For over twenty years, teams from the University of Sydney have been excavating Nea Paphos, a splendid ancient theatre on the southwestern coast of Cyprus. Built in the year after Alexander the Great’s conquest, the theatre entertained audiences for over six centuries. At its height, it could hold over 8,000 spectators.

Dr. Craig Barker is a co-director of the excavation and Manager of Education and Public Programs at Sydney University Museums. He joined us to talk about the history and layout of Nea Paphos, its hidden surprises, and the mysteries that he and his colleagues are still investigating.

An overhead view of the theatre.
The University of Sydney's team at work on the site of the Nea Paphos theatre.
The mysterious "Charonian" tunnel that runs from under the stage-building to the orchestra. 


  • Explore the Paphos Theatre Archaeological Project through their website, which features extensive information about the site and plenty of photos.
  • Learn more about the archaeology of the town of Nea Paphos from the Cypriot government’s Department of Antiquities.

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