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Tenth season of excavations at Paphos ancient theatre continue
2006-08-02 15:13:02

Nicosia, Aug 2 -- Excavations of the eastern third of the cavea, which is now almost fully exposed, at the ancient theatre of Paphos has indicated that most of the eastern side was constructed on an earthen embankment, where the seating placed over it had largely been robbed out and it becomes clear that the fill over the lower cavea and orchestra derived in the first instance from the wash of soil once the protection of the seating had been removed.

According to the Department of Antiquities, in the lower part of the cavea, between stairways 4 and 5 in the northeast quadrant, excavations showed a roughly-built monument to Eustorgis, a man already known from an inscription from Salamis.

Furthermore, a column in the nearby Basilica of Chrysopolitissa, excavated some years ago, also has an inscription recording him, and it is quite possible that it too, like much other material at that Basilica, came from the area of the theatre.

These inscriptions confirm the form of the name, Eustorgis, which had given successive editors of the Salamis inscription some concern. It must clearly be the same man.

In Salamis he is mentioned as having restored that city. The date of this still awaits confirmation. At the ancient theatre of Paphos, it evidently belongs to a fairly advanced stage in the quarrying phase, but on present evidence one might suppose not so late as the mid-sixth century, as was proposed for the example from Salamis. The function of the monument in a dilapidated, pagan theatre is an intriguing question. Preparation of a preliminary publication is under way.

Much of the season's work was devoted to study of the finds for final publication. Among all this was analysis of the faunal remains which offer useful contrasts between the post-theatre quarrying phase, with its donkeys and cows, and the medieval phases with their different characters, industrial and then settlement, and different eating habits.

The tenth excavation season at the Ancient Theatre of Pafos was completed by the team from the University of Sydney under the direction of J.R. Green.

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