The archaeological site of Skouriotissa
The famous Skouriotissa mine is situated south of Soloi area and is one of the oldest known copper mines in the world, already reported in Homer's time. This famous mine, which is nowadays called Foucasa, is situated in the semi-mountainous area of contemporary Solea, between the villages of Katydata and Agios Nicolaos. The mine and the surrounding area were in recent times also called Skouriotissa, a name deriving from the impressive residues of smelting copper (slag), dated back to the Roman era. Copper mining continues there until today.
Due to the existence of this mine, the area was populated from the early Bronze Age. In 1918, there were archaeological excavations in the area, which brought to light 100 ancient tombs and several amphorae of the Bronze Age. Recent research has also proved that a settlement of the Prehistoric Era existed in the area, as well as a Roman settlement and a cemetery. Generations of Cypriots have worked incessantly, often under adverse conditions, in the dark galleries of the Skouriotissa mine.
At the time of the last Great Persecution of Christians and around year 310, given also the "damnatio ad metalla" law, many Christian convicts were exiled from Palestine to Cyprus because of their faith and were sentenced to hard labor both at the Skouriotissa and other mines of the island.