Hi my name is Taryn Gooley and the 2010 season of the Paphos Theatre Project is the first excavation I have participated in. I recently finished my honours degree in Classical Archaeology at the University of Sydney. My thesis focused on Mediterranean shipwrecks and the evidence they could provide on trade in the classical period, so excavating a Hellenistic theatre is something very different and exciting for me
to learn about. I was assigned to Trench 10 F and under the watchful eye of our trench leader Ronan, it was our objective to try and determine what was between the rear of the stage building and the Roman road.
This site is particularly interesting to me as it has various features ranging from the Hellenistic period right through to modern times. This was immediately obvious in our first day of digging as within the first two hours we had uncovered the beginnings of a medieval wall (one of many exciting developments for myself and my trench buddy Pamela, both unseasoned archaeologists.) As we progressed through the season we found two more walls all at very odd angles which appear to have been constructed at
various times throughout the medieval period. I was very lucky to have found a Bronze Byzantine(?) coin lodged in the dirt coating a piece of pottery I removed during our clean up of one of our many confusing Medieval walls.
After days of hard work and lots of shoveling (after which I discovered muscles I didn’t know I had), we finally reached the Roman road in the rear of our trench. Once the road was cleaned we were able to focus on removing one of our walls and taking the western side of our trench down to the same level as our Roman road. We finally completed this task today (our last day on site ) to much excitement as
this part of our trench has a giant set of stairs cut into the bedrock which could possibly lead up to the theatre.
My experiences here in Paphos including waking up at the crack of dawn and shoveling tonnes of dirt (a task which has given me insight into why council workers so often seem to be having smoko breaks), carefully cleaning and sorting pottery, drinking at Aces and eating pastries from Zorpas, as well as the people who I’ve met, have allayed any (very minor, placed into my consciousness by parents and
grandparents) doubts I had over not choosing a ‘sensible’ profession. I’ll definitely be back again next year!