Thursday, May 14, 2009

Aphrodisias' Odeon

One of the most beautiful and best-preserved buidlings in Aphrodisias is the odeon, where concerts, theatrical productions requiring only small casts, lectures, discussions and political gatherings were held. I visited the odeon in 1990 and 1999. The city council also met here. Built towards the end of the 1st century AD or the beginning of the 2nd century AD, it had, in its original state, a seating capacity of circa 1,700.

Badly damaged by the fourth century earthquake, the odeon became subject to flooding because of the disturbance of the water-table.

It also appears to have lost the roof above then, so leaving audiences and councillors alike exposed to the fury of the elements.

The cavea retains nine rows of its seats. These are divided into five cunei. Some of the seats carry rough inscriptions probably reserving them for particular groups, e.g. young men, Jews, partisans of the Blue Faction. The orchestra floor was covered with a fine opus sectile design whose pattern was made up of segments of blue and white marble and red slate. The stage was decorated with statues placed in naiskoi. There were a number of amusing graffiti on the walls of a passage at the back of the stage.

More pictures of Aphrodisias can be found here!

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