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JU archaeologist to lead the Polish research station in Cyprus

JU archaeologist to lead the Polish research station in Cyprus

The Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology of the University of Warsaw will establish a Polish research station in Cyprus. The station will be led by Prof. Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka, who also works at the Jagiellonian University Institute of Archaeology and who for two years has been the chief researcher of the Polish Nea Paphos archaeological expedition. The station will begin its activity next year.

The ancient city of Nea Paphos is one of the most important archaeological sites in Cyprus. It was founded in the Western part of the island in the late 4th or early 3rd century BCE. It has first been a part of the Egyptian Ptolemaic Kingdom, and was later taken over by the Romans. In the period of about 200 BCE to 350 CE, it served as the island’s capital. When it was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, it became part of an archaeological park with a total size of about 75 hectares (~185 acres).

‘The history of Polish research in Cyprus is long and full of success. After a talk with the Cypriot authorities, we came to a conclusion that future prospects are also very promising, therefore it’s a good idea to begin joint institutional cooperation by establishing a research station in Paphos. In the coming years, it will provide support for our researchers, similarly to our headquarters in Cairo’, said Director of the Polish Centre of Mediterranean Archaeology Dr hab. Artur Obłuski.

The newly established station will provide accommodation for Polish researchers. Some of its tasks will include conducting archaeological research in Cyprus, working with the Cypriot Department of Antiquities and local government, providing logistics support for Polish research expeditions and collaboration with the Polish embassy in Nicosia. The station will also promote Polish archaeology in Cyprus.

‘Establishing a Polish research station opens completely new possibilities both when it comes to research and science communication. The idea first came to us two years ago, when I was named the head of the joint expedition of the Jagiellonian University and the University of Warsaw. We discussed this with Cypriot authorities last year, during the 55th anniversary of Polish archaeological activity in Cyprus. We have the support of both the Department of Antiquities and Polish embassy’, said Prof. Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka. Her team’s progress can be viewed on the project’s website: www.polisharchaeologyincyprus.com.

Prof. Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka has been conducting archaeological research in Paphos since 1984, where she was invited by the then-head of the expedition Prof. Wiktor Andrzej Daszewski. In the beginning, she was focused on Hellenic pottery and field work supervision. After many years, she decided she would like to launch her own expedition, which became possible when she received her first grant within the framework of the Paphos Agora Project in 2011.

‘Our research in the last decade has borne excellent fruit. We proved that the agora was built in the Hellenic period and that the city was surrounded by double portico rather than a single one. The agora was much bigger than it was previously thought: it was the size of about 2.5 hectares (~6 acres). As each of its sides could be as long as 160 metres, it could have been one of the largest squares in the Mediterranean’, Prof. Papuci-Władyka added.

Kraków researchers have discovered the remains of large public edifices from the Hellenic period and mapped out a network of adjacent streets. They have also found a great number of everyday items that shed light of the life in the ancient city, including a surgeon’s office complete with a well-preserved set of equipment as well as old wells and cisterns (Cyprus was under a constant threat of water shortage), each filled with ancient artefacts such as pottery, coins, oil lamps, metal objects, terracotta and other similar items.

Prof. Ewdoksia Papuci-Władyka has been the leader of the Polish archaeological expedition in Paphos for two years. The aim of the research consortium supervising the project, consisting of the Jagiellonian University, University of Warsaw and Warsaw University of Technology is to map out the streets and building of Nea Paphos in different time periods and provide a three-dimensional reconstructed model of the city.

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