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Situated in the Karpas peninsula, at Aphendrika, 1 mile (1.5 km) west of the ancient site of Urania (Famagusta district), next to the ruined churches of Asomatoi and Saint George, near the north coast [on the site, see Papacostas (1995) Gazetteer 2].

Description: The ruinous barrel vaulted pier basilica was built in ashlar masonry over a destroyed 6th-century timber roofed three-aisled column basilica, incorporating its three semi-circular apses and the outer shell [Megaw (1946) 54]. Some traces of fresco decoration survive [Papageorgiou (1966a) 221].

Dating: The barrel vaulted pier basilica was probably erected in the late 7th-9th century period [Papacostas (1995) 22-23]. A mid-7th century terminus post quem is provided by the column basilica’s likely date of destruction, and the use of piers and vaulting in its successor, while a 10th-century terminus ante quem is suggested by the decline of the use of basilical schemes and the spread of domes by that time. Usually dated to the early medieval period [Papageorgiou (1966a) 221, Papageorgiou (1982a) 470; Wharton (1988) 57, where it is claimed, perhaps by mistake, that the group of vaulted pier basilicas also had domes], although various other dates have been proposed in the past (for the entire group of vaulted pier basilicas), based mainly on historical arguments: 12th century (and the alleged introduction of the Romanesque style from Crusader Syria) [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 304; Jeffery (1918) 257-58; Gunnis (1936) 167]; 6th / 7th century (before the Arab raids) [Soteriou (1931a) 482]; late 10th century (after the reintegration of Cyprus in the Byzantine empire) [Megaw (1946) 54]; 8th / 9th century [Dikigoropoulos (1961) 193]; between the two initial Arab raids of 649 and 653 [Megaw and Hawkins (1977) 31 n.130].

Later additions / alterations: A single-aisled vaulted chapel was built within the west part of the nave in the 16th century [Megaw (1946) 50; MKE 3, 78-79].

Modern repairs: The debris was removed from the interior in 1964 showing that no recess existed on the north wall (as shown on the plans) and revealing a south chapel [Papageorgiou (1965a) 94-96; BCH 89 (1965) 300].

Early literature: The site was briefly mentioned by Pococke in 1738 [Cobham (1908) 258], the church was described by Enlart and Jeffery [Enlart/Hunt (1987) 305-6; Jeffery (1918) 257-58], and it is also referred to as Panagia Chrysiotissa [Hogarth (1889) 85; Peristianes (1910) 538; Gunnis (1936) 167].

Views: Soteriou (1935) pl. 10a, 11a and 15a [erroneously labelled as ‘St Philon’].

Plan / section: Enlart/Hunt (1987) 305; Soteriou (1935) 7; Megaw (1946) 51 [this plan is much more accurate than earlier plans, although 1964 work revealed the absence of the recess shown hypothetically on the plan, and the existence of the south annex room (chapel?)].