Graeco-Roman theatre being unearthed in Izmir

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The İzmir Metropolitan Municipality has started demolitions on appropriated land in order to unearth a Graeco-Roman theatre under shanty houses in the city’s Kadifekale district. The municipality has so far paid 8 million Turkish Liras for the confiscation of the nearly 13,000-square-meter area.

Graeco-Roman theatre being unearthed in Izmir
Izmir (Smyrna) Gulf seen from the Kadifekale [Credit: Laura713/Flickr]

Eight of the 52 houses to be demolished in the first stage have been torn down and archaeologists have already unearthed the walls of the theatre, which has a capacity of 16,000 people.

The most detailed information about the ancient theatre in Kadifekale (literally “the velvet castle” in Turkish) is in the research of Austrian architect Otto Berg and archaeologist Otto Walter, who examined the area in 1917 and 1918, though many researchers have concluded that the remains of the theatre have features of the Roman period.

Both the hill and the castle were named Pagos (Greek: Πάγος, Pagus under the Roman Empire) in pre-Turkish times and by the local Greeks in modern times.

Source: Hurriyet Daily News [February 01, 2013]

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