Colosseum-like structure found in Aegean
An ancient structure similar to the world-famous Colosseum amphitheater in Rome has been discovered during ongoing archaeological excavations in the ancient city of Mastaura in the Aegean province of Aydın’s Nazilli district.
It is reported that the structure, which was cleaned and became visible, is unique in Turkey due to the fact that it is completely round.
Colosseum is regarded as one of the best examples of Roman architecture in the world, and a similar structure has come to light in the 1,800-year-old ancient city of Mastaura during the ongoing excavation works, which were initiated four months ago under the Adnan Menderes University.
The revelation of this round structure, which has been preserved under the ground between olive and fig groves, has created excitement in the world of archaeology. It is believed that various sports were performed in the structure in ancient times when it was used as an arena.
Stating that they examined the arena found in the ancient city, Aydın Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Umut Tuncer said that it is one of the unique standing structures in Anatolia.
“It is the only building in the eastern wing of Greece in the Roman period, and in this respect, it is a unique structure. We compare this to the Colosseum amphitheater in Rome. We started working under the coordination of the Aydın Museum Directorate and have come a long way in a few months,” Tuncer said.
Noting that they have cleaned the structure with the support of Nazilli Municipality, Tuncer said: “There is a land expropriation of around 70,000 hectares, and this process is progressing rapidly. The expropriation will be completed in a few months. There will be more efforts in the spring, and we will unearth this structure in a short time. The structure is currently seen with the main lines.”
Tuncer also said that the structure would have great tourism potential for Nazilli.
“We think it is a 1,800-years-old sports field and arena. We have theaters in other ancient cities, but they are in the shape of a half-moon. The reason why this structure is unique is that it is completely round. It is similar to the Colosseum in Rome,” Tuncer said.
“Unlike theaters, the round structure tells us that sports competitions were held there. Presumably, we think that various sports games were held here, such as wild animal or gladiator fights,” he added.
Aydın Museum Director Abdulbari Yıldız said that they carried out cleaning work for about four months.
“There are three known amphitheaters in Turkey. One is in Antalya, the other is in Bergama, and the third one is here. It is one of the rare amphitheaters in the world that has survived to this day,” he added.