In the north-west of Cyprus in the Gulf of Morphou near the village of Gemikonagi are located ruins of an ancient city Soli. From the once prosperous port city today there are few traces that would help to fully imagine all the power and beauty of this settlement. Nevertheless, lovers of historical monuments will not be disappointed by a trip to Soli.
Although the first dated mention of the city of Soli dates back to the 6th century BC (the list of payers of the Assyrian king Asargadon), archaeologists believe that the first settlements appeared on this site in the 12th century BC. In the 6th century BC, Soli was already known as a city founded by the will of the sage Solon. The city also owes its name to the sage.
The location of the Salt was extremely successful: the land in this region was fertile, the Xero River flowed nearby, there was access to the sea and a huge harbor, and ore deposits were discovered. The city grew rapidly and became a large and prosperous industrial center. The inhabitants were engaged in agriculture, worked in the mines. Copper from Salt was in demand throughout the Mediterranean. At the beginning of our era, the Roman emperor Augustus ruled the city, who leased the copper mines to King Herod of Judea. The latter, in turn, sent miners from Judea to the island.
War caused the fall of the ancient city of Soli
However, in 115, the peace in the city was broken – there were serious skirmishes between jews and romans, as a result of which the jews fled from the island. gradually, the mines began to decline. In the 4th century AD, another disaster occurred – an earthquake severely destroyed the harbor, and also affected the city. the dark streak in soli's life did not end with this event. In 648, the Arabs attacked Soli and finally destroyed the ancient city. the departed inhabitants left it and rushed inland.
Already an empty and uninhabited city, Soli was to experience another devastation – during the period of colonization of the island by the British, everything that could be used as building material was taken out of the city for the construction of the Suez Canal and the Port of Said.
In 1920, excavations began on the site of the long-forgotten city. Despite the fact that the city was looted many times, archaeologists managed to find many artifacts, the most significant of which are now stored in the Museum of Nicosia.