Sites Visited: Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) and the Cyprus Museum
Leaders: Dan and Nat
Today we spent the day in Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus. We had a reception at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI), which enticed most if not all of us to work there for a summer or a year or… you get the idea. Afterward, we headed to the Cyprus Archaeological Museum. This museum might have been one of the most impressive so far in terms of contents, running the gamut from prehistoric stonework and pottery to Archaic sculpture to Roman work. One of the most exciting aspects of the museum was that many artifacts came from sites that we had seen this week!
During the afternoon, everyone split up to explore the city. Some of us went to a museum of Cypriot coinage, others went to Turkish baths, and others explored architecture in Northern Cyprus. Walking into the North was a surreal experience because even though crossing the border only took a few steps, the other side was like a whole other world. As the last divided city in Europe, Nicosia has tons to offer! Tomorrow we all head to the North to check out some sites and a monastery.
Nat, Dan and the Fam
Sites Visited: St. Solomon’s Catacombs, Ancient Theater of Pafos, 4th/6th C basilica at Agia Kyriaki, Mosaics in the Paphos Archaeological Park
Leaders: Michael and Grace
Today we met our tour guide, Dave, and he took us to a bunch of sites near the water in Paphos. We saw a Hellenistic tomb with a Christian burial, then we were sent to another site and told to figure out what we were looking at. It was a Roman basilica with later churches built on top of it. Next was the highlight of the day, we saw elaborate Roman mosaics that showed mythological scenes. They were part of the floor decoration of the house of an incredibly wealthy Cypriot from the Roman period.
Next, we broke for lunch and we each went our own way, and our task for the afternoon was to find something cool in Paphos. We went to a wide range of locations, from churches to beaches to art galleries. We reconvened for a quiz in the early evening, after which we told each other about our discoveries.
Michael and Grace
Sites Visited: Lemba, Cat Sanctuary, Palaipafos, Souskiou, Mesorotsos
Leaders: Ben and Shania
Today, we had another very long day on the bus, this time all around the area of Pafos. The very first order of business was to stop by The site of Dr. Paul Croft at Lemba and see the reconstructed Chalcolithic roundhouses as well as some artifacts and remains. After this, we went to an abandoned hotel to see a well which had been dug by Dr. Croft.
After thanking him and seeing him off, we embarked on the bus once more with the aim of the Paleopafos site, but took a brief side tour to see a local cat shelter with over 700 cats!
After the cats, we headed towards Paleopafos and the sanctuary of Aphrodite. We met up with Dr. Andrew McCarthy and Dr. Lisa Graham, who took us around the site. There were a lot of amazing things, including some massive Cyclopean blocks and a painted Roman sarcophagus. We then got lunch in kouklia, the modern village near the site at local tavernas.
After lunch, Dr. McCarthy and Dr. Graham took us to the site of Souskiou, a middle Bronze Age necropolis. The last site of the day was once again guided by Drs. McCarthy and Graham, after a fun and terrifying series of rides in their Land Rover. This site is their currently active project at Mesorotsos. As a result, we got to see a ton of open trenches and another replica of domestic Chalcolithic technology – this time a pit oven. These open trenches allowed us to learn a lot about the actual process of archaeology and ask questions of the people in charge of the site in person. We then walked back up the valley wall and got back on our bus to head home.
-Ben and Shania
Pre-pottery Neolithic Well
Palaipafos (Sanctuary of Aphrodite and Museum)
Souskiou and environs
Arrival in Cyprus
Sites Visited: Achilleos City Hotel
Leaders: Tim and Nathalie
Today we bid farewell to PCC and Athens and headed to Larnaka, the capital of Cyprus, with Professor Hruby, who finally joined us yesterday at the American Institute of Archaeology’s Easter lunch! As usual, getting to the airport was sort of a fire drill, but we made it onto the plane in one piece. After an eventful flight, we headed to the hotel. All of our hotels have been nice, but this one easily takes the cake – beautiful bathrooms with rain showers, a full gym downstairs, and a fishtank in the lobby, all around the corner from McDonalds! We unpacked our things for the evening and headed out for a group dinner at a restaurant on the beach before turning in for the night.
PCC, if you ever read this, we miss you!
Nathalie and Tim