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Construction of a mole in the harbour of the city of Amathus in Cyprus with a crane rolled along the mole. Workers on boats adjust the blocks.

The Port of Amathus (or Amathous) in south Cyprus was probably constructed during the period of Demetrius Poliorcetes for his fleet. Whether this project was completed as planned or not is not known as various sources suggest that the port was not used except maybe for a few years. Three moles of around 380 meters where build forming a almost closed harbour. 5000 blocks were used each having a weight of around 3 tons tons. Each block was 3 meters long and 0.8 m wide. The artificial harbour provided a protection for the ships from the sometimes strong south wind. These blocks formed the center of each mole.


Colorized image of the artificial harbour with the three parts, two of which are perpendicular and one almost parallel to the coast. From “P. Aupert (ed.), Οδηγός Αμαθούντας, Πολιτιστικό Ίδρυμα Τράπεζας Κύπρου, Λευκωσία, 1999”


Cranes with winches were used for hoisting the blocks. The crane moved along the mole that was already constructed. Model from an exhibition, Technological Museum of Thessaloniki, Greece. Image © Copyright 2002 Spiros Tzelepis ( http://users.otenet.gr/~tzelepisk/yc/t.htm )

  • Harbour (Limen, pl. Limenes), Closed Harbours (Limenes Kleistoi)
  • Breakwater, Mole (Choma, Chele)
  • Ship sheds (Neosoikoi)
  • Lighthouse (Pharos)
  • Dockyards (Naupegia)
  • Arsenals (for storing oars, sails) (Skeuothekae)

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