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View looking southwest at the interior of the theater at Aphrodisias. In the upper right, note that the theater was built into the hill of the acropolis, that contains the most ancient remains of Aphrodisias. Originally the theater could hold 10,000 people. On the lower portion of the cavea is preserved—the area below the belt (the diazoma) was preserved. Note the staircases that the divide the cavea into sections (cunei).
The green in the picture is where the orchestra was located. Note the high wall ringing the orchestra. It was constructed during the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–180) when the orchestra was turned into a venue for animal and gladiatorial contests. In the Byzantine Period the theater that had been destroyed by an earthquake, was turned into a fortress.
In the lower-left quadrant, the still-preserved, floor of the stage is visible.
The theater was originally built by Ioulos Zoilos, a slave that was freed by Octavian who became a benefactor of the city— in the first century BC. An inscription on the stage wall describes this.
Around 1960, the "modern" village of Geyre, which was built on top of the theater and acropolis, was moved to a different location and the excavation of some 120 ft. of debris was removed to reveal the theater.