A 2,200-year-old theater in the ancient city of Laodicea, located in western Denizli province’s Pamukkale district in Turkey, has been brought back to life after years of restoration work. Laodicea was a little-known archaeological site until 2003, when excavation works began by the Denizli Museum. Since then, a team of Turkish archaeologists, led by Professor Celal Şimşek from Pamukkale University, has been continuously working in Laodicea to uncover its rich history.
Recently, Şimşek and his team completed their restoration work on the urban theater of the city. The urban theater, which has a capacity of 15,000 people, is one of the most extensive projects whose restoration has been completed in such a short time. According to Şimşek, the team used restoration techniques of international criteria, and it was completed in just 15 years, thanks to the contributions by the South Aegean Development Agency and the metropolitan municipality of Denizli.
Ten academics, a specialist architect, 12 archaeologists, four restoring personnel, and 20 workers participated in the faithful project, which restored the theater to its former glory. Şimşek said in a press conference that the theater has been brought back to life and is now ready for visitors to experience the beauty of the ancient site.
Laodicea is regarded as one of the most important ancient cities in Anatolia, and it is home to one of the Seven Churches of Asia mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The city was founded in honor of Laodice, the wife of Seleucid King Antiochus II Theos, in the third century B.C. However, excavations have revealed that the history of Laodicea dates back much further, to as much as 5,500 B.C.
The restoration of the urban theater is a significant achievement for the team of Turkish archaeologists, who have dedicated years of work to uncovering the rich history of Laodicea. Visitors to the site can now experience the beauty of the theater and learn more about the fascinating history of the ancient city.