The archaeology of the ancient theatre of Nea Paphos in Cyprus: from ancient voices to modern artists

Public talk by Dr Craig Barker, Sydney University Museums

The University of Sydney has been excavating the site of the ancient theatre at the World Heritage listed site of Nea Paphos in Cyprus since 1995. The theatre, constructed in around 300 BC was used as a venue for performance and spectacle until its ultimate destruction in the late fourth century AD, over six and a half centuries later. The theatre underwent at least five phases of architectural remodelling and renovation during the Hellenistic and Roman eras, each leaving its trace archaeologically, and traces of ancient artistic traditions through fragmentary marble sculptural remains and fresco paintings on the theatre’s walls. Through careful stratigraphic excavation we can now retrace this rich history of the site, as well as its post-theatrical life with links to the Crusaders and the Venetians. The Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project has also revealed much information about the urban precinct surrounding the theatre, which we now know reflect the wealth and privilege of the most important Roman city on the island: wide paved roads, a nymphaeum and a colonnaded fa├žade of the second century AD.

Free event. Further information.

Image: Ian Potter Museum of Art at dusk [detail]. Photo by Peter Casamento