Ancient Greek theater of Thouria uncovered in 'excellent condition'

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Ancient Greek theater of Thouria uncovered in 'excellent condition'Thouria was a vital transit city in ancient Greece

A large section of the theater of ancient Thouria in the Peloponnese was uncovered during excavations in 2017,  Greece’s Ministry of Culture announced on Thursday

The site, North West of the city of Kalamata in Souther Greece, is under the aegis of the Athens Archaeological Society and excavations were directed by emerita ephor of antiquities Xeni Arapogianni. Thouria contains a significant Myceanean cemetery and remains of Classical and Hellenistic buildings.

Thouria was first excavated during 2007 by Dr. Arapogianni, and the theater is situated in the area known as Ellinika.

This year’s excavations at the theater unveiled the entire perimeter of the ancient theater’s orchestra, where performances took place. The diameter of the orchestra is 16.30 meters. Also excavated were the entire rainwater drain running around the orchestra and the side walls – preventing flooding of the orchestra – and the first row of seats, which have not been displaced.

Behind this first row of seats is a great number of fallen architectural pieces from upper tiers, while another five rows of seats have survived in place.

Among other parts of the theater discovered this year were a section of the south (right-hand side) entrance to the theater and a section of the northern external side of the theater, where three parallel grooves carved in stone indicate where the movable scenery would be wheeled to and from the stage.

The entire excavated area of the ancient theater is 51.25 m north to south and 28.20 meters east to west.

Thouria was a vital transit city in ancient Greece, regarded as one of the most important regions of western Messinia and the second most powerful city-state after Messenia was founded in 369 BC. Excavations in the area started 10 years ago, after a lengthy process of pinpointing the site through epigraphy and text reference by ancient Greek geographers Pausanias and Strabo. The first remains of the theater were discovered during excavations in the summer of 2016.

Thouria’s theater is oriented to the west, overlooking the vast fertile plain of Messinia, known in the antiquity as “Makaria” (Blessed), and in the distance, to the southwest, the sea of the Messinian Gulf, which in the ancient times was called “Thouriates” (that belonged to Thouria), Greek archaeologists explained.

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Greek Ministry of Culture

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons Copyright: Pitichinaccio License: CC-BY-SA

 

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