Medieval Georgian monastery discovered in Cyprus’ Paphos forest
A Georgian monastery dating to the 10th century AD has been discovered in the Paphos forest, five kilometers east of the seaside village of Yiala, according to a Department of Antiquities release.
As early as 1981, Georgian Professor Vakhtang Jobadze had tracked down ruins of the monastery, mentioned in Georgian sources, but it was not until very recently that a proper archaeological investigation followed.
With the blessing of the Patriarch of the Georgian Orthodox Church Ilia II, the Georgian Ministry of Culture commissioned an expedition to Cyprus under the leadership of Professor Iulon Gagoshidzwe in October.
According to the sources, Georgians served in the monastery from the 10th century and it continued to belong to them until the 14th century. Inscriptions carved on the buttress of the south portico are dated from this century, after which written information disappears. Queen Tamar of Georgia (1184-1210) took a particular interest in the monastery.
An area of over 500 square meters has been cleared during the four-week excavation period, revealing the layout of the monastery and its various building phases. The oldest building of the monastery is a three-aisle domed church, which must have been built in the 10th century and was dedicated to the Virgin. Later, apparently at the end of the 11th century or at the beginning of the 12th century, a minor church was attached, to the north.