Kalavasos -Tenta Neolithic Settlement is an important prehistoric settlement in Cyprus located just outside the village of Kalavasos at 40 kilometers from Larnaca. Tradition has it that the settlement took its name when in 327 AD Saint Helena, mother of Constantine the Great visited the island during her return journey from Jerusalem for the quest of the Holy Cross and stayed in a tent.
The settlement is built on a lens - shaped hill. According to the findings and the archaeological research, there are remains of human habitation that date to the Aceramic period around 7500 BC - 5200 BC. There are also findings indicating the rehabilitation of the settlement later within the Ceramic period around 4500 BC.
The houses at this site have the same circular layout like the ones in Choirokoitia settlement. In order to build the houses, the occupants used stone at the basis of the construction and mud brick for the rest of the walls and roof. There are also houses that are built entirely of stone. Most of the houses at Tenta feature an extra layer of clay at the internal walls, something that lacks from the Choirokoitia houses. The floors are made of beaten earth while there is not much evidence for the formation of the roofs. The excavations also brought to light some interesting information regarding the burial customs of the occupants similar to those of Choirokoitia but with some differences.
Perhaps the most striking finding at the settlement of Tenta is the remains of a figure with raised hands, which is painted on an internal wall of a house with red colour. Specialists believe that the figure is part of a larger compositions as there were marks of this red substance on other parts of the same wall. Archaeologists estimate the figure dates to the early 7th millennium BC and, therefore, it is considered to be the earliest wall painting in Cyprus and an example of the artistic skills of Cypriot inhabitants in Aceramic period.
The settlement was surrounded by a stone made wall for purposes of defence, even though there was not any evidence found indicating a gate. A visit at the settlement can be very interesting for visitors of all ages, an opportunity to see something different, discover history and get away form the busy town center.
Open: Monday -Friday, Weekends closed
Openning Hours: 08:30 - 16:00 (November - March)
09:30 - 17:00 (April - October)
Entrance: 4.50 Euro (20% discount for groups over 10 persons)