Theater emerges as works continue in ancient city of Perinthos

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Work continues to unearth the largest theater of Thrace in the Ancient City of Perinthos in the Marmaraereğlisi district of Tekirdağ in the Marmara region of Turkey.

The theater, which is stated to be the largest in Thrace, was unearthed among the ruins found in the 1.5-kilometer-long and 500-meter-wide area on the hill of the city.

Excavations started 2 years ago in the Ancient City of Perinthos, which dates back to 600 BC. In the works initiated by Professor Zeynep Koçel Erdem on behalf of Mimar Sinan University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences Department of Archaeology, experts from different fields are working alongside archaeologists at the site.

The ancient city of Perinthos was the capital of the Roman province of Thrace. It was the favorite city of the emperors of the period.

Perinthos excavations head Professor Zeynep Koçel Erdem, who is also the head of Mimar Sinan Fine Arts University’s Archaeology Department, expressed that every discovery made her happy, saying: “The city is a very big one. This Acropolis has an enormous area of 1.5 kilometers in length and 500 meters in width. Its beauty was interesting for us, that it has never been touched, and it has been preserved because it is a first-degree archaeological site. It was the treasury of finance. Therefore, every finding is very new to us. We started working last year and there is something new about the theater every day, which makes us very happy. The theater is a Greek theater type with enormous on a hillside.”

Professor Erdem also stated that it is accepted in the scientific literature that Perinthos was founded by colonists from Samos around 600 B.C.

Theater emerges as works continue in the ancient city of Perinthos. Photo: AA

Stating that the theater of Perinthos is big enough to become a rival for the great theaters of Anatolia, Erdem said, “For instance, with its dimensions of 140 by 110 meters, it covers an area approximately as big as an Ephesus Theater. Although the seats are not in their places, it is quite monumental and propagandist. It has a magnificent view overlooking the Marmara Sea. I liken it to the Asos Theater.”

“For now, the findings are ornaments and ceramics that were used in the earliest imperial period. I think it was used until the 6th century and the beginning of the 7th century. It was abandoned at the beginning of the 7th century. Now we are digging in the stage building and have reached the traces of sitting rows with the steps,” Erdem added.

Speaking about the excavations, the Culture and Tourism Ministry’s deputy director-general of Cultural Heritage and Museums, Yahya Coşkun, said: “For now, these finds may not be surprising and visually satisfying, but they are scientifically enormous and very important. We have already come across a find that brings the history of the region back thousands of years ago. First of all, we carry out excavations for scientific purposes. We are asking questions about the archaeological findings. With these answers, we were able to take the history of Marmaraereğlisi and Tekirdağ back thousands of years. For this reason, although Perinthos is a new excavation area, we have reached scientific information thanks to such studies.”

Coşkun stated that there are many years ahead for the excavations and said, “Archaeological studies are very slowly progressing works because archaeology is not about digging only. Processing the finds help us to get information about the past. This is one of the most important places to learn about the Thracians. It is one of the places where we can access the most data and the most images, so we are in a huge city. This town will be one of the most frequent destinations when work is done. It will certainly contribute to the development of the city.”

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