age and the Geometric period, during which the city of Kition flourished and was inhabited by Mycenean Achaeans. Following their destruction, a magnificent temple identified as that of Astarte, was erected in their place by the Phoenicians, sometime around 850 B.C. The temple was used until the beginning of the 3rd century B.C., when it was also destroyed.

CERAMIC POTTERY

Image Credits: http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/DA/DA.nsf/All/7A7351CF22898DFEC22571A4002CA21C?OpenDocument

The excavations at the site of Pampoula, have shown that the area was continuously inhabited from the end of the Geometric to the Hellenistic period. The first architectural remains dated to the 9th century B.C., consist of a temple and various other buildings. During the Archaic and Classical period, the temple was extended to include many rooms, open courts with stoas and shrines, offering hearths and industrial installations for the smelting of copper. The variety of finds indicates that a number of deities was worshipped at Kition, the most significant being the Phoenician deities Astarte (equivalent of Aphrodite), Melkart (equivalent of Heracles), and Esmoun (equivalent of Asclepius), as well as the Egyptian deities Hathor, Bes and Horus.

GOLD EARINGS

Image Credits: http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/DA/DA.nsf/All/7A7351CF22898DFEC22571A4002CA21C?OpenDocument

During the Classical period, large-scale construction work was commissioned in the city of Kition, such as monumental public buildings which formed part of an ambitious public works project. Part of this project was also the draining of the marshland in the quarter of Pampoula, the creation of a sanitary system, and the construction of two harbours, one for commercial purposes and one for military use. Only the military one has been excavated so far. The ramps used to tow the ships into the harbor for repair or for safe keeping, still exist.

Credits:

CYPRUS DEPARTMENT OF ANTIQUITIES

http://www.mcw.gov.cy/mcw/DA/DA.nsf/All/7A7351CF22898DFEC22571A4002CA21C?OpenDocument

 

LINKS:

VISIT ANCIENT KITION

https://www.visitcyprus.com/index.php/en/discovercyprus/culture-religion/sites-monuments/item/177-kition-archaeological-site

KITION (WIKIPEDIA)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kition

LIVIUS.ORG (KITION BRONZE AGE - ROMAN AGE)

https://www.livius.org/articles/place/kition/

Larnaca 4000 years of history by Andreas Michaelides (in Greek)

http://www.larnaka.org.cy/en/file/15tYyDUYmaOhGYAsl9Rd6A

 

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