Something of a real-life Indiana Jones, George H. McFadden was a graduate of Princeton University (class of 1930) who became the leading light in the excavation of the Kourion archeological site. In charge of a University of Pennsylvania excavation team, he was working on the site off and on for nearly twenty years from 1933, wintering on site and returning to America for the summer. Work stopped when the US entered World War II in 1941 and resumed in 1948. Though some doubts have been cast on the rigour of his methodology, his work certainly drew attention to the importance of the site, and paved the way for further work by the Cypriot Department of Antiquities from 1964. McFadden is still revered in the area, and his death by drowning at the age of 46 in a sailing accident on April 19, 1953 is regarded as a great tragedy. As the framed eulogy in the Museum rather floridly put it, “It was fitting that he should find his end in the Greek and briny sea whence came the goddess of beauty herself to his beloved island – Cyprus”.

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