The Platiana Theatre is built on the eastern end of Mount Lapitha, south of the homonymous community of the Municipality of Kresten-Andritsena, in the Prefecture of Ilia. The theatre dates back to two phases. The hollow is dated back to the 4th century B.C., while the scene is dated back to the 245 B.C.
As it stands today, the theatre represents the tripartite characteristic structure of the Hellenistic theatres: the hollow, the orchestra and the scenery.
Nowadays, only parts of the scene and the hollow have been preserved while, in good condition still remains the ancient retaining wall of the theatre, as well as a throne from the presidencies. The preserved hollow is 34.5m in diameter. The monument today resembles a large ruin. It is the second preserved monument of this category in the prefecture of Ilia, after the theatre of ancient Ilida.
The city was probably abandoned by the 2nd century A.D., as it has not been mentioned by the traveler Pausanias. For its identification, the cities of ancient Triphylia Typanai and Hypanas have been proposed, which are mentioned by Polybius in connection with the invasion of the Macedonian king Philip II in the region during the Allied War (220-217 AD) as well as, other ancient sources and epigraphic testimonies. Identifying the location with an ancient city is not yet completely safe, but future research and findings can help steer in that direction. From the discovery of artifacts, while performing deforestation works at the top and on the slopes of the hill, it is assumed that the site had prehistoric stages of habitation.
Archaeologist – Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia
The monument has the characteristic three-part structure of Hellenistic theaters: cavea, orchestra, stage building that abuts the inner side of the fortification wall.
Images - plans
There is complete photographic documentation and floor plan imprints in the archives of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia.
Documentation - Bibliography
Adler, E.Curtius et al. Topographie und Geschichte von Olympia. Olimpia I, p. 9.
Meyer E. Neue Peloponnesische Wanderungen. p. 22.
Gialouris Ν. “Guide of Antiquities in Ancient Trifylia” Olympic Chronicles D’ 1973, p. 162-163.
Pritchett W.k, Studies in Ancient Greek Topography, Part VI, Berkley 1989, p. 46-50.
Matzanas Χ. Β1 Chronicles, AD 52 1997, p. 261-262.
R. Le Peloponnese De Strabon. p. 52.
Arapogianni X. “The Acropolises of Elia” p.33-35. Elian New Year’s Day 7.
It is built on the eastern end of Mount Lapitha, to the south of Lapitha community, Municipality of Krestena-Andritsena, prefecture of Elia.
4th century BC
Only part of the stage and the cavea survives today, while the theater’s ancient retaining wall is preserved in a good condition. Also, a throne from the Proedria section (VIP) is preserved in its original position. The preserved cavea has a diameter of 34.5m. The monument today is in ruins.
Excavations - Interventions
In the framework of Culture Ministry’s project “Greece 2004 – Enhancement of the Archaeological Sites of the Greater Olympia Region”, the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia from 2002 to 2005, carried out excavation research of a limited extent. In the context of a joint research program between the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia for the cities of ancient Trifilia, and the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut completed the drawing of the theater’s floorplan.
Visitable archaeological site
The monument belongs to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture/7th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities/ Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia
The monument belongs to the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Culture/Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia
depositors of 30 € El.Fourli-Tzelepi, Hel.Gregoropoulos, Ioa.Gregoropoulos, F.Gregoropoulos, K.Arvaniti
depositors of 20 € V.Yiannopoulou, Nik.Kappos
On 9 March 2010, DIAZOMA’s President Mr. Stavros Benos visited the ancient theatre of Platiana -Aepius during his tour of Elis’ ancient theatres, where he met with local bodies and institutions to discuss the theatre’s enhancement and promotion. (link)
The DIAZOMA Association has set up a fundraising bank account (“piggy bank”) for the ancient theatre of Platiana-Aepius, to which the local community has keenly contributed. (link)
Following the initiative of active local citizen Mr. Fotis Vlachos, the ancient theater of Platiana-Aepius was “adopted” by the “MAKISTOS” and the “AGIOS GEORGIOS” Associationς (the cultural associations of the Olympia villages of Makistos and Chrysochori respectively).
On 13 December 2013, following DIAZOMA’s decisive contribution, a cultural development programme agreement of 100,000 euros for the “Excavation research, topographic and architectural survey of the ancient theatre of Platiana” project was signed between the Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Region of Western Greece—Regional Unit of Ilia (Elis). The funding was wholly provided by the Region of Western Greece—Regional Unit of Ilia. (link).
This project aimed to provide a more comprehensive archaeological documentation of the monument through the supplementary excavation of selected theatre parts. These works were preceded by clearing and excavation cleaning of the ancient theatre. Provision was also made for the monument’s topographic survey, new architectural mapping, recording and arranging the decumbent building materials, and finally, the preparation of structural reinforcement studies and a geological study. These works were the necessary precursors for the ancient theatre restoration study to be drawn up. (link)
As part of the “Excavation research, topographic and architectural survey of the ancient theatre of Platiana” project’s implementation, the 7th Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities commenced excavations on 1 May 2014, which lasted until December 2014.
Also, for this project’s needs, the topographical survey and architectural mapping of the ancient theatre were carried out by direct award. The ancient theatre’s structural study and restoration study were prepared as part of this project.
On 2 August 2015, the study for the enhancement and promotion of the ancient theatre of Platiana was presented at the Makistos Square by its authors, architect-engineers Maria Magnisali and Themistocles Bilis. (link). This event was organized by the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia, the DIAZOMA Citizens’ Movement, and the “Makistos” and “Chrysochori” Cultural Associations. (link)
On 19 January 2016, DIAZOMA and Megaron Plus organized an information day-event on “HiddenShells: TheAncientTheatreofPlatiana”. The speakers at this event were: Erofili- Iris Kollia (Head of the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia), Zacharoula Leventouris (archaeologist at the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia), and Maria Magnisali and Themistocles Bilis (architects-engineers and the theatre’s technical consultants). (link)
On 18 October 2016, the Central Archaeological Council of the Ministry of Culture approved the ancient theatre of Platiana-Aepius restoration sturdy.
The Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia submitted a proposal for the restoration of the ancient theatre of Platiana in 2019, within the framework of the “Rural Development 2014-2020” call for proposals, sub-measure 19.2: “Support for the implementation of operations under the community-led local development strategy” (private actions) implemented by the Development Agency of Olympia (ANOL). Mr. Georgios Adamopoulos, civil engineer and DIAZOMA member, played a significant part in formulating this project’s technical datasheet. (link)
In August 2019, in collaboration with the Development Agency of Olympia, the “Restoration of the Ancient Theatre of Platiana” project was incorporated in the above Rural Development Programme 2014-2020, with an initial budget of 300,000 euros and the Ephorate of Antiquities of Ilia as the project’s implementing body. The project’s objectives comprise the restoration of the theatre’s skene (stage building) and koilon (seating area) through mild restoration interventions designed to halt its material degradation. (link) (CURRENT STATE)
Following-up the commencement of the theatre’s restoration works.(NEXT STEP)