Ayia Napa, Famagusta, CY
Makronissos tombs are part of an important archaeological site located in the west side of Ayia Napa at a small peninsula close to the popular Makronissos Beach. The site consists of 19 tombs, a sanctuary and an ancient quarry. The findings at the site date back to the Hellenistic period in Cyprus and also some of the tombs where carved during the Roman period. The excavations took place in 1989 until 1990 and were sponsored by Ayia Napa Municipality.
An afternoon spent at the Makronissos Tombs can be very interesting for visitors of all ages as they can explore the tombs and understand several burial customs of the Hellenic period in Cyprus. A stepped road leads to a rectangular entrance which it was closed with big plates. In the inside, the majority of the tombs has almost identical features. They had a rectangular trench in the middle - which was a little lower than the floor - and a rock - cut bench at each of the three sides of the chamber. Due to illegal digging at the site since 1872 there are not many objects found. However, archaeologists believe that the dead bodies were placed into sarcophagi made of clay and covered with three flat tiles. What is significant is that archaeologists found "pyres" on the surface of the tombs providing evidence of an ancient Greek burial tradition to burn the dead bodies during the burial ceremony.
Some of the tombs feature carvings on the wall opposite the entrance. One of the tombs has four benches at the two sides of the chamber and one opposite the entrance, showing that there were five interments in the specific chamber.
Apart from the tombs there is a small ancient sanctuary at the east of this ancient burial site which is a simple rectangular enclosure constructed of large irregular blocks. There were few offerings found in the archaeological survey that took place in 1974 and other later excavations. The findings indicate that the sanctuary was used during the Classical and Hellenistic era in Cyprus. An ancient quarry is also adjacent to the tombs area. The use of the quarry caused damage to the tombs.