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The Theater of Neapolis



The Theater at Neapolis was erected on the lower slopes of Mount Gerizim. According to the Madaba Map it was directly adjacent to the city wall. The Theater itself was surrounded by a massive wall of hewn stone in which were the entrances to the Theater.
The Theater with diameter of approximately 110 meters, is one of the largest Theater found to date in the land of Palestine. The Theater of Neapolis had three blocks of seats, (or caves) the lower and Middle caves were equal in size, and were each comprised of 18 rows of seats, while the upper caves comprised 12 rows of seats.
We estimate that the construction of the Theater began early in the second century A.D.





The Amphitheater of Neapolis



In the third century A.D. an Amphitheater was built at the circular end of the Hippodrome. It is estimated that it measured 95*76m. And the width of the base on which the seats were built is 17.5m. The base is comprised of rectangular niches and an inside corridor facing the arena. The main entrance to the Amphitheater from the west was built as a long corridor which measured 4.5*12.5m.
The Amphitheater was constructed atop the Hippodrome. Very few Amphitheater have been discovered in the land of Palestine or Syria (i.e., in Beathshan and Beath Gubrin).


The Hippodrome of Neapolis



The Hippodrome was built at the western outskirts of the city on the main east-west road which passed by the foot of Mount Ebal. It was apparently constructed outside the city limits.
The estimated meaurements of the Hippodrome are 95*400m. The round post is directed toward the east, while the entrances for horses are located in the west. The racing platform (arena) was covered with a layer of hewn stones. The carceres were comprised of eleven openings, five on the southern side, and six on the northern. Coins discovered on the floor of the niches enable us to date the establishment of the Hippodrome to the second century A.D.




Roman tombs in Nablus


 

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