Progress of Works

Geophysical surveys
Excavations
Restoration Studies
Expropriations
Restoration Works
€8,150.00IN DONATIONS

Sotirios Danovassilis: €100.00 on 01/07/2019

Soula and Damianos Saltiki: €50.00

Ioannis Terpsiadis: €100.00

Sotirios Danovasilis: €100.00

Evangelia Vlachaki - Taveli: €100.00

Quick Navigation

Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes

Description
Multimedia
Scientific Bulletin
Donations
Theater News

The Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes, which has not yet been fully excavated, is located on the east side of the ancient town of Phthiotidai Thebes, on the north natural slope of the “Kastro” hill, east of the modern village of Mikrothives and 4 km south of the modern Municipality of Nea Anchialos and the Pagasetic Gulf.

The Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes is Hellenistic. There was also a Roman phase, however, when large-scale interventions were carried out to turn the Theatre into an arena. There may also have been an earlier phase dated to the late 4th c. BC, as indicated by the presence of coins, stratified pottery and a section of a limestone column.

To the Hellenistic phase belong: the 15 tiers of seats of volcanic rock, the eight staircases dividing the main theatre into nine cunei, the paved passageway and the retaining walls of the parodoi. The seats are 0.33m. high, 1.40m. long and 0.60m. wide.

To the Roman period belong: the stage building – which consists of four rooms with a basement, a corridor between them and the proscenium with a monumental two-storey colonnade of columns with Ionic capitals and bases – the parascenia, the perimetric cover of the orchestra drainage duct and the protective balustrade around the orchestra, made of reused seats into which were set protective railings and awnings. In order to turn the theatre into an arena, it was necessary, apart from the protective measures, to widen the orchestra, which was achieved by removing one tier of seats, probably the seats of honour (proedriae). The Hellenistic orchestra has not been excavated. At the end of the Roman period, in Early Christian times, a one-room building was erected on the site of the theatre.

With a maximum capacity of 3,000 spectators, the Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes was used for ancient drama, musical contests and, in the Roman period, wild beast fights and gladiatorial games.

The site of the theatre on the slope of the “Kastro” Hill ensured very good acoustics. This, combined with the uninterrupted view of the town and its harbour Pyrassos, the Pagasetic Gulf and the famous plain of Crocion, make the structure a basic witness to the aesthetics, prosperity and power of the “most splendid city” of Phthiotidai Thebes.

The Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes was identified and excavated in 1992 and 1993 by V. Adrymi-Sismani, in the context of a Air Force General Staff (GEA) project, based on information provided by 19th-century travellers (W. Leake) and F. Stählin, and the discovery by D. Theocharis and G. Hourmouziadis (1970) of a funerary stele with the inscription “BAKXIOΣ ΔIONYΣIOΣ” (“BACCHIOS DIONYSIOS”) and a terracotta tragic mask, which were considered evidence that the town had actors and a cultural life.

The excavation in the area of the theatre has not been completed and naturally no reconstruction work has been carried out. Only a central test trench was made to locate the theatre and confirm its existence. The aim of current research is to reveal this important monument, which will then require reconstruction work, in order to open it to the public and allow it to host performances of ancient drama and other arts events. The fact that the monument is built entirely of local volcanic rock, a particularly durable material which has not been subject to stone-robbing, is an element in favour of future reconstruction and use of the monument as a theatre.

Dr. V. Adrymi-Sismani
Archaeologist

A lecture about the Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes (Megaron Plus and Diazoma ).

Monument Name

Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes

Category

Theatre

Brief Description

The theatre has the characteristic tripartite form of Hellenistic theatres: cavea, orchestra and stage building, and has undergone extensive rebuilding in Roman times to make it suitable for wild beast fights and gladiatorial games.

Images - Plans

There is a preliminary drawing of the Theatre and photographs of the theatre building as a whole and section by section.

Documentation - Bibliography
  1. W. M. Leake, Travels in Northern Greece IV, 1835, p. 362.
  2. Γεωργιάδης, Θεσσαλία, 1894, pp. 220.
  3. N. Γιαννόπουλος, Δελτίο Όρθρυος vol. I, 1899 pp. 26.
  4. F. Stahlin, AM 1906, p. 6; idem, Αρχαία Θεσσαλία, pp.
  5. Δ.P. Θεοχάρης, Γ. Xουρμουζιάδης, «Aνασκαφή τάφων Φθ. Θηβών», AAA III 1970, p. 206.
  6. B. Aδρύμη-Σισμάνη, AΔ 1991; idem, «Νεότερες έρευνες στις αρχαίες Φθιώτιδες Θήβες», Αχαιοφθιωτικά Β. Πρακτικά του Β΄ Συνεδρίου Αλμυριώτικων Σπουδών. 3-4 June 1995, Almyros 1997, 121-135.
Location

“Kastro” Hill, on the right of the Volos-Athens road, near the modern village of Mikrothives and approximately 4 km south of Nea Anchialos and the Pagasetic Gulf.

Dating

The Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes is Hellenistic. There was also a Roman phase, however, when large-scale interventions were carried out to turn the Theatre into an arena. There may also have been an earlier phase dated to the late 4th c. BC, as indicated by the presence of coins, stratified pottery and a section of a limestone column.

General Description of Monument

To the Hellenistic phase belong: the seat steps of volcanic rock (15), the eight staircases dividing the main theatre into nine cunei, the paved passageway and the retaining walls of the parodoi. The seats are 0.33m. high, 1.40m. long and 0.60m. wide.

To the Roman period belong: the stage building – which consists of four rooms with a basement, a corridor between them and the proscenium with a monumental two-storey colonnade of columns with Ionic capitals and bases – the parascenia, the perimetric cover of the orchestra drainage duct and the protective balustrade around the orchestra, made of reused seats into which were set protective railings and awnings. In order to turn the theatre into an arena, it was necessary, apart from the protective measures, to widen the orchestra, which was achieved by removing one tier of seats, probably the seats of honour (proedriae). The Hellenistic orchestra has not been excavated. At the end of the Roman period, in Early Christian times, a one-room building was erected on the site of the theatre.

With a maximum capacity of 3,000 spectators, the theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes was used for ancient drama, musical contests and, in the Roman period, wild beast fights and gladiatorial games. The site of the theatre on the slope of the “Kastro” Hill ensured very good acoustics. This, combined with the uninterrupted view of the town and its harbour Pyrassos, the Pagasetic Gulf and the famous plain of Crocion, make the structure a basic witness to the aesthetics, prosperity and power of the “most splendid city” of Phthiotidai Thebes.

Current Situation

The Theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes was identified and excavated in 1992 and 1993 by V. Adrymi-Sisamaki, in the context of a Air Force General Staff (GEA) project, based on information provided by 19th-century travellers (W. Leake) and F. Stählin, and the discovery by D. Theocharis and G. Hourmouziadis (1970) of a funerary stele with the inscription “BAKXIOΣ ΔIONYΣIOΣ” (“BACCHIOS DIONYSIOS”) and a terracotta tragic mask, which were considered evidence that the town had actors and a cultural life.

Excavations - Interventions

The excavation in the area of the theatre has not been completed and naturally no reconstruction work has been carried out. Only a central test trench was made to locate the theatre and confirm its existence. The aim of current research is to reveal this important monument, which will then require reconstruction work, in order to open it to the public and allow it to host performances of ancient drama and other arts events. The fact that the monument is built entirely of local volcanic rock, a particularly durable material which has not been subject to stone-robbing, is an element in favour of future reconstruction and use of the monument as a theatre.

Permitted Uses

Archaeological site visit. The area of the theatre is open to visitors by agreement with the 13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

History of Modern Uses

There are no modern uses of the monument.

Further Information

The monument belongs to the jurisdiction of the 13th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities.

Intellectual Rights

The copyright has been granted to the excavator of the monument, archaeologist Dr. Adrymi-Sismani, Director of the Archaeological Institute of Thessalian Studies, Volos.

Jurisdiction

Latitude

39.271739°

Longitude

22.766560°

NameDateAmount (€)
Sotirios Danovassilis01/07/2019100.00
Soula and Damianos Saltiki50.00
Ioannis Terpsiadis100.00
Sotirios Danovasilis100.00
Evangelia Vlachaki - Taveli100.00
Cultural Association of Sourpi ''Nies''100.00
Georgios Tavelis100.00
Students and teachers of the 3rd class of the 2nd Gymnasium of Almyros, Magnisia100.00
Fotios Zebekis200.00
Ilias Karapatakis300.00
Lazaros Kolaxis600.00
Vasilis Fitilis (visitors of the ancient theatre 14 – 05 – 2011)350.00
Konstantinos Zampas400.00
Achilleas Koumbos500.00
Georgios Kostopoulos500.00
Women's Association of Nea Anchialos500.00
Medical Association of Magnesia1.000.00
Efthimios Tsamis3.000.00
Eftychia Kalliteraki50.00
Total
€8.150.00

Expenditures

ExpenditureDateAmount (€)
Ancient theatre of Phthiotidai Thebes – Stufy of the Technological Educational Institute of Athens – 19/02/20135.000.00
Ancient Theatre of Phthiotidai Thivais – Mikrothives Exdenditures for thew Study of Mr Dogakis1.416.00
Total
€6.416.00
Balance
€1.734.00
DescriptionBudgetTargetRemarks
Excavation works in the lower koilon of the theatre200.000.00

80.000 € have been absorbed from the first two programmatic agreements of the excavation works at the orchestra of the theatre.

A new Planning Agreement has been signed in which the Thessaly Region allocates 100,000 € for the continuation of excavation works in the lower koilon of the theatre.

 

Restoration study30.000.00
Additional studies - works10.000.0010.000.00

Theater Sponsors