Roman theatres and contemporary arts: Australian archaeologists in Cyprus

I am spending the Day of Archaeology working on writing my report of the 2016 field season and at the same time planning the 2017 season. Archaeology is often like that, jumping backwards and forwards. “A big ball of wibbly-wobbly… timeywimey… stuff” I believe the expression is.

I am the director of the University of Sydney’s Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project working at the world heritage listed site of the ancient theatre of Nea Paphos in Cyprus.  The Australian team have been working at this site since 1995 under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus, and financed through our generous team of students and volunteers, along with private donors and the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) and the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney, Australia’s largest museum of antiquities.

Paphos Theatre, Cyprus

Nea Paphos was the ancient capital of Cyprus under the Ptolemies of Alexandria (during the Hellenistic period) and the early Roman Imperial period; the city established sometime in the very late 4th or very early 3rd century BC to take advantage of the natural harbour which would become in time a major emporium for all maritime trade networks between the Aegean and Alexandria.  The establishment of the new city was all part of the creation of a new Hellenic cultural koine across the eastern Mediterranean region in the wake of Alexander the Great’s conquests.  The building of a new theatre (the oldest permanent theatre in Cyprus) in the newly established town around 300 BC was a clear demonstration of this sweeping cultural change.

Through careful stratigraphic excavation over 17 seasons, the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project has been able to understand the building and broader site. The theatre was a venue for performance and spectacle for over six and a half centuries from its 3rd century BC construction until its final destruction by earthquake in the late 4th century AD. Despite much of the stone of the ancient theatre being reused in Late Antiquity during the construction of a nearby basilica, there is considerable architectural evidence for a stage building showing firstly Alexandrian-influence during the Hellenistic period and then Roman Imperial tastes with marble facading, Imperial sculptures and imported columns. At its largest extent, during the Antonine phase of the 2nd century AD, the theatre was over 90 m wide and had capacity for seating over 8500 spectators.

Panoramic image of the theatre. Photo by Guy Hazell

In recent seasons the project has focused its attention on the urban layout of the entire theatrical precinct. This work has seen the excavation of a Roman nymphaeum, and a paved, possibly colonnaded road to the south of the theatre over 8.4 m wide and dating to the 2nd century AD. This major thoroughfare was probably associated with access to the north-east city gate and the pilgrim’s route to the sanctuary of Aphrodite nearby.

In October 2016 the team opened five trenches, designed to illuminate our knowledge of activities taking place in the extremities of the theatre itself. It is the formal report of this activity that I am currently writing up.

Excavation on the top of the cavea in 2016

Trenches 16A and 16B were both located on the very top of the cavea (theatre seating), continuing earlier excavation, where a significant medieval or post-medieval structure of a probable industrial nature has been found built over the remains of the theatre. Considerable evidence of funnel-shaped sugar moulds and sugar jars were uncovered, suggesting that the building may have been a warehouse for sugar. Cyprus was the major source of sugar production, or ‘sweet salt’ as the Crusaders described it, from the Middle Ages until the rise of Caribbean production in the 16th century, and although Paphos harbour lost its significance by this point, perhaps there was still trade on a smaller scale.

Trench 16C was located in the very SW corner of the site, under the remains of a demolished building once used by the team as a dig house. It was hoped that this trench would locate the road further to the west and potentially an entrance from the road to the western parodos, replicating the layout of the eastern parodos. Unfortunately wall and floor surfaces from an Ottoman building restricted the working space. Even so, over 2.3 m beneath the surface level, a number of pavers were revealed that clearly show the road continues on a straight east-west alignment for the entire length of the theatre.

Measuring in Trench 16D

Trench 16D was also designed to expose more of the Roman road. Located closer to the nymphaeum the trench cleared the foundations of an Ottoman-period house. A significant number of ancient theatrical architectural elements were actually in-corporated into the lowest levels of the wall (pictured). Underneath, more of the stone pavers of the road were revealed.

The paved Roman road.

Trench 16E was located on the eastern side of the nymphaeum and was a continuation of an area of excavation first begun in 2010. A stone wall is indicative of medieval activity but continued excavation is required to understand the relationship of this section of the site with the theatre during the Roman era and earlier.

There were a number of significant architectural finds in 2016, including limestone architrave blocks of the Hellenistic period and a Roman marble Corinthian capital. A fragmentary Roman marble hand was also uncovered. Ceramic and other finds were consistent with finds in previous seasons, including a significant number of Roman and medieval ceramic sherds, among them lead glazed sgraffito pottery of the Crusader period.

Woman’s face in profile, fragment of Sgraffito bowl, Inv. No. 8258, trench 12D, deposit 2867, from the Paphos Theatre. Photo by Bob Miller

Major conservation work was conducted by the Department of Antiquities on the remains of painted plaster fragments from the area of the western parodos that were part of the major Antonine phase of the theatre, which give clear indication of some of the colour and design.

Painted plaster remnants on parados wall revealed following conservation.

We are currently planning our next field season to take place in October of 2017, so I currently have a number of emails from student and volunteer team members in my inbox waiting an answer after I finish this blog.  Much of my time is currently concerned with logistics – booking airfares, arranging accommodation and filling in safety forms for the university.  But in 2017 we are intending to open two new trenches; one continuing the work on top of the hill to understand the post-theatrical ‘warehouse’ building, the other investigating more of the Roman road which we hope to eventually expose for some considerable length.  We currently hypothesis that the insula block to the south of the road should be approximately 90 metres long and 30 metres wide.  Much of the 2017 season will also be concerned with restoring our finds from previous season in more appropriate manners for access for future researchers.

It will be a busy season, as the city of Paphos is currently European Capital of Culture for 2017, along with Aarhus in Denmark.  An exciting array of events are held throughout the year as part of the Pafos2017 festival, and excitingly archaeology is well represented.  This includes our own exhibition, Travellers From Australia to be held 2-15 October.  Over the years a number of Australian visual artists have worked at the site under the guidance of Prof. Diana Wood Conroy, our project artist-in-residence. It is an exciting element of the project, having archaeologist and artist work side by side. Both artists and archaeologists are related in their passion for the material culture of the past, but each has a different way of looking and interpretation in understanding the complexity of time and space.  From photography to sculpture, from illustration to tapestry each artist has recorded the ancient site, and indeed the process of excavation, in a remarkable way.

“By mixing artistic and archaeological images we get a new grammar of looking”, writes one of the artists, Derek Kreckler, in our forthcoming exhibition catalogue.  Media artist Brogan Bunt makes the point of the irony of ephemeral digital platforms of the modern world: the new technology he was using in 2006 is now unusable in 2017; yet for him, the ancient sites of Paphos have maintained their identity for millennia, while digital virtual heritage is far more fragile than the places it sets out to document and preserve.

Some sneak peeks of some of the works to be exhibited can be seen here:

Rowan Conroy, Pafos theatre Cavea, full moon, April 2006. Pigment inkjet print on cotton rag (from digitised 4×5 film positive) 900 x 1400 mm

Diana Wood Conroy.
Flower for Aphrodite
1998 – 2012
Woven tapestry fragment: wool and silk on cotton warp, 25 cm x
25 cm framed

Angela Brennan, Fourteen pots, Stoneware 2016-2017. Dimensions variable.

It is an interesting additional dimension to our archaeological work, and particularly on the site of an ancient theatre, which for centuries saw creative expression portrayed in the space, to allow a modern generation of artists into the archaeological process to spark their creativity is extremely exciting too!

Roman Streets of Cyprus

Since 1995 the Australian-based Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project has been conducting stratigraphic excavations and archaeological research at the site of the Hellenistic-Roman theatre of Nea Paphos in Cyprus.  The work at the World Heritage listed site by the University of Sydney team is conducted under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus, and is supported by the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens (AAIA) and the Nicholson Museum at the University of Sydney.

The excavations have revealed a theatre constructed at the time of the foundation of the town of Nea Paphos in the late fourth century BC and used as a venue for performance for six and a half centuries until its destruction in the late fourth century AD.  We know much about the architectural development of the theatre over that time, and Ptolemaic and Roman influences.  The urban layout of the theatrical precinct however is not so well known until more recent seasons of investigations.  Excavations south of the theatre have now revealed a colonnaded Roman road and a nymphaeum which is allowing some insight into the urban structure of the city during the 2nd century AD.

This was an important time in the history of the city, and the theatre itself underwent a significant make-over during the Antonine era, with a grand renovation of marble facading of the stage building, beautiful painted frescoes added to the parodoi and a massive dedicatory inscription added to the stage in the middle of the century.

In our most recent work we have attempted for the first time to understand the relationship of this road to the theatre and begin to understand the layout of the city during this important century.

The paved road, approximately 8.4 metres wide acted as the main traffic thoroughfare to the theatre (which would have seated over 8500 spectators at the time) is now thought to have acted as the main internal east-west running road of the ancient city (ie the decumanus maximus), and the processional route to the Sanctuary of Aphrodite at nearby Palaepaphos from the city.  The discovery of numerous fragments of granite columns on the site (over thirty at the theatre to date) suggest the road was colonnaded.

The granite columns have undergone previous study in Paphos and were proved over a decade ago by Olwen Williams-Thorpe to have been imported to Cyprus from granite quarries in Troad in Turkey – part of the massive Roman trade in architectural elements.  Troad columns are known from sites as diverse as Jerusalem, Leptis Magna and Rome itself.

Troad column fragments on the site of the theatre of Paphos

Troad column fragments on the site of the theatre of Paphos

In our last season we conducted the first ever geo-mapping survey of all Troad granite column fragments visible on the surface in Nea Paphos – some 167 in total – all in secondary or subsequent usage (indeed those columns reused in the Crusader castle known as Saranda Kolones are ultimately responsible for its incorrect name which means ‘Forty columns’).  Other columns were reused in the Early Christian basilica at Chrysopolitissa.

The precise position of all 167 column fragments were recorded using a Total Station and survey grade GPS and then plotted onto maps of Paphos (both modern and suspected street layouts of the ancient city).  Even with the later reuse of much of the stone it is now possible to determine the majority of the column fragments come from two distinct axes through the ancient town – “our” road at the theatre, and a north-south running street linking the harbour to the theatre.  These two roads we hypothesise, represent the cardo maximus and decumanus maximus of the Roman city: the two main roads colonnaded.

Analysis of the columns recorded is currently underway but there appear to be columns that were 12 Roman feet high, 14 Roman feet, 16 Roman feet (the predominant size it appears, 4.6 metres) and even 24 Roman feet (over seven metres) high.  It is an important break-through in terms of understanding the urban makeup of the largest city on Cyprus during this era of wealth and power.

In addition to the colonnade survey, the team for the first time recorded the theatre site using pole photography and photogrammetric programs (Agisoft PhotoScan) to stitch together over two thousand individual images of the theatre and surrounding areas.  The resulting 3D image will provide a valuable visual perspective on the ancient theatre’s landscape and will assist with the layout of future archaeological trenches and an understand of the urban layout of the town.


The theatre of Nea Paphos captured by pole photography and photogrammetric stitching

It is an exciting time to be thinking about Roman roads!

Visit the project’s website at or buy a team tea-towel and help support our work!  We will be excavating again in October 2016!

Recording the theatre using pole photography

Recording the theatre using pole photography

Educating Ruins

My Day of Archaeology 2015 is a frantically busy one.  And that actually makes it an enjoyable (if somewhat stressful) day!

I work as the Manager of Education & Public Programs for Sydney University Museums, which includes the Near Eastern, Egyptian and Mediterranean archaeological collections at the Nicholson Museum, and the Australian Indigenous and historical collections of the Macleay Museum.  I am trained as a Classical Archaeologist, getting my PhD studying the Hellenistic world in the Eastern Mediterranean, so for people like me with a Classical bent, to have a collection of antiquities of the scale of the Nicholson Museum in Australia of all places is extraordinary.  Likewise the collections of the Macleay Museum are mindblowing at times, and my colleague Matt Poll (the curator of Indigenous collections in that museum) is curating an exhibition titled ‘Written in Stone’ to open on 21 August which features Aboriginal stone tool technology from around Australia .  For an archaeologist like myself who works in Cyprus, to be able to walk into the next room to see antiquities from Cyprus from the Early Bronze Age through to the Middle Ages is a truly privileged position.


My role at the museums is to develop and teach the collections to museum visitors, from pre-schoolers, through to school groups, to undergraduate students, through to adult and retiree groups.  I am a strong advocate for the concept of public archaeology (hence I love the idea of Day of Archaeology each year) and feel passionately that it is the responsibility of every archaeologist to publish not only academic papers and formal reports, but to also engage with the community as strongly as possible – through community reports, site tours, educational programs, social media, and any other opportunities that arise.  We are a passionate group of people, so let’s share with the community what is exciting about archaeological inquiry!  Museums represent a perfect means of that public engagement, particularly at university museums where I see part of my duty to act as a connection between current research and the general public and using the collections is a means of sharing that process.


With school groups being a large part of our visitor make-up, I work very closely with the History Teachers Association of New South Wales.  And coincidentally today is the first day of their conference which is taking place on the campus of the University of Sydney.  So today I am hearing talks at that conference (indeed Matt has just spoken with teachers about the ‘Written in Stone’ exhibition at his session), and preparing myself for a talk that I will present tomorrow morning at the conference.  At the moment I have a powerpoint open and when I am finished this entry I am straight back to work on the talk.  My topic for the conference lecture interestingly is not directly archaeological, rather I am talking about depictions of Pompeii in popular culture through the centuries.

The historiography of archaeological investigation, and the impact of the ancient world in popular perception (reception studies) have long fascinated me, but with the structure of the Australian history syllabus, all students will study Pompeii as a core study for their Higher School Certificate.  It means students can get a good grip with a famous site, and approach the archaeological, epigraphical and historical evidence critically, as well as learn about the evolution of the history of excavating there.  Popular perceptions of the ancient site is not a large component of the syllabus (although it is there), but it something of a personal interest (you will be amazed how many archaeologists are film buffs!).  So the paper I am preparing will take a look at Pompeii through the eyes of visual artists, writers (from Bulwer-Lytton to Charles Dickens), musicians (any excuse to watch ‘Pink Floyd in Pompeii’ again, and film makers.  From the 1913 silent film version of ‘The Last Days of Pompeii’ to the recent movie starring Kit Harrington (via Doctor Who and Up Pompeii!) I want teachers to explore how the story of Pompeii has meant different things to different generations and how students need to be self-aware of modern baggage we bring to our historical interpretations.  But more importantly, its also a fun talk.  Did you know, for example, that British fireworks entrepreneur James Pain produced Pompeian ‘pyrodramas’ in England, the USA and even here in Australia in the late 1800s, that featured everything from dancing girls to fireworks?  It was a popular presentation at New York’s Coney Island between 1879 and 1914!  Fascinating to see how modern audiences responded to the story of Pompeii in film, spectacles, paintings and novels, and also how the ideas of historians and archaeologists were interpreted (or misinterpreted) by artists.



We ourselves at the Nicholson Museum have contributed to this with our current exhibition ‘Lego Pompeii’ which features part of the ancient city recreated in Lego blocks!

Lego Pomp

On top of the lecture, I am also giving teachers a guided tour of the Nicholson Museum this afternoon, and of the Macleay Museum tomorrow afternoon.  It is a great chance to get people into the museums who may not have seen the collections before, but also to talk first-hand with them about their educational needs and how best to get their students to analyse and interpret material culture in a classroom environment. Its also nice to meet the teachers without 100 Year 7 students ready for an excursion standing behind them!

My major fieldwork project is co-directing the Australian excavations at Paphos in Cyprus under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus.  I have written about the excavations in previous years.  The University of Sydney has been excavating the site of a Hellenistic-Roman theatre and the surrounding precinct at Paphos since 1995, which means I have been to Cyprus at least once a year, annually for two decades now.  It is an amazing place to work, and I am currently planning a small trip in mid-September to spend sometime working out logistics for our next planned field season in 2016 (yes we will be advertising for student and volunteer positions soon if you want to join us).


Working on the same project over a long period of time has given us a real depth of understanding of the nuances of the site: the architectural changes over six centuries, the changes in trade networks reflected in different ceramic usage and the questions of Roman urbanisation and town planning.  It is an excited phase of the project, where we have now built up a broad level of knowledge but are publishing as many of our findings as we can as quickly as we can (not always easy with limited resources).  I had earlier this week finished a paper providing an overview of twenty years of working at the site for a journal.  The deadline has long passed (sorry to the editors), so it has been a big relief to finish it off.  A colleague of mine has kindly reviewed the paper for errors and edits, and so I am half-way through the process of making recommended corrections.  Once it goes to the editors it will probably require further changes, but that is all part of the process of peer review and making a stronger and more coherent paper.  Ironically at the same time this article is beginning the cycle, I earlier this week sent the final proofs of a paper on the Hellenistic period phases of the theatre I co-wrote with one of the Directors, Professor Richard Green and our project’s architect Geoff Stennett, off to Denmark for inclusion in a volume on ancient Greek theatre.  So the next time I see the paper in couple of months will hopefully be in hard cover book format!


Sometimes it feels like as soon as you finish one article, another paper is due.  But the research and presentation is one of the aspects of archaeology I really enjoy and personally wish I had more time for.

So my Day of Archaeology is rather similar to most days in my career (if somewhat busier than normal).  Writing, editing, preparing a public lecture, taking tours and discussing educational options with teachers.  Because deep down all archaeologists are educators.  And so Day of Archaeology really should be every day!


From Museum to the Field: My Archaeological Life at the Nicholson Museum and in Paphos in Cyprus

My name is Dr Craig Barker.  I am the Manager of Education and Public Programs for Sydney University Museums, which includes the Nicholson Museum, home to the largest collection of Egyptian, Near Eastern and Classical antiquities in Australia, and the Macleay Museum which has significant holdings of cultural material from Indigenous Australia, Papua New Guinea and various locations in the South Pacific.  I am also a classical archaeologist who is the co-director of the University of Sydney’s excavations of the Hellenistic-Roman theatre at Nea Paphos in Cyprus.  So I get the best of both worlds: fieldwork and museum work.

My activities today during ‘Day of Archaeology 2014’ have actually been similar to a relatively typical day for me.  As I write this I have just completed a museum tour along with the Nicholson Museum’s senior curator, Michael Turner.  This was a morning tour for a number of benefactors to the University of Sydney, so it was a relatively formal tour, although still lots of fun, as I led a hands-on workshop with the group where Egyptian and Roman material in the Nicholson collection was handled.  Although Australia is currently in the middle of school and university semester holidays for the winter, our education team has been kept busy with school holiday programs and other activities.  Yesterday I and other curatorial staff welcomed over 50 school aged students from the Matavai Cultural Arts group of Pacifica communities in Sydney who came and explored the various museums and the material culture of the Pacific held in the Macleay Museum, as well as having a look around the grounds of the university.  So even without our usual undergraduate and school visitors it has been a busy time using the museum collections.  Discover our collections:

Part of the Nicholson Museum's Egyptian collection

Part of the Nicholson Museum’s Egyptian collection

One of the key components of any archaeological museum’s educational activities is explaining to visitors the aims and aspirations of archaeologists to interpret the past by using material culture, so it is great to actually be able to use genuine archaeological material.  In the case of the Nicholson’s collections of Egyptian and Classical artefacts this is even moreso, as its relatively rare for Australians to be able to access this type of material easily.  The hands-on artefact workshops are always a highlight of organized museum visits by school groups and tutorials.

Craig Barker teaching in the Nicholson Museum

Craig Barker teaching in the Nicholson Museum

A hands-on workshop at the Nicholson Museum

A hands-on workshop at the Nicholson Museum

Although all museum staff like to pretend that they don’t have favourite collections, in reality we do.  And mine is the Nicholson Museum’s Cypriot collection.  Obviously I work in Cyprus so know the material culture well, but the story of the 1500 Cypriot objects in the Nicholson Museum in Sydney is fascinating, and is largely associated with the work of our previous curator Professor J.R.B. Stewart (1913-1962), who was the first Professor of Middle Eastern archaeology in an Australian archaeologist, but also the first ever Australian to excavate in the Mediterranean, firstly in Cyprus in 1937 for the British School at Athens, and then again at a number of Bronze Age cemetery sites in northern Cyprus in the 1950s, including his final dig at Karmi in 1961; the first time Australian students had worked on an Australian funded and directed excavation project in Cyprus, and developing a strong scholarly contact between the two island nations.  2013 was the centenary of his birth, and a major conference was held at the Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute (CAARI) in Nicosia to commemorate his contribution to the archaeology of the island, particularly the Bronze Ages.  We at the Nicholson Museum marked Stewart’s contribution with an exhibition titled Aphrodite’s Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus which I curated; displaying material from the various excavations he directed, and material he acquired from Cyprus in the 1950s to be used for teaching his students.  It is interesting that decades after Stewart’s death, we returned to Cyprus to continue that link of research, education and excavation.

Aphrodite's Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus

Aphrodite’s Island: Australian Archaeologists in Cyprus

The University of Sydney has been conducting excavations in Nea Paphos since 1995 when the project was established by Emeritus Professor J.R. Green.  The work is conducted under the auspices of the Department of Antiquities of Cyprus, and is sponsored by the Nicholson Museum and the Australian Archaeological Institute at Athens.  We are currently planning our 2014 field season which will take place in late August and early September.  As the season gets closer I have been liaising with the team members and students, and have a few emails to send out this afternoon discussing aims for the season with senior team members and dealing with questions from the team.  Although I really should be putting some work into a publication that I am only half-finished this afternoon I realistically don’t think I will have a great deal of time to work on it today.  Over the weekend instead perhaps?

It is a real pleasure to be able to excavate and study in Cyprus, especially at such an interesting site.  Nea Paphos is inscribed on the World Heritage list and was the capital of the island during the Ptolemaic and Roman eras.  Despite today being a major tourist area and heavily developed, the area has spectacular archaeological remnants, including famous mosaics, an incredible necropolis site at the so-called Tombs of the Kings, and some very impressive Crusader remains when Paphos acted as one of the major ports for trade and pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land in the 11th and 12th centuries.  The Danish King, Erik the Good, died in Paphos in 1103 on pilgrimage.

Paphos theatre from the air following excavation

Paphos theatre from the air following excavation

The theatre of Paphos was constructed in the late 4th century BC, and was used as a space for performance and entertainment through various renovations and phases of architectural remodeling until its final destruction via earthquake in the late 4th century AD.   At its largest extent in the mid-second century AD phase, under the Antonine emperors the theatre was expanded to hold a capacity of over 8000 spectators.  The architectural development of the theatre has proved fascinating and much of our research has concentrated upon identifying the different phases, and the influence of Alexandria and Rome on each phase.  The later Roman theatre was adorned with marble which was imported from across the Mediterranean Sea.  As befitting a site used for so long, the ceramic, glass and small find evidence, while often fragmentary, documents the incredible history of the site and its role in major maritime trading networks, particularly with Alexandria in Egypt, two days sail to the south.  In more recent seasons we have begun to explore the urban layout of the precinct near the theatre, firstly with GPR surveying in 2010 and more recently through excavation.  We have located a major road surface directly to the south of the theatre and have excavated a Roman nymphaeum very close to the theatre which will be the subjects of publications currently being developed.  It is providing a fascinating insight into the Hellenistation and Romanisation of Cyprus, as well as indicating the significant role theatre played in the development of a Hellenistic cultural koine across the eastern Mediterranean in the period following Alexander the Great’s conquests.

Corinthian capital from the theatre at Nea Paphos

Corinthian capital from the theatre at Nea Paphos

I (and many of the returning team members) cannot wait to return to Paphos.  One of the great things about long term research and excavation projects is that you get to spend time with colleagues and friends in the area you are working.  Paphos has become a second home to myself and many of the senior team members, and it is always nice to return and catch up with people and enjoy haloumi, Keo beer and other pleasures of Cypriot life.  You will be able to follow the work we do over the five weeks of our field season in Paphos in 2014 on our blog:  A colleague of mine at the Nicholson and I are currently investigating us Skyping some excursion classes in the museum live from the site in Paphos so school students see the archaeologists live at work (we are working out time zones at the moment!).

Excavation at the theatre in 2012

Excavation at the theatre in 2012

This season we are hoping to open two trenches – one in the area of the foundations of the theatre’s stage building, the other a continuation of work we did in our last season in 2013 at the rear of the cavea (seating) area of the theatre.  There will also be considerable recording work to complete as we near the publication of our first volume of the project’s excavation report.  It will be hard work in the summer humidity, but should help with our understanding of the ancient theatre and the urban layout of the Roman city of Nea Paphos.

So for the ‘Day of Archaeology 2014’ I have been planning for future excavation, but also spending time with people exploring the collections of the museums I work in.  Its not a bad life at all.



Guiding students through the University of Sydney's historic Great Hall

Guiding students through the University of Sydney’s historic Great Hall


Recording the nymphaeum at Paphos

Recording the nymphaeum at Paphos

A Lego Colosseum and Other Stories

I am a Classical Archaeologist at the University of Sydney in Australia, and work as the Manager of Education and Public Programs at the Nicholson Museum, Australia’s largest collection of Old World archaeological material.  So my ‘Day of Archaeology 2012’ is spent like most others – trying to balance between museum education and archaeological research on the project I am working: excavations of a Hellenistic-Roman period theatre site in Paphos in Cyprus.