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Roman Auditorium

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The auditorium was discovered by chance, underneath a rubble hill located in an area called Kom el-Dikkah. Some researchers believe it to be the Paneion, an area related to the god Pan that was mentioned by Strabo.

The stadium was discovered when the Polish mission removed the rubble during their search for the tomb of Alexander the Great in 1960. Polish archeologists called it the Roman Theater when they discovered the first marble stairs, but there was much argument about the function of the ancient building.

The Polish mission together with the University of Alexandria continued the excavation until February 2004, when beside the stadium they discovered some halls that were used for study. This discovery changed the assumption that the Roman stadium was an auditorium. It is possible that it was a large lecture hall for students, and was used as an auditorium at times of ceremonies.

It is considered to be the only circular, ancient building in Egypt that is traceable to the Roman era. The building is divided with two overlapping walls forming the letter U.

The floor of the orchestra was covered with marble tiles. At the edge of the interior wall and on the orchestra floor there are two square supports made of marble, which were designed and carved with a sharp tool. Preceding the orchestra to the west, there are two rectangular halls with a passage between them that leads to the orchestra floor. This proves that it used to face the main street, which was discovered west of the stadium. This street was presumably named "Auditorium Street."

The building was bordered on the west by a huge wall, representing the facade of the stadium which faced the street. Parts of that wall still exist in the southern side. The wall had an entrance in the center that led to the stadium. In respect of the now lost ceiling of the stadium, it was undoubtedly a dome built of red brick, as fragments of a dome, which had covered the seats to the north of the auditorium, were found. It seems that the dome was demolished and fell on the northern side. The dome covered only the northern seats of the auditorium, while the southern part was open. Most of the marble seats sank to be used as tombstones.

Attributes Attributes

Culture:

Greco-Roman

Style:

Roman
Type Type

Type:

Archaeological Site
Map Map

Location: 

Governorate of Alexandria

Discovered: 

Moharam Beyk
Timeline Timeline

Discovered: 

1960 AD
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