Ancient Theater in Turkey




Other names: ./.
Roman province: Ionia
Location: Özbey/Yeniköy, Torbalı county, Province İzmir
Capacity: approx. 5.000 stectators
Dimensions: ø cavea: 64 m
ø orchestra: 15,5 m

The Hellenistic theatre from the 3rd century BC was built in a natural depression on a mountain slope. The initially probably wooden stage house was replaced around the 1st century B.C. by the building still recognizable today. The lower tier has been preserved, as have the two analemma walls, which have unfortunately been improperly restored with the aid of concrete. The seat stones of the two upper tiers were used in late Byzantine times in the construction of the fortification walls.

The history of Metropolis:  

The name of the place refers to a mother god, Meter Galessia. Nearby a cave with a cult place for the Anatolian fertility goddess was found. The name of the nearby Turkish city Torbalı is a Turkish transformation of Metropolis. Findings of clay fragments, stone axes and obsidian fragments indicate that the site was inhabited as early as the Bronze Age (third millennium BC). Geometric and archaic pottery found on the Acropolis could be dated from 725 to 500 BC.
The archaeologist Recep Meriç concludes that the city was founded around 725 BC. During this period the finds were limited to the area of the Acropolis. There are no finds from the fourth and third century BC.

In Hellenistic times, in the third century BC, the city had its heyday. An intensified urban development began, which can be recognized by the construction of city walls and fortifications. The construction of the Temple of Ares on the Acropolis, other monumental buildings, the Stoa, the Bouleuterion and the Theatre on the hillsides began.

In Roman times, altars with reliefs were erected in the theatre in honour of Emperor Augustus and his great-nephew Germanicus. A bath and a grammar school were built on the northern slope. A national festival called Sebaste Kaisareia was founded.
The earthquake of 17 A.D. affected at least the Stoa.

In Byzantine times, a new fortress was built around the 14th century between Acropolis and Stoa. Soon after the conquest by the Ottomans in the 15th century the city was abandoned and the inhabitants moved to Torbalı.


Photos: @chim, Monika P.    
Translation aid:    
Source: Wikipedia and others