Cyprus opens first underwater archaeological park

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Cyprus has opened its first underwater archaeological park, offering visitors a glimpse of history at one of the best preserved ancient harbours at Amathus, Limassol.

The now-submerged harbour lying off the ancient city-kingdom of Amathus was constructed between 312/311 BC and 294 BC when Cyprus was the focus of conflict between the two successors of Alexander the Great.

It was probably constructed as a naval base because of its narrow entrance, though experts say its combined commercial use cannot be dismissed either.

Over the centuries, it has developed into a natural reef where marine life thrives.

The underwater park welcomed its first visitors last weekend.

Transport Minister Yiannis Karousos, who inaugurated the park, hailed the port as one of the most ancient in the Mediterranean, now accessible to visitors who can see the ruins.

Visitors can dive using a mask and diving fins or special diving gear.