PHRC035 : Dedication to Arsinoe Philadelphos, Archimandrita (Palaipaphos) - Cyprus (270-240 BC) Dedication

As other specimens from the Paphos area, this object is a small rectangular altar with a shallow depression on the top, probably used for vegetal offerings to Arsinoe Philadelphos. The find spot Archimandrita, about 7 km from the sanctuary of Aphrodite, is probably not the original place where the altar was used, but rather a secondary location where the stone was reused as building material or for decorative purposes.

Permanent ID

Current location

Nea Paphos, Paphos District Archaeologial Museum
Inv. No. 1536


Object Type: Altar
Upper part of a small rectangular altar with cornice (only line 1 and the end of line 2 are still preserved). The back is rough. The upper surface presents a shallow depression of about 9 x 8 cm, 0.5 cm deep.
Material: Limestone
Height: max. 8.5 cm cm
Width (with cornice): 17 cm; shaft: 14 cm
Depth (with cornice): 16 cm; shaft: 14 cm


From the preserved letters at the end of line 2 it appears that the text was written on three lines (cf. PHRC030 and PHRC031). The text occupies the upper part of the front surface.
The letters are very irregularly cut, some of them descending much below the line. Letter shape of the mid-third century: large A with horizontal crossbar; large and asymmetrical, almost sursive N; Σ with almost parallel bars (for which see PHRC032). The stonecutter left little space for the Σ at the end of line 1 and wrote it smaller, with a lighter hand and very close to the right edge of the stone.
Letter height between 2.2 cm (P) and 1 cm (Σ,O).


Date: Between 270 and 240 BC
Justification: Formulary and lettering
Provenance: Found at the village of Archimandrita, in the locality called Agriela, 7 km NE of the sanctuary of Aphrodite Paphia.


Text constituted from: I.Paphos 10.

Other editions: .

See also: Nicolaou 1963, p. 46, no. 8 (SEG XXIII 646); Nicolaou 1993, p. 227, cat. l; Anastassiades 1998, p. 137, no. 1; Caneva 2014, no. 18.

Images: I.Paphos, fig. 40.

Further bibliography:

Online record: PHI


[Φιλαδ]έλ -


(S. Caneva)
Of Arsinoe Philadelphos


(S. Caneva)
Di Arsinoe Philadelphos


For its quasi-squared section and the rough quality of the inscription, this altar has its closest parallel at Palaipaphos in the altar PHRC031. The find spot Archimandrita is probably a secondary location, which makes the stone a ‘pierre errante’ probably reused in modern times as building material or for decorative purposes (contra, see Cayla in I.Paphos 10, who interprets this location as the original one of the altar). As other specimens from the Paphos area, the altar has a shallow depression on its top, probably used for vegetable offerings.

Stefano Caneva, on 02.03.2019

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Travocial - Social Travel & Storytelling Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults
Marie Curie PISCOPIA project no. PISC14IGRU, University of Padova (2015-2017)
FNRS project no. 98368 (2017-2020)
Stefano Caneva
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme, under Grant Agreement n° 600376 (2015-2017), and from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium (2017-2020).
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