Paphos excavations uncover ancient bath house

EXCAVATIONS east of the new-opened Kings Avenue Mall in Paphos have uncovered a series of clay pipes, speculated to be a part of a Hellenistic and Roman-era aqueduct and system of bath houses
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Efstathios Raptou, an Antiquities Department official told the Cyprus News Agency on Saturday that although no amphorae or statues were found, the findings were of great importance in terms of the topography of Paphos, indicating that the ancient city was far higher above sea level that originally thought. Raptou also believes that it was possible the whole structure was decorated with murals that were destroyed centuries ago.

The system of pipes appeared to have been used to move water from different directions in the nearby hills to a series of tanks at the centre of the complex.

A total of four tanks were discovered, one of which was intact measuring nine metres in length, 4.7 metres wide and 1.65 in height, like a small bathing pool. The lower part of the ‘tank’ was embedded in the rock face.

A second, smaller tank at a higher level, which was connected to the other one by one of the clay pipes, was largely destroyed.

The state of the largest of the four tanks – vertically split in two – suggested the baths may have been abandoned at some stage and assigned some other use.

Fragments of marble coverings, mosaic flooring, and wall paintings were also evident at the site. The remaining archaeological material uncovered did not suggest any residential use.

The antiquities department posits that the baths were in continuous use throughout the Hellenistic period more than 300 years BC and may have fallen out of use gradually during Roman times.

“From an architectural point of view it’s a significant building,” said Raptou who supervised the excavations.