Vasiliko Necropolis

Published 4th of July, 2021

Paphos has a lot of Archaeological Attractions. So much so, that some of the ruins lie unseen and unknown to most people. One such site is the ancient Necropolis in the Vasiliko locality, just to the north of the Electiricity Authority, and below the General Hospital.

Follow The Arrow


I first visited the site in Vasiliko a few years ago, but it was fenced off. A couple of days ago,I had to drop my wife and daughter at the hospital, as our daughter was getting her COVID jab. I knew I would have some time to kill, so I thought I would bring the drone down with me, to see if I could get a better look at the ruins.

Open Gate


To get to the site, you should head for the road directly behind the Electricity Board. It is a funny little road, which leads to a few houses and some wasteground. This is where the ruins are. As you can see, they are fenced off, but the gate to them (to the left of this picture) is now open.

Above The Tombs


So I didn't bother getting my drone out. There was no point now, I could get a much better view just by walking around taking pictures with my phone.

Hand Carved


Last year I produced a virtual tour of the Archaeological Park. While I was preparing it, I bought a book on the Archaeology of Paphos from the gift shop. I couldn't find anything about this site online, so decided to return to that book. This is what I found:

The tomb complex at Anavargos - 'Ellinospilioi'

Similar examples of monumental burial architectural have also been discovered in the necropolis of the Hellenistic and Roman eras in the small Paphian village, Annavargos. Three of the plundered tombs in this necropolis designated Ellinospilioi, constitute three successive, connected, grandiose burial complexes. The largest and most remarkable of theses, resplendent in its architect details and opulence, reminds the aforementioned "Tomb of the Kings".

According to Google Maps, the area is actually just below Anavargos, in Vasilikos, so you will forgive me if I have used a different name.

Old And New


The book continues...

It is a large unified burial complex, entirely cut into the limestone bedrock, and includes a square, open court, 3m deep under the ground. Two uniform stoae1 with an average depth of 1.45m are formed on the southern and eastern sides of the courtyard. Each of them is supported by eight square monolithic piers in a rectilinear arrangement. In the vertical rock-cut stoas, walls are opened and reveal equidistant rectangular passages, (dromoi2) of unequal size, all leading to various burial chambers of rectangular or square shape with flat roofs. The largest burial chamber is in the middle of the southern stoa wall and can be approached through a large portal with a carefully engraved, linear, decorative frieze.

1 stoa - in ancient Greek architecture, a stoa is a covered walkway.

2 dromos - an avenue or passage leading into an ancient Greek temple or tomb, especially one between rows of columns or statues.

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