Cyprus launches 1st underwater archaeological park

A visitor swims at the underwater archaeological park of the ancient port of Amathus in Limassol, Cyprus, on July 9.

LIMASSOL, Cyprus (Reuters) — Cyprus has opened its first underwater archaeological park, offering visitors a glimpse of history at one of the eastern Mediterranean’s best preserved ancient harbors.

The now-submerged harbor lying off the ancient city-kingdom of Amathus was constructed between 312 to 311 B.C. and 294 B.C., when Cyprus was the focus of conflict between two successors of Alexander the Great. It was probably constructed as a naval base because of its narrow entrance, though experts say its combined commercial use cannot be dismissed either.

Over the centuries, it has developed into a natural reef where marine life thrives.