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The Royal Tombs

The Royal Tombs | Famagusta

 In order to get to the Royal Tombs it is necessary to leave the main site of Salamis, take the road that is signposted to St. Barnabas, and the tombs will be seen on the left. This huge necropolis has only been partly excavated and no doubt in years to come many more tombs will be discovered. However as it is now covered with agricultural land it is doubtful if the full extent of this burial ground will ever be revealed.

The Royal Tombs and adjoining Cellarka are of interest to those for whom ancient burial customs hold a certain fascination. Here will be found the skeletons of horses whose last act of service to their Royal masters was to pull the funeral carriage. They were then slaughtered at the entrances to the tombs. There is a small museum that displays photographs of the artefacts that were found when the first digs took place.

The Cellarka are smaller tombs that would have been used by the poor and they are a network of closely carved chambers each one accessed by a steep flight of steps. Each tomb was used on a rotational basis and as this burial site was in use for many hundreds of years, full excavation would no doubt reveal the many differing funeral customs of the Salamis inhabitants.

Lavinia Neville Smith
Lavinia Neville Smith
Lavinia Neville Smith first came to North Cyprus in 1995, and fell in love with the country and the Turkish Cypriot people. A self confessed dilettante, with a varied working career, it was not until she returned in 1997 and went into tourism that she was able to put to good use her knowledge of history, ancient and modern, acquired long ago at school. She is a co-author of the Landmark Visitors Guide to North Cyprus, and continues to promote this beautiful country as far afield as possible.