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View from the southeast looking down into the small Amphitheater at Bet Guvrin. It measures 233 x 185 ft. and could seat 3,500. To appreciate this large panorama, download "Max Size Available."
On the left side is the northern entrance/exit. Note the height of the wall around the arena that protects the spectators. Also, note the five entrances/exits from the barrel-vaulted passage (ambulacrum). Most of the stones of the upper seating area were 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.