23.5.16

Small Theater of Amvrakia


The so called ?small? theatre of Amvrakia is the smallest of all ancient Greek theatres uncovered to date. It is located at the centre of the ancient city, near St. Constantine, in some distance from the late archaic temple of Apollo. 

Because of its overall architectural style, it is dated between the late fourth - early third century BC, during the reign of Pyrrhus. Being at the time the capital of the kingdom, the town flourished; apart from the small theatre, a large theatre was built near Apollo's temple, as well as a prytaneio (building for the reunions of prytaneis, i.e. similar to judicial authorities), which was found next to the temple. 


The theatre was not constructed on bedrock, but on the slope of an earth fill situated upon foundations and mosaic floorings of baths dating from the fourth century BC. The parts uncovered are the orchestra, part of the cavea and the parodoi (passageways), as well as the western part of the proscenium pillar (front of scene). The cavea is made of good quality limestone. 

Two staircases divide it into three cunei with stone seats; a notable fact is the absence of proedria (chairs for officials) in the first row. Three benches are preserved at both side tiers, and four at the central tier. The orchestra is a perfect circle, 6.70 m in diameter. The proscenium consisted of a 10m long stone made construction and its fa?ade was probably decorated with six engaged Ionic columns. 


Investigations for the theatre started in 1976 by the respective Ephorate archaeologist Mr. Ilias Andreou on the occasion of excavations for the erection of a new building. The remaining parts of the monument are to be uncovered in the future.

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