Demolitions reveal ancient Roman theater in Aegean town
İZMİR - Doğan News Agency
The stage walls and entrance of a Roman-era amphitheater in İzmir’s Kadifekale neighborhood, once covered by expropriated shanty houses, have been unearthed due to the efforts of the İzmir Metropolitan Municipality.
The municipality has issued an order of expropriation on a 12,900-squaremeter area to unearth the ruins of the amphitheater. So far, 137 title deeds covering an area of 11,115 square meters have been purchased and 175 buildings have been demolished. The judicial process for the expropriation of the last 15 buildings in the area is ongoing, municipal officials noted.
Archeologists will start working in the area once the demolition is over.
The most comprehensive information about the ancient theater in Kadifekale can be obtained in the studies of Austrian architects and archaeologists Otto Berg and Otto Walter, who conducted studies in the region in 1917 and 1918, from their plans and drawings.
The remains of the theater, which is thought to have held a capacity of 16,000 people, has characteristics of the Roman era according to many researchers, the study reports.
Ancient resources claim Saint Polycarp from İzmir was killed in this theater during the early ages of Christianity, namely the paganism period of the Roman era, suggesting the theater has witnessed some tragic events in history.
When the municipality revives the theater, it will be able to be seen by those visiting the Konak, Akllsancak, Karşıyaka and Bornova neighborhoods of the city. The renovated theater will be home to shows and concerts similar to the Ancient Theater of Ephesus.