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Ancient theater, stadium in Adana nearly unearthed

ANADOLU AGENCY
ADANA
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Ancient theater, stadium in Adana nearly unearthed

The excavations in the ancient city of Magarsus in Adana will focus on unearthing the ancient theater's orchestra and stadium sections next season.

The city was named after the Magarsia priestess in the Temple of Athena where Macedonian King Alexander the Great sacrificed an animal before the battle with Persian King Darius in 333 B.C. The history of the ancient city of Magarsus can be traced back to the fifth century B.C.

The excavations in the ancient city were launched in collaboration with the Adana Museum Directorate, the Provincial Directorate of Culture and Tourism and Çukurova University's Department of Archaeology with financial contributions from the General Directorate of Cultural Heritage and the Museum and Directorate of Circulating Capital in 2013. Since the beginning of the excavations, archaeologists have managed to unearth a 4,000-capacity ancient theater. The excavations, which have costed around TL 1,200,000 ($400,000) so far, aim to fully unearth the stadium and temple of the ancient city. The excavations in Magarsus, which took a break due to the winter conditions, are planned to kick off once again in March 2017.

Speaking to the press, Deputy Director of the Adana Museum Nedim Dervişoğlu said that the ancient theater in the archaeological site was discovered during the previous excavation season. Stating that the excavations will continue thanks to the support provided by the Culture and Tourism Ministry, Dervişoğlu said: "The excavations in Magarsus will continue in the orchestra pit of the theater and the stadium of the ancient city. Following the stadium excavations, archaeologists will also focus on unearthing the temple. The project phase of the restoration and conservation of the ancient theater will begin soon."

Provincial Culture and Tourism Director Sabri Tari said that the ancient city of Magarsus was introduced to scientific circles and the public through academic studies after the excavations started in 2013. Tari claimed that Adana Governor Mahmut Demirtaş's interest in the project will improve Adana's tourism industry.

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