Archaeology Odyssey 1:2, Spring 1998

The Birth of Adonis?

Cyprus excavation suggests a connection between the Greek god and the Hebrew Adon

By Pamela GaberWilliam G. Dever

How does a site get lost? It happens. For nearly a decade—from 1867 to 1875—General Luigi Palma de Cesnola, a flamboyant Italian who served as both the American and Russian consul to Cyprus, dug at Idalion (located 12 miles south of Nicosia), where, he claimed, he emptied 15,000 tombs. Cesnola’s exports from Idalion were used to help found the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Indeed, he became its first director. Cesnola also discovered what was thought to be a temple to the Mother Goddess at the site.

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