The path leads you to the archaeological site of Choirokoitia, one of the most important settlements of the Neolithic period, classified by the UNESCO as World Heritage.
About this valuable archaeological piece of Cyprus:
The Choirokoitia as you already know, is the best preserved prehistoric settlement in Cyprus, dating from the later phase of the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (around 7000 BC). In 1998 it was, in fact, declared World Heritage by UNESCO.
"Why is it called that?" you wonder. The name is said that probably came from the word cheirogitia suggesting exercise of palmistry. Again according to another aspect perhaps stemmed from the possible initial Ierokotida name (holy place). Others claim that the name came from the words and round house because the prehistoric huts discovered there were round. Even the tradition says that it came from the phrase Hail Kition sent by the notorious and mysterious queen of Cyprus into a friend from Kition. It was also argued that perhaps the name came from the ANOVA plant cheromolia. With the simpler name cheromolia apantato the plant cultivated in Cyprus, but this version is considered very unlikely.
The settlement is built on a steep hillside on the West bank of the Maroni River, 6 km. from the sea. It is one of the most impressive examples of early establishment of permanent populations on the island. In the west, where the settlement is not naturally fortified, built a wide enclosure wall. Its construction requires collective effort, suggesting complex social organization.
The houses of the Neolithic Choirokoitia were made simple. The foundations and lower parts used stones (stones) river, while in the upper lighter materials, such as clay and mud brick. The thresholds were raised, the small doorways for flood protection, floors made of clay and the roof domed or flat. The roof were horizontal beams on which there were reeds and branches covered with clay. In the middle of the house there was a hearth for cooking, lighting and heating. It seems that the interior of the houses adorned with frescoes. Nevertheless the poor condition of the wall does not allow researchers to conclude whether the patterns are geometric or figurative.
The dead were buried in pits dug inside houses. The pit of the dead was filled with earth and covered with clay coating, restoring to him the way to the floor of the house. The graves were individual and the dead were buried with the body recovery position, usually on the right side. The posture is retracted, and as both the degree of contraction scholars depended on the age of the deceased.
On the graves were placed offerings depending on the sex of the deceased. Often the tombs both women and men, came with broken stone vessels. Other funerary custom was stone placement, raw or carved, on the body of the deceased. In this way they believed prevented the return of the dead in the world of the living. As we conclude from their graves skeletons of Choirokoitia, residents were short (1.60. About men and 1.50m. Women) and died at the age of 25-40 years.
The nutritional needs of residents covered by farming, hunting, farming and gathering wild fruits. The tools they used were made of stone and bones. They also found many stone vessels and figurines that mainly depict human figures.
The site was discovered in 1934 by Dr. Enriching, director of the Cyprus Antiquities Department, making six excavations between 1934 and 1946. The initial findings were published in the magazine Greek Studies in 1934. Further excavations took place until the early 1970s, but were interrupted by the Turkish invasion of Cyprus . A French expedition under the direction of Alain Le Brunn (Alain Le Brun) carried out new excavations in 1977.
Start Point: Road to Choirokoitia, just after the parking area of the site, opposite the exit of the village of Tochni and churches Agios Fanourios and Agios Nektarios. Conversely, it is possible to route from Choirokoitia village to the archaeological site.
Estimated Duration: 45 minutes
Difficulty Rate: Category 2: Average degree of difficulty, with a particular terrain, such as sudden changes in gradient (uphill and / or downhill), course along narrow and / or steep terrain.
Road Conditions: The route is paved for the first 800 meters. The last 800 meters are on uneven, narrow and steep dirt road.
Trip Length: 2 km