Michael Given

Although three Tamassos royal tombs (one is shown here) were excavated more than a century ago, the funerary statues only came to light recently when a maintenance crew uncovered a stone lion’s head (see photos of stone lion’s head) near one of the tombs. In the salvage excavation that followed, author Marina Solomidou-Ieronymidou and her team from Cyprus’s Department of Antiquities found three other lion statues, as well as the two sphinxes. The archaeologists believe that these three pairs of statues served as guardian figures, preventing evil influences from disturbing the dead.