Progress of Works

Geophysical surveys
Excavations
Restoration Studies
Expropriations
Restoration Works
€350.00IN DONATIONS

Cultural Club of Eordaia: €50.00

Diazoma Association: €300.00

Quick Navigation

Ancient Theater of Mieza

Description
Multimedia
Scientific Bulletin
Donations
Progress of Works
Theater News

The theatre is located in the archaeological site of Mieza, in Naoussa Municipality, Naoussa Prefecture.

It is a theatral structure with mixed elements of Greek and Roman theatres, consisting of an orchestra of beaten earth (conistra), a cavea laid out on the slope of a hill with tiers of poros stone seats, and a stone stage building.

As the study of the excavation material has not yet been completed, the dating of the theatre is based on its structural, typological and morphological features, which are a mixture of elements of both Greek and Roman theatres.

Characteristic features of Hellenistic theatres are:

a) the proscenium with semi-columns attached to pillars instead of a raised podium,

b) the uncovered parodoi,

c) the lack of an axial staircase in the cavea,

d) the construction of the cavea on a hillside rather than a built substructure,

e) the lack of a raised podium in the cavea.
Characteristic features of Roman theatres are:

a) the mixed layout using rectangles and equilateral triangles,

b) the retaining walls running parallel to the stage building,

c) the shape of the orchestra, delimited by a semicircle and the tangents at its ends,

d) the excavation finds, chiefly the pottery.
Based on these data, the theatre of Mieza belongs to the Roman period, but the predominance of Hellenistic elements is an indication of early date, placing it in an era when the type of the Roman theatre had not yet become fixed.

A later phase in the cavea of the theatre, with new, vestigial oblique walls built after the collapse of the retaining walls along the parodoi, cannot be dated precisely.

General Description of Monument

This is a provincial theatre without particularly elaborate structures, oriented east with a view of the plain.

The orchestra forms a regular semicircle, extending along the tangents at its ends towards the stage building. It is 22 metres in diameter with a floor of beaten earth. There is no perimetric drainage duct. The rainwater was and still is drained through a hole in the bedrock, approximately in the centre of the orchestra.

The cavea is set on a natural slope, partly carved out of the bedrock and partly on fill. Four staircases divide it into five cunei. The tiers of seats and the staircases are made of soft local poros stone. Ashlars are preserved in situ up to the 7th tier. There is evidence of at least 19 tiers, but there must have been many more.

The retaining walls of the original phase of the cavea, parallel to the stage building, must have collapsed at some point, probably due to the pressure of the fill they supported. After their collapse they were abolished and replaced by the vestigial oblique retaining walls visible today, which were set on the natural bedrock in such a way as to minimise the fill behind them and eliminate any danger of collapse.

The stage building is made of ashlars of soft local poros stone. Despite its poor state of preservation, we can distinguish the proscenium, the main stage building, with two parascenia adjoining its ends, and a larger building adjacent to it. Although this last structure belongs to the same building phase as the others, it is unclear whether it formed a functional part of the theatre or was used independently from its east side.

The stage building and parascenia were two storeys high, but there is no information on the position of the staircase leading to the upper storey of the stage building and the proscenium (logeion).

Two of the eight semi-columns attached to pillars of the logeion are preserved. They framed five doorways and four partitions made of poros stone slabs. The position of the other six semi-columns has been carved with a sharp instrument into the stylobate of the proscenium.

The geometric layout of the theatre of Mieza is interesting, as it constitutes a unique combination of Vitruvius’s references to the layout of Greek and Roman theatres.

The graphic representation of the theatre is based on its surviving elements, combined with the symmetry of theatres in general, its geometric layout and comparison with other, similar theatres.

The monument was in a very poor state of preservation. However, it will be in very good condition when the conservation and restoration work, begun in 2007 and interrupted in 2009 due to lack of funds, is completed.

The theatre of Mieza is currently a monument of the archaeological site open to the public and will continue to function as such.

Once the conservation and restoration work is complete, it will be able to host controlled events with a limited number of spectators.
G. Karadedos
Archaeologist, Architect

Monument Name

Ancient Theatre of Mieza

Category

Theatre

Brief Description

A theatral structure with mixed elements of Greek and Roman theatres, consisting of an orchestra of beaten earth (conistra), a cavea laid out on the slope of a hill with tiers of poros stone seats, and a stone stage building.

Images - Plans

There is photographic documentation in the archives of the 17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, and full drawings and plans (topographical plan, ground plan, elevations, sections, details) prepared as part of the “Conservation and Restoration of the Ancient Theatre of Mieza” research programme of the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), under the scientific direction of AUTH Associate Professor G. Karadedos. Reconstructions of the theatre are found in the Department of Architecture of the AUTH Polytechnic School.

Documentation - Bibliography
  1. Β. Αλαμανή – Β .Μισαηλίδου «Το θέατρο της Μίεζας», Α.Ε.Μ.Θ. 7, 1993, p. 86-96.
  2. Β. Αλαμανή – Α. Κουκουβού, «Μίεζα 1995: ανασκαφικές έρευνες», Α.Ε.Μ.Θ. 9, 1995, p. 88-94.
  3. Γ. Καραδέδος, Κ. Θεοχαρίδου, Β. Αλαμανή, Β. Μισαηλίδου, «Αποκατάσταση του αρχαίου θεάτρου της Μίεζας», Α.Ε.Μ.Θ. 13, 1999, p. 521-534.
Location

Archaeological site of Mieza (next to a public building complex, probably the agora), Naoussa Municipality, Naoussa Prefecture.

Dating

As the study of the excavation material has not yet been completed, the dating of the theatre is based on its structural, typological and morphological features, which are a mixture of elements of both Greek and Roman theatres.

Characteristic features of Hellenistic theatres are: a) the proscenium with semi-columns attached to pillars instead of a raised podium; b) the uncovered parodoi; c) the lack of an axial staircase in the cavea; d) the construction of the cavea on a hillside rather than a built substructure; e) the lack of a raised podium in the cavea.

Characteristic features of Roman theatres are: a) the mixed layout using rectangles and equilateral triangles; b) the retaining walls running parallel to the stage building; c) the shape of the orchestra, delimited by a semicircle and the tangents at its ends; d) the excavation finds, chiefly the pottery.

Based on these data, the theatre of Mieza belongs to the Roman period, but the predominance of Hellenistic elements is an indication of early date, placing it in an era when the type of the Roman theatre had not yet become fixed. A later phase in the cavea of the theatre, with new, vestigial oblique walls built after the collapse of the retaining walls along the parodoi, cannot be dated precisely.

General Description of Monument

This is a provincial theatre without particularly elaborate structures, oriented east with a view of the plain. The orchestra forms a regular semicircle, extending along the tangents at its ends towards the stage building. It is 22 metres in diameter with a floor of beaten earth. There is no perimetric drainage duct. The rainwater was and still is drained through a hole in the bedrock, approximately in the centre of the orchestra.

The cavea is set on a natural slope, partly carved out of the bedrock and partly on fill. Four staircases divide it into five cunei. The tiers of seats and the staircases are made of soft local poros stone. Ashlars are preserved in situ up to the 7th tier. There is evidence of at least 19 tiers, but there must have been many more.

The retaining walls of the original phase of the cavea, parallel to the stage building, must have collapsed at some point, probably due to the pressure of the fill they supported. After their collapse they were abolished and replaced by the vestigial oblique retaining walls visible today, which were set on the natural bedrock in such a way as to minimise the fill behind them and eliminate any danger of collapse.

The stage building is made of ashlars of soft local poros stone. Despite its poor state of preservation, we can distinguish the proscenium, the main stage building, with two parascenia adjoining its ends, and a larger building adjacent to it. Although this last structure belongs to the same building phase as the others, it is unclear whether it formed a functional part of the theatre or was used independently from its east side. The stage building and parascenia were two storeys high, but there is no information on the position of the staircase leading to the upper storey of the stage building and the proscenium (logeion).

Two of the eight semi-columns attached to pillars of the logeion are preserved. They framed five doorways and four partitions made of poros stone slabs. The position of the other six semi-columns has been carved with a sharp instrument into the stylobate of the proscenium. The geometric layout of the theatre of Mieza is interesting, as it constitutes a unique combination of Vitruvius’s references to the layout of Greek and Roman theatres.

The graphic representation of the theatre is based on its surviving elements, combined with the symmetry of theatres in general, its geometric layout and comparison with other, similar theatres.

Current Situation

The monument, as mentioned above, was in a very poor state of preservation. However, it will be in very good condition when the conservation and restoration work, begun in 2007 and interrupted in 2009 due to lack of funds, is completed.

Excavations - Interventions

The theatre of ancient Mieza was discovered in 1992 during the course of laying a drainage duct to supply water to the neighbouring village of Kopanos. It was excavated in 1993-1995 by the archaeologists of the 17th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities V. Alamani, V. Misailidou and A. Koukouvou.

In 1998-1999 a conservation, restoration and re-operation study was prepared by a research team as part of the “Research and Restoration of the Ancient Theatre of Mieza” research programme (code no. 7119) of the Research Committee of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (AUTH), under the technical direction of Associate Professor G. Karadedos. The team consisted of architect-restorer K. Theocharidou, architect V. Papageorgiou, the topographers, members of the AUTH teaching and research staff, P. Patias, K. Tokmakidis and O. Georgoula, and topographer I. Gatzios.

The study was not approved by the Central Archaeological Council (KAS), due to the proposal for re-operation, as it was considered that the monument’s state of preservation did not permit its re-operation. In 2005 a new, definitive study was prepared by Associate Professor G. Karadedos, only for the conservation and restoration of the theatre, which included reports on the pathology and method of conservation of the poros stone and the surviving plasters, by Lithics Centre chemist K. Kouzeli and civil engineer and AUTH professor I. Papayianni.

The study was approved by the KAS and began to be implemented in 2007, with funding from the “Cultural Egnatia” programme. The programme was directed by the director of the 17th Ephorate M. Akamati, and supervised by AUTH Associate Professor G. Karadedos, architect-restorer S. Rafailidou, and 17th Ephorate archaeologist N. Poulakakis. During the course of the work, test trenches were also dug in the cavea and along the parodoi, on the site of the removed retaining walls of the cavea. The study provides for the restoration of the earth floor of the orchestra and parodoi, the conservation-restoration of the stage building and proscenium, with small-scale rebuilding of walls, and the conservation-restoration of the seven front rows of seats in the cavea. From the eighth row to the 19th, whose existence has been established by excavation, the bulk of the cavea is restored with earth. The study also provides for the small-scale rebuilding of the oblique retaining walls of the later phase, and the marking of the position of the retaining walls of the first phase with one or two rows of ashlars, in order to allow the floors of the parodoi to be restored. Finally, rainwater drainage will be provided.

In 2009, shortly before completion, the conservation work was interrupted due to lack of funds. The project awaits additional funding by the National Strategic Reference Framework.

Permitted Uses

The theatre of Mieza is currently a monument of the archaeological site open to the public and will continue to function as such. Once the conservation and restoration work is complete, it will be able to host controlled events with a limited number of spectators. At the moment, however, no permission to do so has been issued by the Ministry of Culture and the Central Archaeological Council.

History of Modern Uses

No modern use has been made of the theatre of Mieza to date, apart from that of a monument open to the public.

Further Information

Latitude

40.644104°

Longitude

22.122474°

NameDateAmount (€)
Cultural Club of Eordaia50.00
Diazoma Association300.00
Total
€350.00
Balance
€350.00
DescriptionBudgetTargetRemarks
Expropriation of landed property8.000.008.000.00
  • In 2007 the project “Ancient Theater of Mieza: Research – Preservation – Restoration” was included in the program “Cultural Egnatia” of the 3rd Community Support Framework (CSF), with a total budget of € 500,000.
  • New data have also emerged for an earlier phase of the theater, which is placed in the Hellenistic era.
  • The project “Preservation – enhancement of the ancient theater of Mieza – Phase B” has been included in the Operational Program “Macedonia-Praxis” with a € 750,000 funding.

 The aforementioned funding provides for:

1.The completion of the works for the aesthetic restoration of new stones

2.The preservation of ancient stone

3.The restoration of the floors of the orchestra, the stage and level of the auditorium above the seventh row of seats.

  • Upon completion of the works in the theater of Mieza, the only restored theater in the area of Imathia and the northern part of Central Macedonia will become an absolutely accessible to visitors archaeological site.
  •  Works have begun and are ongoing.