Apollo Circular Sacred Building
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This area contained a circular corridor with plastered surface surrounded by a thick retaining wall resting on shallow foundation. The open air nucleus of this structure contained six pits interpreted as indicative of a sacred garden related to the cult of Hylates, the woodland God. This sacred place was in use some time after the early 1st century A.D.
Hylates was a god worshipped on the island of Cyprus who was later likened to the Greek God Apollo. His name probably derives from ὑλακτέω [ʰylakt�ō] �barking� or ὕλη [ʰ�lē] �forest�, which is why Lebek calls him Apollo of the woods. He was worshipped from the 3rd century BC until the 3rd century AD.
The Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates
The sanctuary is located about 2,5 kilometres west of the ancient town of Kourion along the road which leads to Pafos. It was one of the main religious centres of ancient Cyprus, where Apollo was worshipped as god of the woodlands. It seems that the worship of Apollo on this site began as early as the 8th century B.C. the Roman period were buried in the Votive Pit. A long street running from south to north leads to the Temple of Apollo Hylates, which was built in the Late Classical or Early Hellenistic period on the ruins of the Archaic temple. In the 1st century A.D. the temple was rebuilt with a different architectural style. A small building south of the Precinct may have been a priest�s house. Along the external east side of the walls are the Palaestra where athletes once exercised and played games, and the Baths.
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December 28th, 2012
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