RESEARCH IN THE AREA OF THE THEATER OF AIGEIRA, 2011–2018

The theater terrace of Aigeira is considered to be one of the most interesting architectural ensembles of the Hellenistic period on the Peloponnese. Its exploration is a focus of the long-term activities of the OeAI in Aigeira.

The volume submitted to the Austrian Academy of Sciences for publication includes contributions to the research in the area of the theater of Aigeira. It presents both results from the earlier excavations by Wilhelm Alzinger as well as newer results from the research conducted under the direction of the editor of the present volume in this area.

During the long-term activity of W. Alzinger, several small buildings surrounding the theater, the so-called Naiskoi D, E, and F, were excavated between 1972 and 1988. In these buildings the famous over life-size head of a marble statue of Zeus, today exhibited in the National Museum in Athens, and the so-called Eagle mosaic were discovered. Furthermore, immediately to the east of the theater a large building was discovered by Alzinger. Based on the statue fragments discovered in it he recognized the building as the »Building of Tyche« mentioned by Pausanias.

The work conducted in the resumption of research in the theater area between 2011 and 2018 included the study of pottery and other small finds as well as the re-excavation and detailed documentation of the architecture of the ›Naiskoi‹. During the excavation it was possible to excavate several unexcavated areas. The re-excavation also led to the identification of three buildings (A–C) that had been partially excavated by Otto Walter in 1925 and had then been backfilled.

The publication does not present an analysis of the entire find materials from the excavations of Alzinger in the theater area but instead several particularly interesting aspects were selected and the issues relating to this architectural ensemble are sketched. The volume will, therefore, provide the basis for projects in the future and partly already in the planning stage, which expand upon individual aspects as well as include the theater area in comprehensive discussions on Hellenistic Aigeira or Achaea.