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Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth


The second tranche of archaeological excavations in the Valley of the Temples has revealed the top tiers on which spectators sat to watch plays and public meetings in the city of the 4th century BC.

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
This has been a long-awaited discovery by the archaeologists of the Sicilian park and the Politecnico di Bari, who are engaged in the investigation.

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
"We are halfway through the work", says the director of the archaeological park of Agrigento, Giuseppe Parello, "and by the end of January we will have completed these excavations that have confirmed the structure of the theatre."

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
The large trapezoidal blocks were located a few centimetres below the ground beneath which the Hellenistic theatre "sleeps".

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
"Our hope," says Antonello Tini of the Politecnico di Bari," is to find complete seats in their original position, descending down the slope of the structure, so as to perfectly reconstruct the theatre."

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
The initial investigations showed that the theatre was of considerable dimensions, around 100 metres in diameter.

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
In addition to the stone blocks of the cavea, excavations have brought to light some theatrical masks and lamps, typical objects related to the use of an ancient theatre.

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
A fragment of a red-figure vase has also been found, which will be studied together with the other finds with a view to an exhibition that will be set up in the coming months.

Hellenistic theatre in Agrigento's Valley of the Temples emerges from the earth
Credit: La Repubblica
At the end of the excavation work, another major excavation campaign will be launched in the spring.


The intention of archaeologists, as Maria Concetta Parello of the Valley of Temples explains, is to bring to light the rest of the structure through stratigraphic investigations.

Source: La Repubblica [January 12, 2018]

TANN

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