Soli, Cyprus

Coordinates: 35°08′24″N 32°48′40″E / 35.140°N 32.811°E / 35.140; 32.811
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Map showing the 10 ancient city Kingdoms of Cyprus
Soli, Cyprus is located in Cyprus
Soli, Cyprus
Shown within Cyprus
RegionNicosia District
Coordinates35°08′24″N 32°48′40″E / 35.140°N 32.811°E / 35.140; 32.811
The swan mosaic at Soli

Soli or Soloi (Greek: Σόλοι) is an ancient Greek city on the island of Cyprus, located next to the town of Karavostasi, southwest of Morphou (Guzelyurt), and on the coast in the gulf of Morphou. Since 1974 the site has been within the territory of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

Originally, Soloi was located in a much more constricted geographical location. At its current location, the entire urban centre was designed by Solon during his 10-year trip, after whom the name Soloi is commonly attributed. Reyes, however, disputes this etymological origin, as the name Soloi appears on the Esarhaddon prism predating Solon's visit.[1] Soloi was one of the ten city-kingdoms into which Cyprus was divided at the time.

What remains today is mainly from the Roman period, most notably the mosaic floor of the basilica with its wealth of birds, animals and geometric designs and a picture of a swan. There is a theatre but it has been renovated to the point that it no longer has any atmosphere of its original age.

A trio of ancient underground tombs has been discovered near Soli. The tombs were excavated in 2005 and 2006. Two of the tombs contained many findings, but the third tomb was empty as a result of looting. According to archaeologists the findings indicate a high level of wealth and power. Some of the vessels found are similar to items typically produced in Athens. The artifacts are on display at the Museum of Archeology and Nature in Morphou.[2]

According to ancient written sources the city was supplying Athens with timber and copper and in return getting luxurious metal vessels from there.[3]

Famous people from Soli[edit]

See also[edit]