Aphrodisias:

Theater

Restored Plan | State Plan
theater




Aerial view of Theater

The Theater is unusually well-preserved. The entire lower half of the auditorium survives intact (including twenty-seven tiers of seats), together with much of the stage architecture. The auditorium was built up against a prehistoric settlement mound in the Late Hellenistic period, and an elaborate three-storied marble stage building was added by Zoilos before 28 B.C. The architecture of this new facade is notable for its light playful aedicular design and for its rich and highly varied ornament. Much of the fine statuary that decorated this structure was found during the EXCAVATIONS in the 1970s, including figures of Apollo, two Muses, Demos, two boxers, several Victories, and a copy of the Polykleitan 'Diskophoros.'

In the first century A.D., the auditorium of the Theater was enlarged and supplied throughout with marble seating. A great retaining wall supporting the north side of the Theater also formed the back wall of the south stoa of the South Agora. A large vaulted stairway running through this retaining wall gave direct access from the Agora to the interior of the Theater.