DIGS at the ancient site of Kourion (Curium) have started revealing an early Byzantine cityscape with mosaic floors and signs of a cistern, the department of antiquities said yesterday following the completion of the first season of an excavation project.
Archaeologists from the University of Cyprus and a Texas theological seminary hope to reveal how early Christians in Kourion lived.
As part of the Kourion Urban Space Project (KUSP) archaeologists have found two mosaic floors and a floor fragment and have prepared them for conservation. The floor fragment is associated with a cistern.
Future excavations will reveal the size and complexity of the mosaic floors, with one of them possibly including a figure and another decorated with geometric patterns.
The foundations of a water structure – modified at least twice - have also been found. After the destruction of the city’s main aqueduct in an earthquake in 365AD, the Byzantines used the terrain to create flat surfaces for cisterns. Read more.
A team of archaeologists from a Texas theological seminary and the University of Cyprus is hoping to reveal the ordinary domestic lives of Cyprus’ early Christians in a new dig at Kourion (Curium) which was destroyed by a series of earthquakes around 365 AD.
A long-cherished hope of team leader Professor Thomas Davis is that excavations will also uncover the island’s first ever “house-church”, a private home where early believers met to worship at a time when fear of persecution prevented the erection of churches.
“We are trying to explore something which doesn’t really get looked at in Cypriot archaeology, and that’s the common people,” said Davis, a professor of Archaeology and Biblical Backgrounds at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary at Fort Worth Texas and previously a director of CAARI (Cyprus American Archaeological Research Institute).
“Secretly, I would love to find the first house church found on Cyprus. There was a large community here and we know there were Christian believers before the quakes.” Read more.