Salamis has left a unique legacy of its many ancient inhabitants, even though the area suffered a series of natural disasters that all but destroyed the town. Ironically, nature has helped preserve the site – it lay undiscovered under layers of sand for hundreds of years.
Construction of the palace appears to have begun around 1950 B.C., although there may have been structures predating it. This "first palace" (as it is sometimes called) was damaged (likely by earthquakes) around 1700 B.C. and a second palace was built on top of it.
The city was founded by Trajan around 102–106, as indicated on scene XXXIX of Trajan’s Column, in memory of his victory in the Dacian Wars over the Roxolani and also later victories in 105, and as Ulpia Nicopolis in his honour using his family name, or nomen. However the name Nicopolis ad Haemum was used in Ptolemy's Geographia dating from before 130.