Catastrophe at Kourion

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.

Catastrophe at Kourion

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.

tablinum

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.

Best bike routes

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.Cape Argus Cycle Tour route, Cape Peninsula, South Africa

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.

ALL-WEATHER ACTION

Where: Saalbach Hinterglemm, Austria

When: May to OctoberSaalbach Hinterglemm, Austria

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.

Austrian Airlines

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.