Even the Greek lyric poet Pindar, who hailed from ‘mainland’ Thebes, described Akragas as “the most beautiful city in the world inhabited by mortals”. Suffice it to say, given the scale and eminence of the ancient city, Akragas must have had its own theater. But unfortunately, in contrast to its Valle dei Templi (‘Valley of the Temples’), a World Heritage Site comprising some of the biggest and well-preserved ancient Greek Doric architectural specimens outside of Greece, archaeologists have not been able to find any trace of a theater – despite a series of excavations being carried out in the 70’s and 80’s.
That might be until now, as a team of researchers from the University of Bari, believe that they may have just located the possible remnants of a theater inside the confines of the city. This location in question lies in proximity to the extant Church of Saint Nicholas. To that end, the archaeologists used magnetic scanning that apparently revealed a structure similar to the shape of a semi-circular plan. The scanning was also complemented by the possible remains of scattered stone blocks, some of which were stuck to the roots of the local almond trees.
Consequently, a full-scale excavation is planned ahead, starting from 10th October this year, with a grant of 2.8 million euro from European Union. And interestingly enough, the researchers are also looking forth to find the remains of an ancient hippodrome from the area.