Tamassos is an area with a cluster of villages approx. half an hour drive from Nicosia. Many of these villages retain some of the buildings of the older settlements which are deemed to be of high cultural significance, such as churches, monasteries, schools and the famous Royal Tombs of Tamassos located in the village of Politiko.The first excavations at the site took place in 1889, and many tombs of the Late Bronze Age and two royal tombs of the Cyproarchaic period were excavated. Adjacent to these tombs the Department of Antiquities brought to light six sculptures of sphinxes and lions which protected the entrance of the tombs and can be seen at the Cyprus Museum in Nicosia. I have also seen many other Tamassos artifacts in the British Museum. More ruins have been unearthed in and around the actual village of Politiko revealing more tombs, temples, shrines and defensive walls, but many more remain hidden underneath the village.The archaeological site is closed on weekends and the entrance fee is around 2.50 euro. You can also visit the nearby villages and have a look at the old churches and houses in their center, or check out the peaceful Monastery of Agios Heracledios in Politiko with its beautiful gardens maintained by the nuns.
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