'The Tombs of the Kings' form part of the Archaeological Park of Kato Pafos (Paphos) and have been listed on the UNESCO World Heritage Sites since 1980. This ancient necropolis contains large tombs dating from the 4th century BC to the 3rd century AD. The name is a misnomer as no kings were buried there, only Ptolemaic aristocrats and wealthy, high-ranking government officials.
The chamber tombs are carved from solid rock, many of which feature elaborate designs and decorated walls. The appearance of some have changed over the years due to use by early Christians and also in Medieval times, when squatters moved into the area.
The bodies in the tombs were not preserved because of the high humidity of the coastal area. During the Hellenistic period, the dead were buried with Rhodian amphorae which had the date stamped on the handles, providing valuable information for dating the tombs. Grave robbers were active at the site in the 19th century, but some of the tomb contents remained and are stored today in the Archaeological Museum of Paphos.
Doric columns are visible in several tombs which resemble Egyptian tombs in Alexandria. Egyptians believed the dead should be buried in tombs similar to their houses. Pictured below are tombs with an open atrium.
Burial practices of ancient cultures reveal that they believed in life after death. Various objects were buried with them for use in the afterlife and it was generally believed there would be some kind of retribution for earthly deeds.
Several millennia later, we can take God's inspired Word into our hands and read the truth regarding life after death. We are urged to prepare for eternity during our walk on earth.
The pandemic has made us painfully aware that life can be tragically cut short and loved ones are gone too soon. Even if we are fortunate to enjoy 100 years, it is only a drop in the ocean compared to the timelessness of eternal ages.
The Bible says in Hebrews 9:27:
And as it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgement.
God extends His grace and forgiveness to us today by offering us eternal salvation through faith in His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. He bore our judgement and death so we could be accepted by God and cleansed of our sin.
...do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?
A walk through the tombs in Paphos reminds us that preparation is vital because death will surely come. Believers rejoice that it is not the end but the beginning, when death will be swallowed up in victory.
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Bible quotes: NKJV