This article is about the town and ancient settlement near Famagusta. For the suburb of Nicosia , see: Engomi

Enkomi/Tuzla (Greek: Έγκωμη) (35°9′30″N 33°53′28″E / 35.15833°N 33.89111°E / 35.15833; 33.89111, in north-western Cyprus), a village near Famagusta, is the site of an important Bronze Age city, possibly the capital of Alasiya. The name Tuzla means "salty" in Turkish.


Enkomi was settled in the Middle Bronze Age, near an inlet of the sea, now silted to form a plain. From about the 16th century BC to the 12th, it was an important trading center for copper, which was smelted at the site, with strong cultural links to Ugarit on the facing coast of Syria. The complicated and badly disturbed stratigraphy of the site resolves in the official publications[1] in four major phases, with many subdivisions. The four phases comprise Level A, a poorly represented preliminary stratum on bedrock; Level I, at the beginning of the Late Bronze Age, when fortifications were twice destroyed; Level II, with many subdivisions, covering the elaborate expansion of the 14th and 13th centuries and ending in a mass destruction about 1220; Level III, with Mycenaean settlers, with a destructive attack often related to the Sea Peoples in IIIA, culturally continuous with IIIB, ending in a destruction about 1125, and IIIC, a final, Mycenaean phase with dwindling population.

From the 13th century, there are other towns along the south coast of Cyprus to compete with Enkomi. After an earthquake ca. 1050 BC, the site was abandoned, leaving an opening for the rise of Salamis.


René Dussaud demonstrated for most scholars that Enkomi is the Alasia of the Amarna correspondence and other texts,[2] including Hittite texts. Long after the town disappeared, Hellenes recalled it in the cult title of Apollo Alasiotas, recorded in a Cypriote inscriprion as late as the fourth century BC. In 1900 Joseph Offord, working from the known to the unknown, suggested that Apollo Alasiotas was a Syrian god identical with Ressef, transported to Cyprus,[3] and some modern scholars remain unconvinced.[4] The bronze statuette of a horned god (illustration) may represent this divinity whom Greeks identified, by interpretatio graeca, with Apollo.


Following more than a decade of widespread looting drawn by the high quality of the tomb gifts, the site was excavated by A. S. Murray for the British Museum from 1896. From the 1930s, excavations were continued by Claude F. A. Schaeffer for the Swedish Cyprus Expedition.

File:Gehörnter Gott, Enkomi.jpg

Notable finds from Enkomi include Linear C inscriptions and the so-called "horned god",[5] a bronze statuette dated to the early 12th century BC, depicting a deity wearing a horned helmet. Another well-known statue is the "ingot god", a statue wearing a horned conical hat and greaves, armed with shield and spear, and standing on a miniature hide-shaped ingot.


Apollo Cereates/Απόλλων Κερεάτης


  1. The French excavation report Enkomi-Alasia 1952, and Porphyrios Dikaios, ed. Enkomi Excavations 1948–1958;
  2. Dussaud's prefatory note in Enkomi-Alasia: Nouvelles missions en Chypre, Claude F.A. Schaeffer, ed. (Paris, 1952).
  3. Joseph Offord, at the First International Congress of the History of Religion, (Paris, 1900) "Apollo Ressef and Apollo Alasiotas", reported by Nathaniel Schmidt, in The Biblical World 16.6 (December 1900:447–450).
  4. R.S. Merrillees contended with "a certain pungency" (his expression at the end of his preface, p. 12) for Syria in Alashia Revisited, Cahiers de la Revue biblique 222 (Paris, 1987), which was critically reviewed by Theo P. J. van den Hout, in Journal of Near Eastern Studies 53.2 (April 1994), pp. 138–139.
  5. First published in the excavation report ILN 20 and 27 August 1949. The statuette's popular sobriquet, "Apollo Keraiates''" ("horned Apollo"), makes an unjustified connection with a later god, known in Arcadia: "A Bronze Age ancestor of the classical Apollo Alasiotas", as J.M. Cook casually put it in passing, in his review of "Archaeology in Greece, 1948–1949" in The Journal of Hellenic Studies 70 (1950. p. 14). "Was the horned god an early Apollo Keraiates from Arcadia, and why was he abandoned, remain among the elusive questions noted by Vronwy Hankey in reviewing Dikaios' ecavation volumes in The Journal of Hellenic Studies 95 (1975), p 262. The Apollo designation may be paralleled in the so-called "Venus of Willendorf".


  • Murray, A. S. (1900). "Excavations at Enkomi". In Murray, A. S.; Smith, A. H.; Walters, H. B. (eds.). Excavations in Cyprus. London: British Museum. 
  • Peltenburg, E. J. (1999). "From isolation to state formation in Cyprus: ca. 3500–1500 BC". In Karageorghis, Vassos; Michalides, D. (eds.). The development of the Cypriot economy from the prehistoric period to the present day. Nikosia. pp. 17–43. 
  • Schaeffer, Claude F. A. (1949). Nouvelles découvertes à Enkomi (Chypre). Paris: Académie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres. 
  • Schaeffer, Claude F. A. (1952). Enkomi-Alasia I. Paris. 

el:Έγκωμη es:Enkomi it:Enkomi pl:Enkomi ru:Энгоми fi:Enkomi sv:Enkomi

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