Ancient theatre in southern Crete to be excavated

An excavation will take place at the site where the ancient theatre of Hierapetra is located, according to the geophysical survey and other indications. This is provided by the agreement of cultural development, amounting to 50,000 euros, that has been signed on Monday, December 12, 2012 by The Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs, Culture and Athletics, The Region of Crete and the Municipality of Hierapetra.

Ancient theatre in southern Crete to be excavated
The site where the ancient theatre of Hierapetra is located [Credit: Archaiologia Online]
We owe the fullest up to this day description of the big theatre to the traveler Onorio Belli who in 1586 reports that the theatre was dug in a mound and that its scene was richly adorned with columns, entablatures and other decorative elements. Belli also marvels at the beautifully made capitals.

In 1980 there has been a small scale rescue excavation at the site by the 24th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities. Traces of Roman buildings have been detected, three statues and an inscription. A geophysical prospecting made in 2010 offered indications on the existence of an elliptical theatre, architectural structures and streets.

In the context of the project “Excavating the ancient theatre of Hierapetra” deforestation, surface cleaning and localization of the theatre by trial incisions will take place. It will follow the excavation and the full revelation of the monument.

Funding will be provided by the Hierapetra Municipality, the project will be materialized by the 24th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities and it will last 18 months.

Source: Archaiologia Online [January 11, 2013]

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