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View looking west at the seating area of the theater at Aphrodisias. Originally the theater could hold 10,000 people. The lower portion of the cavea is preserved. Note the staircases that the divide the cavea into sections (cunei). In the area at the top where the seating ends and the brown brush is visible is the diazoma—or encircling belt.
In the foreground is where the orchestra was located. Note the high wall ringing it. The orchestra was remodeled during the reign of the Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius (161–180) and turned into a venue for animal and gladiatorial contests.
In the center of the image note the steps that lead up from the orchestra to the prestige seating area. And also not the backed chairs that are in the first row.
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, that was built on the theater and acropolis, was moved to a different location and the excavation of some 120 ft. of debris was excavated away to reveal the theater.