- Monday -
- Found to-day in
theatre. [Greek text naming the emperor
Vespasian.] This is the architectural block and
probably comes from portico surrounding theatre! (2) The
road to S. of theatre has been discovered! These
discoveries occurred within 2 minutes. You can picture
the wild excitement. Also an interesting discovery that
the large blocks of the theatre bear a large No. of
mason's marks, A, E, N etc apparently of 4th or 3rd cent.
date. Things going very strong just now. As Tillyard
& Traqua(ir) will probably both go after Easter, it
will be, I expect, necessary for me to have assistance
then. I hope you will arrange or perhaps have arranged
- GD (G.
- The Ancient
- Excavation began here,
too, in 1906-10. The expedition was led by Bosanquet and
then Dawkins, with the assistance of many members of the
- Work resumed 1924-8
under A. M. Woodward, assisted by W. Lamb, W. L. Cuttle,
and P. de Jong among others. who cleared part of the
theatre and published the many inscriptions which
massively expanded or knowledge of the Spartan
élite in the Roman period.
- Finally, excavation
recommenced in 1992 with G. B. Waywell and J. J. Wilkes
directing a University of London team under the auspices
of the BSA.
- The theatre has been
described as the largest in Greece, after Megalopolis.
Below the diazoma were ten radial staircases, above it no
fewer than seventeen. Pottery found under the upper cavea
suggests a construction date during the rule of Eurykles
(c.30-20 BC), while the architecture of the stage
building points to Flavian and Severan renovations. The
theatre was in use till about the end of the 4th century
AD, with early and late Byzantine reoccupation to the
13th century. Sculptures found in the new excavations
include a statuette of a god, an Antonine female
portrait, and a fine late Roman portrait
- In the latest (1997)
excavation season a trench was dug across the west
parodos at the end of the late Roman nymphaeum excavated
in 1927. Evidence was found for the channelled blocks
which may have served as a runway for a moveable stage in
the earlier (1st century BC) phase of the theatre.
Further work was carried out in 1998.
The Excavations at
Sparta. British School at Athens - the Archive. 10 Feb.