2016 excavations at Nea Paphos completed
The Cypriot Department of Antiquities has announced the completion of the 2016 season of archaeological investigations at the site of the Hellenistic-Roman theatre of Nea Paphos by the Australian Archaeological Mission to Kato Paphos from the University of Sydney, under the direction of Dr Craig Barker. The Australian team have been excavating at the UNESCO World Heritage listed ancient theatre since 1995. The theatre is built in the southern slope of the hill known as Fabrika. The 2016 season ran between 12 October and 9 November 2016 and was supported by the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens and the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney.
|Paphos Theatre at sunrise [Credit: Department of Antiquties of Cyprus]|
Five trenches were opened by the Australian archaeologists in 2016. Each one was designed to illuminate more about the theatrical precinct.
|Corinthian capital [Credit: Department of Antiquties of Cyprus]|
A third trench to the east of the nymphaeum revealed a wall, probably of the Medieval period, that will be explored further in future seasons, while two trenches opened at the top of Fabrika at the rear of the theatre’s cavea (seating) uncovered more of a large Medieval or post-Medieval structure discovered in previous seasons. The finding of a large number of funnel shaped sugar moulds and sugar jars in this area adds to the hypothesis that this building may have been a warehouse or industrial building, and is evidence of the change of the site’s function long after the theatre below ceased to be used for performances.
|Wall paintings [Credit: Department of Antiquties of Cyprus]|
Major conservation work was conducted by the Department of Antiquities on the remains of wall painting fragments from the area of the western parodos (entranceway) that were part of the major Antonine period (2nd century AD) re-development of the theatre, which give clear indication of some of the colour and design of the painted walls.
The Australian team will continue their excavation at the site in 2017.
Source: Press and Information Office, Ministry of Interior, Republic of Cyprus [December 19, 2016]