MA-P Maloutena and Agora in the layout of Paphos: modelling the cityscape of the Hellenistic and Roman Capital of Cyprus – Report 2020
Director: Professor Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka
In September 2019, the Polish archaeological expeditions in Paphos, i.e. the Polish Archaeological Mission, operating on behalf of the Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw (CAŚ UW) since 1965 and the Paphos Agora Project of the Jagiellonian University in Kraków (PAP UJ) since 2011, were combined under the supervision of prof. Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka. Both institutions formed a consortium with the Faculty of Geodesy and Cartography of the Warsaw University of Technology. The consortium received an OPUS 18 grant from the National Science Center (NCN) for research in Paphos led by this researcher, entitled “MA-P Maloutena and Agora in the layout of Paphos: modelling the cityscape of the Hellenistic and Roman Capital of Cyprus”. During 2020, despite the difficult epidemiological situation, the first MAP research campaign was successfully implemented. The excavation began on October 1st and continued until November 1st 2020 with a small group of 14 people (not all at the same time). The interdisciplinary MAP research team is composed of representatives of fields such as archaeology, geophysics, architecture and specialists in remote sensing research, procedural modelling and spatial analysis. Based on the information collected from previous research and source query, as well as new data obtained during the project, the team will reconstruct the layout of streets and buildings functioning in ancient Nea Paphos in different historical periods. Particular emphasis is placed on the residential area of Maloutena and the central part of the city, the Agora area. The result of the integrated research results will be the reconstruction of the city landscape and buildings in the form of 3D models. The obtained 3D reconstructions will be then subjected to spatial analyses in order to establish the relationship between the layout of buildings and streets and the functioning of the city in terms of visibility, population flow, potential number of inhabitants, etc. The project implements an innovative methodology for Cyprus, which has been successfully used, however, in only a few archaeological sites in the Mediterranean basin so far (e.g. Pompeii, Carnuntum).
In 2020, the focus was on verifying some key points in the city's street layout. Let us recall that Paphos was founded on the Hippodamian plan, i.e. a regular grid of streets intersecting at right angles. An inventory of architectural details discovered in previous years, which will be helpful in creating 3D reconstructions, was also carried out. The research in Maloutena was carried out in the area of Street no. 10 running along the N-S axis between the Villa of Theseus and the House of Orpheus. The aim of this research was to verify two intersections of this street and two streets running along the E-W axis, namely Street B where the Trail Trench, TT.II, was designed and Street C, where TT.I was opened. The aim is to clarify the chronology of the formation of these communication routes and to capture their lines. Excavation work has not been completed and work will continue in a future campaign. Research close to the Agora continued to verify the results of geophysical prospecting and it was concentrated within the Southern Portico and the hypothetically, adjacent to it from the south, Street L. Two trial excavations, TT.IX and TT.X, were opened, but none of them was explored to the bedrock.
As part of the promotional activities, a modest celebration of 55 years of Polish archaeological activity at the University of Warsaw and the Jagiellonian University in Paphos was organised in cooperation with the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus and the Embassy of the Republic of Poland in Nicosia, with the participation of the Minister of Communication, Transport and Public Works, Yanis Karousos.
Text: Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka