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Amphitheater 2

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Amphitheater 2
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Photo Comments

View from the south looking into the small Amphitheater at Bet Guvrin.  It measures 233 x 185 ft. and could seat 3,500.  In the foreground is the entrance from the south, and on the far side is the northern entrance/exit.  Note the beginning of the barrel-vaulted passage (ambulacrum) here on the south end that runs under the seating area.  Most of the stones of the upper seating area have been taken away and recycled—in ancient times.

The amphitheater was constructed in the second century AD when Roman troops were settled in this area—after the Bar Kochba Revolt (AD 132–135).  It was used for gladiatorial and animal fights, as a training ground and or as a parade area.  After the earthquake of AD 363, it was turned into a market place with stalls ringing the arena and in the Ambulacrum.  It was excavated by Amos Kloner in the 1990s.