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Arena similar to Rome’s Colosseum discovered in Western Turkey’s Ancient Tralleis

Colosseum

Archaeologists have unearthed an “arena,” or rather, an amphitheater, resembling Rome’s world-famous Colosseum, in Turkey’s western province of Tralleis (Τραλλεῖς, Turkish: Aydın).

Authorities say the Colosseum looking structure, which is mostly buried underground, is a unique example of Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire.

 

Arena similar to Rome’s Colosseum discovered in Western Turkey's Ancient Tralleis 1
A coin from Trallies (130/29 BC).
Dionysus standing right to right, thyrsus in right hand, mask of Selinus in left.

The area is an earthquake zone and the city was built and rebuilt by a succession of Spartans, Phrygians, Ionians, Lydians, Persians and Ancient Romans.

Umut Tuncer, head of the Directorate of Culture and Tourism in Tralleis, said 80% of Mastaura was buried under soil over time, but even the small part uncovered by archaeologists was enough “to demonstrate the spectacular features of the city.”

Authorities say the structure, which is mostly buried underground, is a unique example of Eastern Roman architecture in Modern Turkey.

Tuncer said 80% of Mastaura was buried under soil over time, but even the small part uncovered by archaeologists was enough “to demonstrate the spectacular features of the city.”

“This might be the only arena preserved in its entirety here in Turkey. The preservation was maintained as it was buried for years,” he added.

The basic outline is visible now and we plan to unearth more this spring,” he said.

Image result for tralleis
Ruins of Ancient Tralleis.

The amphitheater is close to the size of the Colosseum in Rome, authorities said.

The Colosseum, the largest ancient amphitheater still standing, is 188 meters (617 feet) in length and 156 meters in width.

The structure also stands out from others due to its shape, which is entirely oval, just like the colosseum. It was found at a site covered by olive and fig orchards.

Archaeologists believe the structure was used for sports games in the 1,800-year-old city of Mastaura.

READ MORE: Entrance to historic Greek church in Turkey was illegally walled up to block entrance.

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