WITH THESE DISCOVERIES the project, which had begun on a shoestring budget and sallie mae consolidate student loans, now required all sorts of specialists: numismatists, conservators, physical anthropologists to move human skeletons intact, paleobotanists, and, most important, computer mappers to record every fragment uncovered.
Returning in 1985, we left the outlying temple site and moved within the city of Kourion to give special attention to Daniel’s house. When it was constructed in the late first or early second century A.D., it was spacious and stately. Although the house lacked the mosaic floors that testify to opulence, it was comfortable and private. Occupants entered it through a long alleyway that concealed the entrance from the street. Once inside, a guest came upon a lovely paved courtyard with a handsome portico supported by Doric columns.
Behind the portico we found a tablinum, a sort of conversation room, suitable for intimate entertaining. From the tablinum two spacious doorways opened into a room 20 feet square with a carefully tiled, gabled roof supported by a central column. The largest room in the house, it may have been a triclinium, or dining area. I envisioned Romans ensconced on couches as sumptuous repasts were served.
Though the house differs in its floor plan from those found elsewhere in the Roman world, it bears a striking resemblance to traditional village houses in Cyprus found today in nearby We discovered other links between present and past. The veneration of stone fetishes has formed part of Cypriot religious practice since ancient times. We unearthed some conical stones (bottom), of a type associated with the shrines of ancient Cypriot gods. And near our excavation house there is a rectangular stone with a perforated center. As part of a traditional Christian ceremony still observed, young girls crawl through it to assure fertility, and babies are handed through it for protection.
CLASSIC RACE ROUTE
Where: Cape Argus Cycle Tour route, Cape Peninsula, South Africa
When: All year round.
Why should I go? The views you will encounter while riding this challenging 109km road route are simply awesome. As well as Cape Town’s cityscape, you’ll take in Table Mountain and the Atlantic Ocean. The part of the race course that runs through Table Mountain National Park is open only for the Cape Argus Cycle Tour (on 9th March 2008) so, if you’re not riding the route during this event, you’ll need to cycle along the road parallel to the park.
How do I get there? Fly to Cape Town with South African Airways (for more information call 0870 747 1111 or visit flysaa.com). To find out more about the route or the Cycle Tour call Cycletour on +27 (0)21685 6551 or visit cycletour.co.za.
Where: Nelson to Queenstown, New Zealand When: All year round.
Why should I go? Anyone who’s seen The Lord Of The Rings can attest to the beauty of New Zealand’s landscape. This moderately challenging 750km road route takes in a staggering amount of the amazing scenery the country has to offer, including craggy Mount Cook, the verdant Westland National Park, pristine beaches and imposing glaciers. And you won’t have to fight any Ores in the process. How do I get there? Fly to Nelson with Air New Zealand (for more information call 0800 028 4149 or visit airnewzealand.co.uk). To find out more about the route visit New Zealand Tourism’s website at newzealand.com.
Where: Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria
When: May to October
Why should I go? Saalbach is one of the best mountain bike resorts in Europe. It has 180km of winding off-road trails and there’s even an indoor free ride park just in case the weather should turn nasty, or you fancy having a crack at a few Travis Pastrana-style manoeuvres. And you’re not actually worried about pain.
How do I get there? Fly to Salzburg with Austrian Airlines (for more information call 020 7766 0300 or visit aua.com). Then get a bus transfer to Saalbach with Holiday Shuttle (for more information call +43 (0)699 8155 8969 or visit holiday-shuttle.at). To find out more about the resort call the Saalbach tourist board on +43 (0)6541680068 or visit saalbach.com.