13 January 2014 14:46

"Four coins, two well-preserved lamps and a small pawn of dark stone" have been listed amongst a few small finds of intrinsic interest during the University of Warsaw's archaeological excavations in Kato Paphos.
According to an Antiquities Department announcement on Friday about the Polish Mission's completion of the 2013 excavation season, the team's exploration was "confined to the remaining southern part of the main courtyard of the so-called Hellenistic House and its southern portico."
More signs of looting, first noted during 2011 excavations, were found and the University of Warsaw team also discovered that in some areas the original plan of the collapsed constructions could be discerned.
"It seems that the earthquake, which caused the collapse, was intense and that there existed an upper floor above the courtyard porticoes, the destroyed walls of which constituted most of the rubble layer… The remains were partly preserved in situ after an earthquake in the second century AD."
The stylobate (the top step of the crepidoma, the stepped platform on which colonnades of temple columns are placed) of the southern portico was found to have been removed.
"Its foundation was preserved with traces of gypsum plaster, which was used to set the stylobate blocks. Together with the stylobate, the lowest drums of the southern colonnade had been removed. Between the upper drums of the colonnade remains of entablature were found. These included two acroteria (decorative pedestal for an ornament or statue) with the symbols of the Dioskouroi (twin star-crowned gods): a pilos (conical hat) with a superimposed star," the Antiquities Department said.
"The position of these on top of the entablature is conjectural. Their position could mark the entrance to the building from the south, considering that in the back wall of the portico, which is at the same time the southern elevation of the building on street A', a wide door (2,20m) was noted.
"There are also possible traces of its wooden construction left by a set of bronze nails and an iron tube, which may have belonged to the hinge. The portico had a well-preserved floor beaten with green clay.
"The floor of the courtyard itself was found 25cm below the level of the portico floor and the foundation of the stylobate must have been partly visible from the courtyard," the announcement noted. Amongst other findings regarding the possible layout of the structure, the Department noted that in the disturbed fill above the courtyard surface "were a few small finds of intrinsic interest including four coins, two well-preserved lamps and a small pawn of dark stone".
The announcement concluded that: "Further, two reused blocks belonging to the tholos (circular building) structure had also been found. Its diameter does not seem to exceed  3m and it was possibly similar to a tholos in the Arsinoeion in Alexandria.
"This is obviously only a hypothesis, but it justifies an attempt to verify whether the original tholos did not exist at a lower level under the courtyard of the so-called Hellenistic House."


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