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The Theater of Dionysus: Stoa

N.B. The viewer will find it useful to consult the state plan of the site.

The image below shows the remains of the stoa that stood to the south of the theater, behind and below the foundations for the fifth-century skenê.

[Image 1]

East end of the Stoa of the Theater of Dionysus, viewed from the west

Photograph by John Porter

The rough wall of conglomerate limestone is the footing wall for the skenê. In front of it remain a few of the poros orthostate backers of the stoa wall (complete with anathyrosis) standing on a poros teichobate. The orthostates themselves were of Hymettian marble (as is shown by the orthostate in the northeast corner, at the far end of this image, which consists of a single monolith without a backer). The stoa's three front steps were also of Hymettian marble.

Below is an image of the center of the footing wall for the fifth-century skenê-stoa complex. There are two features that deserve note: the reused marble block in the center (with anathyrosis) and the ridge or sill evident two courses above it. (Platform T is located directly north of this section of the footing wall — i.e., on the other side of the "sill" in this photograph.) The sill has been interpreted by some as a doorway leading between Platform T and the stoa.

[Image 2]

Footing wall of the stoa-skenê complex viewed from the southwest

Photograph by John Porter

Fiechter argued that the presence of this "door" and other curious features of the stoa (the fact, e.g., that its foundations are not bonded to the footing wall) showed that the stoa was a later modification of the fifth-century theater complex: originally, he claimed, there was a skenotheke standing behind the footing wall. Other features of the stoa can be used to argue that it is an afterthought: the way, e.g., the blocks of the teichobate overhang their conglomerate foundations (visible in the first image above) and the fact that mason's marks on the top of some teichobate blocks (not visible in these images) would have been visible in the final construction. The general consensus at this time, however, is that the stoa and the footing wall are contemporary.

For more on the stoa, see the page on the N. foundation of Old Temple of Dionysus and W. end of stoa.

The next logical stop on your tour of the archaeological remains of the Theater of Dionysus should be Platform T and the Footing Wall

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Last Modified: Monday, 08-May-2006 16:10:36 CST
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