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The ancient theatre of Akragas possibly located

For more than a century archaeologists have searched for, but have failed to find, the fabled theatre which is said to be buried beneath the remains of Akragas, a city established by Greek colonists six centuries before Christ on the southern coast of Sicily.

The ancient theatre of Akragas possibly located
Google Earth image showing the possible location of the ancient theatre of Akagras 
[Credit: AgrigentoSette]
The World Heritage site is best known for the Valley of the Temples, a cluster of five Doric temples which draws tens of thousands of tourists each year.

The ancient Greek poet Pindar described Akragas as "the most beautiful city in the world inhabited by mortals" and scholars think it highly likely that it would have boasted a theatre.

Excavations were carried out at the site in the 1970s and 1980s but archaeologists found no evidence of the theatre.

The ancient theatre of Akragas possibly located
The ancient theatre of Akragas possibly located
Stone blocks believed to be part of the ancient theatre [Credit: ANSA]
The ancient theatre of Akragas possibly located
The ancient theatre of Akragas possibly located
View of the site where the ancient theatre is thought to be located [Credit: AgrigentoSette]
Now a team of archaeologists from the University of Bari believe they have finally located the theatre in an area where nobody had looked before, very close to the Church of Saint Nicholas, where magnetic scanning has revealed what appears to be a semicircular structure. The remains of several stone blocks, many stuck in the roots of almond trees, lie scattered across the site.

The excavation is slated to begin on October 10 and will be funded by a 2.8 million euro grant from the European Union.

The archaeologists are also hoping to find the remains of a hippodrome at the site.

Source: ANSA [September 11, 2016]

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