Friday afternoon is the time of the weekly directors tour of the site, allowing everyone a chance to see the great archaeology found in the other trenches. These tours and talks by the other teams illustrate the dynamism of the site. As the dig progresses more is revealed and the thoughts and theories of last week about the archaeology are either proved or thrown out as the earth goes down.
Friday night arrived, a time to wash the dirt off, and relax. Unnaturally bright coloured drinks served the purpose at a waterhole oddly called Baywatch.
The weekend has bought a chance to visit other close by archaeological sites. The medieval Castle of Lemesos, in use from the early Christian period (324-650 AD) to the Ottoman period (1570-1878) has a museum that has a great range of pottery on display. The collection contains restored vessels with decoration and iconography that is helpful in recognising pottery on the Pathos Theatre site.
Another medieval castle at Kolosso, first built in 1210 AD has intact wall paintings with Christian iconography. Little window niches in the castle offer a chance to sit in contemplation just as those of the past did.
Palaepaphos is an extraordinary site because of its age. The temple of Aphrodite dates from 1200 BC and the Aphrodite cult stone has survived and is in the museum. The stone is massive. It is dark and shiny where many hands over millennia have stroked it in prayer to the Paphian Aphrodite.
The Paphos Theatre is part of the larger World Heritage listed Kato Paphos Archaeological complex that dates from the Hellenistic period to the Ottoman Period. Within the archaeological park are surviving mosaic floors of elite Roman houses. Some are large-scale artworks depicting gods, animal scenes and geometric patterns rendered from tiny tesserae. The subtle hues of these combine to create and the overall impression of floors softer than silk carpets.
Back to the dig tomorrow, with more knowledge and in so much more awe of our spectacular site.