An archaeological park as an element of urban space exemplified by the Nea Paphos Archaeological Park in Cyprus
The aim of the article is to show mutual connection between cities and accompanying them archaeological parks in the context of tasks that designers have while planning them. The park Nea Paphos on the south-west coast of Cyprus will serve as an example.
An archaeological park constitutes a separated space adapted to visiting, which bears witness to human activities in the past epochs. Monument preservation is the main aim of archaeological parks. It is desirable, as far as possible, to eliminate potential threats of archaeological relics (among others: over-exposure to the sunlight, wind, rain, humidity and potential damage from visitors). It is connected with creating an optimal sightseeing route that would take into account safety of the exhibited monuments, landscape qualities, existing infrastructure (platforms, exhibition pavilions, elements of small architecture). New elements introduced to already existing relics should supplement the programme of archaeological parks and create together with monuments a compact unity both functionally and aesthetically.
The second basic aim of archaeological parks is to draw people’s attention to history. Didactic objectives require the park to be provided with a proper infrastructure such as information plates or multimedia rooms, in which visitors could learn about the primary condition of an archaeological site. Scientific information should be presented in a way both interesting and easy to understand.
The next aspect of archaeological parks concerns ensuring the possibility of carrying work by specialists independently of opening them to the public. Due to continuing development of methodology of archaeological studies, also undamaging techniques, securing the possibility of future excavations becomes the priority.
An archaeological park converges many aspects of the past and present world and so it states high planning requirements for designers of this unusual area. Such a place may constitute a valuable element of the urban space, enriching cultural, scientific, didactic and touristic offer.
Key words: archaeological park, Nea Paphos, urban space
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