StyP - Lower City: Theatral Area (Site VII and XII)


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Τετάρτη, Ιούνιος 1, 1994 to Παρασκευή, Αύγουστος 31, 2001

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A curious area of rock-cut seating was initially interpreted as a one-sided stadium.  However, that interpretation was altered when a completely unexpected stage building was found to the south of the seating area.  Geophysical work had revealed a stoa-like building and excavation confirmed that it was indeed a stage building.

In its original form, the building consisted of a colonnaded façade with eleven columns, and four column bases from this phase are still visible behind a later addition.  Three large rooms typical of early Hellenistic theatres were set behind the façade.  Later, a new longer colonnade with twenty-four columns was added in front of the original one, creating a proskenion with western and eastern wings behind it.  Letter pairs from A-A in the west to T-T in the east are found on the edges of stylobate blocks, although these were hidden by columns 0.35 m in diameter whose setting marks still remain.  Settings marks for panels placed between the columns were also discovered.

Although there is limited dating evidence, comparison with known theatres suggests an early Hellenistic date for the original stage and a date of the 3rd or early 2nd century BCE for its remodelling.

Trenches were opened in the hopes of further elucidating the built form of the theatre.  However, little stratigraphy and few cultural remains were found in the area of the orchestra, while no preserved seats were uncovered at the foot of the slope.  West of the main area of rock-cut seats are some rows of poorly preserved seats carved out of the bedrock.  A curving foundation was uncovered in front of them, suggesting something grander than a simple exedra, perhaps a sort of council house or bouleterion attached to the theatre in a public area of the town.


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