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Theater
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Photo Comments

View looking west northwest at the cavea (semi-circular seating area) of the 3,000 seat "theater/odeum" at Tell es–Samarat.  This tell was excavated by Ehud Netzer but very little of the seating area was preserved—although the outline of the cavea is clearly visible.

It was in this area where the sickly Herod reprimanded those responsible for the removal of the eagle from the Temple, where Herod had locked up the Jewish leadership that was to be executed upon his death, and where his death and will were announced to his troops prior to the procession to the Herodium where he was buried (Josephus Antiq. xvii.161, 173–179, 193–195).

The only other place in the Roman world where a theater is connected with a stadium is at the beautiful/well–preserved site of Aizanoi in Turkey!

See Netzer, Ehud, and Rachel Laureys–Chachy. The Architecture of Herod, the Great Builder. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2008, pp. 72–80.