Excavations and conservation of the theatre in 2022

August, 04 2022


During the period between the 18th of April and 20th of July, NI Stobi realized 94% of the 1.600.000 denari budget for the 10th consecutive season of the project for Conservation, restoration and archeological excavation of the Roman theatre at Stobi. The funding is part of the Annual program for 2022 of the Ministry of Culture. 


The archaeological excavations and the conservation were focused on the eastern half of the summa cavea, i.e. between the radial walls from the substructure of the upper segment of the auditorium. The excavations of this area in 2021 revealed remains of two phases of stairways which lead directly from the outer circular corridor to the pathway between the two segments of the auditorium, while the excavations of 2022 were aimed at the deposits and levels related to the construction of the stairways. Same as in 2021, multiple levels from the Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages were excavated and documented, enabling the conservation of large damaged areas of the walls.


The conservation and restoration activities included treatment of the three most deteriorated radial walls and segments of circular wall IV. Besides the protection of the masonry, the conservation of the marble elements of the scaenae frons continued with filling in of the cracks in the blocks and prevention of further decaying. The work on the marble blocks is paused due to the high temperatures and it is planned to be continued in September with the remaining 6% of the annual budget.


The theatre at Stobi was one of the largest mass entertainment venues in the Roman province of Macedonia which could accommodate around 7 000 spectators. It was built on a slightly sloping terrain and it has a complex substructure under the auditorium which includes the corridors for circulation of the audience. The maximum preserved height of the walls is around 6-7 metres from the original maximum height of 20 metres. The NI Stobi excavations of the theatre began in 2009 and the conservation project began in 2013. 

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