Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project

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This listing expired on September 30, 2019. Please contact for any updated information.

Location: Paphos, CY

Season: September 30, 2019 to November 1, 2019

Application Deadline: July 1, 2019


Program Type:
Field school, Volunteer

RPA Certified:

The University of Sydney under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus. Project supported by the Australian Archaeological Institute in Athens and the Nicholson Museum.

Project Director:
Dr Craig Barker, The University of Sydney

Project Description:

Since 1995 the University of Sydney has conducted excavations at the World Heritage listed site of Nea Paphos under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus. The Australian mission has been concentrating on the excavation of the ancient theatre and surrounding environs of the town that was the capital of Cyprus under the Ptolemaic and then Roman administrations. 

The excavations have revealed a theatre used for performance and entertainment for over six and a half centuries (circa 300 BC to the late fourth century AD). At its maximum extent during the reign of the Antonine Emperors of the second century AD, the theatre could seat over 8500 spectators. Considerable Medieval and post-Medieval period finds have also been uncovered, as Paphos was a major trading port at the time of the Crusades. Fieldwork is currently concentrating on investigating the urban layout of the surrounding theatre precinct including revealing paved Roman roads and a Roman nymphaeum (water house).

As well as the physical excavation of the site, the team is working on the interpretation, cataloguing and publication of ceramic and other finds. The project is interested in: the development of theatre architecture; the materiality of the spread of theatrical performance to the eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic period; ceramic production in Cyprus from the Hellenistic to post-medieval periods; the urban layout of the ancient city; and the Roman use of water in an urban context.

Period(s) of Occupation: Hellenistic-Roman theatre Late Antiquity quarrying and industrial production Medieval occupation and industry Post-medieval occupation, agriculture and industry

The 2019 field season will likely concentrate on a medieval structure on the top of the hill to the rear of the theatre, and the area of the Roman road due south of the theatre as we attempt to better understand the urban layout of the city. We have student positions for current students and recent graduates of archaeology, ancient history and related subjects; and contributing volunteer positions for members of the public who do not necessarily have any training in archaeology but have always wanted to participate in an excavation.

Project Size: 25-49 participants

Minimum Length of Stay for Volunteers: Three weeks

Minimum Age: 18

Experience Required: Previous fieldwork experience desirable not not required

Room and Board Arrangements:
Share accommodation within the nearby Crystallo Apartments, which come with en suite bathroom and kitchenette. Basic but comfortable. Paphos has access to all modern conveniences. Cost: Student costs (for five weeks) = $2500 Australian dollars per person ($1775 USD). Cost covers accommodation, transport from Larnaca airport, all meals on excavation days (five days of the week), field tuition and guided tours of local sites. Airfare to and from Cyprus is not included. Contributing volunteers costs (for five weeks) = $4900 Australian per person ($3500 USD). Cost covers accommodation, transport from Larnaca airport, all meals on excavation days (five days of the week), field tuition and guided tours of sites of interest in Cyprus. Airfare to and from Cyprus is not included.

Contact Information:

Dr Craig Barker

Nicholson Museum A14

The University of Sydney




Phone: 61290365409

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