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View from the northeastern upper tier of the theater looking southwest, down into the semi-circular orchestra area. Just beyond the orchestra, on an angle, is the rebuilt stage area.
In ancient times, the stage would have been backed by the skene - a wall rising up some two or three stories and through which the actors would have made their entrances and exits.
The theater was evidently first constructed by Herod the Great (37 to 4 B.C.) and went through many modifications until it went out of use in the sixth century A.D. This theater (or possibly in the amphitheater may have been the spot where Herod Agrippa I was stuck with an illness that led to his death (Acts 12:19-23; Josephus Ant. 19.343-52 [8.2]). For another view of the orchestra and the stage area, click here.
Photo courtesy of Reinhold Buxbaum.