Timeline for the Theatre at Aphrodisias, Turkey

2700 BC

evidence of prehistoric settlements (Bronze Age)

300s BC

probable date of early theatre construction (Hellenistic)

38 -28 BC

theatre renovation by J. Iulius Zoilos under Octavian; renovation included a three-story stage building with a logeion, proskenion, and decorated scaenae frons (Roman)

40-68 AD

additions and renovations by A. Molossos: an entrance, the two parodoi (side entrance into the orchestra of the theater), the analemmata (retaining walls) of the cavea, and possibly the third set of seats above the second diazoma (horizontal walkway separating sections of cavea seating). This enlarged cavea was furnished with marble seating and could accommodate approximately 10,000 people. (Roman)

161-180 AD

renovations under Marcus Aurelius: orchestra was expanded by removing the first two or three rows of seats, and a high wall was built around the orchestra with wood or iron railings on top to protect spectators in the front rows. A Tibunalia (seat of honor) was built in the lower cavea. (Roman)


the theater collapsed in an earthquake during the reign of Herclius and was never repaired (Roman)

700-1081 AD?

site was used as a fort during the Byzantine period, and later houses were built on top of the rubble (Byzantine)


Paul Gaudin excavations (French)


French excavations


Giuolo Jacopi excavations (Italian)


Dr. Kenan Erim began excavating the site under the auspices of New York University


National Geographic Society grant funds theater excavation project


first phase of the theatre's excavation completed


reconstruction of stage building begins


death of Dr. Kenan Erim


research and excavation continues under the direction of Christopher Ratté, Associate Professor of Classics and Fine Arts at New York University and R.R.R. Smith, Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford

Basic Timeline for Turkey

Mycenaean Period ca. 1500 - 1200 BC

Late Roman Empire ca. AD 293 - 395

Phrygian, Uratian, Lydian Period ca. 1200 - 542 BC

Early Byzantine Period ca. AD 395 - 610

Persian-Classical Period ca. 542 - 333 BC

Middle Byzantine Period ca. AD 610 - 961

Early Hellenistic Period ca. 333 - 167 BC

Late Byzantine Period ca. AD 961 - 1176

Late Hellenistic Period ca. 167 BC - AD 43

Seljuk Turkish Period ca. AD 1176 - 1299

Early Roman Empire ca. AD 43 - 162

Ottoman Turkish Period ca. AD 1299 - 1922

Middle Roman Empire ca. AD 162 - 293

Modern Turkey ca. AD 1922 - present

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Copyright © 2003 Thomas G. Hines, Whitman College. All Rights Reserved.