A rare 200-seat theater from the Roman period and eight large ancient stone courses have been unearthed under the Western Wall’s Wilson’s Arch by the Israel Antiquities Authority.Also, over at the Bible Places Blog, Todd Bolen has some commentary on the find.
“This is a relatively small structure compared to known Roman theaters, such as at Caesarea, Beit She’an and Beit Guvrin,” said [excavator Tehillah] Lieberman. “This fact – in addition to its location under a roofed space, in this case under Wilson’s Arch – leads us to suggest that this is a theater-like structure of the type known in the Roman world as an odeon.”
“In most cases,” he continued, “such structures were used for acoustic performances. Alternatively, the structure might have been what is known as a bouleuterion, the building where the city council met – in this case, the council of the Roman colony of Aelia Capitolina.”
Interestingly, the archeologists believe the theater was never used.
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