Imagine a huge area of about 1.300 hectares including several temples, necropoli, houses, a small amphitheatre, and auditoria … without a big theatre! Scholars could not accept that the wonderful Akragas (the ancient name of Agrigento) lacks of a theatre and so many researches have been carried out. And at last the theater has been found!
Akragas theatre (the Greek Theater at the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento) is dated back 3rd century b.C. in ellenistic period, consists of a 100 meters semicircular cavea and seems to be rather majestic. According the scholars, it rises in the agora, that is supposed to be around 50.000 square meters, very impressive if you imagine that Athene agora is almost similar.
First excavations were made in the 20th century thanks to the archaeologist Pirro Marconi and his sponsor Alexander Hardecastle, a rich Englishman that allocated private funds to perform excavations and massive renovation works at the Greek temples of Akragas . Unfortunately they did not find the theatre and neither following researchers did. In 1988 some archaeologists were sure to have unearthed the theatre near the Archaeological Museum, but it was a different structure.
In 2016 finally good news seem to be confirmed: a group of scholars headed by Monica Liviadotti (Bari Politecnico) and Luigi Calio (Catania University) with the archaeologists Valentina Caminneci, Maria Concetta Parello and Maria Serena Rizzo has classified and analyzed a series of pictures of Akragas area and realized that a semicircular structure could be buried near San Nicholas Church in South-East direction. To confirm this discovery, samples of excavations are suddenly made in the area and indeed sections of the theater appear from the ground. The enthusiasm is very high! Up to now funds have permitted two months of excavations starting from October 2016, but the director of the Valley of the Temples Archaeological Park Giuseppe Parello declared that about Euro 300.000 have already been allocated and they will be enough to dig for around six months, waiting for further funds.
Rilevant link regarding Greek Theater at the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento: