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1MJ—Cyprus
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  • 1MJ Cyprus—Tarsus
    • Cyprus Tarsus—Tarsus Blog
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      Read our journal about our visit to Tarsus and surrounding territory, as well as see additional pictures and a movie at the end of the blog. Click the image on the left or click here.
    • Cyprus Tarsus—Roman Road
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      A Roman road was discovered in the very center of the Tarsus business district during building construction. The road is significant, because the construction has been dated by some to the first century A.D. The road was excavated by archeologists and reveals the direction pointing into the heart of the ancient city. In fact, the road points exactly in the direction of the traditional St. Paul’s well.
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    • Cyprus Tarsus—St. Paul’s Well
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      St. Paul's Well is an ancient well in downtown Tarsus that traditionally has been associated with the apostle Paul. The area around the well was excavated, and Roman artifacts have been uncovered. The stones around the well are part of a Roman road, so the well can be documented as going back to the ancient Roman period, at least to the fourth and fifth centuries. The ancient Roman road discovered in downtown Tarsus points exactly in the direction of this well.
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    • Cyprus Tarsus—Tarsus Museum
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      The Tarsus Museum is located in the city’s cultural complex and near St. Paul’s Church. The artifacts are displayed in a basement area and contain objects from the Gözlükule excavations as well as the old areas of the city. Library and security rooms are on the ground floor. The museum is said to have 28,176 coins, but these are not on display. The coins that are displayed are not dated, which is not helpful for research.
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  • 1MJ Cyprus—Antioch of Syria
    • Cyprus AntiochS—Antioch of Syria Blog
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      Read our journal about our visit to Antioch of Syria from our base in Adana, Turkey, as well as see additional pictures and a movie at the end of the blog. Click the image on the left or click here.
    • Cyprus AntiochS—Hatay Archeological Museum
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      The Hatay Archeological Museum is famous around the world for its Roman and Byzantine mosaics. The museum is located in the modern city of Antakya, which is ancient Antioch of Syria, in the Hatay province, which was annexed from Syria to Turkey in 1939. The mosaics go back to the second century A.D. and come from ancient cities such as Daphne, Antioch, and Tarsus. One outstanding artifact is a sarcophagus that still had the bones and jewelry of the elite individuals buried within. Some of the museum’s holdings were digitized in 2012, after our visit there. You can take a virtual visit in English on this Turkish website.
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  • 1MJ Cyprus—Kyrenia (Girne)
    • Cyprus Kyrenia—Girne Skyline
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      Modern Girne is the renamed Greek city of Kyrenia after the 1974 Turkish invasion and ethnic cleansing of northern Cyprus. Kyrenia also is the ancient name. Just over the mountain range from this port city is the ancient port city of Salamis where Barnabas and company first set foot on the first missionary journey. Barnabas was from Cyprus, and this is the probable reason for the choice of this first target of the Antiochene mission effort. Girne is worth a visit alone for seeing the Kyrenia Shipwreck Museum in the Kyrenia Castle, one of the most outstanding shipwrecks preserved from the ancient Roman period. The video gives a view of the city skyline against a mountain backdrop from the top of the Kyrenia Castle right at the port harbor.
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    • Cyprus Kyrenia—Kyrenia Shipwreck
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      The Kyrenia shipwreck is a merchant vessel that sank in 288 B.C. in a storm less than a mile from its final destination at the Kyrenia port on Cyprus. This ship was long in service during the time of Alexander the Great and his successors. This long service aids archeologists in learning about ancient ship construction and repair. The main cargo was wine, with about 400 amphorae from Rhodes, which indicates one of the stops of the ship on its last voyage. Other cargo indicates trade at Samos and Kos. Led fishing weights indicate the sailor diet, probably eaten ashore by the four seamen who manned the boat. The ship was built using the “shell first” method, opposite of today. The spokesman in the movie is Owen Gander, one of the principal divers of the 1968–1969 underwater archeological expedition, who happened to be taking measurements the day we visited.
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    • Cyprus Kyrenia—Kyrenia Shipwreck Museum
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      Owen Gander, one of the principal divers of the 1968–1969 underwater archeological expedition, happened to be taking measurements the day we visited. Jean struck up a conversation with Owen about the shipwreck, and, after finding out that I was a professor from the United States, he volunteered to take us on a personal tour of the shipwreck museum to describe the archeological work and the significance of the various artifacts displayed. We gained invaluable insight from one of the principal divers who actually took part in the original expedition.
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  • 1MJ Cyprus—Salamis
    • Cyprus Salamis—Harbor Breakwaters
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      The old breakwaters of the ancient port of Salamis are still visible today against the backdrop of the modern city. Salamis is where Barnabas and Paul first set foot on the first missionary journey. Cyprus was the home of Barnabas, and this origin is the likely reason for targeting the island of Cyprus as the first stop on this Antiochene mission, about A.D. 47–48.
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    • Cyprus Salamis—Stadium
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      The presence of the Roman stadium at Salamis indicates how Romanized this port city had become. The stadium is not well preserved, with only an oblong depression in the ground to give the idea of the ancient structure. However, a few columns remain in place on site, and the stadium seating from one section to the north is preserved. The stadium is only a hundred yards or so from the theater, showing how close these structures were arranged when possible.
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    • Cyprus Salamis—Theater
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      The Roman theater at Salamis could hold about 10,000 people, which gives an estimate of the population of Salamis at about 100,000. The theater is constructed in the classic Roman style, and is fairly well preserved. Most interestingly, the theater has some columns with Greek inscriptions that indicate the evidence of the imperial ideology of the Roman Empire in evidence and on display in this ancient city.
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    • Cyprus Salamis—Roman Baths
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      Roman baths were an iconic feature of Roman life. Even cities of other civilizations of conquered peoples show evidence of this standard element of Roman society. The ritual of daily baths was a part of even the typical Roman citizen. These baths were not just for cleansing; they were part of the fabric of Roman society and interpersonal relations. Like on the golf course today, business was conducted, and the activity of patrons and clients was prominent. Romans put great money into the construction of these baths, with marble and other materials used lavishly. They were frequented so much that foot traffic wore down the marble steps leading from one area of the baths to another.
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    • Cyprus Salamis—Roman Villa
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      Roman villas were the homes of the elite of Roman society in a given city. Home owners were wealthy and helped fund public works, such as aqueducts, building construction, such as the bath complexes, and other aspects of the ancient Roman city. These home owners also were the patrons of society, often having dozens of clients who depended on them for their livelihood and possibilities of advancement. These individuals also provided hospitality for travelers.
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  • 1MJ Cyprus—Kourion
    • Cyprus Kourion—Gladiator Mosaics
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      Ancient Kourion is on the southern coast of Cyprus, about two-thirds of the distance between Salamis and Paphos. The ancient ruins lie near modern Episkopi in one of the very few fertile regions of the rock island. The ruins lie on the top of the great cliffs that drop off dramatically to the Mediterranean Sea. The attraction of the ruins are the mosaics of the House of the Gladiators and the House of Achilles. The Greco-Roman theater has been preserved and is used for modern ceremonies. Kourion artifacts were removed by a treasure hunter in the nineteenth century and made their way to various institutions in the United States, including the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Stanford and Harvard Universities. Tragically the thousands of pieces at Stanford were destroyed by the 1906 earthquake.
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    • Cyprus Kourion—Driving Cyprus
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      Cyprus is nothing but rock—and very dusty almost everywhere. Driving Cyprus is a bore, because, unless you are right at the water's edge and can view the beautiful Mediterranean Sea, you basically have not much to view. The ancient site of the cliffs of Kourion, shown in the image, is one of the few fertile regions on the island.
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  • 1MJ Cyprus—Paphos
    • Cyprus Paphos—Ancient Ruins
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      Paphos is famous in myth as the birthplace of Aphrodite. As a result, Paphos was the most central site for the worship of this goddess throughout the ancient world. When Paul visited the city, Paphos was the capital of the senatorial province of Cyprus of the Roman empire. The ruins of the Roman governor’s palace are a key tourist attraction, along with exquisite mosaics in the House of Theseus and the House of Dionysus.
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    • Cyprus Paphos—House of Dionysus
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      Of the ancient ruins preserved at Paphos some of the most impressive are the beautiful mosaic floors from the homes of the wealthy elite of the city. The most outstanding and extensive of these include the House of Dionysus, named for the god portrayed in the central mosaic.
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    • Cyprus Paphos—Asklepios
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      An Asklepion was an ancient healing center. Activities would include rituals for healing by the supplicant, who, as a devotee to the god Asklepios, would give tokens of gratitude for perceived healing, sometimes in the form of the body part healed or by erecting a monumental inscription column. Elymas the magician, whom Paul confronted in his visit to Paphos, probably had connections to this healing center. Roman governors included magicians as advisors in their governmental cabinets, especially if the magician was perceived to have special powers, such as healing, or the ability to see into the future.
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    • Cyprus Paphos—Governor’s Palace
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      Paul met and converted the proconsul, Sergius Paulus, the Roman governor of the province of Cyprus who resided in the governor’s palace prominently positioned in the capital city of Paphos. The governor’s palace included not only rooms for residence, but governmental business as well. The Roman governor’s palace at Paphos has been uncovered and is known as the House of Thermeus. The typical place where the governor would have received palace visitors has been determined to be a horseshoe shaped apse up a flight of steps after passing a receiving hall that had a beautiful mosaic related to the story of Achilles. This apse likely is where Sergius Paulus received Saul of Tarsus.
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    • Cyprus Paphos—Ancient Port
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      The ancient port of Paphos is at water’s edge near the modern city. From this port, Barnabas and Saul would have departed from the island of Cyprus having navigated the entire length of the island’s southern end. They set sail for Perge, a busy port and capital of the province of Pamphylia on the southern coast of modern-day Turkey. Perge was inland a few kilometers, but easily accessed by the Cestrus river. Perge will become a sore point in the story of Barnabas and Paul.
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