Polish Archaeology in the Mediterranean — 9.1997(1998)

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NEA PAPHOS

THE CISTERN SOUTH OF THE VILLA OF THESEUS
Ewdoksia Papuci-Wiadyka
In 1996, a plastered cistern was found during excavations
south of the Villa of Theseus.1 Its exploration was finished by the
end of September 1997.2 The shaft of the cistern was reused as a
bin, in which two practically intact vessels were found: a kitchen
pot (fig. 1: 2) and a plate of Eastern Sigillata A (ESA) Hayes form
29 plate (fig. 1:1)3 dated from about 30 BC to 20/25 AD. These
may by interpreted as remains of contemporary kitchen use.
In 1997, continued explorations of the fill below the shaft
(a depth of ca. 3.00 m had been reached in 1996) revealed the
bottom at an unexpected level of barely 3.50 m. The cistern is
piriform in section and has a short recess of unexplained function,
leading northeastward and slightly upward from its almost flat
bottom.
The cistern evidently remained long in use. Large amounts of
pottery were found, mostly broken, but in many cases mendable
enough for the sections to be restored, and in some cases the entire
vessels (over 80 more or less completely mended pieces). Other
finds beside the pottery included coins, stamped amphora handles,
oil lamps, glass, metal, stone and other objects,4 as well as various

1 W. A. Daszewski, Nea Paphos: Excavations 1996, PAMWWl, 1996 (1997), pp. 119-120,
phot. 2.
2 The cistern and the pottery from it was presented briefly by H. Meyza and the present
author at the international conference: Jagiellonian University. Centenary of
Mediterranean Archaeology, 1897-1997, held in Cracow in October 1997 (to be
published).
3 J.W. Hayes, Sigillate orientali, in: EAA Atlante II, Roma 1985, pp. 13, 27, pi. IV.
4 These have been identified by other members of the expedition staff: W. A. Daszewski
who identified the coins, Z. Sztetyllo who commented upon amphora stamps, and
J. Mlynarczyk who kindly classified and suggested dates for the lamps.

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