ATHENA Project

The amphitheaters found around the Mediterranean are one of the most important legacies left from ancient civilizations. Their architecture, acoustics, and quality of structure give clue to their social importance and craftsmanship. As important as they were historically, they are equally as important now to the living legacy from tourists to local performers. However, it is also this continued interest that has become a contributing factor to the deterioration of these sites.

The needs for theaters have changed dramatically since their original use and shift between overuse and neglect. Today, theaters are at risk from stage utilities, set installations and stage equipment during peak performance periods while facing neglect during the closed season.

The intention of the ATHENA project is to maintain the cultural, social and economic relevance of these sites while developing a sustainable management plan to conserve their use for future generations. This requires accurate documentation, education, planning, and more importantly, a shift in perspective away from viewing theaters as isolated elements within their environments but rather as a part of a “cultural cluster” or sites that are interconnected with their surroundings, e.g. their urban and natural settings. This particular emphasis involves an interdisciplinary approach on conserving the tangible and intangible heritage as a living entity to tell the story of its changes, destructions, reconstructions, performances, playwrights and actors.

We would like to thank La Sapienza University of Rome for donating the data, allowing us to digitally preserve and reconstruct each site.

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