Khirokitia (sometimes spelled Choirokoitia) is an archaeological site on the island of Cyprus dating from the Neolithic age. It has been listed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1998. The site is known as one of the most important and best preserved prehistoric sites of the eastern Mediterranean. Much of its importance lies in the evidence of an organised functional society in the form of a collective settlement, with surrounding fortifications for communal protection. The Neolithic Aceramic period is represented by this settlement and around 20 other similar settlements spread throughout Cyprus. The site was discovered in 1934 by Porphyrios Dikaios, director of the Cyprus Department of Antiquities. For those keen on visiting digs, Khirokitia is a worthwhile excursion in Cyprus.
The picturesque village of Khirokitia stands on a hilly area in the district of Larnaca, about 33 kilometers from Larnaca city and it connects south-easterly through the Limassol-Nicosia motorway with these two cities. On the north it connects with the villages of Pano (Upper) and Kato (Lower) Lefkara and north-westerly with the village Vavla. Khirokitia is built at an average altitude of 220 meters above sea level and the river of Agios Minas meanders through its landscape. 4VIP Tour can arrange a tour to this pretty village in Cyprus.
Situated in the Maroni valley, about 6 km from the southern coast of the island, the site of Khirokitia lies in a hilly landscape in the foothills of the Troodos massif. It constitutes the most impressive example of the initial establishment of sedentary communities on the island and the development of an original civilisation: the Cypriot Aceramic Neolithic. These communities originated from the neighboring mainland and settled in Cyprus at the end of the 7th millennium B.C. bringing with them plants and animals unknown until then to Cyprus.
The site is bound to the north, east and southeast by the deep bend of the river, and to the west by successive walls. A complex architectural system, unique in Cyprus and the Near East, provided control over access to the village. Protected by these walls, the houses of the settlement were crowded together. A house consisted of a compound of several buildings with a circular ground plan around an unroofed space, a kind of small inner ‘courtyard’ where grinding took place. These structures were built in stone, pisé and sun-dried mudbrick, or any combination of the three. The roof was flat and consisted of a wooden frame made out of branches, reeds, pisé and earth. Excavation revealed that the dead were buried in pits inside the dwelling units.
The inhabitants used diabase, a hard stone, for the manufacturing of stone vessels, which constitute a particular characteristic of the Cypriote Aceramic Neolithic. Picrolite, a smooth green stone that can be found in abundance in the Kouris riverbed west of Limassol, was used for making jewellery. The brilliant civilisation vanished suddenly, and no adequate explanation has been given regarding its disappearance. Khirokitia, like other Aceramic sites on the island, was abandoned and the island appears to have remained free from human presence for a long time, until the emergence of a new civilisation: the Ceramic Neolithic.
Near the entrance of the site there is a reconstruction of five huts and part of the defensive walls with their complex entrance. According to the Great Encyclopedia of Cyprus, the village was ceded since the beginning of the Frank domination to the Order of the Knights Templar and then to the Order of St. John of Jerusalem (Knights Hospitallers), which kept the area as an important administrative feud. The Tower, that is, the main structure of the feud of Khirokitia, is found very close to the location where the church of ‘Panagia tou Kampou’ stands. Only the slightest traces remain today from the Tower of Khirokitia, which was destroyed by the Mamelukes after their victory in 1426 and became known later under the name Seraen.
This pre-historical tour will made a great addition for your visit in Cyprus and 4VIP Tour will be glad to assist you.
Private car with driver for 3 hours
Cost based on 2-4 Person
Private minibus with driver for 3 hours
Cost based on 5-8 Person