The Stadium

The large open flat space at the eastern foot of the acropolis hill served as the stadium area. The spectators were able to view the races from the seats cut into the natural bedrock. Nine rows of seats and a parapet are the most important features of the western part of the stadium. The vertical walkways formed of steps divide the rows of steps into blocks. There was also a horizontal walkway above the seats. This stadium was laid on a north-south axis, but the original length is unknown. Today, only 148 m long part of the seats exists. Although certain additions and alterations occurred in the Roman period in this area, the earliest constructional phase of the stadium dates to the Hellenistic period. An elongated oblong pool running parallel to the track of the stadium is one of the best preserved structures of the stadium area. This pool measuring 72 x 8.30 m and 1 m depth also has a fountain in the front. Surrounding the pool is a stone-built 1 m wide drainage system to prevent the overflowing. The presence of this pool and the fountain in this location indicates that the stadium area was not only used for sports games but also for social and ritual activities. In addition, the northern, southern and eastern sides of the stadium area were originally surrounded by U-shaped columned portico. The east side also served as a street. The shops flanking the stadium area from the east also faces this street.