The archaeological site of Palaipafos is located in Kouklia Village and was one of the most important city-kingdoms of Cyprus, as well as the first Cypriot site to be included in the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 1980.
The Sanctuary of Aphrodite is the most famous of the Ancient Greek Goddess’ sanctuaries, and its ancient remains date back to the 12th century BC, while it remained
a place of worship until the
3rd - 4th centuries AD.
The museum, housed in a Lusignan Manor, exhibits many interesting finds from the area and portrays how the Cult of the Goddess of Fertility developed into the Cult of Aphrodite.
The site of Paphos was a holy place for the ancient Greeks, who believed it to be the place where Aphrodite landed when she rose from the sea. According to Pausanias, her worship was introduced to Paphos from Syria, and from Paphos to Kythera in Greece.
The cult was likely of Phoenician origin. Archaeology has established that Cypriots venerated a fertility goddess before the arrival of the Greeks, and developed a cult that combined Aegean and eastern mainland aspects. Before it was proved by archaeology it was understood that the cult of Aphrodite had been established before the time of Homer (700 BC), as the grove and altar of Aphrodite at Paphos are mentioned in the Odyssey.
Female figurines and charms found in the immediate vicinity date to the early third millennium BC. The temenos
(a piece of land marked off from common uses and dedicated to a god, a sanctuary, holy grove or holy precinct) was well established before the first structures were erected in the Late Bronze Age.