The Houses Of Aion And Theseus
It's time now to start our detailled look at the Archaeological Park, so let's begin at the beginning. Once you enter the Archaeological Park, if you keep left, the first sites you will arrive at the The Houses of Theseus and Aion. Let's take a look at their mosaics and other attractions...
This Must Be The Place
There is actually a third house here as well, belonging to Orpheus. However, in terms of viewability, that one is still very much a work in progress. So we shall concentrate on the signposted duo.
In this picture the House of Theseus is the open-air area on the left, whereas the House of Aion is in the building to the right. We took these pictures after a decent rainfall. This is a good time to visit outdoor mosaics, as they will have had a good wash and look nice and clean. Also, if you are lucky, you will be able to get some nice reflection shots with puddles.
The House of Theseus owes its name to a large mosaic featuring Theseus and the Minotaur. It is the largest one of all the known public buildings in the entire Roman Cyprus, and consists of over 100 rooms, built in four wings around a large, open court. What you are looking at here is the Southern Wing. This was the Ceremonial and Administrative area of the house. The private dwellings, servant's rooms and workshops make up the rest.
There is a useful information sign here too:
The House of Theseus
2nd - 6th cent. A.D.)
The area has been excavated by the Polish Archaeological Mission of Warsaw University. It is a building of palatial character, whose construction began in the 2nd century A,D and underwent many modifications. It was inhabited until the early 7th cntury A.D. According to the excavators, the building was the official seat of the proconsul, the Roman governer of Cyprus.
It expanded horizontally around a large atrium and consisted of clearly-defined official and domestic sections. The rooms were adorned with figural and geometric mosaic floors and many works of art. The principal staterooms were located in the south wing, in the centre of which an apsidal room was the reception hall. the floor of this room is decorated with a mosaic depicting the birth of Achilles. Other rooms are decorated with mosaic floors representing mythological scenes such as Theseus and the Minotaur (hence the name of the house) and Poseidon with Amphitrite.
Towards The House Of Aion
We will visit the House Of Aion towards the end of this blog. It is bigger than that building, but the interesting mosaics are contained within its walls.
The Benefit of Rain
We've visited the park on numerous occasions. In the height of summer, after a few hot winds, a lot of this walkway will be quite dusty. So it is nice to see what it looks like after a wash. In this picture the Eastern Wing is to the right, and the central square to the left.