The Temple of Aphrodite stands on a knoll overlooking the sea.
The camera crew set up on a large open hilltop that a gave them a commanding view of the Mediterranean. Massive, ancient stone blocks were scattered around, the foundations of ancient temples.
“Camera! Action!” Hugh announced.
Marol began the narration. “Welcome to Aphrodite’s hilltop, a major religious center during the Bronze Age.
Called Palea Paphos, this is the pilgrimage center for Aphrodite, the goddess of love and fertility. These columns and mosaics are from the Roman Period, 600 BC. Earthquakes have leveled the temples and left only the field of stones we are walking through, but the place is far more ancient.
Follow me deeper into history to the original hilltop temple built in 1300 BC. This edifice officially established Aphrodite on Cyprus.
The Grecian temple cult owes its origins to Syrian colonists who adopted the worship of a native fertility goddess named Astarte, the Canaanite form of Ishtar. The Greeks called her Aphrodite.”
“Cut!” Hugh said. Marol led the crew to the most ancient area of the hill. Katie and Rory followed. She stopped inside a rectangular space with partially standing six-foot block walls and nodded her head to begin filming.
“I am standing in the original temple of Aphrodite, built in the 12th century BC. As you can see, most of the temple destroyed except for these enormous slabs of rock, so these were the walls of the…”
“Where’s the temple stone?” Katie blurted.
Marol stopped her dialogue and looked around. “What stone, Katie?”
“Aphrodite’s stone. It’s a large stone, as big as I am. I can see it. It is between two columns,” she insisted.
Bewildered, Marol looked at Rory, who shrugged.
She turned to Hugh.
“She’s referring to the temple stone, Marol,” Hugh said. “I’m sure of it. Katie, a large rock as big as a person, was removed from this place. It’s in the Cyprus museum at Nicosia. It came from this temple, but it’s black, not white.”
“It was white, I distinctly remember it being white,” Katie continued.
“From when?” Rory asked. “When were you here, Katie?” He asked, incredulous.
“I don’t know, Rory!” She shouted, worried. “But the image in my head is plain as day. It feels like I’m experiencing déjà vu.”
“You must be wrong,” Hugh insisted. “The rock hasn’t been white for centuries. It slowly turned black from its constant olive oil anointment.”
“Oh,” Katie said. “I guess maybe I saw a picture or drawing, maybe? I don't know. I'm just sure it was here,” she said as she walked to a prominent spot within the half walls, “right here, and it was white!"
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Aphrodite's Birthplace Shipwreck
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Aphrodite's Rock, Chapter 9