In September, the team conducted a geo-mapping survey of the ruins of the town’s Roman colonnades.
Excavations immediately to the south of the theatre revealed a Roman paved road, approximately 8.4 metres (28 feet) wide, which was the main traffic thoroughfare to access the theatre, the antiquities department said.
“The existence of this road also confirms that ancient Nea Paphos was laid out on a typical Hellenistic grid plan. The discovery of numerous fragments of granite columns on the theatre site (over 30 to date) confirms the importance of the paved road,” said the statement.
The columns are made from granite from quarries in Troad in Turkey and reflect Roman trade in monumental architectural elements.
The largest, and least common, of Troad granite columns stood 24 Roman feet (over 7 metres) tall.
“Troad granite columns are known from colonnades across the Mediterranean. As the capital city of Cyprus at the time, it is not surprising that Nea Paphos would be adorned with this architectural demonstration of Roman civic order.”
The ancient theatre was recorded for the first time using pole photography and photogrammetry programs which stitched together over 2,000 individual high-resolution photos.
Paphos, is a coastal city that lies directly by the Mediterranean sea. The city itself is situated at the southwestern corner of the Island of Cyprus.
Cyprus is infamously known for its idols and pagan deities, and also the recepient of many historic earthquakes!
Cyprus is first mentioned in the New Testament in Acts 4:36, denoting it as the native place of Barnabas. It was the place where Paul’s first missionary tour would begin (Acts 13:4-13 ), where he and Barnabas and John Mark (Acts 12:25) were sent out by church of Antioch. Barnabas and Mark visited it alone (Acts 15:39). “Mnason of Cyprus, an old disciple, with whom we should lodge” is mentioned in Acts 21:16. Paul’s many voyages centered around Cyprus as we are told in Acts 21:3; 27:4.
There is one particular bible story that takes place in exactly the same place where the theatre was uncovered– Nea Paphos.
As we recall, Saul of Tarsus, now called Paul, after being filled with the Holy Spirit, became a devout follower of Jesus Christ. After his conversion, Paul, accompanied by Barnabas, visited Paphos during the first century AD, when the Roman governor held residency there. It would mark Pauls’ very first missionary tour (Acts 13:6) and It was here that Paul would convert Sergius Paulus the proconsul (governor of the province in the Roman Republic) despite great opposition from Elymas the sorcerer, who Paul blinded.
6 And when they had gone through the isle unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, a Jew, whose name was Barjesus: 7 Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.8 But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy from the faith.9 Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Ghost, set his eyes on him.10 And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of all righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?11 And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind, not seeing the sun for a season. And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.12 Then the deputy, when he saw what was done, believed, being astonished at the doctrine of the Lord.13 Now when Paul and his company loosed from Paphos, they came to Perga in Pamphylia: and John departing from them returned to Jerusalem. – Acts 13:6-13 (KJV).
Paphos is to this day recognized for their infamous cult worship of Aphrodite. During the 12th century BC, the Myceneans had erected several temples/shrines in her honor. As the myth goes, Paphos was where Aphrodite (or Venus), known as the Greek goddess of love and beauty, was said to have risen from the foam of the sea.
Even the town’s name “Paphos” itself is tied to the pagan goddess Aphrodite. Paphos, was the son of Pygmalion. Pygmalion was the sculptor who created the cult image of Aphrodite carved out of ivory, and fell in love with it. It is believed in Greek mythology, that the statue was “brought to life” by the goddess Galatea, who in turn bore Pygmalion a son, named Paphos.
Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods. – Psalm 97:7 (KJV).
Biblically, we know that the cult of Aphrodite is mentioned in Corinthians. The Corinth had gods and goddess’ from Egypt, Rome and Greece. The actual temple of Aphrodite, stood atop the Acrocorinth, and housed well over 1,000 cultic temple prostitutes. As a form of worship, the prostitutes would engage in sexual activities to honor their goddess.
The bible is laden with warnings regarding such practices:
8 Their land also is full of idols; they worship the work of their own hands, that which their own fingers have made: – Isaiah 2:8 (KJV).
8 And he shall not look to the altars, the work of his hands, neither shall respect that which his fingers have made, either the groves, or the images. -Isaiah 17:8 (KJV).
They shall be turned back, they shall be greatly ashamed, that trust in graven images, that say to the molten images, Ye areour gods.-Isaiah 42:17 (KJV).
Who hath formed a god, or molten a graven image that is profitable for nothing? -Isaiah 44:10 (KJV).
What profiteth the graven image that the maker thereof hath graven it; the molten image, and a teacher of lies, that the maker of his work trusteth therein, to make dumb idols? -Habakkuk 2:18 (KJV).
For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you.God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;-Acts 17:23-25 (KJV).
Paul dedicated entire books (1 Corinthians 5, 6, 7 and 8) mentioning the abominations taking place with the Corinthians: idol worship, sexual immorality, and incest (to name a few). Paul’s chief response was to flee immorality, idolatry, and bondage, and put the sexually immoral out from their midst.
In other biblical passages, Philippians 2:25-30 and 2:4-5, and 4:18-19, Paul mentions Epaphroditus. The name itself is of pagan origin, and literally means “belonging to Aphrodite.” Through the power of Jesus Christ, Epaphroditus had been set free from pagan worship, and instead belonged to JESUS, despite his pagan name. His REBIRTH and NEW CREATION through JESUS, manifested the healings of his heart, not the meaning that was given in his name! Christ recognized him as a child of GOD, as did Paul. He was the one who visited Paul with gifts when Paul was in prison. If you find time to read the story, it is one that really sheds light and gives instruction when we compare it to the modern “sacred name movement” that falsely teaches followers of Christ to call JESUS by the name YAHWEH, often citing that JESUS is really Zeus.
Source:Business Insider and sources cited in article
Join us at: He Is Coming -Are You Ready?
Jesus Christ was born, lived, died, and rose again for the sole purpose of saving us from our sins. Are you saved? The bible declares that “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” – Romans 10:13 (KJV). Salvation is turning your life over to Jesus Christ, believing that Jesus is the son of God, and renewing your mind with his spirit, that is done through repentance of sin, and following JESUS with all your heart, mind and soul. JESUS transforms lives, if you are ready for this life saving step, call upon your savior TODAY! Learn more here.
“…many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased” – Daniel 12:4 (KJV).
For thy servants take pleasure in her stones, and favour the dust thereof – Psalm 102:14 (KJV).