Leibundgut Wieland, Danielle; Tatton-Brown, Veronica

Editor: von Wartburg, Marie-Louise

Nordost-Tor und persische Belagerungsrampe in Alt-Paphos

IV. Skulpturen, Votivmonumente und Bauteile in der Belagerungsrampe

21.0 x 29.7 cm, 372 p., 28 illustrations color, 489 illustrations b/w, 3 Beilagen, hardback
98,00 €

ISBN: 9783954904105
Table of Contents

Short Description

For the history and archaeology of the city of Palaipaphos (Old Paphos) on Cyprus, the Persian siege ramp at the Northeast Gate on the Marcello plateau is of immense interest. Since the ramp was heaped up in the context of a military siege dated to shortly after 500 BC, it forms a unique chronological reference point for Archaic Cyprus. Built into the ramp were fragments of a deliberately-destroyed sanctuary, together with its votive offerings. This volume presents the unusual assemblage in its entirety for the first time and examines its archaeological and art-historical significance.


For the history and archaeology of the city of Palaipaphos (Old Paphos) on Cyprus, seat of the kings of Paphos and famous for its large sanctuary of Aphrodite, the Persian siege ramp at the Northeast Gate on the Marcello plateau is of immense interest. Here, in a dominant position above the city, the monumental gate and a section of the defensive walls, with a tower and a dry ditch, form a key point in the ancient defences of the city. Fire debris, weapon finds and a mighty siege ramp bear witness to a war which took place shortly after 500 BC. In the heaped-up rubble of the ramp, fragments came to light of a sanctuary which had been deliberately destroyed to build the ramp and which must have stood outside the city. The original location and ground plan of the sanctuary can no longer be traced, but it has been possible to determine the nature of its architecture and some of the interior furnishings. This unusual assemblage, for which a terminus ante quem is provided by the siege, includes some of the finest Archaic sculptures found on Cyprus, along with votive stelai, small altars, blocks bearing inscriptions, stone implements, and architectural elements, including large palm capitals, moulded cornices and blind windows with balustrades. It is thought that the sanctuary was dedicated to a powerful tutelary god and to Aphrodite, goddess of Paphos. Its situation, close to the monumental Northeast Gate, its sculptural ornamentation, and the choice of pictorial motifs for the votive offerings not only indicate the high status of this cult site but show that it was closely connected with the king of Paphos and the city’s elite. Notable amongst the statuary are male figures wearing royal insignia and robes which were probably reserved for religious ceremonies. These include a particularly striking bearded head which is interpreted as a ceremonial portrait of one of the priest-kings of Paphos. His crown and hair style combine elements of Egyptian and Assyrian/Persian symbols of rulership.

Biographical Note

Danielle LEIBUNDGUT WIELAND studied Classical Archaeology, Ancient History and Musicology at the Universities of Zurich and Munich and obtained her doctorate at Zurich. Her main areas of research include Ancient Cyprus and Sicily. She is the author of various publications, including one in the ALT-PAPHOS series on the votive offerings from the sanctuary of Aphrodite (co-authored with L. Frey-Asche). She is currently director of the editorial office of the Swiss journal for classical art and archaeology, ANTIKE KUNST. Veronica TATTON-BROWN († 2012) studied at Oxford. In her dissertation she investigated Cypriot iconography and sculpture, focusing particularly on the two Cypriot sarcophagi from Amathus and Golgoi in the Cesnola Collection at the Metropolitan Museum. She continued her intensive research into Cypriot archaeology whilst working as Curator of the ancient Cypriot collections of the British Museum and published a series of pioneering works on the subject. In addition, she made a name for herself as an expert on antique glass.


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