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Roman Army Camp at Kritou Terra

As we all know from the long history of our country, many conquerors conquered it in different periods. Among these invaders were the Romans who conquered and ruled the island since 30 BC until the 4th century AD.

Kritou Terra has not been left unaffected by the Roman Empire which left its visible traces in our community, particularly in the area of St. Irene and St. Eusebius. 

We all know stories of our ancestors and from the remaining ruins for the existence of St. Irene’s church, for the ancient carved tombs in the area, the underground reservoir which was connected with a groove on the source of St. Eusebius from which sprang a large quantity of artesian water and generally the existence of visible signs of ancient tombs in the area. 

All these places exist up to date with the exception of the church whose existence is determined only by rubble remains. 

This unknown aspect in the history of our community came to light by the recent discovery (2010) of a statue of a young child in St. Eusebius or otherwise St. Evresios.

This statue was delivered to the Department of Antiquities and was diagnosed as falling in the Roman era, and reveals the unknown history of the region. At this point there are carved into the rock tracks which demonstrate the existence of a Roman camp near the source. 

Features on the hill east of the camp within 100-meter of distance which is maintained until today (the so-called tsouroullos) from which someone can observe the nearby area up to the Bay of Polis Chrysochous the so called old Kingdom of Marion. 

Very likely there were two smaller observatories as the vanguard on the northeast and northwest of the camp. 

On the north side exist three large rocks piled which indicate that they were placed by human hand and not by nature while the river’s walls, that leads south out are dressed with stones sized 30 x 50 cm, which again seems to have been placed by human hand. There is a high probability that from the entrance of the river is the beginning of the path which led to the observatory as it is the closest and easiest access to it. 

Furthermore, the diode is perhaps pronounced as the point of escape in case of hostilities. 
This area has the ideal characteristics of an area of army camping as it is difficult to be observed and at the same time it was ideal because of the water spring and was offered for the stay and survival of large number of people as a result of the creation of their families camp at the north part of the army camp. 

With the departure of the Romans from the island it appears that the settlement lasted until the 19th century AD. 

Thereafter and during the Byzantine era after the 5th century AD it seems that in these camp areas many churches were built, ruins of which exist up to today. 
The existence of these camps continued until the 19th century AD and abandoned after natural disasters forcing people to move further south in latitude where the community is situated today. 

Please note that the last resident of the region remained there until 1967. 
We hope that the Department of Antiquities at some stage will conduct excavations, and enlighten us on a scientific basis for the past of the area and thus of our community.

I would say that the village name is possibly affected from that period as it originally comes from the Latin language.

Article Writer: Savvas Arkadiou 

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